Government Exceptions for the 4th Amendment- Where?

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

Judges these days seem just fine with allowing the government exceptions to the 4th Amendment.  That doesn’t surprise me, I went to law school.  So its even less surprising that federal agents have no problem using the “permission” of the courts to violently assault the rights to property and due process of the American people.

I know that law schools DO NOT teach the Constitution…they teach CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Those are not the same things. Constitutional Law classes teach that men and women in black robes know more about the Constitution than the men who wrote it. They also teach that these same black-robed constitutional illiterates can rewrite the Constitution through precedent and opinions based on their erroneous law school education.

According to the 4th Amendment we are not free from ALL search and seizures, just UNREASONABLE ONES. But the term “unreasonable” is no mystery. It is clearly defined within the 4th Amendment.

Amendment IV

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.

A careful review of the 4th Amendment tells us everything we need to know.

  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

The 2nd Amendment is NOT the only provision that contains these words. The government has been infringing upon the 2nd Amendment for decades, so why are we surprised that the 4th Amendment would get the same government application?

  • Only REASONABLE searches and seizures are allowed and are defined within the 4thAmendment:
  • With a WARRANT;
  • Based upon PROBABLE CAUSE;
  • Subject to DUE PROCESS REVIEW (oath or affirmation);
  • Particularly describing the PLACE to be search, AND
  • Particularly describing the PERSONS or THINGS to be seized.

There is clearly a 5 prong requirement as indicated by the word “AND”. You cannot have 4 out of 5 or 3 out of 5 and still have a reasonable search and seizure.

I challenge anyone to find within this language any other exception other than the 5 prong test. You can’t, because every exception that doesn’t exist within the 4th Amendment itself, is an exception created BY THE GOVERNMENT for the purpose of AIDING THE GOVERNMENT in their unreasonable searches and seizures.

There is no language in the 4th Amendment that says;

“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, UNLESS it is a matter of national security or the government has a compelling interest in safety or security to do otherwise.

Yet, that is what our judges consistently do, being either illiterate or ignorant to the TRUE MEANING and APPLICATION of the 4th Amendment.

The 4th Amendment WAS NOT designed as a tool to be used by the GOVERNMENT to keep its people safe. It was a WARNING to the PEOPLE that if the government engages in ANY SEARCH AND SEIZURE outside these bounds, you have an EVIL AND OPPRESSIVE government.

Such warrantless searches were perpetrated upon our founders in the form of Writs of Assistance. James Otis, Jr., an attorney who took on the government to defeat these searches, called these searches “the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in an English law-book.” (Against Writs of Assistance, James Otis, Jr. February 24, 1761)

What has happened to Liberty in the last 252 years? We have allowed our FEAR to trump our LIBERTY. Our founders worked very hard to create a federal government that would be locked in a limited and defined box. We, their descendants, have turned around and handed the government the keys.

Exigent circumstances, roadside check points, national security, officer safety, are EXPANSIONS of government power; written by government paid lawyers, allowed by government paid judges, and used by government paid agents.

We have succumbed to the fear factor: Trading Liberty to keep us safe is the primary role of government. No, it is not. The primary role of government is NOT national security, it is, as the Constitution clearly mandates, Liberty Security, as in to “Preserve the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.” No truer words were ever penned by William Pitt. However, here we are today accepting the government’s argument of necessity. Out of ignorance and arrogance, fueled by fear, we do not see they are revealing themselves to be tyrants and we are allowing OURSELVES to be slaves.

Government Land Grabs, Regulations Equal Theft

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

 Government land grabs are becoming more and more prevalent every day.  The federal government is seizing up more and more private land under the auspices of environmental preservation and national parks.  We are even seeing the military taking private land and calling it national security.  This federal tyranny is trickling down and infecting our local governments, as well.

Our framers believed that the Right to secure property was vital to the preservation of Liberty.  Under what circumstances can the government legally and constitutionally take our land?

From John Locke, the father of our understanding of Natural Law, in his “II Treaties”:

“The Supream Power cannot take from any Man any part of his Property without his own consent. For the preservation of Property being the end (purpose) of Government, and that for which Men enter into Society…. 

For I have truly no Property in that, which another can by right take from me, when he pleases, against my consent. Hence it is a mistake to think, that the Supream or Legislative Power of any Commonwealth, can do what it will, and dispose of the Estates of the Subject arbitrarily, or take any part of them at pleasure…

For a Man’s Property is not at all secure… if he who commands those Subjects, have Power to take from any private Man, what part he pleases of his Property, and use and dispose of it as he thinks good.”

We have an inherent Right to acquire, possess, and secure private property.  That doesn’t mean that the government has a duty to provide all people with property.  It means that we have the Right to acquire it without government control and permission and once we acquire it, we have the Right to possess it and protect it.  The entire purpose for establishing government is to collectively protect the inherent Rights of the individual.  

“That to secure these Rights governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Declaration of Independence

To accept that the government can operate contrary to its entire purpose, by taking those Rights instead of protecting them, Locke calls that a “gross absurdity” and the creators of our Constitutional Republic would whole heartedly agree.

James Madison wrote in 1792:

“[Property] in its particular application means “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.” 

That means, once something is called “your property” you hold all rights, privileges, and control over that property- to the EXCLUSION of ALL others; including government.  Madison would explain to you, and all members of government, that includes an exclusion from government possession, control, and regulations!  It is government’s sole responsibility to secure the rights and properties of the people. 

Locke’s principle of the inherent Right to acquire and possess land is reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in 1795:

“From these passages, it is evident, that the right of acquiring and possessing property, and having it protected, is one of the natural, inherent and inalienable rights of man. Men have a sense of property: property is necessary to their subsistence, and correspondent to their natural wants and desires; its security was one of the objects that induced them to unite in society. No man could become a member of a community, in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact…”  Vanhorne’s Lessee v. Dorrance, US, 1795.

The government should not arbitrarily take property from the people.  Arbitrary taking is a clear violation of the Constitution and as the Supreme Court so eloquently states, it is contrary to the primary object of government.  But not only that, James Madison explains that arbitrary taking of private property is the mark of an “unjust government”, an act of “complete despotism:”

“That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” James Madison, Property, 1792

Madison’s assessment of a “just government” ought to be the goal of all American government, on the local, State, and federal levels.  But that will not happen until the American people begin to understand that government control and regulations are the antithesis of Liberty not means to secure safety and security.

“That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions… deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property strictly so called.” Property, Madison, 1792

The principle of the inherent Right to possess is embodied in the 5th & 7th Amendments to the Constitution when it declares that “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Notice the three restricting elements: due process, public use, just compensation.  How do we determine what is adequate due process and what is just compensation?  According to contract law, the law that is controlling over the interpretation of the Constitution, we must look to the framers of the Constitution for guidance.  Alexander Hamilton says,

“It is there declared that, no man shall be disfranchised or deprived of any right, but by due process of law, or the judgment of his peers. The words “due process” have a precise technical import, and are only applicable to the process and proceedings of the courts of justice; they can never be referred to an act of legislature.” Alexander Hamilton, Remarks on an Act for Regulating Elections, New York Assembly, 6 Feb. 1795

Due process is an act of the courts of justice, not an act of the legislature.  It is not within the delegated power of the legislature to pass a law that takes your land, the legislature’s only power is to negotiate a settlement with the land owner.  When that negotiation fails, any taking must be facilitated through the courts via proper application of due process.  How must that be done?

“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.” – 7th Amendment

When the government attempts to take any property valued at more than $20, due process means a trial by jury of our peers.  This means that private property should not be a legislative act.  Private property should not be taken by a single judge, or even a tribunal of judges.  Private property should not be taken by an executive agency.

The Supreme Court in 1795 believed that if the federal government could take land from private land owners outside limited constitutional parameters, that government would, “display the dangerous nature of unlimited authority; it would [be] an exercise of power and not of right. Such an act would be a monster in legislation and shock all mankind…

It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of social alliance, in every free government; and lastly, it is contrary both to the letter and spirit of the constitution.  In short, it is what every one would think unreasonable and unjust in his own case.”

James Madison made a plea, in 1792, to the people of America and for future generations:

“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected…If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights: they will rival the government that most sacredly guards the former; and by repelling its example in violating the latter, will make themselves a pattern to that and all other governments.”

When government makes restrictions, regulations, exemptions for the property you call your own, that is a taking of that property on multiple levels.  They courts may argue that if the government is “only” regulating a “small portion” of the property that this taking is justified for the “greater good.”  Not only do the creators of America disagree, but all of Liberty disavows such heresy.  That is socialism and is incompatible with the actions of a Constitutional Republic and people who ought to be dedicated to Liberty.

The overriding principle for al government must be, as Madison said, “This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”  Government must protect the rights of all people to act freely upon their own property, “impartially-“ whether those in government like that person or their property.  The very definition of property relies upon the owner being free to use that property within his exclusive dominion.  When a person does not have exclusive dominion over their property they cannot rightly claim ownership.  unfortunately, that is the condition of the majority of people in America.  We are not property owners, we merely lease our property through taxation and permission from those in government, we are simply indentured servants to the government plantation owners.

The truth of this history and logic ought to ignite and inspire all Americans to change the reality of their governments, because the change is within our authority and within our power.  We must begin to educate ourselves and others on the errant operations of our governments and go about making real and powerful efforts to effectuate change… beginning from the bottom up.  If we refuse city councils, county commissions, and State taking of our property, we will eventually become educated and united enough to limit federal power as well.  If we continue to make excuses or blindly throw our efforts into a “federal first” mentality, nothing will ever change and the only think our children will inherit is oppression.

So I ask you, do we have a just government?  Does our government deserve the full praise due to wise governments?  Do our legislatures, courts, and governors equally respect the rights of property and the property in rights?  This is our real litmus and this is one of the ways that history and posterity will judge America.

Impeachment, Words Have Meanings

Impeachment, Words Have Meanings

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

Impeachment… modern politicians like to throw this term around as both a threat and an indication to the public of their political wisdom and prowess.  Some argue that politicians are ignorant of the Constitution and the provisions within and that is why they flippantly refer to the Constitution without regard to real future action or meaning.  I disagree.  I am convinced, that these crafty politicians are not ignorant, but to the contrary are very skilled in the meanings and applications of our Constitution.  It is not their lack of knowledge that bring about inaction, but it is that they are very aware of the ignorance of the American people to the Constitution and its proper application therefore they can use these terms with empty meaning and fruitless intent.  They are highly accomplished in the arts of deception and public manipulations.  The only cure to this deceit is the light of knowledge.

Impeachment is a provision within the Constitution the drafters, and those who ratified the Constitution, gave us as means to not only dismiss those from office who have violated their solemn trust, but to also ensure those impeached could never hold office again and therefore hold the opportunity to violate that trust again.  Impeachment is found in several sections of the Constitution; Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5; Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7; Article 2, Section 4; Article 3, Section 1- each section adding to the other the proper meaning, purpose and application of the power of impeachment.

Article 1, section 2, clause 5 makes it clear that impeachment rests in the House of Representatives. It is a clear obligation placed upon the house to maintain not only the integrity of the government, the separation of powers, but also the confidence of the people in their government.

George Mason remarked: “No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice?”

Congressional responsibility to the people of this country is great. Article 2, section 4 of the Constitution leaves no choice for the House in this matter once Congress makes a finding of guilt.

Art 2 Section 4:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

ALL CIVIL OFFICERS is a catch all that included everyone who currently works for the federal government as an elected or appointed officer or has worked for the federal government in that past.  Some may argue that once a person leaves federal employment, the option for impeachment is no longer viable.  However, the precedent of impeachment tells us otherwise and a view of history can help us understand why.

William Belknap served as Secretary of War under Ulysses S Grant from October 25, 1869 – March 2, 1876.  While Secretary of War, Belknap’s extravagant life style came into question.  You see, Belknap only made $8k a year but was known for his extravagant lifestyle and expensive parties.  Congress launched an investigation into his finances and found corruption that extended back to 1870.

According to Senate records, in 1870, “Belknap’s luxury-loving first wife assisted a wheeler-dealer named Caleb Marsh by getting her husband to select one of Marsh’s associates to operate the lucrative military trading post at Fort Sill in Indian territory.  Marsh’s promise of generous kick-backs prompted Secretary Belknap to make the appointment.  Over the next five years, the associate funneled thousands of dollars to Marsh, who provided Belknap regular quarterly payments totaling over $20,000.”

Some of the accusations against Belknap included, indirectly selling weapons to France and for accepting illicit kickbacks in exchange for making political appointments.  Gun running, kickbacks, political deals for financial gain…isn’t that exactly what evidence strongly suggests Hillary Clinton is or was involved in?

According to Senate records, “On March 2, 1876, just minutes before the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on articles of impeachment, Belknap raced to the White House, handed Grant his resignation, and burst into tears.”

Belknap’s resignation did not stop his impeachment.  “Later that day, members voted unanimously to send the Senate five articles of impeachment.”  What was Congress’ chief accusation against Belknap:  “criminally disregarding his duty as Secretary of War and basely prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain.”

The character of Belknap can be seen in numerous modern politicians.  Yet what does Congress do today?  NOTHING, but excuses.  I missed the Constitutional Amendment that changed the Congressional power exercised in 1876 into the powerless and excuse ridden Congress of today.  The power of impeachment is not simply a responsibility of Congress.  James Madison, Father of the Constitution and 4th President, explains that although it is Congress who impeaches, if that civil officer first falls under the authority of the President, the president has a responsibility to first remove that person from their position or else suffer, himself, the consequences of impeachment for failure to check his employees!

 “It is very possible that an officer, who may not incur the displeasure of the President, may be guilty of actions that ought to forfeit his place.  The power of this may reach him by the means of impeachment, he may be removed even against the will of the President…[the president will be] in a peculiar manner, responsible for their conduct, and subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excuses.” (The Writings of James Madison: 1787-1790, James Madison, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904)

Madison was telling America, you must have a responsible and moral executive to lead the 2nd branch of government and this president must understand that the “buck stops” with him, or the indictment reaches into the office of the president as well.  Simply put, “Silence in the face of corruption is corruption itself.”

Congressional hearings USED to actually have consequences.  Congress USED to exercise real power.  Congressmen USED to know their duty to the Constitution, their obligation to preserve Liberty, and their obligation to control the executive branch.  Nothing about the Constitution or the power of Congress has changed since 1876, so what has changed?  What has changed is the knowledge and courage of Congressmen!

Since it is clear, by those who ratified the Constitution, that the President of the United States has direct power over his agents, is directly accountable for their actions, and can be impeached, himself, for failing to govern proper Constitutional control over his agents, shouldn’t Congress also be held accountable for their failure to govern proper Constitutional control over the executive branch?  Isn’t it time We The People start requiring real Constitutional proficiency, instead of simply accepting the flowery speeches and rhetoric as chief political qualification?  With this knowledge in hand, while civil officers in Congress are throwing around the threat of impeachments, there is no excuse as to why James Comey, Eric Holder, Lois Learner, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and yes several Supreme Court justices ought not be impeached even today. 

We do not need a new Constitution, a new amendment, or a new interpretation of the existing Constitution.  We need an American people who possess a working knowledge of the Constitution and a active integrity fueled by a moral courage to require those elected, who took an oath to “protect and defend” the Construction, and are entrusted with that solemn responsibility to simply do their jobs.  However, until the people expect and demand adherence to the Constitutional standard, the spoiled adolescents we call representatives will continue to do their own will, to their own benefit, to our own destruction.  If this statement leaves you befuddled or frustrated, it is only because you have been denied the truth available through proper education on how to control your federal government.  The truth is out there, but its not in the hands or the heads of those we need to control.  There is a highly effective and may I explain, peaceful way, to control your governments.  If you are interested may I humbly suggest a book titled, Sovereign Duty… available in many online bookstores.  The final outcome is truly up to us. 

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.” Samuel Adams

Has The Constitution Failed?

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

There is an argument that seems to resurface repeatedly that the Constitution has failed and as a result, American politics are out of control.  I have seen these arguments posited by journalists, professors, and Supreme Court justices.  The standard argument declares two failed intentions for the Constitution:

The Constitution was intended to 1) limit the power of government over the citizenry 2) limit the power of each branch of government.  However, the purpose of the Constitution as expressed by the drafters and ratifiers is not to “limit” the central government but to “define its limits.” And that distinction is critical.  Much like a stop sign defines the place at which a vehicle must stop, yet no stop sign has ever stopped a vehicle. 

James Madison, historically referred to as The Father of the Constitution, described these boundaries in Federalist #45:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined…will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.”

Madison knowing that it is impossible for the Constitution itself to limit anything at all, posits this rhetorical question:

“Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?”

Madison refers to the Constitution as a “parchment barrier,” a mechanism of mere ink and paper.  He knew that the Constitution had no power of its own and therefore could not limit the power of the government over the citizenry.  The Constitution could not prevent the branches of government from expanding their own power beyond the grant of the document.  The Constitution could not prevent one branch from taking power from other branches.  If it could, then we could rightly blame the document for allowing what we see today.

John Adams, as he was addressing the Massachusetts Militia in 1798, knew like Madison that this was not so.  Adams understood clearly where the blame would lie and that it would not be with an inanimate parchment which had the simple task of directing animate actors where to stop: 

“We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Adams was warning that unless the people are moral and constrained by a higher moral authority, the nature of the Constitution would not and indeed COULD NOT be an obstacle, nor any limit at all, if those in government wanted to ignore it for their own power, greed, or ambitions.  Adams is alluding to the real and tangible limit to government, and its not the words on a piece of paper, it is the PEOPLE collectively who have chosen not to adhere to those words.  If we look out and see failure in the halls of government and across the political landscape, it is not the Constitution that failed us, it is we who have failed the Constitution.  No rational person blames a clearly-printed, well-placed stop sign for a driver who fails to press the brake pedal.

In the “Anti-federalist” document titled Letter From a Federal Farmer to the Republican #6, we see that the drafters of the Constitution expected the “jealousy and vigilance” of the People to be the guardians and limits of government power, as the “strongest guard against the abuses of power.”  Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #33:

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people… must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution…”

It ought to be obvious by now it is not the Constitution that has failed, it is the People who have failed to maintain the limited and defined federal government the Constitution created.  Why do corporate lobbyist control our federal representatives, senators, and presidents?  Because the people have failed to control their representatives and the representatives, lacking knowledge and virtue, refuse to be controlled.   The people have failed to enforce the limits of the Constitution and have failed to be their own lobbyists for Liberty and Individual Rights.

Accusations can be found that say it is the Constitution’s fault that the “Federal Reserve has the power to debauch the nation’s currency and reward the wealthy via issuing new currency and buying Treasure bonds in whatever sums it deems necessary…”  Indeed the Federal Reserve engages in such fraud but NO the Constitution did not give such Federal Power to this private cartel.  Not only does the Constitution give no such authority to the so-called Federal Reserve Bank; it gives no authority to the Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Branches to create a Federal Reserve or to abdicate their own power to a private banking cabal who is neither “federal,” a “reserve” nor a “bank.”

The Power to create money is delegated solely to the Legislative Branch through Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5:

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

The power to establish debt for the Union is also delegated exclusively to the Legislative Branch via Article 1, Section 8, Clause 2; “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States.”  No one person can lay one credible claim against the Constitution for these actions.  The entire corruption of the monetary system in American lays completely at the feet of the Legislative Branch, supported by the unconstitutional activism of the Supreme Court and the outside interests to which they bow.

Others fault the Constitution for the misconduct of the numerous alphabet agencies in the Executive Branch.  The fact is that Constitution defines a very limited federal government, specifically enumerating its powers and reserving the internal everyday governmental authority to the individual States.

Madison, in Federalist #45, explains to those representatives who will eventually ratify the Constitution the specific limited nature of the federal government and the overriding nature of the powers reserved to the States:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. 

  What that means for every American is that the overwhelming majority of executive agencies created by legislative acts of Congress are unconstitutionally created, exercising powers stolen by Congress from the states and unlawfully invested in an unauthorized executive agency.  Americans feel these federal agencies are out of control because they are!  They are not even permitted to exist at the federal level according to the creation and design of our Constitution and the evidence for this fact is incontrovertible and ubiquitous in the writings of the drafters of the Constitution.  Here are just a few:

  1. …the NATIONAL LEGISLATURE, shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended. Hamilton Federalist # 83
  2. “I, sir, have always conceived — I believe those who proposed the Constitution conceived — it is still more fully known, and more material to observe, that those who ratified the Constitution conceived — that this is not an indefinite government, deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers – but a limited government, tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.”James Madison, 1792
  3. The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  James Madison, Federalist #45

The Constitution creates the federal government and then specifically enumerates every power it is permitted to exercise; nothing more, nothing less.  Any power exercised that is not specifically enumerated is not exercised because the Constitution allows it, but is exercised in spite of the Constitutions specific intentions to the contrary.  The Constitution can not stop people, agencies, regulations, or laws contrary to its intent, any more than a stop sign can halt a speeding motorist.  Like the traffic notice planted by the roadside, It has no sword, no will, and no power of its own.  The Constitution was built to be a written reminder to the people of the limited nature of government and the standard by which the PEOPLE must hold their representatives.

Even the corruption of the Judiciary is blamed on the Constitution, but again, the Constitution can carry no blame.  The modern “ruling” nature of the judiciary is outside the intent and authority of the Constitution.  The fact that modern society refers to judicial opinions as “the law of the land” or gives them the “force of law” is not a creation of the Constitution, but an aberration of the Constitution’s very limited delegation of judicial authority.  Hamilton wrote in Federalist #78 that the judiciary was designed to be the weakest of the three branches of government:

“The judiciary on the contrary has no influence over either the sword or the purse, no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever… It proves incontestibly that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two…”

Thomas Jefferson, writing to Spencer Roane in 1819, explained that to claim the judiciary as the ultimate authority to “interpret” or “define” the terms of the Constitution, would transform the Constitution into “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please.”

If the Constitutional structure has been completely reversed, how is that the fault of the Constitution?  It is not Constitution’s responsibility to limit the government, nor can we expect the government to limit itself.  The responsibility to limit and control the federal government has always rested, from conception to ratification of the Constitution and beyond, upon the “jealousy and vigilance” of the people. 

Elections are not corrupted because the Constitution failed.  Politicians are not immoral and dishonest because the Constitution failed.  We do not have trillions of dollars in debt because the Constitution failed.  We are not in a perpetual state of war because the Constitution failed.  Our rights and liberties are not being trampled upon by agencies and agents because the Constitution failed.  The argument that the unconstitutional acts of people in government are the fault of the Constitution is the same errant logic that drives people to say that guns are the cause of crime, deaths, murder, and suicide.  When we blame the Constitution, the real culprits – the people and their politicians, can escape accountability.

The Constitution cannot fail.  The Constitution cannot succeed.  The Constitution is an inanimate object, mere ink and paper.  When the government fails to follow the Law of the Land and exceeds its limited and defined boundaries as established within the Constitution, it is not the document’s fault, it is the fault of the people who do not require their government to be limited and defined by the document that created it.  Samuel Adams summed it up quite precisely when he wrote;

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”

If we want to restore proper government, we do not need to change or get rid of the Constitution.  We must end the ignorance of the people regarding the limited nature of their government and their personal responsibility to confine that government within its designed limited capacity.  We don’t have a stop sign problem, we have a problem hitting the brakes.

The Truth About Treatise

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

 Constitutionally speaking a treaty is a very specific federal act that must be established under conditions established by the Constitution.  Every “deal” is not a treaty and every treaty is not constitutionally authorized. 

Power to create treaties is established in Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2 of the Constitution and is delegated by the States through the Constitution to the President with approval of a two thirds vote of the Senate.

“He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;” Art 2 sec 2 cl 2

No clause in the Constitution operates independent of the ultimate directives of Article 6 clause 2, the Ninth Amendment, and the Tenth Amendment.  Therefore no treaty can be valid without first complying with all three of these rules.  The first rule of construction is Art 6 cl 2 more popularly known as The Supremacy Clause.  This clause establishes that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land and all other laws must comply in order to be valid. 

“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, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” Article 6 clause 2

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments make further restriction on the exercise of federal power.  Each of these sections in the Constitution must be considered with the negotiation and ratifying of every treaty.  If a treaty is ratified and does not comply with these limitations, Article 6 clause 2 establishes the treaty to be null and void.

There is so much misunderstanding regarding the purpose and authority of treaties and the applications of the doctrines of the necessary and proper and the general welfare clauses.  When you then combine all these misunderstandings in one action, our government is able to reach magnificent proportions of corruption and unconstitutional activity. Our founders were very clear and its time we listen to them instead of members of Congress, professors, and Judges who have had no training on the true meaning of the Constitution.

The power to create treaties was vested in the President AND the Senate after the failure of the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation created a federal government so small that it could not successfully complete the tasks it was delegated to accomplish. James Madison explains in Federalist #45 that the power delegated to the federal government was one of very limited proportions:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined… (and) will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.”

Our federal government was designed to be our national representative to the foreign world; a representative of the country in foreign relations. Because we lived in a world where nations where led by Kings, Czars, and Emperors, we needed to have a way that all the states could have a unified voice for negotiations and commerce. During the Articles of Confederation, our federal government could not collect taxes or even compel the delegates to show up to work and do their job. The federal government was attempting to make agreements with foreign nations and was defaulting on these agreements because they had no authority to enforce them equally throughout the states and the states themselves were suffering the greatest consequences. As reported in The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents, written December 12, 1787, this very point was addressed.

“It was found that our national character was sinking in the opinion of foreign nations. The Congress could make treaties of commerce, but could not enforce the observance of them. We were suffering from the restrictions of foreign nations, who had shackled our commerce, while we were unable to retaliate: and all now agreed that it would be advantageous to the union to enlarge the powers of Congress; that they should be enabled in the amplest manner to regulate commerce, and to lay and collect duties on the imports throughout the United States.”

So, why were treaties given “supremacy”? The collective decision was made to not only delegate the power of treaties to the President and Senate but to also classify its relevance in enforcement to the states. There was great debate over this issue, as many were concerned that by designating this power, it would elevate the treaties above the very Constitution itself. Fortunate for us, this argument was made, because the rebuttal to this argument is vital in understanding the limitations and scope of treaties. Without these explanations, treaties created by the federal government might justifiably supersede the Constitution. Good thing for us that these treaties, although they may attempt to supplant the Constitution, they are plainly not justified in doing so.

Our founders repeatedly stated that treaties were, for every purpose and application, CONTRACTS, agreements with foreign nations to accomplish the duties obligated in those four delegated powers Madison identified.

“The power of making treaties is, plainly, neither the one nor the other. It relates neither to the execution of the subsisting laws, nor to the enaction of new ones; and still less to an exertion of the common strength. Its objects are CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith. They are not rules prescribed by the sovereign to the subject, but agreements between sovereign and sovereign.” Federalist #75

Although these Contracts were not considered to be a subdivision of laws or even new laws altogether, it was necessary that they were binding upon the states to prevent the failures seen by our founders in the Articles of Confederation.

“These gentlemen would do well to reflect that a treaty is only another name for a bargain, and that it would be impossible to find a nation who would make any bargain with us, which should be binding on them ABSOLUTELY, but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it.” Federalist #64

These treaties were not designed to be untouchable. They were subject to the very same checks and balances of every act of the federal government. They could fail if they didn’t meet the proper standards. One way they could fail is if they attempted to infringe upon or utilize a power that had not been granted to them through the Constitution. They were to be bound and fettered by all the limitations of power inherent in the Constitution through the specific delegated powers and the necessary and proper and general welfare clauses. To us, that statement must sound like an oxymoron; to think that the necessary and proper and general welfare clauses were meant to bind Congress. Because we have become so detached from the founders intent, we have allowed these clauses to become an expansion of power, a consequence that our founders thought an abomination. [The explanation of these clauses are a whole other analysis, but for a complete explanation of the intent of the General Welfare Clause, please read my previously written analysis. I promise you will be shocked at the clarity of our founders’ intent.] So, if a treaty attempted to assume a power that was not previously delegated, for instance to bind upon the states agreement for an object outside of the realm of war, peace, or foreign commerce, it would be deemed unconstitutional.

“–I insisted that in givg to the Prest. & Senate a power to make treaties, the constn meant only to authorize them to carry into effect by way of treaty any powers they might constitutionally exercise.” (sic) –Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1793.

“By the general power to make treaties, the constitution must have intended to comprehend only those subjects which are usually regulated by treaty, and cannot be otherwise regulated… It must have meant to except out of these the rights reserved to the states; for surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way.” –Thomas Jefferson: Parliamentary Manual, 1800.

Another limitation imposed by our founders on treaties is that they MUST NOT be in conflict with the Constitution. If a treaty is in direct conflict with, let’s say the Second Amendment, that treaty would be considered unconstitutional. Treaties were established as a supreme law to maintain the credibility and honor of an agreement with a foreign nation, but it was NEVER supposed to be superior to the Constitution. There is no law superior to the Constitution.

“No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. “ Federalist #78

But what are we to do when these treaties fail the tests of Constitutional limitations? I have heard it mentioned that we are stuck with these treaties short of another treaty supplanting them or a Constitutional Amendment. This perspective is not consistent with our founders’ explanations. As a matter of fact, our founders wanted us to know that if a treaty was in opposition to the Constitution, there were significant consequences.

“if they [the President & Senate] act corruptly, they can be punished; and if they make disadvantageous treaties, how are we to get rid of those treaties?…As to corruption, the case is not supposable. He must either have been very unfortunate in his intercourse with the world, or possess a heart very susceptible of such impressions, who can think it probable that the President and two thirds of the Senate will ever be capable of such unworthy conduct. The idea is too gross and too invidious to be entertained. But in such a case, if it should ever happen, the treaty so obtained from us would, like all other fraudulent contracts, be null and void by the law of nations.” Federalist #64

There is no qualification in that statement that this treaty be replaced or a Constitutional Amendment be written. The simple fact of the matter is this treaty would be a “fraudulent contract” and would be of no effect. At this point, the states would be justified Constitutionally to tell the federal government that they will not honor or enforce the treaty. We do not live in a Kingdom and the power of our government is not derived from a King. We do live in a republic and the power of our government is derived from the people. It is always the responsibility of the PEOPLE to be the ultimate check and balance. I think that Alexander Hamilton made this point abundantly clear in Federalist #33:

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded. .. would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution.” Federalist #33

Every day our federal government seems to operate more and more under the assumption that their power is derived in the manner of a Kingdom, it is essential that the people, from which its true power is derived, stand against this tyranny and restore the balance of power. We cannot do this unless we first understand the exceptional principles under which this nation was established. We cannot do this unless we require every person in the federal government to operate under these principles.

History of American Direct Taxation – Part 2

History of American Direct Taxation- Part 2

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

Read Part 1 of Direct Taxation and learn the intent of the founders regarding taxation within the Constitution:


Article 1 section 2 clause 3 establishes that all taxation must be collected by direct apportionment to the States through a census of the population.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers… The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

This section of the Constitution secured to the people the ultimate power and protection against an unlimited central government by putting the States in control of the federal purse through the consent of the people.  Government is easier controlled at the local level.  James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, reminded the Constitutional delegates in 1788, the power of the purse is historically the “most effectual” and complete power of the people to control government.  Therefore, keeping that essential power at the State level gave the people greater control to prevent misappropriation of funds on the federal level.

“This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure… finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government.” Fed #58

Thanks to a bipartisan move, endorsed and encouraged by two Republican Presidents and Republican Congressmen, this essential check and balance was stripped from the people, creating an uncontrollable central government limited only by its own whims and desires.

The history of our independence from Great Britain proves this essential truth; taxation was to be left to the control of the people.  Our founders saw the power to tax as a direct and unlimited power to oppress.

“But if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands?  Why not the Produce of our Lands and every thing we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern and tax ourselves…are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary slaves?”  Samuel Adams May 15, 1764

Adams knew an axiomatic truth:  if the central government could assume the power to lay taxes on whatever they choose, they would soon over take the common Rights of the people, thus creating an unlimited government, and subjecting the people to complete despotism.  The designers of our Constitutional Republic wanted to ensure that this history would not repeat in the new, independent America.   They knew that if the central government could take money directly from our pockets, not only would we have no immediate recourse but it would be theft.  Therefore it is ridiculous to even assert that our founders would have endorsed or even tolerated our current form of income tax.

“I think the Parliament of Great Britain hath no more Right to put their hands into my Pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into your’s, for money…”  George Washington

It is only through this direct theft that our current government has been able to grow exponentially.  If the people were still in control of taxation through the protective mechanism of apportionment to the States there would be no funding for the multitude of federal offices that plague the Liberties of the People.  The States would naturally refuse to supply the federal government with the money demanded for services that are not authorized by the Constitution.  This was to serve as the ultimate check and balance on federal power.

“when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another…If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron…” Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson also knew the power to control the purse of government was an essential Right of the people and continually asserted that a refusal to pay taxes was not treason or sedition but a mechanism of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

“That this privilege of giving or of withholding our monies, is an important barrier against the undue exertion of prerogative, which if left altogether without control, may be exercised to our great oppression; and all history shews how efficacious is its intercession from redress of grievances, and re-establishment of rights, and how improvident it would be to part with so powerful a mediator.”  Thomas Jefferson to Lord North 1775

Since we have failed to teach the facts that led to our independence from Great Britain, the American people have been brainwashed into believing that income tax is actually “fair” when the complete opposite is true.  It is because of the established income tax and the inability of the people to remove their consent to spending that we have the overgrowth in government that we have.  James Madison has explained that this power in the hands of the people is to ultimately and “finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government.” Fed #58

Our designers of our Constitutional Republic were no strangers to government overgrowth, the Declaration of Independence lists government overgrowth as a symptom of “complete despotism.”

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

It is absurd to assert that these people would seek to remedy a problem that required the most drastic measure of separation from their government by creating the opportunity for their newly designed government to exercise a power they deemed despotic!

Preview our course on Direct Taxation in America at Liberty First University:


An Adult Conversation About Article V & Nullification

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

Article V Conventions and Nullification are NOT mutually exclusive, nor is one the magic pill for all of our federal problems. Each is a legitimate Constitutional solution, but each has a different aim and application. Each plan has its inherent dangers and there are legitimate concerns that should be considered and these dangers guarded against. They can be used together in the defense of Liberty as long as we understand each in its own context and consider the pitfalls involved. It must be noted that we are having this discussion because of the very fact that we have stepped so far out of the Constitutional boundaries given to this government that we are operating practically in a post-Constitutional America. At this point, it is unlikely that any solution will be perfect or without peril.

Two different animals

Article V Convention is a long term fix aimed at making corrections at the federal level. Nullification is an immediate defense at the state, local and individual level. Article V aims to make structural changes or further clarifications to the operations of the federal government and its relation to the states by amending the Constitution. Nullification aims to make no changes to the current Constitution, but is simply an assertion by the individual sovereign states and communities of the authority they already possess and a declaration of the limitations to federal power already defined by the Constitution. Article V convention in the current context seeks to fix what is assumed to be broken or lacking in the federal system and is to be used in the rarest of circumstances. Nullification, as intended by the framers, was to be a part of “republican maintenance,” whereby the central government was to be continually kept in check by its masters, the people through their states.

Both have their merits and their dangers. Let us take a look some concerns that the framers themselves noted. We should keep these things in mind so that we can work TOGETHER to defeat the common enemy…TYRANNY.

Some of the challenges with Article V:

WHO are the delegates and what is their motivation?

According to James Madison in Federalist 49, one significant problem with conventions is – WHO will be the delegates? Madison discusses two options for choosing delegates: either through the Legislators or through popular vote of the people. In each case he believed there was cause for concern.

In modern terms, when delegates are chosen by the legislators, what we could see are appointments based upon party loyalty, power or popularity rather than upon Constitutional expertise and dedication to Liberty principles.  When the delegates are chosen by popular vote, typical election dynamics could determine the outcome.   Voters would vote based upon party popularity and perhaps even a “lesser of two evils” and the same corrupt politicians would now be “fixing” the very problems they created. Madison framed the outcome this way, “The same influence which had gained them an election into the legislature, would gain them a seat in the convention… They would consequently be parties to the very question to be decided by them.”

According to Madison, the real difficulty with delegates boils down to “motivation”.   What will be the motivating force behind the delegates and their amendments? Madison recognized that the only reason we have our current Constitution is that the framers had just come from a bloody revolution that kept the delegates focused upon LIBERTY and that forced them to set aside their party politics and personal motivations and it was still no easy path:

“We are to recollect that all the existing constitutions were formed in the midst of a danger which repressed the passions most unfriendly to order and concord; of an enthusiastic confidence of the people in their patriotic leaders, which stifled the ordinary diversity of opinions on great national questions; of a universal ardor for new and opposite forms, produced by a universal resentment and indignation against the antient government;” ~ James Madison Federalist 49

Madison seems to be telling us that without some overriding and unifying motivation, the convention would likely degrade into another Republican vs. Democrat drama. If we cannot get delegates that are properly constitutionally minded rather than driven by political gain and greed, this will never benefit us.

WHEN will it be done?

One practical difference between nullification and convention is the time each takes to implement. Any advocate of Article V must admit that this is a LONG TERM goal and not a quick fix. To call convention, choose delegates, agree on amendments, an Article V convention could take several years, possibly 5 to 10 years. Adding to the time frame is the Article V requirement of 3/4 ratification by the States.   That means EVERY AMENDMENT must be agreed upon (debated), individually, by 3/4 of the States to ratify.  During such a time frame, it would be prudent to use nullification to puts the brakes on at the state level until corrections (if truly needed) can be made at the federal level.

What will be the scope and impact?

Probably the most debated aspect is the notion of a “runaway convention.” Some say the ¾ ratification is a check on a runaway convention, that ¾ of the states would never go along with a total rewrite of the Constitution or the addition of harmful amendments. Of course, ¾ of the states DID ratify the very harmful 16th and 17th amendments. Tinkering with the foundation is always risky business. SO at the end of the day it may well come back to the main issue of the motivation, focus and education of the people and their delegates. What about the opposite of a runaway convention? What about a do-nothing convention? What if we do open-heart surgery on the Constitution for something as cosmetic as a balanced budget amendment?!


First, Nullification is a constitutional solution not because it is enumerated per se, but because the Constitution is a contract (technically a compact) among the States that created the federal government. The States are the parties to the Constitutional Contract and the federal government is the PRODUCT of that contract. Inherent in EVERY contract is the right of the parties to that contract to control the product of the contract. The States are the representatives of the people in this contract and have a DUTY to keep the federal government within its constitutional boundaries and thus protecting the rights of the people. It is inherent in the very nature of the Constituion. Nullification is that act of the PEOPLE through their States to keep the federal government within in its “limited and defined” boundaries and should be as regularly carried out as an oil change in your car. Madison states this principle again in Federalist 49:

“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived; it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new-model the powers of government; but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”

This is not the forum for a full explanation of Nullification. If you are unfamiliar with this term or have in the past heard that it is not an option available to the States for a myriad of reasons, please take the time to read the FACTS about nullification before you give in to any one position. THIS LINK will get you started.

Fear of Nullification

The first problem with nullification is fear and lack of education. For some, nullification’s association (rightly or wrongly) with the Civil War and slavery (despite the fact that it was used to resist slavery) throws a veil of fear over the entire issue. So care must be taken not to add fuel to the fire of racial division because those who capitalize on such things will use it for their own design. Many mistruths and misconceptions regarding this Liberty solution must be overcome in order to even utilize this option. Retorts such as “the South lost the war,” “SCOTUS says no,” or “it’s the law of the land” are common among those ignorant of the concepts of State and local autonomy and nullification.

Even as nullification happens all around us today with, States legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage; states denying the federal government power to enforce the indefinite detention provisions of NDAA 2012 and Obamacare; local and state governments refusing to enforce federal gun restrictions, some will still say that nullification is an obscure and outdated concept. With more than 100 years of distorted history, overcoming fear and lack of education surrounding Nullification is no easy task.

Participation by the States:

Whereas Article V requires 3/4 of the States to ratify any amendment, Nullification can be achieved on a State by State basis. However, many staes that would at first glance be thought to be inclined to resist federal encroachment are often controlled by “federal supremacists,” those who believe that the federal government is superior to the states. Many state legislators do not understand the true nature of the states’ relationship to the federal government and they understand the states’ right and duty to interposition even less.

Federal Enforcement of Unconstitutional Acts

One more roadblock to nullification is the acquiescence to federal bullying and bribery. The dirty little secret is that the feds generally do not have the resources to enforce most of its dictates; it must co-opt state and local resources. This is done primarily through bullying and legalized bribery. The feds use state EPA, state DOE, state and local law enforcement elements to enforce its demands. In most cases the state and local entities comply. Without such compliance the federal dictates would be ineffective and in most cases unenforceable. The most obvious attempt at forced compliance will be through the withholding of federal funds. Any State who intends to maintain their supremacy over the federal government will have to be able to become self-sufficient in the face of federal funding withdrawal and brave leaders will have to be willing to call the bully’s bluff. In an arena where it’s all about the money and in a political system where politicians climb the ladder of power by giving and receiving favors this is also a significant obstacle.

Runaway Nullification

Sometimes opponents of nullification characterize the concept as “ignoring laws you don’t like.” The question at issue in nullification is not whether we like the law or not, the question is whether the law is constitutional or not. A possible danger is that states may wish to “nullify” inherent natural rights, such as those protected in the bill of rights from the abuse of the federal government. When such tyranny arises on the state level, the citizens must be ready to resist this tyranny as well, or else choose to live as slaves.

The REAL Solution lies within the operation of BOTH methods!

What Article V conventions cannot do to stop tyranny now, nullification can if successfully implemented accomplish with near immediate effect. Where Nullification ends, Article V provides a long term solution to strengthening the restraints on the federal government, if done by the right people for the right reasons in the right way. If we DO NOT engage in Nullification now, we will never survive as a republic long enough for the Article V Convention to have any hopes. If we just engage in Nullification and do not follow through with shoring up the established boundaries, I believe we will dissolve into individual sovereign States and the Republic will die.

We will not succeed if we are so caught up in our own causes that we have to defeat everyone else’s. That is egocentric and immature. Truth be told, we will not succeed without all the efforts of all the people working together in the defense of Liberty. We need nullification daily to maintain the Republic, yet if we continue to allow the foundation to erode, we may indeed need a convention to right the ship.

So let’s approach the defense of Liberty like grown-ups. Let’s work together instead of trying to punch each other in the eye to elevate ourselves.

I have confidence that when all is said and done, our future will look back and say, “Coming up with a new and better form of government was nearly impossible.   The original Constitution itself was not the problem; it was the ignorance of the people that lived under it.”

If you want more detailed information about this discussion go to my book Sovereign Duty! Also available thru many online book stores

Can A State Alter Qualifications for Election of The President Of The United States

Can A State Alter Qualifications for Election of The President Of The United States

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

The Office of the President of these United States was designed to be  a representative of the States in foreign affairs and the chief executive of the federal government.  Article 2 of the Constitution establishes the qualifications for this office, the conditions upon which the President is to serve and the limited powers delegated. 

Article 2 section 1 establishes that the President will hold office during the term of 4 years.  Article 2 section 1 clauses 2 and 3 provide that the President is not to be elected by popular vote but by representatives of the States, called “Electors.”  The number of Electors of each State is established by the number of Senators and Representatives a State has in Congress.  These Electors are appointed by the State Legislature and shall cast their vote for two people, one of which cannot be a resident of their own State.  Article 2 section 1 clause 5 requires every person running for office of President must be a “natural born Citizen,” thirty-five years old or older, and have lived within the United States for fourteen consecutive years.  The rest of Article 2 addresses the duties and obligations of the president once elected to office.

So in summary, the Constitution establishes that there are 4 requirements for an individual to be eligible to run for President:

  • Natural Born Citizen,
  • At least 35 years old,
  • Lived in the United States 14 years immediately prior to running for office, and
  • Be elected by the Electors of the States.

The Constitution of the United States was established as a contract between the States primarily to create a Union of States and a central government to establish a unified voice for the States in foreign affairs.  The Constitution creates the federal government not only by establishing the offices of the federal government, but also by specifically enumerating powers to each of its 3 branches.  The entire purpose for delegating each specific power to the federal government as opposed to reserving that power to the State was to create uniformity throughout the Union for specific federal and foreign functions.  The Tenth Amendment orders that every power not delegated to the federal government is reserved to the States and the people.  When a power is delegated to the federal government, all State-members of the Union are required by contract to be bound by the laws created to execute that particular power.  Article 6 clause 2 is the law on this matter and it states the following:

“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 requirements for the qualifications of the office of the President are established by the Constitution.  The purpose of the Constitution establishing these requirements is so that the terms upon which a president is elected is uniform throughout the States.  Therefore, the power to create the qualifications for the office of the President are not reserved to the States and the States are bound by the Constitution’s  requirements upon the office of President through their agreement to be part of the American Union. 

It is completely unconstitutional for a State to add to or take away from the requirements for the office of President established by the Constitution.  Not only would that be a violation of Article 2, Article 6, and the Tenth Amendment, but it would create utter chaos during federal elections.  If each State was permitted to establish their own independent criteria for election of the president candidates eligible in one State could be ineligible in another State.  The American people could never be confident they had a qualified candidate.

There is only one circumstance that the Article 2 qualification for office of the President does not apply to a candidate and that is the selection of a presidential candidate through the primary election.  A primary election is not a civic event.  A primary election is a private corporate event.  There is much confusion about this fact because Americans, over many decades, have been led to believe that political parties are part of the government.  They are not.

Political parties are private corporate clubs which is why they can establish exclusive memberships and are exempt from certain provisions of the non-discrimination clause of the Civil Rights Act.  Primary elections are how political parties, aka private corporate clubs, choose the candidates that will represent them in the truly civic event we call general elections.  For the purpose of primary elections, political parties can ADD qualifying criteria to the office of president.  For example, a political party can require a candidate must be a member of the political party, must have served within the party for a designated number of years, or  any other limiting factor as long as the party maintains the Article 2 qualifications as well.  Because a primary election is actually a private corporate club event, many States hold closed primaries where only members of the private corporate club can vote in primary elections.  In reality, primary elections should never be paid for by tax dollars and should not be coordinated using State resources or funds.  The people of the State would never facilitate or fund the election of the CEO of Mc Donald’s Corporations so why are they funding and facilitating the election of the Chief Executive Candidate for the private corporations we know as Republican or Democrat Parties?

With these facts and the wisdom of the intent of those who wrote and ratified the Constitution we must conclude that no State government can constitutionally add or detract from the qualifications of the office of the President.  To do so is a violation of the Constitution and a violation of the contractual agreement each State has with each other through the Constitution. In addition to this truth, any State that attempts to alter the qualifications of any candidate during a primary election would be a violation of that private corporate club’s right to the property of their corporate elections, it would be an unlawful government taking and a violation of due process.

So what are the remedies to unlawful interference with elections on the State government level?  If that violation occurs during the primary election, the private corporate club party, the candidate, and the members of that club should sue the State and every Supervisor of Elections in a court of law for an injunction to prevent the interference and compel compliance.  If that violation occurs during a general election, the people of the State and the candidate should again sue the State and every Supervisor of Elections in a court of law for an injunction to prevent the interference and compel compliance.  In addition to the private law suit, the governor of every other State should issue a Resolution of Condemnation to the offending State for violating the terms of the Contract, the Constitution, and issue a demand for redress and restoration of the constitutional standard.  If the offending State should refuse to comply, according to Article 2, Section 1, Clauses 3, the President of the Senate must refuse to acknowledge the ballot from that offending State as it does not comply with the Constitutional Standard.

These remedies will only sound extreme to those who are not educated on the terms of the Constitution and the principles of contract law followed by those who ratified the Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #78:

“There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void.  No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.”

We must get back in the habit of applying the Constitution as it was intended.  When we do, we will see that the remedies are simple and based upon contract law and common sense.  Government only becomes complicated when we set aside the standard of the Constitution and rely on the word of politicians, pundits, and professors instead of the words and intent of Madison, Jefferson, and Mason.  The Constitutional crisis exist not in the failings of the Constitution but in the failure to abide by the Constitution.

Hamilton Silences Impeachment Fools

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

America’s media stream has been saturated by politicians, pundits, and law professors pontificating on what America’s founders’ believed about presidential impeachment.  The most oft used argument today is a misapplication and misleading representation of what founder Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist #65.  The claim is that Alexander Hamilton establishes in Federalist #65 that presidents should be “impeached for political reasons.  This is completely and obviously false to anyone who has read the essay and possesses a smidgen of reading comprehension skills.  I believe the people asserting this fake claim are confident that the American people won’t actually read this essay and call them out for their deceptions.  My goal is to show how simple and plainly written this text is and how blatantly deceptive these people are in their lie-driven agenda. (You can read Fed 65 here

The overall assertion of these prevaricators is that Hamilton uses Federalist #65 to explain to the people what the Constitution says about the grounds for impeachment of presidents.  The very title of this document declares this to be false.  The document is titled, “The Powers of the Senate Continued.”  As the Federalist Papers are compiled by a series of topics, Federalist #65 falls in the set of essays explaining the powers delegated to the Senate.  What is interesting, in the very first paragraph Hamilton explains that this essay is NOT about the president, but the Senate, and a presidential series would be forthcoming.

“As in the business of appointments the executive will be the principal agent, the provisions relating to it will most properly be discussed in the examination of that department.”

The second paragraph of this essay is the fertile ground used to harvest the agenda-driven propaganda of this present hour.  It is in this paragraph that we glean our best understanding of what Hamilton believed to be the greatest complications to a valid impeachment.  What Hamilton does NOT do in this paragraph, or in any paragraph in this essay, is define the terms of impeachment nor the unlimited power of the House to impeach a president for whatever allegation the majority can motivate their moiling mob to support.  What is interesting is, that Hamilton actually defeats that claim in the very paragraph these fabulists violently plunder.

Hamilton begins paragraph two by explaining that history proves it will be very difficult to pull together a fit body for the trying of impeachment.  Once you read Hamilton’s argument, not only does his logic become very clear, but it also shows itself to be very familiar in the present day impeachment display.  The reason it will be difficult to pull together a fit body for impeachment, Hamilton explains, is because impeachment is a process that involves people who are solely contained in the realm of politics and politics are ruled by emotions and not reason.

“The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

These tricksters claim that because Hamilton used the word “political” he must have meant that political reasoning was sufficient for impeachment; i.e. if the majority in the House doesn’t like a president’s policies, mannerisms, or politics then impeachment is the solution.  However, Hamilton’s use of the term “political” is descriptive of the universe in which impeachment exists, not of the terms upon which impeachment may take place.  Because impeachment is applied to elected people who are tried for crimes that violate a position given by the entire society as opposed to a single person and the accused is tried by politicians it is properly classified as political.  It seems that politicians, pundits, and professors may be better at cherry picking than George Washington.

If that was all Hamilton said on the topic, a matter of interpretation could be claimed.  However, what Hamilton says after this statement makes all the difference in the world.

“The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.”

Because politicians are the accused in impeachment and because they are tried by politicians, it will be difficult to put together an unbiased body to impeach, and because politics are products of division people and politicians will naturally take sides. 

Watch out, listen up, Hamilton is going to give us a bold warning of what will go wrong when impeachment is used for political punishments instead of strictly holding to the terms of impeachment outlined in Article 2 section 4.

“In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

Because politicians are always the products of elections where one person wins and one person loses, there will always be one group of people unhappy with the other.  Hamilton considered it to be dangerous for impeachment to become a tool used to punish people for political reasons.  So when members of Congress, political pundits, or partisan professors claim that the Constitution supports using the institution for impeachment as a political punishment, they are not only wrong but aiding and abetting the “greatest danger” to the political system; they create impeachments not concerned with due process, not concerned with crimes, their elements, reliable evidence, or truth and qualified witnesses.  Under the propagandists presumed terms, guilt or innocence is not the standard as established by the founders, but the standard becomes whether you like an elected official or not.

It is here that I am reminded of a story in history where a man named Haman built gallows to hang his political enemy Mordechai.  To eliminate Mordechai as his competitor for the King’s affections, Haman attempted to sow a series of lies against Mordechai.  The King, upon discovering the truth, ordered Haman to be hung on his own gallows.  Article 2 section 4 of the Constitution is not written solely for the impeachment of presidents.  The text reads, “president, vice president, and all civil officers.”  That term “civil officers” includes every single person employed in federal government whether elected or hired by an elected person.  These political fornicators ought to be careful the standards they create, for what is good for the goose is good for the Haman.

The Constitutionally & Historically Established House Procedures For Articles of Impeachment

 By KrisAnne Hall, JD

The deceivers in Congress and MSM want you to believe that the Constitution is “vague” on House procedures for bringing articles of impeachment.  That is only because they WANT to evade the Constitution and have the authority to act arbitrarily to deny their obligations to the Constitution and due process.  Understanding how the House is supposed to proceed in the filing of impeachment is really not that complicated, the deceivers just want you to think it is.  So, as briefly and plainly as possible, here is how it is supposed to work….

If we work backwards it is the easiest way to logically understand the proper procedure for the House to file Articles of Impeachment. 

1.  We know from those who ratified the Constitution, our most relevant source, that the Senate is the “court” that will “try” the impeachment.  (Read Federalist 65 and

2.  We know from Article 2 section 4 of the Constitution (the Supreme Law of the Land) that impeachment is valid for the crimes of Treason, Bribery, High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

              A.  Article 1 section 3 clause 7 of the Constitution states that after impeachment the convicted can no longer hold public office AND can be tried in a criminal court for the SAME crime and held accountable under the law.

              B.  All four of the grounds for impeachment are actually CRIMES, subject to the terms criminal prosecution.  Alexander Hamilton discusses this in Federalist 65 when he explains why the Senate and not the Supreme Court is the proper body to try impeachments:

“Who would be willing to stake his life and his estate upon the verdict of a jury, acting under the auspices of Judges, who had predetermined his guilt?”

Hamilton says since the accused can be tried in a criminal court for the same crimes that brought about impeachment, it would be inappropriate for the Supreme Court to handle impeachment and also have the possibility of having the criminal case come before them as well.  With that being said, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will still preside over the impeachment trial to ensure the proper rules of due process are followed by the Senate. (See Federalist 65)

3.  In Federalist 65, Hamilton calls the Senate the COURT and speaks of the proceeding as a TRIAL and even indicates that the same process will be followed by the lower courts when trying the accused outside of impeachment.  Hamilton even explicitly states that the proper conduct for the Senate is to judge the accused by the “real demonstration of guilt or innocence,” once again using the legal vernacular appropriate of a true trial of justice.

4.  Since the accused (president, vice president, or any civil officer) will be having a legitimate trial in the Senate, with all due process considerations of a court of justice, it will only be fitting to describe the role of the House as the “prosecutor” who reviews the allegations and the evidence and has the responsibility of filing the charges against the accused.

A prosecutor (I know, I was one for nearly a decade) does not file every allegation that comes along.  A prosecutor does not even file a case against every person “believed” to be guilty of a crime.  The belief of guilt is irrelevant in the criminal justice system.  The only thing that matters in a true court of justice, is what can be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the framework of the statutory crime, the evidence admissible, and the rules of due process.

5.  Since the Senate is the Trial phase and the House is the filing stage, the House procedure for filing impeachment will logically be the same as that of a prosecutor. 

A.  The House members must look at the allegations.  They must then look at that law and determine if the allegations fit the law.  The Constitution establishes the law and that impeachment can only be brought for Treason, Bribery, High Crimes, or Misdemeanors.  If the allegations do not fit into one of those four categories, then the House, just like any good prosecutor, must refuse to file impeachment.  If you are confused by the current assertion that the Constitution permits the House to bring impeachment for “political” reasons, please read this article to help you understand why that reasoning is false:

B.  If the allegations fit into one of the four categories of impeachable crimes, then the House members must review the evidence and determine 1. if the evidence is admissible, 2.  if the admissible evidence satisfies the elements of the crime, and 3. if the relevant evidence is sufficient to prove guilt.  If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then the House must refuse to file impeachment.  If the answer to all these questions is “yes” then the House must file impeachment and put together the case for trial in the Senate.

That’s it.  That is the procedure for the House of Representatives for bringing articles of impeachment according to the intent of the founders and the Constitution.  Perhaps it seems very simple to me because this is the process I engaged in every day of my life for nearly a decade.  I was even blessed enough to train new prosecutors in this process.  The presence of due process in America is such a precious jewel and as not only a prosecutor, but one who trained future prosecutors, my philosophy was never “win at all costs” but to consider the lives of the people, both victims and accused, stay within the lanes of the law, and above of all preserve the Rights of the people involved so that the system doesn’t become a tool for vengeance and destruction. 

Our House members should hold the procedure of impeachment with the same reverence and respect.  The fact that every civil officer in our Constitutional Republic can only be impeached from office through the respect of law and due process is priceless and ought to be seen as invaluable.  It is truly one of the things that separates our Constitutional Republic from an arbitrary and lawless Banana Republic.

The thing I find interesting is that many of these House members are lawyers and many of the lawyers have trial court experience.  For these people to claim that they are “confused” as to this procedure seems very disingenuous and self-serving.  If American prosecutors handled cases the way the House Judiciary Committee is handling this impeachment, their cases would be thrown out of court, they would likely be looking at sanctions from the BAR Association, and could even face their own criminal trial for the crime of “vindictive prosecution.”  Perhaps one lesson our House members would do well to learn, the first lesson I taught all my prosecutors in training, we are “prosecutors” not “persecutors” and we must know the difference.  

It should be very important to every American that our House does not engage in vindictive prosecution and is diligent to the rights of due process.  What these people in high office are allowed to do to the president, or any other civil officer for that matter, will not only set a legal precedent but also a cultural one that will put the due process and fundamental rights of every American at peril.  I will close with the words of Hannah Winthrop, one of the founders of America: “How often do we see people blind to their own interests precipitately maddening on to their own destruction!”