5) From our Sixth Amendment, re: our rights in criminal
prosecutions, the essential word "Counsel" (as in, "to have the assistance of
Counsel") was used in the 1788 proposal, but not in the 1776 Declaration.
6) From the Seventh Amendment, re: trial by jury, the newer
1788 proposal declares it to be a citizen right (no outright statement that it
is a "right" in the 1776 Declaration).
Also from an amateur perspective, let me point out some
differences in language between the 1776 Declaration (composed within the first
year or so of the American Revolution) to language used after the lessons learned from the Revolution. As I previously mentioned, our current Third
Amendment was not even mentioned in any degree in the earlier Declaration, and
it was likely as a result of the war on our own soil that caused our progenitors
to contemplate such a provision.
Additionally--and this is a big issue today--from our Second
Amendment, the phrase (which is offset by commas and reads: "the right of the
people to keep and bear Arms") that gets everyone stirred up was exclusive to
the composition of the 1788 proposal after the experience of the
Revolution. It was rendered by the
Virginia ratification convention thusly, in 1788: "That the people have a right to keep and
bear arms;"--note the semi-colon--"that a well regulated Militia composed of the
body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defence ( sic ) of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are
dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the
circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases
the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil
power." In the 1776 Declaration, during
the first months of the war, the phrases "well regulated militia" and "safe
defence ( sic ) of a
experts here (meaning those contributing to the article from the National
Archives) hold back the details that help us understand the true source of many
of the key words that exist in the Bill of Rights. The Library of Congress website was not much
help in understanding the true source, either, but at least they had links to
Expert opinion (B): Source--Former Senator Richard Lugar, Former Representative Mike Pence (currently governor of Indiana), Assertion--"Bloggers" probably would not be considered journalists, and only bloggers actually engaged in gathering news would be considered journalists, respectively, under the then-proposed Free Flow of Information Act.
Amateur opinion: The
(C): Source--Various corporate media and
product production companies, Assertion--Their copyrights and patents are
subject to long holding times and renewals by acts of Congress.
Amateur opinion: During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a committee was created to address the language and style of the Constitution. Though good for brevity, some of the original intent was lost in the process. A good example is some of the language of the first Article, eighth section, of the Constitution, namely, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Originally, the language was recorded in two separate parts/paragraphs: "to secure to literary authors their copyrights for a limited time" and "to secure to the inventors of useful machines and implements the benefits thereof for a limited time." The word 'time' was in the singular in the original language and was only made plural after the phrases were joined together in the same section by the Committee of Style (to indicate two types of individuals to be protected, authors and inventors). The practice of extending copyrights and patents was never an intended privilege of Congress, but has been taken as such because of attempts to be brief in expression. The intent was that things would fall into the public domain much sooner than has been practiced, but because billions of dollars are at stake in such matters, these things are desired by the elite to remain either unknown to the people or totally disbelieved.
Constitution flag flying at author's home by Steve Osborn
Defending the Constitution of
A few years back
I had the opportunity to hear a federal DC Circuit judge give an address in front
of a small group of people before opening the floor for questions. At the time, Bush II was going crazy with
"Signing Statements" asserting that the US would not enforce certain things
that he (Bush) objected to, thus basically creating his own line-item
veto. I recited a portion of the
citizenship oath to the judge for newly naturalized citizens, "that I will support and defend the
Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies,
foreign and domestic" and posited that since new citizens had to take
this oath, that it follows that the oath must inure to all natural-born
citizens when they are born. Therefore,
since we have a citizen obligation to defend the Constitution, would not that
give us sufficient legal "standing" to challenge things like Bush's Signing
Statements (i.e. in a court of law)? He
immediately answered, "No," but then went silent for a few seconds, just
staring at me (as though the thought-wheels were turning), and then he said, "But
From a strictly amateur perspective, we have a duty to
defend the Constitution just as much as any elected official, soldier, law
enforcement person, or other individual so-swears to do. It is time we started insisting that our
legislators start both following the Constitution and actively working at their
checks-and-balances responsibilities to rein in the abuses of the Executive
A word about Martial Law
repeating that we are about to be saddled with martial law from some
catastrophic event soon to hit. Again,
let me take the amateur position about this.
The Constitution makes no provisions for suspending itself. Congress cannot do it, the president cannot,
the military cannot, and the judiciary cannot.
It also has no provisions for anyone to enact martial law. The Constitution contains some components of martial law, but with
restrictions of their use. The military,
for instance, can assist in
enforcing existing law; it is not a law unto itself. A military leader cannot legally (under the
Constitution) declare that such-and-such are now laws and that anyone breaking such
declarations will be held accountable to the military; it just is not provided
for in the Constitution.
concerned about Romans 13 in the Bible, just remember that the Constitution is the supreme law of the
land; not the military, not the president, not Congress, etc. Religious leaders that may have undergone training
to the contrary by government agencies should prepare to defend the
Constitution, at least by refusing to be involved in anything that remotely
takes away the rights of the people.
True, when staring down the barrel of a Howitzer, it may be difficult to
remember the Constitution; but if there is truly strength in numbers in such a
situation, then remember that you at least have the Constitution on your side,
and thousands of American lives have been lost defending those freedoms with
all that they had to give.