Thursday, October 25, 2007


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The year is 1787. In May of that year some of the greatest minds the world has known gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to discuss the revising of The Articles of Confederation that had been adopted as the rule of this new nation during the Revolution. The weakness of the Articles in depending on the collective will of the states caused a form of anarchy as states competed against one another in commerce and taxation bringing insurrection and chaos.

The result of this Constitutional Convention was signed and delivered to the people of The United States on September 17, 1787 and in June of 1788 The Constitution of The United States of America became the law of the land as New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify.

The United States Constitution is a document like no other. Many countries have followed its example, even nations under the rule of Despots who never intended to adhere to Constitutional laws. Their reason for copying ours is simply this. The form of government established by the will of the people affords a government where freedom and liberty are the rule of law. Despots use this example in an attempt to fool their people into believing they will be free. Democratic nations use our example because the Constitution created the most balanced and free nation governed by the rule of law that the world has ever known.

There are many misconceptions about our Constitution that have appeared through the years and the first of those is that we are a Constitutional Democracy. A Democracy is a form of government who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives. This is not who we are. That is what makes us unique in the world because we are the only Constitutional Republic on the face of the earth. A Republic is a nation in which the supreme power rests in all the citizens entitled to vote. This power is exercised by representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by them and responsible to them. Thus the phrase which begins our Constitution, "We the people, " is more than just poetic but an actuality in the description of the form of government that leads this nation.

This series is going to attempt to address the misconceptions that have developed especially in our most recent history concerning our Constitution. I am by no means a Constitutional scholar but my qualifications to discuss our founding document come from the right, yeah the duty that we all have as citizens. That duty and responsibility is to know and understand the principles in which our country was founded and the conscience that established this nation. All of this can be found in our Constitution.

The Constitution has been referred to as, "a living breathing document." In this I agree but not in the context that most use this phrase. The Constitution is, "living and breathing, " in that it is as viable, necessary and the principles found within are as important today as they were the day it was written. Most who use this phrase believe that , "living breathing document, " means the liberal interpretation of the Constitution as it pertains to modern society which has allowed such acts as Judicial Legislation. The Constitution and the principles found therein are unchangeable and liberal interpretation allows a weakening of the original intent of the Founders.

In their wisdom the Founders realized that as the nation grew and society changed that the Constitution would need to adapt. To this end they made provision and that provision is in the ability for the Constitution to be amended, not liberally interpreted. This amendment process was intentionally made ponderous and involving specifically to prevent changes in the Constitution that were unnecessary or fleeting with the winds of the moment. In an avoidance of this Constitutionally provided process the liberal interpretation has allowed for misconception and even a dumming down of the American populace who no longer know their Constitution and depend upon their elected officials to inform them of what the Constitution says and/or defines on current issues.

This provision has made many necessary changes in societal adaptation as we have grown as a nation. It has abolished slavery, allowed women to vote, established specific rights and many other needed changes. Some have been counter productive such as the 17th Amendment which changed the entrance to office of Senators. Prior to this Amendment Senators were appointed by State Legislatures thus making them accountable to their state and its people, who if dissatisfied with the Senators performance of their duties could replace them before the six year term expired. The 17th Amendment provided for direct election of Senators which in many respects eliminated accountability and has been a major cause of the unfettered growth of government as Senators cater to special interests groups and only concern themselves with their state as elections approach then throw pork barrel projects to the electorate to insure re-election.

Each Tuesday over the next several weeks this series will discuss many Constitutional issues that we face today. Issues such as, the separation of church and state, abortion, gun control, Judicial Legislating from the bench, the powers of the different branches just to name a few. This will not be an attempt to portray a specific point of view because the Constitution is truly non-partisan. But rather point out what the document actually states on each subject and the original intent of the Founders who established our Constitutional principles.

As in all Constitutional discussions we as citizens must always remember that in this Constitutional Republic that we are the true authority of our government. Man was not made for the state but the state was made for man and that is what our Constitution establishes. Everyone from the President to our local state representative are directly answerable to, "we the people, " and the dumming down of our nation in the true knowledge of our Constitution and what it actually says and stands for has allowed this nation to drift from a nation , "of the people and by the people, " to one whose elected officials inform the people and who are not truly accountable to the people! Knowledge is power and knowledge of the truth as found in our Constitution is what makes our nation strong and our people united in freedom.

Ken Taylor

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Amendment I - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

There are many aspects of the misconception concerning the Constitution that this series will address that fall chronologically before this particlular subject. In The Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution the Founders established that freedom of religion is the first and foremost right that we as Americans and free people experience in this country. Therefore since it is a right that the founders understood was the first and most important for our citizens it is the first misconception that this series will address.

The main contention concerning our right in America for religious freedom whether we practice, follow or do not adhere to any particular religion or belief is the false notion of the Separation of Church and State. This notion has been hammered by many for so long that most of the nation accepts falsely that this phrase actually appears in the Constitution. The, "Establishment Clause, " in the First Amendment as quoted above neither contains this phrase nor makes any contention that church should be separated from the state but rather that the Congress shall not establish any religion by law as the religion of the state.

To fully understand what the Founders intent was in this first of our cherished freedoms and where the notion of a, "separation, " of church from state came from certain historical facts must first be established.

When the Pilgrims landed on this continent they were leaving Europe to flee from religious persecution and seeking freedom to worship as they saw fit. This they could not practice in Europe thus their journey to America. As Puritans the Pilgrims because of the European laws concerning state churches could not freely practice their form of belief. Europe then as today established a state sponsored church and one must belong to this particular church to marry, bury, legally recognize a child's birth and in some instances even to own property. For instance in Germany the Lutheran church is the official church of the state and one must be a member of that church for legal purposes. Today one may worship in the church of their choice but must belong to the Lutheran Church to be legal. This ability to worship as one feels while still belonging to the state church was not the case in the 1600's so the Pilgrims embarked on their American journey.

Once they established themselves in the land they actually began practicing a form of the very religious persecution they had fled from. They established a form of Puritanism as the only acceptable religion which resulted in much persecution and eventually the Salem Witch Trials.

The Founding Fathers in order to prevent religious persecution and establish freedom to worship one's God as one would wish stated that Congress shall pass no law establishing religion thus preventing a state sponsored church and religion leaving it up to the individual as how to worship his God or choose not to believe in God at all.

The idea of, "Separation of Church and State, " comes not from the Constitution but from a letter written by the President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The Danbury Baptists were a religious minority in Connecticut, and they complained that in their state, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature - as "favors granted."

Jefferson's response was as follows. "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

In this Jefferson was once again stating that the state in accordance with the First Amendment shall make no law respecting religious establishment. This mention of , "separation, " by Jefferson has been the hallmark since to falsely state that , "separation of church and state, " is a Constitutional fact.

The original intent of the Founders was not to eliminate church, or religion from the state but to establish that all Americans would have the right and freedom to worship ones God in the manner of their own conscience. They also established that one who does not believe in God would have that right in this nation as well. Eliminating any semblance of religion or practice thereof from state gatherings, buildings, property or anything else pertaining to the state was not their intent or their wish.

The freedom of religion also establishes that if a religious practice is being performed or displayed whether in private or on state property one has the right to not recognize or participate in that meeting, prayer, display or practice.

The words of Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association have been used to attempt to eliminate religion from all aspects of our government which was not the intent of the Founders in establishing freedom of religion. In this country whether one is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or even Atheist, one has the right and freedom to practice or not practice their beliefs in the manner of their conscience and the time and place of their choosing.

We are a nation founded upon and established through law as stated in the Constitution to have the ability and freedom to worship or not to worship as we as individuals see fit. A right established as the first of our rights and whether we are in the halls of Congress, the White House, our State Capitol a public library or the privacy of our own living rooms a right that we as Americans can practice or display freely without fear of persecution or our removal from the place we choose to participate or not participate in this freedom.

Ken Taylor

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Article I, Section I - "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

When the Constitution was established in 1787, the Constitutional Congress made three distinct and separate branches in the make up of The United States government. Each of the three branches while members of the whole have specific powers granted to them by the Constitution. Powers that create a check and balance system designed to prevent the possible establishment of a single man or group of men controlling the powers and responsibilities of the federal government. A check and balance system that while governed by people elected by the populace are directly answerable to the citizens of The United Sates.

The three branches are, The Executive which is the Presidency. The Legislative which is Congress consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. And the Judicial which is the Supreme Court and the Federal Court system.

Throughout our history there are many instances where one branch has attempted to over step its bounds but in most cases the check and balance system in the Constitution has corrected and/or prevented any one branch from usurping the powers and the Constitutional authority of the others.

This particular part deals specifically with the Legislative Branch whose duties and authority are defined in Article I of the Constitution. This is the branch of the government that establishes law, raises revenue, provides for and maintains the military, regulates commerce domestic and foreign, legislates Naturalization of immigrants, coins all monies, promote the arts and sciences, declare war, and provide legislative government specifically for Washington DC.

Many of the responsibilities of the Congress especially when that particular issue is in the fore front of American society and is having a negative impact upon the citizenry are credited to the sitting President. One prime example is the issue of illegal immigration. While the President states certain policy it is the Constitutional responsibility of the Congress to establish immigration law and provide for the enforcement of that law. A responsibility that has been a failing of the Congress for quite some time.One key misconception of the authority of the Congress with the citizens and the elected Representatives themselves which is a pressing issue today is Congressional authority concerning military affairs.

The Constitution states that the specific responsibilities and authority of the Congress to the military are: "To raise and support Armies; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for the calling forth of Militia, (today known as the National Guard), to execute laws Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia."

Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that Congress holds any authority for the command decisions, deployment of or use in service of the military. Their lone and distinct responsibility is for provision and maintenance only. The current attempt by the Congress to force through binding resolution authority over deployment and command of the military does not meet the Constitutional authority and responsibilities set for in Article I, Section 7.

Another misconception concerning Constitutional responsibilities and is widely blamed or credited to a sitting President is the sates of the economy. When the economy is bad the President is blamed and when the economy is good the President takes the credit. Both of which are wrong by Constitutional standards. While the President can present economic plans and ideas to the Congress, (which is to his credit IF Congress adopts them), to address issues within the economy, it falls to the Congress to legislate in accordance with those plans or reject them and create plans of their making.

The President has the ability to veto if that plan is not in conjunction with a bill that is vital to America, (the veto will be discussed in a subsequent article). In actuality the growth or failure of The United States economy falls mostly on the actions or lack thereof by the Congress since they control the purse strings through legislation.

The Congress itself has a check and balance system which at times can become very frustrating for we citizens. That system is found in the two Chambers of the Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House through its very make up can run legislation through at a quick and sometimes reckless pace which then must fall to the Senate to sort out through a much slower and more deliberate legislative process amending bills and refining them.

The bills are then sent to Committee to find compromise and finally to the President for approval or veto. If vetoed then the Congress must agree with a two thirds majority to over turn a Presidential veto.Congress is directly answerable to the people since it is our vote that places them in or removes them from office. The house is more sensitive to this since we select or reject them every tow years. The Senate on the other hand serves for a six year term and because of the 17th Amendment is directly elected as opposes to the original Constitutional provision of appointment by each state legislature. In this writers opinion this Amendment has allowed the Senate to exercise less responsibility to the people and more responsibility to their own well being.

Prior to the 17th Amendment if the people of a particular state were disappointed with the job performance by a Senator, the legislature could remove them from office and appoint another in their place. The six year length of term without the threat of removal by state legislatures allows Senators to exersise less responsibility to the people. Now the removal of a Senator requires impeachment by the same body in which that Senator serves, which is not likely. This Constitutional change in itself has attributed to much of the unfettered growth of the government as Senators throw earmarked bones to the electorate just before re-election.

The Legislative Branch of The United States is a singular representative body answerable to the people as defined in the Constitution and because of this definition finds no other like legislature in any government of any country. All others answer to a monarchy or another body within that government before answering to the citizenry. Our Republic has the distinction because of this accountability of being the only truly government of the people in the world.

Ken Taylor

Monday, October 22, 2007


Article II, Section 1, "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

Probably the best know Article of the Constitution, Article II which established the Presidency is one of the most misunderstood and in some cases the most scrutinized as it out lines the authority, responsibilities and so called, "powers," of the most powerful individual in the world, the President of The United States of America.

The President is elected directly by the people which in itself is a singular identification for a national leader in the world. Monarchy's follow a blood line or an ascension if that blood line no longer exists when there if no heir to the throne. Prime Ministers as Heads of State are chosen from the majority party of the particular Parliament who were elected by the people. Dictators are chosen through their own means whether by over throwing a reigning government or simply killing a leader and taking their place. In some instances as in Nazi Germany a dictator rises to power through a parliamentary process and then eliminates all other power but his own.

The President of the United States is elected to office directly by the people every four years and as such is also directly accountable to and responsible to the citizens who elected him. While in certain circumstances he must report to the Congress he ultimately answerable and responsible to the people.

This election process by the people determines the voting of the Electoral College which consists of members appointed from each state who gather after the General Election to vote for the President in accordance to assignment by the state which is decided by the vote of the people. Most states have a winner takes all approach with Electors. Only Maine and Nebraska assign Electors in accordance to Congrerssional districts in determined by the popular vote of that district which splits Electors in candidate assignment.

The Presidential responsibilities lie mainly in the preservation and protection of the Constitution which emcompasses much. His very oath of office which is taken directly from the Constitution out lines the primary responsibility of the President. "I (stating name), do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

"Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." While this is the primary responsibility of the President it is at times also the most controversial since it involves in most instances his use of the military as Commander in Chief as well as intelligence agencies whose very purpose is the secretive gathering of information to allow the CIC to make the best decision in the protection of the nation.

The protective responsibilities and authority of the President are not out lined in detail in the Constitution since the Founders could not have know the ramifications that the future could bring to the powers of the President.

As Commander in Chief he is the sole civilian authority for the military and as such he alone is responsible for the military, "when called into the actual Service of the United States" This authority consists of all command decisions which include deployment, strategy, execution of that strategy, and all aspect of command and control while the military is in action.

While the Constitution states that he may, "require the opinion," with the key word being, "opinion, " from , " the principle officer in each of the executive Departments, " the President bares sole authority for the use of and the action of the military. He must report to Congress concerning the use of and the actions of the military in time of war, or other hostilities, but he alone is the responsibile party of the government and the Congress had no authority concerning military matters other than provision and maintenance.

Another source of contention in Article III is the establishment of what has become known as the Electoral College. Especially in light of the 2000 election there has been considerable controversy over the College and calls for amending the Constitution for its elimination.

The Founders original intent with the Electoral process which is still very valid today was to prevent the election of a President solely by the most populace cities and states in the Union so that every state through the election process could have a voice in the election of the President. Without the electors even today the most populace states like California, New York and Florida to name a few would by the size of their population alone give cause for campaigns to visit these states only and when the final tally was in on election night these few states would decide the Presidency.

The Electoral process allows for lesser populated states to have an equal voice in the election of a President as that of the more populace states which makes for the election of a President by the entire country instead of a few choice populated states.

The President is given Constitution authority for the appointment of Ambassadors, Department Heads and all federal courts which includes the Supreme Court. This appointment is with the, "advise and consent, " of the Senate which means exactly what it says. It is not the responsibility of the Senate to force a Presidential appointment to a two thirds vote in order to block an appointment. The two thirds vote applies in accordance with the Constitution only for the implementation of treaties negotiated by the President.

The advise and consent responsibility of the Senate is solely to review with the President the appointees qualifications and not to block or eliminate the Presidential authority for this appointment.

If this were not the case then the next paragraph of the Constitution would not allow the President the authority to make appointments while the Senate was in recess. While this appointment expires at the end of a particular session of Congress it does place emphasis that the sole authority for appointment is that of the President and not the Senate.

The President is also responsible to the law. As such the Founders instituted the ability to impeach and remove a President from office. Most believe that these two actions are one in the same. They are not. Impeachment is undertaken by the House of Representatives who if presented with indictments of, "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, " by the President then present to the full House Articles for Impeachment and after debate vote for or against.This does not remove a President from office.

The Senate then places the same indictments and President on public trial with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the presiding officer of the court and if found guilty the President then is removed from office. Two President's have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but when tried in the Senate were not removed from office.

The President of The United States while a singularly powerful Executive office for the people of this nation has by design of the Constitution checks and balances through being responsible to the people first and reporting to the Congress, which prevent the Presidency from becoming a dictatorial office or a monarchy. This also is a distinct reminder of the freedom of our Republic as no one man though the most powerful in the world can trample the rights and liberties of the citizens of our nation.

Ken Taylor

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Article III, Section I, "The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

The third Article of the Constitution which established the federal court system of the United States and which I might add is the pattern for the individual state systems, has been at the center of much discussion and political meandering for the last several years.

In fact a term that is applied to this particular branch has evolved because of the controversy surrounding the courts and what their true authority as the third branch of government is. That term is "legislating from the bench." Referring to the practice by many of the lesser courts and a few instances from the Supreme Court where law was actually established from the courts through court rulings and not from the Congress which is the duly Constitutionally appointed branch of the government to create and in act the laws of the nation.

Of the first three Articles of the Constitution which establish the three branches of government Article three concerning the Judiciary is the most concise because the powers of the Judicial Branch are plain and simple. It is the responsibility of the federal courts to have judicial power over cases of law and to apply the law in accordance to the Constitution to each case as the enforcement of that law.

The Judiciary reviews each case that, "arises under the Constitution, " for the sole purpose of applying the law as the judges on the court interpret the law for that particular case. The Federal Court system consists of several different levels with the final level consisting of the Supreme Court which is the last stop of appeal from a lesser court judgement. Of course each level has the ability to deny a hearing to that court if the case being reviewed is seen to have been settled in accordance to the law by the preceding courts judgement.

One of the many misconceptions concerning the Supreme Court is the number of Judges appointed to the Court and whether that number is specifically established by the Constitution. The actual number is not stated by the Constitution and throughout our history has varied according to the appointments of the sitting President. In many instances when the number was larger the size of the Court was determined by how many appointment favors that the President was inclined to make. The Court has had as many as twelve Justices but the current number of nine began during the administration of FDR and has remained consistent since then.

The Judiciary because of its very conception and reason for existence is supposed to be non-political but again the historical evidence shows that many of the decisions of the court were based on the political climate of the time.

The Dred Scott decision of 1857 is one example which in today's political climate would be considered very unconstitutional. The Court ruling in the case established that all blacks were not nor ever could be citizens of The United States and it declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional which allowed that all US territories were considered free. Thus creating slavery as , "law, " in all territories. This is but one of many decisions based on political climate and not the Constitution.This example also shows that the practice of, "legislating from the bench, " has been in existence throughout our history, but it would seem never as blatant or consistent as it is today.

The practice by the courts at any level of creating legislation or law through a particular court decision has become common place both at the state and federal level with certain courts becoming quite famous for the practice. The most obvious is the Ninth Circuit Court which is in San Fransisco, California who have continually established law through their decisions but fortunately when appealed to a higher court have had many over turned.

Nowhere in the third Article does it state that the Judicial Branch has the ability or the power to create law, establish legislation, or enforce a law that was not created through the proper Constitutional provision from the Congress which is the Legislative Branch.

Yet despite this very well defined Constitutional provision and the equally defined separation of Legislative and Judicial powers of the Congress and the Courts, it has become the practice that when political parties, action groups, lobbyists, powerful financial interests, etc cannot get legislation passed through Congress, they will in turn take the matter to the Courts. The Courts then will pass judgement on the case and establish through that judgement a particular law and rule that the law established by the court will be enforced as such, which is a direct violation of the Constitution and the Separation of Powers.

If the judgement by the court is in conjunction with defining the legality or lack thereof of EXISTING law established by the Legislative Branch whether state or federal then the ruling of the court is Constitutional. But as has been the case especially in recent years if the judgement is in conjunction with a legislative agenda that has not followed Constitutional procedure of passage into law by state or federal legislative branches then the ruling if deemed by the court to be, "law, " is unconstitutional.

The purpose of legislation being created by the elected Legislative Branch rather than the Judicial Branch was to allow representation in law by the people of the country. Judges are appointed and as such are not answerable to the people therefore the responsibility of legislating does not Constitutionally fall within their powers. Their sole and only responsibility is enforcement and interpretation of existing laws.

This strict Constitutional division of powers between the three branches of government defines our protection as citizens from the power of the central federal government. Establishing representation for the people as elected by the people. And allows us as citizens an avenue through the courts to legally question a law which we consider a violation our rights and our freedoms.

Ken Taylor

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Article IV - Section I "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."

Article V - "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution"

This particular part of this series will cover two of the articles within the Constitution and will be the last part covering the individual articles as the final two articles numbers VI and VII cover the basic pretext of debts and the ratification of the Constitution.

Article IV specifically addresses the rights of the individual states and the rights under the Constitution that are afforded to individuals within those states. This article establishes that we as citizens have the same rights, privileges and immunities regardless of which state we reside or whether we choose to travel or move to any other state in the Union. Within this country our Constitutional rights and privileges are universal within the boundaries of this nation and we cannot be denied those rights by law.

At the time this was established by the Founders, this one article created a singularly new precedence for a nation or a collective of states. European law for example did not cross national boundaries and the individual provinces even within countries did not recognize many individual rights from one province to the next. One could feasibly find that when crossing into another province in ones own country they could violate a law that was legal within their home province.

Not so in The United States. Under our Constitution the laws of this land apply to every individual in an equal manner regardless of his home or the state that he may abide in. Equally so are the rights that are afforded us in the nation. These rights do not end at city or state boundaries but cross all boundaries and jurisdictional limits thus giving us freedom to travel and move without fear of violating an unknown law or having our freedoms denied because of our location.

The thirteenth Amendment changed a portion of Section 2 in Article IV as this amendment abolished the practice of slavery. Article IV stated that any, "person held in service or labour in one State, " would fall under the same consequences of law in the next State if they escaped. In abolishing slavery the thirteenth Amendment made this provision obsolete and unconstitutional.

The final Section of Article IV establishes that it is the duty of the federal government to guarantee that every state have the ability to have a, "Republican Form of Government, " which coincides with the Constitutional Republic that we live in and that each State shall be protected by the central federal government.

Article V establishes the Amendment provision for the Constitution. Any Amendment must be met with a two thirds majority in both the Senate and the House and then is passed on to the State Legislatures who then must also consist of a three fourths majority of the collective States in order for any amendment to become part of the Constitution.

The process to Amend the Constitution was deliberately created as an exhaustive and consuming process to prevent the amending from becoming not only politically based but fleeting with the whims and fancies of the time. By demanding a two thirds majority in the Congress and a three fourths in the States, amending the Constitution requires much contemplation, debate and consideration before any changes can be made.

This provision and the fact that the Constitution is as viable today as it was the day it was written are what truly constitutes the reference of the document as being, "a living breathing document." Many though see this phrase as a way of more or less bypassing the Constitutional provision of amending by liberally interpreting the Constitution rather than following the set procedure to adapt in accordance to societal changes.

The Founders realized that society and the needs of the nation would change as we grew as a country. Thus the exhaustive amendment process made the Constitution able to adapt to the changes that have and will take place in our society. Liberal interpretation of the Constitution has in many forms usurped the amendment process and made adaptations in the way the Constitution is used to bend to ideas or agendas that would not necessarily meet the Constitutional test. This very liberal interpretation has caused a basic dumbing down of America in knowing what the Constitution actually states and what the Founders intended when it was written. The majority of Americans now depend on their elected officials to interpret and define the Constitution rather than knowing it themselves. Liberal interpretation also allows for many misconceptions and the misleading of the nation as to what our rights and privileges are.

Several instances come to mind but one in particular that I will mention is the liberal interpretation of eminent domain. The Constitution provides for private property to be used for the ,"public good, " after the individual who owns the property is compensated fairly and due process is served accordingly. Today this is being liberally interpreted to allow developers to take private property to increase the tax base by building higher priced business or dwellings on that particular property. Many long held family homes and homesteads are falling to this unconstitutional practice.

The Founders realized that if changing the Constitution was a simple task then it would become common place for citizens to continually have our rights, freedoms and liberties abused and violated. Liberal interpretation is doing just that by bypassing the amendment process and twisting the true intent and meaning of the Constitution in order to fulfill an agenda or usurp and bend the law.

Ken Taylor

Friday, October 19, 2007


Fourteenth Amendment Section I- Due Process Clause -"...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

One of the most controversial Constitutional decisions and questions that has continually perplexed this nation since its first introduction is the Supreme Court's Decision in 1973 on abortion in the famous case of Roe vs. Wade.

In this landmark case the nine Justices of the Supreme Court using the Due Process Clause stating a right to privacy ruled that all state and federal laws outlawing abortion were unconstitutional and therefore since that time because of this decision abortion has been considered, "the law of the land."

First let me state for the record that as a conservative I am opposed to abortion but in writing this article my views on the matter are not what will be expressed nor will this be an article that argues the merits pro or con of abortion.

The sole purpose of this series is to look at the Constitution from an original intent view point and from the fact that the Framers in their collective wisdom in establishing the Constitution provided laws to govern this nation and provisions within the Constitution to adapt through the amendment process this foundation to societal changes.

Additionally through this in depth look at our Constitution this series is attempting to reveal misconceptions in what is believed by many to be Constitutional fact and what is not.The misconception from a strict Constitutional stand point that abortion is legal and the law of the land is arguably one of the most misunderstood and has created the greatest fire storm in our nations history.

Let me explain why. Regardless of ones view point concerning abortion the case of Roe vs. Wade which outlawed all state and federal laws banning abortion, while eliminating laws that prevented abortion DID NOT create any law legalizing abortion either.The great misconception concerning a woman's, "Constitutional right, " to an abortion has created the idea that it is also a legislated fact that abortion is because of the Supreme Court decision, "law." Which is not the case at all.

Under the first three Articles of the Constitution the Framers of the Constitution established a well defined Separation of Powers between the three branches of government, The Executive, (the President), The Legislative, (The Congress), and the Judicial, ( Federal Courts). Additionally Section IV of Article IV also allows for the institution of this, "Republican Form of Government," (referring to our being a Constitutional Republic and not the party by the same name), for every State that is admitted to this Union.

In order for any matter to become law in The United States it first must be established and passed by the duly elected Legislative officers of the government. In the case of the Federal government this is the sole duty of the Congress. On the State level this duty falls to the individual state legislatures.

While many states have established legislation concerning abortion since 1973 and the Roe vs Wade decision on the federal level only a ban on Partial Birth Abortion currently exists and is being challenged waiting hearings by the Supreme Court. Also FACE, (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act), which provides for criminal and civil action against obstruction of entrance to an abortion clinic. This to is facing a First Amendment challenge before the Supreme Court. Other legislative initiatives that are pending cover a provision for elimination of federal funds for abortion.

The misconception that Abortion is, "the law of the land, " has thus created ongoing argument between Pro - Life and Abortion activists, continual debate within Congress with much discussion as to whether Roe vs. Wade should or should not be over turned but with the exception of the above mentioned duly voted on and passed federal legislative decisions there are no federal laws establishing whether abortion is legal or illegal therefore there is NO law stating that abortion is, "the law of the land." Only a Supreme Court decision on a particular case that over turned all existing anti-abortion laws that were in existence at the time of the decision in 1973.

While the debate concerning abortion and the protests for or against will continue in the nation the fact is the from a strict Constitutional stand point abortion in neither legal or illegal in this country because there have been no laws passed other than those already mention that legislate the status of this much argued and controversial subject.

Lawmakers in Congress realize this but because of the great controversy that abortion creates nationwide have as a whole refuse to address this subject from the stand point of the law as Congress Constitutionally establishes law thus allowing the misconception from a Constitutional stand point that abortion is, "the law of the land."

Ken Taylor

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Amendment II - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

One of the most controversial amendments in the Constitution and one that the Framers deemed important enough to establish in the Bill of Rights immediately following our freedoms of religion, speech, the press and petitioning grievances against the Government as found in the first Amendment, is our right as citizens to keep and bear Arms.

One extreme misconception about this right finds its basis in the wording of the Amendment itself. The right for citizens to, "keep and bear Arms, " directly follows the right of all States to have a , " well regulated Militia." Many who are gun control advocates use this wording to express that the Framers intended the right to bear arms for the use of state Militias only and not for individuals in the protection of their families, homes or for recreational or food provision use in hunting etc.

Before I continue though I would like to clarify my thoughts on the second Amendment with this. I am not a gun owner, because I choose not to be. I am not a hunter and just have never had an interest in guns so what I write is not based on an opposition to gun control because of being a gun owner. It is based upon the reasons the Framers established the right to bear Arms for the citizens of this country and though our society has changed the fundamental reasoning for this right are just as viable today as when written into the Bill of Rights.

When the Constitution was established and the Bill of Rights added this nation was young and still remembered the oppression that was posed by the British which brought about the Revolution. The first of the second Amendment which establishes a well regulated state Militia was to allow each individual state protection from any possibility of forced control by the central government to prevent any state from suffering the oppression that the British forced on the original Colonies. Also state Militias allowed for any state to protect its borders from expansion from another state or invasion from within or without. The Militias were also available to combine for a united force in protection of the nation as a whole.

While a Militia is still a right for each state the idea has become somewhat obsolete from its original intent and establishment in the fact that each state now had a state National Guard, (which has replaced the state Militia), consisting of citizen soldiers from within that state who provide both security and also aid in time of disaster for that state. Each National Guard Unit is also used as reserve in time of war for The United States military at the discretion of the Commander in Chief.

The latter portion of the second Amendment the right, "to keep and bear arms, " is often confused as referring only to Militias and not to individuals, which is not the case. Again when the Bill of Rights was established we were only slightly removed from the control of Great Britain and the taking of fundamental rights that took place in the original Colonies.

The British upon attempting to quell the growing anger and opposition to the Crown took private property, both business and homestead for billeting and confiscation as punishment. Additionally if a Colonist dared openly oppose the British they were subject to imprisonment or worse. Arms were confiscated to prevent armed rebellion and the organizing of Militia.This and other actions by the British also brought about the establishment of the third and fourth Amendments protecting citizens from unlawful quartering by soldiers and unreasonable search and seizure.

The Framers understood that we as citizens of a free nation have the fundamental right to defend our family, our property and our livelihood from any form of illegal taking whether from invasion or a thief who intends harm. Thus the right to bear Arms was established to allow citizens individual protection.While law enforcement is one line of defense against our homes, families and properties the Framers also understood that law enforcement could not be everywhere at once, so the right for self protection by bearing Arms is established in the Bill of Rights as our first line of personal defense.

This also requires responsibility in bearing Arms. It does not mean that every citizen will own an UZI for example which is one argument that gun control advocates use to force restrictive legislation on Arms. Whether strict gun control laws are in effect or not those of the criminal element will find guns from a myriad of illegal sources and that becomes the responsibility of law enforcement and allowing them the capability to arrest and confiscate criminal use of arms.

The misconception of the second Amendment and the right to bear Arms also has created legislation in some states that gives permission to citizens for what is already a Constitutional right. For instance the state of Texas has passed legislation allowing its citizens to use deadly force in protecting themselves at home, in their cars or workplaces as long as that citizen is not provoking the confrontation. The use of deadly force is already a right when one protects themselves as established in the right to bear Arms.

The second Amendment does not establish the right for citizens to use armed force as a means of control or oppression by force of their neighbor or anyone else. This illusion has been created by many gun control advocates to scare people and out law Arms. The second Amendment right to, " keep and bear arms, " is for the responsible use of citizens in protecting themselves if necessary and the use of arms for provision of food or in today's society the recreational sport of hunting.

Ken Taylor

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Amendment I - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The First Amendment of the Constitution and the beginning of our Bill of Rights, establishes four of our most cherished and important rights as citizens of The United States. While this series has covered the Freedom of Religion in the first segment of the series, this will cover the remainder of the First Amendment, the Freedoms of Speech, Press and our right to express our dissent and grievances with our government.

One of the keys to understanding what the Framers intended with regards to these basic and fundamentally important Freedoms found in the First Amendment is located in the very beginning of the Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment...." with the stress falling upon the non - establishment of law.

To allow a nation and its citizenry the right of free expression through speech, press, and dissent with the government it must first be established that the government by law does not have the capability of creating any form of law that can inhibit these rights. The Framers in their collective wisdom understood from experience that a government that does not have the Constitutional restraints in place to prevent the establishment of law that could regulate or completely eliminate a citizens right of free expression was a government not by and of the people but one that becomes dictatorial over its people.

The very idea that begins the Constitution with, "We the People." establishing us as a nation and a government whose very existence is by the will of the people in itself demanded that as our first and fundamentally most important right of free expression be created by prohibiting the government from denying those rights by creating laws preventing or hampering them.

Thus the phrase which begins the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment..." of religion, or prohibiting speech, the press or expressing grievances with our government.

This profound establishment by the Framers concerning our rights as citizens removes any governmental restraints, regulation or law from these most precious and cherished of our rights as Americans. In the same manner it also places full responsibility of the exercise of these rights solely in the hands of , "We the People."

With these fundamental rights given us by law in the Bill of Rights we as citizens have a profound responsibility to exercise our rights of speech, press and dissent WITH responsibility. By establishing personal responsibility for the people the Framers understood the necessity in a free society for each citizen to assume personal responsibility for their actions, their tongue, their pen and their government.

This also establishes that in the exercise of these rights we as responsible citizens must not abuse these rights to hamper or trample the same rights of our fellow citizens. Responsibility at times calls for discretion, consideration, respect, restraint and understanding. Whether it is in the practice of religion, speech our writings or our dissatisfaction of our government the Framers placed the responsibility of we as free Americans upon our own conscience to control each of these freedoms in our lives.

Abusing these rights to the detriment of a fellow citizens or the press in destroying the character of an individual or threatening the security of the nation and its citizens through irresponsible reporting in not what the Framers intended in establishing these fundamental rights.

The abuse of these rights also necessitates applying the law where applicable. For instance while we have a right to express dissent with our government, we do not have the right to express that dissent by destroying property or defacing the same. Thus the law must step in to protect property from destruction of defacing.

As citizens of , "the land of the free, " we have great responsibility in the exercise or our freedoms both to our nation and our fellow Americans. We must exercise these freedoms while responsibly keeping from trampling on the freedoms of others and respecting their right to be free as well. The Framers understood this great responsibility and its necessity for the establishment of a nation, " of the people, " and a nation of free American citizens!

Ken Taylor

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The 17th Amendment - "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

I have mentioned this Amendment in two previous segments of this series in passing and now will look at it in an exhaustive view as well as the ramifications that the adoption of this Amendment has had on the nation and the original intent of the Framers.

The original wording of The Constitution concerning the Senate of The United States and those who served in this Chamber of the Congress is as follows.

Article I, Section 3 - "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature, thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote."

The original purpose of creating two Houses of Congress, The House of Representatives and The Senate, was to allow for a check and balance in legislating and to provide for representation of the people AND the individual states.

The House of Representative has always been, "the people's House, " of Congress since every two years the entire House is elected directly by registered voters. The two year cycle provides for a , "shake up, " in the House if the people see a need for change. The House was designed to be a direct representative body of the people of the nation and as such directly answerable to every citizen with the representatives chosen directly FROM the people and BY the people. This also has always made the House much more prone to offer quick legislation that is based upon the emotion of the moment or the feelings of the citizens at the time.

The Senate was designed to be a slower more deliberate House of Congress whose members were not directly elected by the people but appointed by each State Legislature for a six year term with one third of the Senate eligible for election every two years in a rotational basis. Supposedly by Legislative appointment Senators would be the more, "elite, " of the nation and as such not as prone to legislate by emotion or by the tide of the times. Thus giving pause to House Legislation and study of such which provided for the balance between the two Chambers.

The 17th Amendment changed much of this original plan of the Framers as it provided for the direct election of each Senator by the people and removed the appointment authority of the State Legislatures. As such the States no longer have a representative voice in the Congress.

The appointment by State Legislatures of Senators insured accountability for the six year term. If a Senator was deemed to be negligent in his duties to the State or not accomplishing his job, he could then be removed during his term and replaced by the State. The only remaining provision of the original authority of the State concerning Senators is if a Senator cannot complete his term then the Governor , (not the Legislature),of that State will appoint a replacement who serves until the next election.

This one Amendment has removed the influence of individual States in Federal governing and has allowed for Senators to, rather than represent their individual States as was the intent of the Framers, become in their actions associate president's, foreign emissaries, elder statesman and accountable to no one.

This Amendment because of its inherent lack of accountability by Senators has also been directly responsible for a great deal of the out of control growth of the Federal Government. Senators who no longer represent their States use the Senate as a means of creation of Federal projects, entitlements, tremendous pork spending and other out of control measures that has, since its inception, seen an unfettered growth of the Federal Government, which was not what the framers intended.

Senators now rather than looking to the interest of their State dabble in issues that in most respects do not apply to the State level and just before a re-election bid throw billions in pork spending to their individual State to attempt to purchase votes by bragging to State residents of their financial accomplishments for the home folk. The remainder of the six year term the, "home folk, " are forgotten.

This could very well be one reason why historically this country does not elect a sitting Senator to the Presidency. In our history there have only been two, (Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy), sitting Senators elected to the White House. Others who have served in the Senate and elected President either served as Vice President, Governor, a high Cabinet position or other like executive jobs before election to the White House.

There seems to be a distrust of leadership with Senators who have only served as a Senator and the actions caused by the adoption of the 17th Amendment could explain the lack of sitting Senators as President.

The possibility of repealing the 17th Amendment and returning to the original intent of the Framers is not likely since the move to amend must begin in the Senate. The Federal power that this Amendment has given Senators and this Chamber of Congress insures that the 17th Amendment will remain as part of the Constitution and the States will continue to have no representation in Washington.

Ken Taylor

Monday, October 15, 2007


George Washington - "Towards the preservation of your government, it is requisite, that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles. One method of assault may be in effect alterations which will impair the energy of the system and thus undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" Tenth Amendment

This statement made by Washington was a warning to future generations of Americans. Warning each generation that followed away from the temptation of undermining the principles of the Constitution, the very foundation of our Republic. It was also a warning that , "alterations, " on these principles would in effect change the fabric and meaning of the very laws established in the Constitution and as such the building blocks of our nation.

The vast size and scope of the Federal Government is one glaring instance in which the warning given by George Washington was ignored. While the, "size, " of the Federal Government is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, the authority, responsibilities and duties of the Government are. In each case this authority is limited in its scope and size by that fact that the Framers established specific obligations that the people should expect from government.

While the Framers could not anticipate the tremendous growth that this nation has experienced since it founding, they did anticipate that a government that exists by the authority of the governed must be limited in its power over the citizenry lest it cease to be a government of the people but one that dictates to and controls the people.Each Branch of the Federal Government has specific Constitutional responsibilities that are outlined for that Branch.

Article I, Section 8 - Congress, ( Legislative Branch), has power to: collect taxes, pay debts, borrow money, regulate commerce with foreign nations, establish rule of naturalization, coin money, provide punishment for counterfeiting, establish Post Offices, promote Science, constitute tribunals, punish piracy on the seas, declare war, raise and support armies and Navy and have exclusive legislative authority over the District of Columbia.

Article II, Section 2 - The President, ( Executive Branch), Commander in Chief of the military, power to make treaties, nominate and appoint Ambassadors, public Ministers, Judges and all other offices, grant reprieves and pardons, recommend to Congress Measures necessary and expedient, convene or adjourn Congress, receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers, Commission all Officers of The United States and see that laws are faithfully executed.

Article III, Section 2 - The Courts, (Judicial Branch), power to extend to all cases of law arising under the Constitution and treaties, the trial of crimes and treason.

These are the specific powers granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution. While the scope of these powers can vary, understanding their limitations in size and power, the history of this nation and its founding and Founders must be taken into consideration.

While Great Britain governed America as colonies of the British Empire, the original 13 Colonies were subject to a myriad of oppressive regulations, harsh policies, unrepresentative and oppressive taxation , excessive laws and violations of personal freedoms such as speech, property holdings, protection against unwarranted searches and seizures, just to name a few of the oppressive governance by Britain over the Colonies.

To prevent similar authoritative and oppressive power from controlling the United States as a nation in the manner that Britain controlled the Colonies, the Founding Fathers envisioned a government that would be limited in its power and authority and would be given that authority by the people of The United States thus directly answerable to the citizenry. Additionally the Founders included in The Bill of Rights the Tenth Amendment which specifically establishes that any power or authority not specifically mentioned in the seven Articles of The Constitution belong to the states or the people thus creating by law the limitation of government and it authority in this Nation.

This very pretext of government established by the Constitution and envisioned by the Framers created a government limited in size, scope and power to prevent needless and oppressive regulation and legislation, the trampling of individual freedoms and liberties and to allow the individual States the power and freedom to handle situations particular to that State.

The Federal Government was designed in fact by the Framers only as a central authority with limited power whose main responsibility was to protect the nation by providing for its defense, institute a nationally regulated form of law and justice so that every citizen would be allowed the same rights and privileges throughout the land, establish commerce between states and foreign nations and also establish diplomatic relations, commerce, trade and treaties with foreign powers.

The size, power and authority of today's Federal Government far exceeds the vision established in the Constitution and by its Framers. Slowly and surely over the decades many of our freedoms have been regulated, legislated and controlled by an unfettered growth and power from a government that in many ways no longer answers to the authority of the people but to the power of those elected.

The Federal Government was established to guard and secure our freedoms not to legislate, tax and regulate the people into dependents and in a very real sense servants of the government.

In 1788 during the Constitutional ratifying Convention in New York, Alexander Hamilton described the Federal Government as follows:

"The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration."

Hamilton described a government limited in power yet created for the security and cohesiveness of the nation.

In 1821 Thomas Jefferson warned of the consequences of an unfettered and limitless government:

"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another."

The vision of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution for the Federal Government have been left behind in the regulatory, burdensome, exhaustive, over reaching and over taxing government that now leads this nation. Its power is limitless, and its influence and intrusion in the lives of We the People have already begun to crumble the foundational principles on which this nation was founded.

Ken Taylor

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Article I, Section 8 - The Legislative Branch - "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy"

Article II, Section 2 - The Executive Branch - "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States"

The powers of the individual Branches of government concerning the United States Military are clearly out lined in the Constitution. The separation of those powers concerning their duties and responsibilities are precise and distinct to each Branch.Article II which covers the governmental responsibilities of both Houses of Congress distinctly places the responsibility of provision for and maintenance of the military specifically in the duties of the United States House of Representatives and Senate.

Congress therefor provides funding, for every aspect of military existence from operations to equipment. The specific responsibility , " raise and support Armies," and , "provide and maintain a Navy, " are specifically out lines in Section 8. Additionally appropriating funding for this provision is stated as not to exceed a period of, "two years, " without review by the Congress for the appropriation of funding.

The actual use of the military Constitutionally is the sole responsibility of the Executive Branch and specifically The President of The United States as Commander in Chief. Article II, Section 2 specifically states that , "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."As Commander in Chief, the President is the appointed governmental head of the military and as stated in the Constitution he, " he may require the Opinion, " of Department Heads in his responsibility as Commander in Chief, but he alone is the sole Constitutionally appointed officer of the government for the military and responsible for the military, "when called into the actual Service of the United States."

The total misconception that Congress also has responsibility for military action is found nowhere in the Constitution. The sole responsibility of the Congress for the military is provision and maintenance. They have no authority to create or implement strategy, deployment, or any other command decision. The Congress can as a course of action to limit the command capability of the President cut funding to the military but have absolutely no Constitutional responsibilities concerning any command decisions or strategy for the use of the military.

The President as Commander in Chief commands all decisions concerning use of the military in defense of the United States as part of his Constitutional oath to, "defend and protect the Constitution." He does have to request from the Congress any and all funding for use of the military whether in war or in peace. The Constitution does not require the President at any time to consult with or receive authorization from the Congress for matters of strategy, deployment or any other commander decision when using the military in , "actual Service of the United States."

The authorization in declaring war is given by Congressional authority but once given whether in an actual official declaration of war or in a use of force resolution, the President then under his authority as Commander in Chief authorizes and delegates all command decisions as need be for military action.

Any attempt by the Congress to micro-manage military action through legislation would first face a Presidential VETO. Then if that VETO were to be over turned the legislation would face a Supreme Court challenge in which the Court by strict Constitutional standards would be compelled to over turn because of the clear and distinct Separation of Powers in the Constitution concerning military operations and especially the use thereof in, "actual Service of the United States."

The only Constitutionally legal action that the Congress can take in ending the use of the military is through their authority of provision. They do have the Constitutional authority do de-fund military action which would force the Commander in Chief to end military action since he could no longer supply the Soldiers, Seaman, Marines and air Force with the necessary means to fulfill their duty in defense of The United States.

Any other action by the Congress to attempt to control any aspect of the military other then funding is in direct violation of the Constitution and therefor under United States law illegal.

Ken Taylor