10. 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.
This is ambiguous. It has the surprising effect that advocating State’s Rights means advocating for the rights of government over people. Republicans (full disclosure: I have mostly voted Republican since 1980, but do not approve of the current foolishness) who advocate State’s Rights are being more successful lately. In theory a state could become almost completely totalitarian. A king could declare himself and rule the state, as long as he or she did not infringe on The Ten, the rights specifically guaranteed in the Constitution, or on reserved Federal powers. However, there are really only The Eight because 10 used in this way cancels 9.
9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Nine would be fine, except that Ten leaves wiggle room for a State to take all of the ones The People might otherwise expect.
8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
We are long past this one. Bail is routinely set to prevent a suspect from fleeing the country. Check the fines imposed for minor oversights in reporting foreign bank accounts, which I personally think are none of the government’s business. Money made out of the country is not taxed by any country but the US. The US is in the extreme minority here. As for cruel and unusual punishment, check the penalties for drug crimes which should probably be dealt with through medical treatment. Also look into the system by which simple recreational users are pressured to turn in their friends and make them look like dealers.
7. In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Every time you click “agree” to terms of one kind or another when purchasing something on the web, you waive your right to trial by jury. Read Seven again. Does it say the right is waivable? Do YOU think the FOUNDERS intended it to be routinely waived by arbitration agreements? They had no idea of such a thing. Seven has been long ago discarded.
6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Typical waiting time for a trial is 8 months. That’s TYPICAL. In that time, you lose your job, your house is foreclosed, your car is repossessed, and that’s if you are innocent. If you are in the military, or if you are accused of espionage or spying, the italicized portion is also stripped from you.
5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
First note ONLY the Grand Jury requirement is waived in time of war or similar public danger. No other requirement is waived. The italicized portion of 6 is NOT waived.
Second, note that property (e.g., cash) may be seized if it has traces of drugs on it even if you got the cash from a bank and did nothing wrong. This is completely insane.
But third, and worst of all, by the mechanism of political correctness you may not only be relieved of your job for exercising your right to free speech, your business may be boycotted and closed, which is clearly deprivation of property without due process of law. Someone may accuse you of some misdeed and without any trial or proof, your business and life are has-beens, toast, kaput, ruined.
4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Ed Snowden showed the NSA violated this wholesale by collecting confidential data on nearly everyone, storing it in searchable form to be used later. For his trouble he was run out of the country, his passport revoked, and he was trapped against his will in Russia. A plane carrying the President of a foreign country was forced down on suspicion Snowden might be on board. The first step to recovering our rights in this country is to drop all charges against Snowden, pay him damages, and award him a medal. The second step would be to do the same for Julian Assange.
Aside: The World was outraged when Belarus, with Putin’s permission, forced down a commercial airliner under the pretext of a bomb threat (of course, THEY were going to blow it up), in order to arrest two dissident journalists. Putin merely pointed out the US had already done it and set the precedent. Putin credibly claims to be following precedent better than our own Supreme Court.
3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
This is the only one. This is the ONLY thing you have left from the Bill of Rights uninfringed.
2. 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.
At the time of the American Revolution, independently organized militias proved useful in attacking and harassing the British. Clearly military weapons were intended. Today this means tanks, fast jets, cruise missiles, possibly even nuclear weapons though one can say they are prohibited other than to certain governments by the non-proliferation treaty. You don’t have this right. You don’t have the right to any military effectiveness. I am not arguing it would be reasonable to have real militias now. Just pointing out this right is already gone, even if you have a basement full of AR-15’s.
1. 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.
This was the last straw. The overturn of Roe v. Wade establishes a religion, or a class of religions, giving them government power. The next thing is Sharia Law.
There are TWO religion-establishment issues involved. One of interpretation and one of type or denomination. The ruling fails on both counts. Most of the anti-abortion activists rely on interpretation because the Bible says little directly. We will get to what it does say. These tend to cluster in certain denominations, but also some non-Christian religions have interpretations that disapprove of abortion.
Islam says (from https://www.whyislam.org/islam/abortion/ ) In a famous narration, the Prophet, peace be upon him said: “Each one of you is constituted in the womb of the mother for forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then God sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his deeds, his livelihood, the date of his death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched. Then the soul is breathed into him…” (Bukhari). Abortion within 40 days does not kill anyone, then.
Do Muslims in the U.S. actually feel this ruling establishes a religious law, or are they unconcerned? ‘Dangerous times’: US Muslims mull implications after fall of Roe (msn.com). They are concerned. “This ruling empowers the religious right to continue to pursue policies that basically establish their religious positions into law,” Sumayyah Waheed told Al Jazeera. “That is a complete violation of anyone who doesn’t feel that way, particularly religious minorities.” According to Waheed, many Muslim Americans are having pressing conversations about the wider implications of the Supreme Court’s decision, including how it relates to state surveillance – something, she pointed out, many Muslims in the US experienced after 9/11.
“It’s much bigger than abortion – and everyone needs to realise that,” Waheed added. “This is the first time [the Supreme Court has] taken away a fundamental right, and what does that mean for us? What does that mean along with the rise of Christian nationalism? What does that mean with the rise in white supremacist violence? These are dangerous times.” (There is more interesting discussion in the article about Muslim stance on abortion, and how Islam is organized, without churches exactly as in Christianity.)
In Judaism the fetus is “mere water” for the first 40 days, see https://www.ncjw.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Judaism-and-Abortion-FINAL.pdf .
In Hinduism (from https://www.hindusinfo.com/what-does-hinduism-say-about-abortion/ ) the fetus does not come into life until 7 months, so abortion is permitted until then.
Establishing abortion as a crime from conception denies freedom of religion to all of those. There are significant numbers of people in the U.S. to whom criminalizing abortion from conception, or even 15 weeks, would deny religious freedom (numbers are %):
Is it an issue that the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law . . .” and so this devolves into the gray area I’ve already lambasted, of rights ambiguously left to the people or the states? No. Most states guarantee freedom of religion in their constitutions. Mississippi brought the suit that resulted in repeal of Roe. So, then, the argument SHOULD have revolved around Mississippi’s constitution which says:
- (a) Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.
- (b) Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person:
- (i) Is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
- (ii) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
No argument was made that it is in the government’s interest to prevent abortion. In fact, unwanted children are a burden to government. Were Mississippi underpopulated, one might make this argument, but it is not. I grew up in Mississippi and maintain strong ties and property there and visit several times a year. I quite well know the situation there. Growth might be flattening, but frankly urban and medium sized communities are congested and not welcoming of population growth. And in any case this argument was not made.
Note that the Mississippi constitution does not say anything about Christian religion. Nor does it exclude atheism or simple non-affiliation, or not wanting to follow the dictates of an organized religion. Perhaps Mississippi should revise its constitution, IF it can summon the necessary majorities, and simply allow the establishment of a religious state. A monarchy while they are at it.
However, within Christianity there is not uniformity of opinion. See The Bible says nothing about abortion. So being anti-choice is a cultural and political decision, not a biblical one (theconversation.com) .
- It seems to have been a concern in Assyrian society around 1500–1200 BCE. There, if a woman was discovered to have had “a miscarriage by her own act” she was to be prosecuted and, if guilty, impaled (alive or dead) on a stake. – So, we are returning to the barbarism of 1500 BCE? That is the perception that the opponents of this repeal of Roe seem to suggest. Based on news of back-room abortions taken when fathers shed their responsibility or other unanticipated family issues developed, a time I lived through which most of the people involved in the current controversy did NOT live through and experience, I agree. It is a return to barbarism. These people who did this, including the Supreme court justices, the Governers, lawyers, all of them, are children, and I am chastising them.
- What is said in Exodus 21:22–25 imagines a scenario in which a pregnant woman is injured through her involvement (or perhaps her intervention) in a fight between two men. The Hebrew version of this passage is clear about priorities: if all that happens is the fetus is lost through miscarriage then the man who injured the woman should just pay a fine. In the world of Exodus 21, this is the equivalent to losing ox or a donkey: the money is to make up for lost earnings and so the fetus is regarded as property. But, if the woman herself suffers harm, then more direct restitution is required, depending on the severity of injury: “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc.” The most important “person” in this scenario is the woman.
Clearly, I’m not talking about the government interfering in religion. I am talking about the part of Amendment One that prohibits the establishment of religion. Certain Evangelical Christians would LIKE to establish the US as a Christian Nation and have been working to do so, and to establish their particular interpretation, which as we’ve seen is speculative and not biblically supported. Even if you amended a state constitution to allow establishment of religion you’d have to contend with:
- The issue of whether the founding documents of this religion can strictly be interpreted to forbid a particular form or schedule of abortion.
- The issue of whether a state can really assume this right or whether it should be left to the people. While early colonies were often had established religions, by the time of the Revolution other ideas had taken hold and resistance to interference from England and rejection of the divine right of kings were key points, see Religion in Colonial America: Trends, Regulations, and Beliefs | Facing History and Ourselves. And in any case Mississippi put religious freedom in its constitution.
From the late 1970s these people began to drift toward the Republican Party, since the Democrats had so offended them with Roe v. Wade. Most of them were White, I guess you could say all but Clarence Thomas. Many also drifted toward the Republican Party because they were Conservative Democrats, not happy with the Civil Rights legislation that Democrats spearheaded.
At first Republicans resisted them, and never did anything for them, never backed off of civil rights, never even backed off of affirmative action or provided school funding vouchers so these people could afford to send their kids to private schools which would teach whatever culture they wanted. But by 1990 they had a substantial voice and no Republican candidate could ignore them. They were required to give lip service to their demands, such as a total prohibition on abortion, even birth control, and now a long list of other items like same sex marriage. Hey, I’m not fond of it myself, but in the spirit of a country in which people are allowed to do what they want unless the right is specifically reserved to the government, I’m not going to tell them not to.
Here the Republicans and Democrats agree on something. You should not have ANY rights. They have them all. You exist at their pleasure. The Republicans, as we have noted, want States to claim all those unspecified rights. Except Texas. It wants ALL of them and empowers its citizens to sue you or your providers for any action in ANOTHER state that is illegal in Texas. I live in Texas. I say let them secede. I’ll move out.
The Democrats simply want the Federal government to have all the unspecified rights, and make eloquent but flawed arguments that in our populated society where open land is not “almost” free for the taking, that you can’t have your individual choices. See for example Opinion: The problem with individualism in American culture (msn.com) .
By 2000 Catholics, also formerly Democratic constituents, had joined the White-Straight-Pregnant Coalition and promises to appoint anti-abortion judges began to be kept.
Those judges misled and, in some cases, lied to secure their appointments. They deserve to be impeached. If you elect me to Congress, I promise to vote to impeach them. I’m not running this year. Leave a comment if you think I put down some good points here you’d like to see represented in Washington. Maybe I’ll think about it.
So now we have the establishment of a religious-based law. At the state level. Most of which have similar bills of rights. You might argue that’s legal. The Puritans surely had religious laws. Some resulting in being burned at the stake. So maybe I agree with Democrats to that extent. States shouldn’t have the right to establish religious laws ANY LONGER. This actually changed in 1890 when the Mormons agreed to give up polygamy.
Ah, but that’s only precedent, not an actual line in the Constitution, so even though it’s been in effect 132 years, we can throw it out with the votes of 5 people, 3 of whom have lied to obtain their position.
Yes, it’s a free country. But you aren’t free. It’s the country that’s free to do whatever it wants. And if you lie down and take it and don’t resist, you are no better than the Russians who by inaction are enabling their government and their sons to commit the most horrific atrocities in Ukraine seen since 1945.
Cooperation, Gain & Population
The original European settlements on the East Coast of North America represented a diverse group. First came greedy commercial interests wanting to establish corporations for profit. And Roanoke failed. The people vanished. No bodies or graves indicating plague or war were found. Then the Jamestown Colony succeeded, sort of, but 90% of the original settlers gave their lives.
Once the process was proven and risk reduced, then came the Puritans, the Pilgrims, the Quakers, seeking to have a society governed each by their own peculiar rules, even if it meant branding someone with a scarlet A, or burning women as witches. It was not exactly easy to get to another colony and they didn’t try to conquer each other. Under pressure of the hardship of establishing settlements on a continent considerably colder than expected, with on-again off-again relations with the Indigenous Peoples, a spirit of cooperation came about. This required them to overlook their differences.
Today I see an America obsessed with telling everyone what to do, sometimes when not doing it oneself. Cooperation fails when over time one group increases its share at the expense of another. And so, cooperation failed with the Indigenous as their share was taken, but states confined to borders and stripped of much of their independent military power, with plenty of unexploited opportunity, tended to get along up until the conflict over slavery drove them apart. This conflict was heightened by competition to get new states to declare slave or free, and to expand share.
As you may guess, I am not in favor of states as kingdoms competing to gain share. Like Texas, the fools.
Article IV, Section 1:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.U.S. Constitution
Surprise! Texas is Constitutionally required to respect public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. If you are married in Wyoming, you are married in Texas, and if you later get divorced in Nevada, Texas must recognize that also. So, if you have an abortion legally in California, Texas must suck it up and respect that.
There has been, partly because of the above, a great deal of pressure to have similar, if not identical, day-to-day laws in the various states. Everyone drives on the right side of the road. Theft and murder are universally discouraged. For a while some states had no-fault auto insurance, but the number is now dwindling. For a while it was difficult to remember while on an Interstate drive whether the state you were passing through had right-turn-on-red, or gave a ticket for it. But now all states allow it.
In theory the problem arises because this mundane drive to uniformity in daily life runs into trouble when it infects important social actions which have both positive and negative consequences, like abortion. Those states which wish to be restrictive religious enclaves and burn troubled women with deserting partners at the stake for having an abortion come under pressure from those who see it as a basic right to life issue for the mother. The Roman argument against the Carthaginians for sacrificing children fails because these fetuses are not born, miscarriages are routine, and it is unclear when they become protected children. Roe represented a compromise based on viability.
But that’s theory. In PRACTICE the evil state-kingdoms who want to usurp all rights for themselves extend their legal tentacles into the business of other states, as Texas did. I am not for abortion. I’m for a healthy, free society. And I’m against either the Federal or State governments scooping up rights just because they can, just because The People independent of their governments don’t have much power. They can vote, but with gerrymandering, that is watered down. And voting is just more coercive power, majority rule. The People need to have some means to resist having their rights voted away by a simple majority within either State or Federal governments.
The Population Dilemma is rarely mentioned in connection with abortion, but is ironic. Republicans, generally, are against admittance of children or adults from other countries who are unwanted at home. But they welcome fetuses. The mysterious process of creation of humans from conception to birth is just as much a border as the Rio Grande. How many unwanted children are going to vote Republican? I suspect this issue will be self-correcting.
And we come back to increasing share, which undermines cooperation. Suppose we have Muslim immigrants, and they want to impose Sharia Law? It appears there is no Constitutional barrier. Five votes on the Supreme Court have stripped it away. Go figure.
Do The Five and their conservative state allies plan to go further?
- Neil Gorsuch to Non-Christian Kids Who Don’t Want Prayer in Public School: Get Over It (msn.com)
- Attorney General Ken Paxton says he will defend Texas sodomy law if Supreme Court revisits Lawrence vs. Texas (msn.com) (law against LGBTQ sex but potentially anything other than “missionary position” in heterosexual sex, in case you are not sure) – oh yeah and by the way, to “know” this they more or less have to circumvent the right to privacy and spy on you, which Snowden says is already toast anyway.
Don’t just sit there. Run for Congress, file a class action lawsuit, or become a judge and lie your way onto the Supreme Court.