By Nathan Barton
Note: Although this commentary attacks the Democratic Party, much of its membership, leadership, and supporters, please do NOT think that the Republican Party (the GOP), its leadership, much of its membership, and its supporters do NOT have their own war on the Bill of Rights, liberty, and freedom. That is a subject for another commentary.
In Part A, we discussed Articles 1-4. The FedGov’s (and most States’) report card on those is four F’s. It isn’t any better for the rest.
While we think of this having only to do with legal matters, there is more to this “catch-all” amendment. But it is not just about our so-called “justice system.”
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Our right to life, liberty, property and due process is supposedly beloved by the “liberals” in the Democratic Party. But the truth is far different. Their constant attacks on so-called Conservatives (and libertarians) for ignoring these rights are sheer hypocrisy. The Regressives are indeed the pot calling the kettle black.
Perhaps the greatest regressive attack is government-funded abortion: the killing of unborn children is certainly a direct attack on life: there is no due process for the child in the womb, or increasingly only partially in the womb. At the same time, more and more “crimes” are NOT allowed to be a matter of indictment by a Grand Jury: instead, it is a political appointee or elected politician – self-serving in many ways – that decides whether or not to indict someone accused of a crime. At the same time, the growing movement (especially in the last two years) to NOT prosecute many “minor” crimes (for example, California’s “nothing less than $1000” de minimus enforcement) literally deprives more and more people of property with no hope of due process.
And as we’ve seen in recent weeks, all of these rights of life, liberty, and property are being eroded away by State legislatures and elected tyrants (governors) on a daily basis: most being Democrats. Consider Colorado, New Jersey, and New York to name a few.
Most of this amendment has been a joke for years, particularly the right to a speedy and public trial. Judges and the entire “justice system” conspires daily to negate those rights.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
While this is notable at all levels, since 9-11 the concepts embodied in this article have been eroded even further. Whistleblower “protections” and “administrative law” procedures nullify this completely. And the “assistance of counsel” clause has been turned into a “Attorney Full Employment Plan” – in other words, welfare for lawyers (and the law schools).
Democrats, beholden to lawyers and their elite (the activists judges and justices), continue to degrade these protections. At the same time as they come up with more and more crimes that are not mala in se but just mala prohibita.
Courtesy of the complete debasement of the so-called money – including the termination of the gold standard and infinite printing of money – this amendment is nearly meaningless and completely ignored.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Even if we take into account that the 2022 US “dollar” is one-hundredth the value of the 1787 dollar ($20 = 1 ounce of gold then, now 1 ounce of gold is selling for nearly $2000), when was the last time anyone actually saw a jury in a case involving a “mere” $2000? Instead, we get an attorney (in a black robe) to decide matters he almost certainly knows nothing about.
The jury system itself has been rendered nearly useless, in large part due to liberal efforts to ensure completely neutral (and brainless) juries which can be easily manipulated by judges and all the other lawyers. And more and more of the appeals DO have to do (indirectly, of course) with challenging the facts tried by a jury. Just as the power of a jury to judge the law has vanished, Democrats (and Republicans) have largely converted juries into advisory boards.
We will continue this discussion with Articles 8, 9, and 10 in the next part.
We must recognized that NO part of the Bill of Rights – no right recognized in it or considered to be inferred by it (such as our right to privacy) – is safe from the “liberals” or Regressives who control and dominate the Democratic Party. It doesn’t matter whether they are outright Socialists (or Communists) or not. (And again, the GOP is no different.)
If we do not understand this, we risk losing even more than we already have. If we do understand, we can push back against those who want to drag us further into tyranny.