Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"There is no power in the Constitution, by which Congress can make either white or black men slaves."

Our Platform.

   Loyalty to the Union of the STATES: Fidelity to the Constitution in its true extent and meaning: Obedience to and maintenance of all law, States and National, constitutionally enacted.

   Resistance to Tyranny, Usurpation and Oppression, of one man or many; and to all encroachments upon the rights of freemen or of States, or upon the just and Constitutional prerogatives of any Department of the State or National Governments.

   Restoration of disfranchised citizens to all rights and privileges of which they have been disseized.

   Perpetual Assurance to the colored race of all the rights of freemen.

   No Repudiation by state or Nation or any honest debt.

   No Establishments of Military despotisms, no enthroning of martial law, no suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, no slaying of citizens by Military Commission, no lettres de cachet [(French: “letter of the sign [or signet]”), a letter signed by the king and countersigned by a secretary of state and used primarily to authorize someone’s imprisonment.], in time of peace.

   Strict subordination of the Military to the civil Power.

   No Standing Armies of States in time of peace.

   Approval of the efforts of the President to prevent the annihilation of civil liberty by the revolutionizing of the Government, and to restore the Union of the States; and of all that he has done to defend the Constitution and to maintain the rightful supremacy of the civil law; and charity and allowance for what he has left undone or done amiss....

...Everybody thinks himself competent to advise others. However badly he manages his own affairs, he can always instruct others how to manage theirs. We are not exempt from the general infirmity. We think that we could now suggest to the President a wiser course to be adopted by him, and one much more consistent with his own dignity and honour, official and personal, with the interests of the country, and with the demands of constitutional liberty.

   In the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, 19 Howard, 393, the Supreme Court of the United States said: "It may be safely assumed that citizens of the United States who migrate to a Territory belonging to the people of the United States, cannot be ruled as mere colonists, dependent upon the will of the General Government, and to be governed by any laws it may think proper to impose. . . . A power in the General Government to obtain and hold Colonies and dependent territories, over which they might legislate without restriction, would be inconsistent with its own existence in its present form."

   "The power of Congress over the person or property of a citizen can never be a mere discretionary power, under our Constitution and form of Government.  The powers of the Government, and the rights and privileges of the citizen are regulated and plainly defined by the Constitution itself. And when the Territory becomes a part of the United States, the Federal Government enters into possession in the character impressed upon it by those who created it. It enters upon it with its powers over the citizen strictly defined, and limited by the Constitution, from which it derives its own existence and by virtue of which alone it continues to exist and act as a Government and sovereignty. It has no power of any kind beyond it, and it cannot, when it enters a Territory of the United States, put off its character and assume discretionary or despotic powers which the Constitution has denied to it. It cannot create for itself a new character separated from the citizens of the United States and the duties it owes them under the provisions of the Constitution. The Territory being a part of the United States, the Government and the citizen both enter it under the authority of the Constitution, with their respective rights defined and marked out, and the Federal Government can exercise no power over his person or property beyond what that instrument confers, nor lawfully deny any right which it has reserved."

   The Court said, that Congress could enact no law for a Territory, respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people of the Territory peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances; nor deny the people the right to keep and bear arms, nor the right to trial by jury; nor exercise any other powers, which, because prohibited by the Constitution, they could not exercise over the people of the States. And the court said: "The powers over persons and property of which we speak are not only not granted to Congress, but are in express terms denied, and they are forbidden to exercise them. And this prohibition is not confined to the States, but the words are general, and extend to the whole Territory over which the Constitution gives it power to legislate, including those portions of it remaining under Territorial Governments, as well as that covered by States. IT IS TOTAL ABSENCE OF POWER EVERYWHERE WITHIN THE DOMINION OF THE UNITED STATES."

   Two of the Judges, McLEAN of Ohio, and CURTIS of Massachusetts, dissented from the decision of the court. But, in respect to the power of Congress to legislate for the Territories, Mr. Justice McLEAN said: "There is no power in the Constitution, by which Congress can make either white or black men slaves. In organizing the Government of a Territory, Congress is limited to means appropriate to the attainment of the constitutional object. No powers can be exercised which are prohibited by the the Constitution, OR WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO ITS SPIRIT; so that; whether the object may be the protection of persons and property of purchasers of the public lands, or of communities who have been annexed to the Union BY CONQUEST or purchase, they are initiatory to the establishment of State Governments, and no more power can be claimed or exercised, than is necessary to the attainment of the end. This is the limitation of ALL the Federal powers.

   "The sovereignty of the Federal Government extends to the entire limits of our territory. . . If there be a right to acquire territory, there necessarily must be an implied power to govern it. When the military force of the Union shall conquer a country, may not Congress provide for the government of such country? . . . In such cases no implication of a power can arise, WHICH IS INHIBITED BY THE CONSTITUTION, or which may be against the theory of its construction. . . . The Constitution was formed for our whole country."

   And Mr. Justice CURTIS, after arguing that Congress had the power to enact laws for the government of persons and the protection of property in territory, acquired either by conquest or purchase after the adoption of the Constitution, said: "What are the limits of that power? . . In common with all the other legislative powers of Congress, IT FINDS LIMITS IN THE EXPRESS PROHIBITIONS ON CONGRESS NOT TO DO CERTAIN THINGS; in the exercise of the legislative power, Congress cannot pass an ex post facto law or bill of attainder; AND SO IN RESPECT TO EACH OF THE OTHER PROHIBITIONS CONTAINED IN THE CONSTITUTION. . . . It is necessarily committed to the discretion of Congress to enact such laws for that purpose as that discretion may dictate; and no limit to that discretion may dictate; and no limit to that discretion has been shown or even suggested, save those positive prohibitions to legislate, which are found in the Constitution.

   Thus the whole Court agreed, and the Republican Judges in terms equally strong and unqualified as those used by the others, that Congress can exercise no other powers of legislation over a conquered country, than such are in conformity to the Constitution, the exercise of which is not prohibited by it, and such as accord with its spirit.

   The President is sworn to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution..."

- Memphis Daily Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., Friday, August 23, 1867. Volume XVII.--Number 326. Pg. 2.
   Well, it appears that We The People pulled out from the clutches of government tyranny and usurpation at least once before. Question is, do we have the desire, determination and will to pull out from it again? Or, do we continue to allow our hired servants to finish forging the chains in order to bind us and our posterity?

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