The War Against the Constitution
On January 27, cbs Sunday Morning aired a commentary by a constitutional law professor suggesting that for America to solve its many problems, it needs to abandon the Constitution.
“If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document,” said Louis Michael Seidman (emphasis mine throughout). This man teaches constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, d.c., and was speaking on one of the big three television networks.
In his most recent book, On Constitutional Disobedience, Seidman asked, “Why should we care about what the Constitution says? Should we feel obligated to obey it? How can we make decisions today based on a document created more than 200 years ago?”
This type of anti-Constitution reasoning is suddenly becoming quite popular. Do you know why? It is because of the Obama administration. It is taking actions just about every week that raise constitutional questions and that threaten to undermine America’s foundational document.
I find it intriguing that cbs broadcast this commentary right at the beginning of the second term of the most radically liberal president the United States has ever seen. This administration is very hostile to the Constitution, and the media agree. Can you imagine the media urging President Bush to bypass the Constitution to complete his agenda?
Last September, a panel of experts presented a list to the House Judiciary Committee of how President Obama is exceeding his constitutional constraints. Humanevents.com summarized the panel’s findings this way: “As president, Barack Obama has made a habit of bypassing or ignoring constitutional limitations on his power” (Sept. 12, 2012). Here are some of the examples the panel gave: his abuse of executive power in connection with the Fast and Furious scandal; his decision to stop enforcing parts of America’s immigration law; and his authorization of military action in Libya in 2011 without first consulting Congress. Some legislators are calling for legal action against the president for that last decision.
One of the panel’s main points was how last year, the president sidestepped the Senate and made some unilateral “recess” appointments when the Senate was not even in recess. Recently a federal court ruled that this move was unconstitutional.
Sen. Mike Lee, a noted constitutional scholar in Congress, “told the committee that Obama’s abuse of power by making recess appointments while the Senate was not actually in recess was a historic first” (ibid). This has never happened before in U.S. history!
This administration is pushing past the limits of executive power all the time. The New York Times wrote in April 2012, “[I]ncreasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress.” Even the president’s allies in the media know this is happening. But very little is being done to stop it! How many people are even paying attention?
Do you realize how deadly dangerous this trend of lawlessness is? Very few people do. But it gives profound insight into the real nature of the threat facing America today.
In his State of the Union address in February, President Obama said this: “I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change …. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations,I will. I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future ….”
The president is taking these types of actions with greater and greater frequency. Here is what the Washington Post wrote just a couple of days before the president’s address: “President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues. …
“The moves underscore Obama’s increasingly aggressive use of executive authority, including 23 administrative actions on gun violence last month and previous orders that delayed deportations of young illegal immigrants and will lower student loan payments.
“These and other potential actions suggest that Obama is likely to rely heavily on executive powers to set domestic policy in his second term” (February 10).
People’s minds are getting conditioned to executive orders. That is all primarily intended to circumvent Congress and the Constitution. That is the aim.
President Obama’s use of drones has come under criticism because it is also expanding his grip on power. First, he has launched five times more drone strikes than President Bush did, and in half the time. But critics are especially concerned that, according to a 16-page document the Department of Justice leaked to nbc, the administration believes it is above the law and has power to kill any American citizens it considers a threat.
Here is what Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote in the Washington Times: “Mr. Obama has argued that he can kill Americans whose deaths he believes will keep us all safer, without any due process whatsoever. No law authorizes that. His attorney general has argued that the president’s careful consideration of each target and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. No court has ever approved that.” Napolitano points out that this practice violates state and federal laws, executive orders prohibiting assassinations, language in the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
Perhaps many or even most of the people being targeted in these attacks are threats to the United States. But I am deeply troubled by an administration so disdainful of the law that it is supposed to uphold!
This trend toward lawlessness is deadly! And I guarantee, based on biblical prophecy, that it is going to get far worse.
What is behind this push to undermine the law? This is the spiritual dimension we need to see.
The Greek Empire tried to establish the rule of law. It failed and its empire collapsed. The Roman Empire also tried to build a society based on law. It was unable to do so and the Roman Empire fell. Many other empires experienced the same failure.
The famous British historian Paul Johnson wrote an article titled “No Law Without Order, No Freedom Without Law.” It was printed in the Sunday Telegraph, Dec. 26, 1999. In it he wrote, “The rule of law, as distinct from the rule of a person, or class or people, and as opposed to the rule of force, is an abstract, sophisticated concept. It is mighty difficult to achieve. But until it is achieved, and established in the public mind with such vehemence that masses of individuals are prepared to die to uphold it, no other form of progress can be regarded as secure. The Greeks had tried to establish the rule of law but failed. The Romans had succeeded under their republic but Caesar and his successors had destroyed it. The essence of the rule of law is its impersonality, omnipotence and ubiquity. It is the same law for everyone, everywhere—kings, emperors, high priests, the state itself, are subject to it. If exceptions are made, the rule of law begins to collapse—that was the grand lesson of antiquity.”
Yes, “that was the grand lesson” of history. But have we learned that lesson? Failure to do so means we pay the supreme sacrifice: loss of our republic.
The continual problem of man has been his failure to learn from history.
Are “masses of individuals … prepared to die” to uphold America’s rule of law? Mr. Johnson states that this is our only security!
In many cases our people are confused about what the law is. And many others want to change our laws, including our constitutional law.
Who is going to be willing to die for such confusion? Will such a deeply divided people sacrifice their lives for our republic and the rule of law?
Our generals in Britain and America know that we lack the will to win any hard-fought battle—even if it directly relates to our own freedom. For example, we had to be bombed into World War ii. Even one of the most diabolical leaders in history, Adolf Hitler, could not rouse us to fight until we were bombed by Japan. And we are much more isolationist today.
We are not prepared to die to defend our security as we were in our past. This is the supreme sign that our will has been broken—and that our republic cannot stand.
Our forefathers were willing to die to establish the rule of law. Many Americans died in the Civil War to sustain our constitutional law.
How different they were from our people today!
Our Forefathers’ Goal
Early immigrants who came to this land were often persecuted in the countries they left. They usually lacked religious freedom.
“[B]oth in Virginia and in New England to the north, the colonists were determined, God-fearing men,” Mr. Johnson wrote, “often in search of a religious toleration denied them at home, who brought their families and were anxious to farm and establish permanent settlements. They put political and religious freedom before riches …. Thus took shape the economic dynamo that eventually became the United States—an experiment designed to establish the rule of God on Earth …” (ibid).
What a goal. They planned to establish the rule of God on Earth! That means they had the goal of each person keeping the Ten Commandments of God—the basis of all righteous law.
How many Americans are willing to face that reality? Not many. Because then we would have to see that we often fight not to establish law, but to promote lawlessness!
Consider some statements from the Founding Fathers. In his first inaugural, President George Washington said, “The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.” And in his famous farewell address, he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Without religion and morality, Washington knew the American experiment was doomed to fail. John Adams backed him up: “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.” Religion and morality are firmly rooted in divine law.
In 1954, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, “I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it.”
What political or religious leaders would make such statements as these men did? Even the politicians who established our republic were more spiritual than most of our religious leaders today!
The Constitution is the foundation of our republic. And the Ten Commandments were, in many ways, the foundation of the Constitution. Our forefathers believed that if we didn’t keep God’s Ten Commandments, our republic would collapse!
We can’t afford to take the words of our founders lightly, if we want to see our nation stand.
It was much harder for our Founding Fathers to spill streams of blood winning our freedom, and to create and establish our constitutional law, than it is for us just to maintain it! So we ought to respect our Founding Fathers above ourselves. But we are too vain and arrogant to see how profoundly strong they were and how pathetically shallow and weak we are.
The Constitution was based to a great extent on God’s law. That is why I believe it is the most noble document ever written by a government of this world.
What a rare document it is. Our forefathers had the awesome opportunity to establish the rule of God in the wealthiest country ever. So they established a Constitution to protect all of us from the extremes of human reason. Tyrants, unjust judges and biased leaders were controlled by this law.
Did our Founding Fathers know that the Bible interprets itself? To some extent, I believe they did. And they probably patterned the Constitution after the Bible, in that sense. The Constitution is a document that interprets itself probably better than any book or document other than the Bible.
We see indescribable confusion about the Bible today. Why? Because people won’t let it interpret itself!
We received some foundational direction from Britain’s Magna Carta. But Britain has no Constitution.
Our persecuted forefathers wanted their protection spelled out in detail. They had suffered intensely at the hands of tyrants. Such tribulation deepens a people’s understanding about the value of freedom.
Will we have to experience indescribable tribulation before we can appreciate our freedom, which is given to us by the rule of law?
The Bork Nomination
When Robert Bork was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, it created a firestorm in Congress, and he failed to get confirmed. Shortly thereafter, he wrote The Tempting of America, which I believe is the best book about constitutional law in a century—perhaps ever.
Mr. Bork, who died last December, believed the nation was more than halfway along in the destruction of our Constitution.
He was right! Our republic is in grave danger. We live today in a culture that is becoming much more anti-law and anti-God.
If the Constitution is to be rewritten, it should be done only by our legislative branch, or Congress, and the president, or the executive branch. If they err, these leaders are subject to the voters. But that is not true of the judicial branch—the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court justices are selected for life by the president.
Our forefathers designed the Constitution that way so the Supreme Court justices would not be so concerned about the people when unpopular judgments had to be made. The Supreme Court justices are subject only to constitutional law—not the voters!
Their job is to interpret the law—or better, to let the law interpret itself. They have no authority to rewrite the law. If they rewrite the law, it’s almost impossible to correct the error.
In our history, there was a judge who wanted slavery. He kept searching the Constitution to support his belief. He found the phrase “substantive due process,” and he twisted these words to show that slavery was constitutional.
It took a civil war to overturn that decision. That gives you some idea of how hard it is to change what judges do! Today judges used that same reasoning—“substantive due process”—to say that abortion is constitutional. Mr. Bork believed that reasoning to be a dangerous mistake, and so do I.
If the judges are not subject to constitutional law, they are subject to nothing and nobody!
Law schools routinely teach about being “legal realists.” Like former Vice President Al Gore, they want an “evolving Constitution.” But this reasoning gives the judges despotic powers. It also takes us away from the foundational law established by our forefathers.
Then why do our politicians allow it? The president and Congress often like the judges to do this if the decisions are favorable to their views and they know their views will not be approved by the voters. Still, the judges are taking power from the legislature and the executive branches as they rewrite the Constitution.
Our politicians simply lack the vision to see how disastrous this process is. It is based on selfish lawlessness—not law!
The Supreme Court justices are gaining dictatorial powers, and none of them were voted into their offices or approved by the people. The democratic process is being destroyed. That means we cannot maintain the rule of law.
Usually the people know very little about how the law works. But they know enough to lose respect for our governmental institutions. They also lose interest in the whole political system.
As a result, they end up doing what our predecessors in ancient Israel did. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). This is the history of our own people. And the book of Judges is a part of the biblical books called the former prophets. That means it is prophecy for this end time.
Today, we have no king or president or real authority figure that we look to for leadership. And that means we are a nation without strong leadership. The same is true of Britain.
No ship of state can find its way to a safe harbor without a captain to guide it. That is exactly the way it was in ancient Israel just before it was conquered! And that is exactly where America and Britain are today! There is no leader who can or will establish the rule of law. This sad state of affairs was also prophesied (Isaiah 3:1-5). In this prophecy, our leaders are likened to children!
What most people don’t see is that we are destroying the rule of law. And history tells us that our republic cannot stand because of that evil.
Media and news personalities are a big part of the liberal culture—about 80 percent of them. The destroying of our constitutional republic would not be possible without their support. All too often they are deceived, and in turn they have the power to deceive our citizens.
Mr. Bork related how the Constitution is the big trump card in American politics. Today it is being used by the liberal culture to force their unlawful ideas on people!
The great heresy being taught in our law schools is that the judges are not bound by law. Some say the Constitution isn’t even law!
That means we are being led by the human reasoning of a liberal culture.
That is often the opposite of establishing the rule of law. Again, history reveals that empires are destroyed if they fail to establish the rule of law. But the liberal culture often has contempt of history and our Founding Fathers. Liberals foolishly rely on their own reasoning, which is not grounded in foundational law.
The founders of the Constitution put in place the walls, roofs and beams of our Constitution, as Mr. Bork said. The judges’ purpose is to preserve the architectural features—adding only filigree or ornamental work. Instead, the lawyers and judges are changing the very structure of our representative democracy.
The Constitution is being altered dramatically. And it is the foundation of our republic! We are experiencing a constitutional earthquake, and most of our people don’t even know it—yet. Your future is being changed for you, and often you have no input.
This process is sure to lead to anarchy! That is why you and I should be deeply concerned.
Why did our Founding Fathers work so hard to establish the Constitution? Because it was to be the supreme law of the land.
“A well-known Harvard law professor,” Mr. Bork wrote, “turned to me with some exasperation and said, ‘Your notion that the Constitution is in some sense law must rest upon an obscure philosophic principle with which I am unfamiliar.’”
But notice what the Constitution itself states: “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
“The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
A Harvard law professor is actually stating that the Constitution is not even law! That view comes from our most prestigious university. The very fact that he would even make that statement shows that we are already getting into extreme lawlessness!
The majority of our leaders now agree with the Harvard law professor. He made a statement that shows we are failing to establish the rule of law. The real issue here is lawlessness.
That means your future will be adversely affected.
In 2000, in a debate during the Democratic primaries, Vice President Gore was asked what sort of Supreme Court justices he would select if he were elected president. He responded, “I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.”
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas made this observation about that statement: “Mr. Gore’s view of the Constitution, shared by most political liberals, is one of the most dangerous philosophies of our time. It establishes a class of philosopher-kings who determine the rights of the people and shreds the Constitution as a document that conforms people to unchanging principles that promote their own and the general welfare.
“A ‘living’ Constitution, notes constitutional attorney John Whitehead, means the Constitution is ‘up for grabs,’ and it becomes whatever the justices decide, not the people through their elected representatives ….
“The founders never intended the courts to be supreme. Their intention was that the law, rooted in objective and unchanging truth, would be preeminent” (Washington Times, March 8, 2000).
Law scholars today don’t believe the Constitution was “rooted in objective and unchanging truth”—that is, they don’t believe our founders established the rule of law. But that’s just what the founders did. And now most lawyers and judges reject their foundational work.
Our views today reflect a deadly degeneration into lawlessness!
The liberal culture in politics wants a “living Constitution.” Mr. Bork stated that many liberals imply the Constitution is dead. They don’t want unchanging truth, established 200 years ago, to direct their lives.
The liberal religious culture similarly wants a “living Bible.” Modern religionists’ “intelligence” demands that they adapt the Bible to modern times—even though every word was inspired by God (Matthew 4:4).
Most religions preach that God’s law was done away, in spite of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Christ came to fulfill, or fill, the law to the full. He essentially was saying every t must be crossed and every i dotted. Still, many thought, and still think, that He came to destroy the law. They refuse to believe the truth!
Christians are supposedly people who follow Christ, the Lawgiver. That is how they got their name “Christian.”
But whether secular or religious, we are racing into lawlessness, and our nation is plunging toward disaster. Any good history book will show us that! The Bible should be even more convicting. Study it and see the deadly danger of lawlessness.
When the new U.S. government was established, Benjamin Franklin said that we have “a republic, if you can keep it.” It’s all about either establishing the rule of law—or descending into lawlessness.
Source of Lawlessness
Even angelic empires fell because of lawlessness. This was Lucifer’s problem. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15). Lucifer was perfect until he rejected God’s law. “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (verse 16). He sinned, and sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Then violence was all around him. God’s law prevents violence. But this lawless world is filled with violence.
God had to cast Lucifer down. Today Lucifer (renamed Satan) has no more access to God’s throne. So his empire was shaken and is destined to totally fall.
Satan is still the god of this world, though shortly to be replaced by Christ. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). That means this world worships him as its god and follows his lawless ways!
Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). And this world continues in his violent ways. Human survival has become our number one problem. We would destroy every man, woman, child and all flesh if Christ didn’t intervene and stop human annihilation (Matthew 24:21-22).
But Christ is about to intervene, and the wonderful rule of God’s law is about to be established forever!