For those not old enough to know, New York City’s crime rate prior to the Mayor Rudy Giuliani era was so bad that a sci-fi movie, Escape From New York (1981) did very well at the box office. In this dystopian story, Manhattan was walled off and filled with the worst criminals from across America. Mayor (1994-2001) Giuliani famously put into practice a “no broken windows” (NBW) theory of law enforcement. His police no longer ignored misdemeanor violations of the law. The criminal element soon realized that not only were petty crimes prosecuted, but prison time for felony violations was a near certainty. Criminals were no longer coddled and the crime rate plummeted. NYC was livable once again.
The lesson, of course, is that aggressive law enforcement works to protect the people the law is designed to serve. The proven NBW approach strikes me as obviously consistent with natural law. When we sin or commit a crime without receiving punishment, our nature is, unfortunately, prone to commit greater sins or crimes. NBW simply substitutes punishment for reward and discourages crime.
Now, let’s shift gears to the national governing scene, to Washington DC. Here, the criminals don’t get their hands dirty in common street assaults against individuals. Crimes at this level impact and violate an entire nation. The Framers referred to these as high crimes. They are so extraordinary that no manmade statute could possibly describe them all. Despite the ambiguity, high crimes, which can only be committed by those in the top positions of civil trust, are real, and consist of violations of the Constitution. Once these people swear to God that they will uphold and defend the supreme law of the land, they are subject to the impeachment, trial and removal clauses of the Constitution. Uh, well, except they are not. Like the NYC street thugs of 1981, the DC high crime spree continues and grows.
For one illustrative example among probably hundreds, the issuance of regulations with the force of law by the administrative state is a high crime. When administrators from the EPA release their diktats, they usurp a power We The People loaned to congress and congress alone: lawmaking as per Article I § 1. Instead of issuing thousands of regulations per year, scientists at the EPA should submit policy proposals for congress to consider. That is all. When scotus ensconces this practice as Constitutional, scotus also participates in high crimes against the sovereign people.
I assert that no high crime against the sovereign people should go unpunished.
Our politicians, scotus, and senior administrative officials have as much respect for the supreme law of the land as the street thugs of NYC respected city ordinances in 1981. The difference is that unlike NYC, no single man, no Rudy Giuliani, can institute a nationwide NBW.
My stance isn’t novel. From Chapter XIX of his Second Treatise, John Locke encouraged an NBW approach to enforcement of the supreme earthly law. Since the legislative power is the creation of civil society, society is not bound to obey those not authorized to make laws. The people are in full liberty and duty to resist the force of those who attempt to impose their raw will upon them. When what constitutes law becomes uncertain, society becomes a confused multitude without order or connection to one another. Without integrity and the keeping of covenants, civil society is not possible.
We have become inured to near daily assaults on our sovereignty. We not only do not have to stand for seemingly minor infringements, such as the issuance of a single EPA regulation, it is our duty to ourselves and posterity to stop the assaults on free government and punish those who recognize no limit to their power. Since the impeachment, trial, removal clauses of the Constitution are dead letters, We The People must institute a national NBW policy through Article V.
Toward this end, I have argued for annual Article V conventions, here and
here. Unless our high criminals in DC are made to know that the supreme earthly power, We The People, stand ready every year to look over their shoulders and demand accountability, our continued head-long dive into tyranny is a certainty.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.