Today, September 17th, is the anniversiary of the US Constitution. A good time to review the Holistic Justice Institute’s position on the human rights and legitimacy status of the U.S. government. In a nutshell, we believe that the US Constitution and the way it has been interpretred are not compatible with the principles of Democracy, human dignity and internationally recognized human rights.
For example, the US Constitution was ratified without women, black slaves, the Native americans (i.e. “Indians”) and non wealthy Americans. In other words, less than 20 percent of those who lived in the Thirteen colonies voted for delegates who ratified said Constitution. We therefore believe that this present Constitution is illegitimate if not “unconstitutional”, because how can a legal document which was indirectly voted upon by less than 20 percent of the People be legitimate ? Worse, if we were to count the Native american indians, we would be at less than 5 percent of the population. Furthermore, from the point of view of human rights protection, this document is poorly written. For example, one of the key institutions the Constitution birthed is the US Supreme Court which is monarchical by nature. Akin to the High Court of the British Monarchy, the US Supreme court’s Justices are ideologically nominated for life, which means that many of them are mentally impaired. (1) Another key institution the Constitution birthed is a Federal Congress that favors corporate hegemony and corruption, including with the adjucative blessings of the Supreme court.
THE COUNTRY’S MIS-GUIDED FEDERAL SUPREME COURT’S IDEOLOGY HAS TORPEDOED SCIENCE, HEALTH, PROSPERITY, PROGRESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS FULFILLMENT BY HAVING ALLOWED THE GOVERNMENT TO BE EVEN MORE UNDER THE “UN-DUE” INFLUENCE OF IRRESPONSIBLE BIG BUSINESS
In yet another US Supreme Court ruling delivered early April of 2014 McCutcheon vs Federal Election Commission – 12-536 (2014)), a slight majority of the Federal Justices granted Big Business’ Motion that corporations can benefit from even more unrestricted access to “legitimate” bribery via campaign donations, that which necessarily impacts health since Big Pharma is one of the biggest campaign donors (e.g., President Obama allegedly got his biggest donation from Big Pharma).
As many studies show, including for State elections, the more mainstream politicians receive bribery money from the big banks, corporations and ceo’s, the more they direct their political and legal activities in the direction of the interests of these donors (ie which tend to also destroy the Nation), if only to get more favors both for other elections or even post public “service”.
Already, in 2010, “special corporate interests” (eg Wall Street’s banks, Big Pharma and their allies) have been allowed via the “un-constitutional” and-or controversial ruling Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission), a similar decision as the McCutcheon one, from the same mis-guided Federal Supreme Court, whose majority of Justices allowed corporations to exercise political and financial “undue influence”, in secrecy, with pseudo “firewalls”, via “super-pact companies”, upon most mainstream politicians, law-makers and judges of the Land who then tend to sacrifice the People’s wellbeing and basic needs on the altar of greed, corruption, dogma, ignorance and ineptitude.
The same US Supreme Court had granted corporations the “personhood” status, bestowing upon them the same rights that have been allowed for humans.
And many more “rights” than for Nature’s protection, including animals, to the post mortem chagrin of one of the few holistic US Justices of the country’s history, US Federal Court Justice William Douglas who had championed the bestowing of “rights” to most of Nature, including trees and rivers, that which entails that Nature has or should have the right to sue via representatives (ie, like with children, they have the right to sue via parental delegation since they can not “speak” the language of law).
In his dissenting opinion in the landmark environmental law case, Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972), Justice Douglas argued that “inanimate objects” like Rivers and Trees should have standing to sue in court. I quote his take on this issue.
“The critical question of “standing” would be simplified and also put neatly in focus if we fashioned a federal rule that allowed environmental issues to be litigated before federal agencies or federal courts in the name of the inanimate object about to be despoiled, defaced, or invaded by roads and bulldozers and where injury is the subject of public outrage. Contemporary public concern for protecting nature’s ecological equilibrium should lead to the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation. This suit would therefore be more properly labeled as Mineral King v. Morton”. Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 741–43 (USSC 1972).
So now the United States’ legal system protects more those corporations who pollute and destroy the People’s health and the environment than the Environment, public health and Nature, when it should be the other way around.
The present Federal constitution has allowed this aberration and hundreds of others. It can no longer be a credible, unifying and foundational document upon which the People’s wellbeing can be based.
THE NATION’S NEW CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE ORGANICALLY BASED ON THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Be that as it may, as Ben Franklin said, it’s the best “cement” instrument those 18th centuries big property, hemp growers and slave owners could design, so happy bird day to this Constitution, notwithstanding the sad fact that the present US Supreme Court has excluded the 1776 Declaration of independence as being an organic and binding part of Constitutional law. In order the words, the present institutions of the US still forbid not only federal research on the health aspects of cannabis and other key issues, but they forbid this 1776 key constitutional document to bear legal effect in favor of the People’s fundamental rights and obligations, including but not limited to the “rebellion” duty the American People have when those who have usurped the governing institutions become oppressive in their decision-making processes.
In this perspective, a quick internt search shows that there are at least 100 United States Supreme Court cases that mention the words “Declaration of Independence” somewhere in the dicta of that opinion. Yet, not one single case can be found where the authority for the holding in that case was the Declaration of independence.
In other words, there is not a single case that was specifically decided on the Declaration of Independence or its provisions. No decision has turned or can turn on the Declaration of Independence itself and no where did we find that the People have a basic right in removing an oppressive Government, save by an ineffcient political voting system.
For example, in Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901), the Court stated:
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government.”
To make matters worse, the heart of the Declaration of Independence was silenced. Hereinafter the full relevant section of the Declaration.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “ (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/). (3).
In political philosophy, but also among genuine advanced Democracies, some of which are mentioned below, (2) the right of revolution and rebellion against an oppressive government or tyranny is both a sacred right and duty, previously stated throughout history, of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests. Belief in this right-duty has been used throughout history to justify various revolutions, including the English Civil War, the American Revolution and the French Revolution.
As a legal consequence thereto, by excluding what gave birth to this Nation, what separated the American People from George Vth monarchy, those who are responsible for this exclusion should be excluded from representing the United States of America.
This is our position. This is our belief. Our mandate.
However, even if genuine Constitutions allow the overthrow of oppressive governments, we at the HJI prefer non violent means, via education, sustainability, legal actions and genuine elections.
(1) Because life tenure carries with it foreseeable risks of “disability” and “decrepitude,” of judges remaining in office beyond the time when they were able to benefit from mental acuity and brain circuitry integrity. For the Justices who are in their 80s, mental decrepitude is worse since the facts show that 50 percent of Americans at 85 years old have Alzheimer’s diseases and most of the others some other form of cognizant impairment. “The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. Most individuals with the disease are age 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent. One of the greatest mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease is why risk rises so dramatically as we grow older”. (Alzheimers Association)
(2). Although many declarations of independence seek legitimacy by appealing to the right of revolution, far fewer constitutions mention this right or guarantee this right to citizens, including the Federal American Government. Among the examples of an articulation of a right of revolution as positive law include:
1. The szlachta, nobles of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, also maintained a right of rebellion, known as rokosz.
2 New Hampshire’s constitution guarantees its citizens the right to reform government, in Article 10 of the New Hampshire constitution’s Bill of Rights:
“Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
3. The Kentucky constitution also guarantees a right to alter, reform or abolish their government in the Kentucky Bill of Rights:
“All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may deem proper.
Similar wording is used in Pennsylvania’s constitution, under Article 1, Section 2 of the Declaration of Rights:
All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.”
4. Article I, §2 of the Tennessee constitution states:
“That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
5. North Carolina’s constitution of November 21, 1789 also contains in its Declaration of Rights:
3d. That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.
6. The Constitution of Texas also contains similar wording in Article 1, Sect 2:
All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.
7. The preface to the French Constitution of 1793 is a “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” with several right of revolution provisions, the essence of which is still applicable.
Article 11: Any act directed against a person, apart from the cases and without the forms determined by law, is arbitrary and tyrannical; if attempt is made to execute such act by force, the person who is the object thereof has the right to resist it by force.
Article 12: Those who incite, dispatch, sign, or execute arbitrary acts, or cause them to be executed, are guilty and must be punished.
Article 27: Let any individual who would usurp sovereignty be put to death instantly by free men.
Article 33-35: Resistance to oppression is the consequence of the other rights of man. There is oppression against the social body when a single one of its members is oppressed. There is oppression against every member when the social body is oppressed. When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people, and for every portion thereof, the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.
8. The post-World War II Grundgesetz, the Fundamental Law of the Federal Republic of Germany contains both entrenched, un-amendable clauses protecting human and natural rights, as well as a clause in its Article 20, recognizing the right of the people to resist unconstitutional tyranny, if all other measures have failed: All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available.
9. All Greek constitutions since the Greek Revolution have contained a right to resist in their concluding article. The current Greek Constitution states in Article 120:
“Observance of the constitution is entrusted to the patriotism of the Greeks who shall have the right and the duty to resist by all possible means against anyone who attempts the violent abolition of the Constitution.”10.
10. The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, a part of the constitutional systems of both the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, states in Article 23:
“Citizens have the right to resist anybody who would do away with the democratic order of human rights and fundamental freedoms, established by this Charter, if the actions of constitutional bodies or the effective use of legal means have been frustrated”.
11. This right is inferred in the third paragraph of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law. etcetera.
“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” Thomas JEFFERSON
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