Defending Our republican Constitution

, Spencer Irvine, 1 Comment

Randy Barnett, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, and an author of eleven books, has a book that should be required reading for America’s children: “Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People.”

our republican constitution randy barnett book coverIn his book, Barnett goes back to the Founding Fathers and makes a compelling and convincing case that strict constitutionalists are in the right. The government does not automatically hold powers not specified in the U.S. Constitution, says Barnett, because those powers rest in the states and the people. Yet, America has strayed from those basic roots, where natural and God-given rights have been trampled on by all branches of the federal government. Barnett makes the distinction between natural rights and God-given rights, where everyone has a right because they have the liberty to make decisions. The religious component that is often cited, argues Barnett, actually credits natural rights as a creation of God.

Interestingly enough, Barnett notes how George Mason was the inspiration behind the famous Preamble to the Declaration of Independence and several state constitutions are influenced by Mason’s writings as a result. Of all the edits made to the actual Declaration of Independence, nothing was changed in the Preamble.

Barnett details the evolution of the U.S. and the Constitution before and after the Civil War, and how the Republican Party was the driver of anti-slavery efforts that resulted in the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the election of Democratic president Grover Cleveland began the removal of these anti-slavery and civil rights protections from the Democrat-held South.

He moves onto the 1900s to the present day, not shying away from criticizing New Deal Democrats and their Supreme Court decisions. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was not spared from criticism due to Barnett’s point that Roberts misused the due process clause, in order to uphold ObamaCare.

This book is probably the most methodical explanation of the origins and importance of the ‘republican’ Constitution and should be mandatory reading for America’s children.


One Response

  1. terry1956

    March 26, 2016 8:16 am

    I’ve read an earlier book by Professor Barnett on the US Constitution but it has been a long time.
    Anyway he correctly used Lysander Spooner’s argument on how to interpret the US Constitution by the legal meaning of the words used at the time it was ratified not what the authors meant but what they actually wrote although I think what the delegates to the state conventions thought what the authors meant is important especially when those authors and their supporters argued in public at the state convention debates on a intent.
    For example the argument that normally the federal government would get most of the revenue from custom duties encouraged some delegates with deep concerns on internal federal taxes as a norm to change to favor the Constitution.
    Anyway in the older book I think Professor Barnett the best I remember argued to favor that the 9th amendment supports substantive due process rights as well as the 14th on state issues but I think substantive does not go together with due process rights, yes substantive can go together with a right but due process is a way, a procedure which includes the right of the government never being legally able to deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property( including money via taxes, or home via taking for public use) until the government gets the unanimous permission of 12 US citizens who live in the vicinage and who have been allowed to be told in the court about their veto authority, right and duty if a conviction based on the facts would be not just.
    For example on taking a home, farm or business for public use to build a public road in no place in the US Constitution is the Un American words Eminent Domain no matter how many tricky words and tricky conditions are used on deeds and titles .
    The 5th amendment does say property may be taken for public use if ” just” compensation is giving but what the government says is just compensation and what is actually just sometimes is not the same thus if the local jury says the governments offer is not just then under due process it is not just and in some cases no amount will be just.
    What should the vicinage be? The Hundred or 100 House Holds in the Hundred Court which the defense can appeal to the county court next or to a township court ( if the county has a large population) and all the way to the US Supreme court if the defense loses the case to the government or private plaintiff but the plaintiff or the prosecutor can never appeal.

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