In the film THE PATRIOT, Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin asks, “Mister Robinson, tell me, why should I trade one tyrant, three thousand miles away, for three thousand tyrants, one mile away?”
Today, we may not have three thousand tyrants, but that number isn’t far off.
Two hundred twenty-seven years ago the people of this country, Americans, decided it was time for a change. The reason for this decision was, among others, unreasonable taxes and personal possession of firearms.
As a result, the people declared themselves independent from Great Britain and thus began an armed conflict to establish said independence.
Subsequently, a charter was developed upon which would establish how their new country would be conducted, the Constitution of the United States along with the Bill of Rights.
This Constitution and the Bill of Rights specifies limitations upon the new government and unalienable rights of the people, rights that the founders considered God-given and held inviolate. They swore to uphold the concepts outlined in these documents, as have those who have followed them.
It is, therefore, particularly distressing that far too many elected officials, mayors, city councilmen, governors, legislators and judges act in ways that are contrary –read illegal— to the precepts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, with impunity. Recently, the Nevada Supreme Court, in essence, suspended the Nevada State Constitution.
Here is the Opinion Journal’s (July 15, 2003) summary of the court’s ruling:
In a landmark 6-to-1 ruling Thursday, Nevada's justices came up with a real doozy: Essentially they ordered state legislators to violate the state constitution they have sworn to uphold.
“Procedural” and “general,” an interesting interpretation of the law.
The pretend Republican Governor of Nevada, Kenny Guinn and the Nevada State Supreme Court has usurped the will of the people of the state of Nevada. The people, the voters of Nevada, decided by ballot on a constitutional requirement that a supermajority of two-thirds of the legislators in the State Assembly and the State Senate would be required to increase state taxes.
The governor and the court just poked the people in the eye with a sharp stick. They have violated their oaths of office and the constitution of Nevada. If these elected people in Nevada will trample on the state constitution then it follows that elected people in other states can do the same. It also follows that people elected and/or appointed federally could do the same at some point.
If these people are allowed to get away with this there is no telling how far they will go to achieve their goals, which are to remain in power, to control our lives and firmly establish a socialist state.
In actuality, it isn’t that difficult to see how far they will go. Taxation to extremes, limitations on personal liberty, firearm confiscation, martial law, travel permits, work permits (already required for many workers in Nevada), personal documentation, ad infinitum.
When the legislative process is interfered with in this manner the rule of law means nothing. This is what the governor has indicated and the court has ruled. Our liberty could be suspended for the “good of the state” at the whim the powerful.
Yes, this is a sign of the far-reaching (unintended or otherwise) consequences that may be coming our way as a result of the court’s decision. One such unintended consequence may be another Declaration of Independence. Many believe that this is inevitable.
However, it need not be, if we recall, impeach, vote out of office those enemies of liberty, violators of the law. Elected governmental representatives must be held accountable. We can make a difference if we aren’t indifferent.
"The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time." — JUSTICE GEORGE SUTHERLAND (1938)
"Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subject to the rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for the law. It invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy." —U.S. v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), Justice Brandeis, dissenting
"Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have." — Barry Goldwater
"The era of resisting big government is never over." — PAUL GIGOT (1998)
"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." — Samuel Adams (1780)
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error." — Justice Robert H. Jackson
"Keep in mind that the Boston Tea Party was sparked by a one half of one percent increase in the tea tax. Couple that with the fact that most American citizens pay over 50% of their earnings in one form of tax or another, and you'll understand why the camel's back is expected to break at any time." —Angel Shamaya
"The essence of constitutionalism in a democracy is not merely to shape and condition the nature of majorities, but also to stipulate that certain things are impermissible, no matter how large and fervent a majority might want them." — George Will
"One single object ... [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining judges from usurping legislation." –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Livingston, Mar. 25, 1825