As one of the main authors and promoters of the Constitution, wouldn't it be logical to assume that Mr. Madison knew of that which he wrote? And, that his views would have far more depth and weight than the radically opposing views expressed by the courts, legislatures, or executives? Anyone that could argue against that proposition is obviously seriously mentally handicapped, and/or an usurping tyrant.
The following excerpt covers just a small part of Mr. Madison's brilliant argument against all possible misapplications of Constitutional [mis]constructions. Such as those being presently used by the usurping tyrants in [supposed] 'power' in order to destroy our rights. The actual FACTS are quite ably pointed out by Mr. James Madison here:
“To these observations, one fact will be added, which demonstrates that the common law cannot be admitted as the universal expositor of American terms, which may be the same with those contained in that law. The freedom of conscience, and of religion, are found in the same instruments which assert the freedom of the press. It will never be admitted, that the meaning of the former, in the common law of England, is to limit their meaning in the United States.
“Whatever weight may be allowed to these considerations, the committee do not, however, by any means intend to rest the question on them. They contend that the article of amendment, instead of supposing in Congress a power that might be exercised over the press, provided its freedom was not abridged, was meant as a positive denial to Congress, of any power whatever on the subject.
“To demonstrate that this was the true object of the article, it will be sufficient to recall the circumstances which led to it, and to refer to the explanation accompanying the article.
“When the Constitution was under the discussions which preceded its ratification, it is well known, that great apprehensions were expressed by many, lest the omission of some positive exception from the powers delegated, of certain rights, and of the freedom of the press particularly, might expose them to danger of being drawn by construction within some of the powers vested in Congress; more especially of the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying their other powers into execution. In reply to this objection, it was invariably urged to be a fundamental and characteristic principle of the Constitution, that all powers not given by it, were reserved; that no powers were given beyond those enumerated in the Constitution, and such as were fairly incident to them; that the power over the rights in question, and particularly over the press, was neither among the enumerated powers, nor incident to any of them; and consequently that an exercise of any such power, would be a manifest usurpation. It is painful to remark, how much the arguments now employed in behalf of the sedition-act, are at variance with the reasoning which then justified the Constitution, and invited its ratification.
“From this posture of the subject, resulted the interesting question in so many of the conventions, whether the doubts and dangers ascribed to the Constitution, should be removed by any amendments previous to the ratification, or be postponed, in confidence that as far as they might be proper, they would be introduced in the form provided by the Constitution. The latter course was adopted; and in most of the states, the ratifications were followed by propositions and instructions for rendering the Constitution more explicit, and more safe to the rights not meant to be delegated by it. Among those rights, the freedom of the press, in most instances, is particularly and emphatically mentioned. The firm and very pointed manner, in which it is asserted in the proceedings of the convention of this state, will be hereafter seen.
“In pursuance of the wishes thus expressed, the first Congress that assembled under the Constitution, proposed certain amendments which have since, by the necessary ratifications, been made a part of it; among which amendments, is the article containing, among other prohibitions on the Congress, an express declaration that they should make no law abridging the freedom of the press.
“Without tracing farther the evidence on this subject, it would seem scarcely possible to doubt, that no power whatever over the press was supposed to be delegated by the Constitution, as it originally stood; and that the amendment was intended as a positive and absolute reservation of it.
“But the evidence is still stronger. The proposition of amendment is made by Congress, is introduced in the following terms: “The conventions of a number of the states having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstructions or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institutions.”
“Here is the most satisfactory and authentic proof, that the several amendments proposed, were to be considered as either declaratory or restrictive; and whether the one or the other, as corresponding with the desire expressed by a number of the states, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government.
“Under any other construction of the amendment relating to the press, than that it declared the press to be wholly exempt from the power of Congress, the amendment could neither be said to correspond with the desire expressed by a number of the states, nor be calculated to extend the ground of public confidence in the government.
“Nay more; the construction employed to justify the “sedition-act,” would exhibit a phenomenon, without a parallel in the political world. It would exhibit a number of respectable states, as denying first that any power over the press was delegated by the Constitution; as proposing next, that an amendment to it, should explicitly declare that no such power was delegated; and finally, as concurring in an amendment actually recognising or delegating such a power.
“Is then the federal government, it will be asked, destitute of every authority for restraining the licentiousness of the press, and for shielding itself against the libellous attacks which may be made on those who administer it?
“The Constitution alone can answer this question. If no such power be expressly delegated, and it be not both necessary and proper to carry into execution an express power; above all, if it be expressly forbidden by a declaratory amendment to the Constitution, the answer must be, that the federal government is destitute of all such authority.
“And might it not be asked in turn, whether it is not more probable, under all the circumstances which have been reviewed, that the authority should be withheld by the Constitution, than that it should be left to a vague and violent construction; whilst so much pains were bestowed in enumerating other powers, and so many less important powers are included in the enumeration?
“Might it not be likewise asked, whether the anxious circumspection which dictated so many peculiar limitations on the general authority, would be unlikely to exempt the press altogether from that authority? The peculiar magnitude of some of the powers necessarily committed to the federal government; the peculiar duration required for the functions of some of its departments; the peculiar distance of the seat of its proceedings from the great body of its constituents; and the peculiar difficulty of circulating an adequate knowledge of them through any other channel; will not these considerations, some or other of which produced other exceptions from the powers of ordinary governments, all together, account for the policy of binding the hand of the federal government, from touching the channel which alone can give efficacy to its responsibility to its constituents; and of leaving those who administer it, to a remedy for their their injured reputations, under the same laws, and in the same tribunals, which protect their lives, their liberties, and their properties?
“But the question does not turn either on the wisdom of the Constitution, or on the policy which gave rise to its particular organization. It turns on the actual meaning of the instrument; by which it has appeared, that a power over the press is clearly excluded, from the number of powers delegated to the federal government.”–James Madison, Madison’s Report On The Virginia Resolutions, House of Delegates, Session 1799-1800. [Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV, Pgs. 571-73]
The whole article, linked to above, is well worth the read. For it is REALITY, and not supposition as is displayed by our hired servants in our governments.
The “common” or statute law can by no means be enacted or utilized in justification of prior restraints on Constitutionally secured rights. For that would defeat the whole purpose of the people having secured those rights in the “supreme law” to begin with. The ‘ordinary’ law cannot be employed in order to overcome that which is the “Supreme Law”. For that would turn the Constitution into a dead letter. The “common” or statute law can only be employed in determining punishments for the criminal abuse or misuse of a constitutionally secured right – NOT to restrain or destroy it.
That the American legislatures, courts and executives, which have for so long employed this repugnant method. And having been permitted to get away with it, is stupefying. And if it could be proven to have been done in collusion, with prior knowledge. It could very well be construed as conspiracy to commit treason against We The People – the true “sovereign” authority here in the United States of America.
Whatever the reason, or excuse that might be offered in justification for this flagrant disregard of the “Supreme Law of the Land”. The FACT is, that it must not only cease and desist in its operation. But, it must be undone, and the Constitution restored to its original splendor.