Quote of the day—Paul Koning

Prof. Randy Barnett, in his excellent book “Restoring the Lost Constitution” talks at length about this point. Briefly, he argues that you have to think of this (as Weer’d mentions) like the rule for reading a contract. A contract means what the words meant to reasonable people at the time it was signed. If the words change meaning later, that has no effect. Never mind if the words still mean what they did but it’s merely the wishes of one of the parties that have changed.

So it is here. After all, the Constitution is the document that most deserves to be called “Contract with America”. So you have to read each article using the interpretation that normal persons reading it at the time of that article’s adoption would have used.

By the way, that means “original intent” is the wrong term. What matters is not the intent of those who wrote the text — often that’s only a guess and some of the people involved did not have honorable intent anyway. What matters is the common understanding of those who APPROVED the text — the voters who ratified it. And that is easy enough to find out, just read the newspaper discussions and meeting minutes of the time.

If you do this, it’s easy to see that those who oppose the individual rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment are dishonest and use fraudulent argument to justify their anti-American goals.

Paul Koning
February 12, 2014
Comment to Quote of the day—ebola05
[Shorter version: The U.S. Constitution is the original “Contract with America”.

What isn’t said but I think should have been in the contract is a penalties clause. Something like those who passed and/or enforced laws which were later found to be unconstitutional would be held liable for all legal fees and treble damages.—Joe]

9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Paul Koning

  1. The problem with Paul’s comment is that is uses logic, reason and facts, and if you expose a liberal to these, you can be liable for a hate crime.

  2. “Something like those who passed and/or enforced laws which were later found to be unconstitutional would be held liable for all legal fees and treble damages.”

    The Oath requirement demands personal evaluation of any and all laws’ constitutionality on the part of law-makers and enforcers. This isn’t discussed much if at all, but I for one certainly will not forget it. The Nuremburg Defense didn’t work for the Germans and in the end it won’t work any better for Americans.

    You law-makers, bureaucrats, cops and judges out there may feel all confident and safe-in-numbers at the moment, but understand that things can and do change in a heartbeat. Best you be thinking right now about which side you’re on– what if any principles you actually stand for. A lot of us regular Americans have been thinking about it for some time, and we’re asking ourselves what we’re going to do about you.

  3. Not draconian enough, Joe. Legislators who propose — let alone PASS — unconstitutional legislation (and the standard is what a reasonable citizen finds constitutional or un-) should be assumed prima facie to be guilty of treason. No mitigation permitted, all penalties obtain. Anything short of attainder would find approval from me.

    M

    • There are already laws on the book making it a felony to deprive a person of rights “under color of authority”. But those laws seem to have no effect. I suspect the problem is that someone can only be charged under those laws at the initiative of a federal DA, and of course no DA would ever consider doing so.
      A related issue is “standing” — you can’t sue if you’re not harmed, and it seems that having an official violate the Constitution doesn’t rise to that in the eyes of the courts, so you have no recourse.

      • It seems to me that the issue of standing needs to be attacked and put away. Once and for all. The reality is that which diminishes liberty harms us all and weakening our national compact is tantamount to treason. Judges who deny standing act in contravention of first principles and should be impeached.

  4. The Founders did not include a penalties clause because being men of honor they could not imagine others violating so basic and profound concepts as they had put forth. Honorable men believe all men deal from positions of honor.

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