Free Government is that happy condition wherein government respects and protects the unalienable, Natural Rights of the nation, and makes no law without its consent.
Our Bill of Rights actually grants nothing, but rather serves to recognize God-given individual and societal rights.
But rights don’t defend themselves. James Madison famously regarded Bills of Rights as mere “parchment barriers” easily breached by ambitious men. To keep them in force requires institutions designed for their defense, and an active citizenry covetous of liberty.
So, how many are actually respected and protected by government? How near or distant is free government?
I posit that undefended rights have been seriously eroded, and will all but disappear without relentless advocacy from private groups or public institutions.
1st Amendment – It is certainly under duress. In recent polls a disturbing percentage of college students would restrain “hurtful” speech. Under government pressure, Leftist media including Facebook and Twitter have silenced some conservative voices. Lois Lerner abused her office at the IRS to do the same. Major corporate media used to defend free speech. Today, they work with government to stifle a basic liberty.
Christianity is under assault. The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God are largely disregarded as bakers and religious orders are forced to violate their beliefs. A phony “wall of separation” was erected by scotus between the civil society and any governing institution.
On the other hand, militant Islam is ascendant. It is protected at every turn by a shady group, CAIR, which has enormous influence in the Obama government. The continuance of Christianity in America requires equivalent support and promotion.
2nd Amendment – Private ownership of guns would have been banned long ago were it not for the NRA and other gun rights groups.
3rd Amendment – As of yet, our rulers have not thought of quartering troops in our homes. The third amendment is safe.
4th Amendment – While our persons are mostly secure from unreasonable searches, our papers, finances and effects are generally open to the government. Banking/medical transactions and records are largely open to, and used by the government as it wishes. Apple is courageously fighting a court order to develop software that will degrade personal privacy.
5th Amendment – Portions are under threat. On the bright side, grand juries still serve to protect capital crime suspects from inflamed mobs. Unfortunately, certain crimes perceived as violating social justice can be subject to two trials. Defendants found innocent of a fuzzy hate crime at a state trial can, and have been, prosecuted by federal courts. Scotus’ Kelo decision eviscerated the centuries’ old concept of eminent domain.
6th & 7th Amendments – All well and good. The grand jury process of the 5th, and the entirety of the 6th and 7th have been secured by generations of legal scholars and state bar associations.
8th Amendment – Despite the unease of changing majority factions on the scotus, convicted murderers would be wise to fear for their lives.
9th Amendment –At his circus-like confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee in 1987, the eminent Judge Robert Bork was famously uncomfortable at best with the 9th. He understandably did not wish to witness a multitude of judges declaring a greater multitude of unenumerated personal and societal rights. Yet leftist judges just cannot help themselves. For instance, the Obergefell v. Hodges decision alone will be forever remembered as a general assault on Natural Law and the 9th Amendment, as well as denial of the right of the people to republican, free government.
10th Amendment – Gone. Without the presence of the states in the senate to secure the interests of their people and member republics, all powers are collapsing into a central, consolidated government. Repeal of the 17th Amendment is essential to the restoration of free government.
Unless and until the sovereign people reassert their authority, our basic freedoms will continue to erode.
Article V. Now.