As we have looked at the first seven articles of the Bill of Rights – and how the Democrats are attacking them, this last commentary may be a wee bit shorter. Still, we have to remember that both Republicans and Democrats do NOT limit themselves to direct attacks: they seek to pervert, corrupt, twist, and skew the plain meanings of the words and then denigrate the authors and those who voted to establish not just the Bill of Rights but ALL of the Constitution.
The last three articles suffer no less than the first seven. Again, it is NOT just the Democrats or their woke socialist and communist and Tranzi comrades that attack, ignore, twist and pervert the Bill of Rights. Indeed, I ask, do you know ANY Republican officeholder who had NOT shown their contempt (and/or ignorance) of more than one provision of the Bill of Rights? Perhaps not in word, but in deed?
The 8th Article
This article is generally NOT attacked directly by both so-called progressives (Regressives) and social justice warriors. It is twisted into forms the Founding Fathers could not have imagined.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
What is “excessive bail?” To answer that, we must first ask ourselves “what is adequate bail?” And what is the purpose of bail? This commentary is not intended to answer those questions, but simply to address the attacks on this article in light of those issues.
To the enemies of liberty – and more and more woke politicians, ANY bail is excessive. Especially to those accused of “redistributing income” (an activity once known by such names as “grand theft”) or accused of “anti-racist direct action” (various acts once called things like assault and battery).
At the same time, although clearly NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind, not just is capital punishment branded as both cruel and unusual. Nor such punishments as the public humiliation of being placed in stocks, flogging, or other once common penalties. Today, even using the terms “felon” or “convict” is condemned as cruel. And to some, ANY fine is “excessive” if the individual has an earned income “below the poverty line” (or even multiples of that level, in some places) – depending (of course) on skin color and ethnicity.
The Price of Liberty is NOT advocating that governments should be able – have the power – to impose any sort of punishment – physical or monetary – for “crimes” which are mala prohibita. And even for crimes which are mala in se (obviously and directly harming another person) without such “niceties” (sarcasm) as juries. We know there are evil people who prey on others out there, from which we need protection. But that does not seem to be the goal of those who gut such limits as this Amendment – or pervert it.
The 9th Article
While this amendment is essential to a system of limited government, it has been weaponized by many so-called progressives, especially Democrats, to convert privileges into “rights” – “rights” that can only exist if OTHER people’s true rights are taken away from them. While it is a simple sentence, and should be clearly understood by anyone able to read English and use a dictionary, it is abused and in effect neutralized for political power.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
In an era when the actual enumerated rights protected by the Constitution are under constant attack, I suppose there should be no surprise about how the so-called “hard left” and Regressives attack the fundamental meaning of this article.
They speak of “rights given to Americans by the Constitution” – a clear falsehood to the most casual reader of the document. Worse, by claiming “rights” that can only be provided by the theft of others’ rights and liberty? The attack on this fundamental principle is obvious. For example, “free medical care” can be provided to people by government through some form of coercion on other people, usually in the form of levying taxes (theft) on those other people but sometimes by forcing people to provide those services. A “free education” can only be given in a similar way.
Enemies of liberty – not just Democrats and Republicans – attack this Article by failing to define the meaning of “rights.”
The 10th Article
Is it right to refer to this as the “invisible amendment” of the Bill of Rights?
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Since my childhood, I have wondered just why this amendment seemed to be completely ignored. For at least two centuries, the FedGov has nearly CONSTANTLY stolen powers – not just rights – from both the States which established it AND the people of those States. (And anyone else under federal control.)
Virtually 95% – if not 99%, but perhaps I exaggerate – of the power presently exercised by the powers-that-be in the District of Columbia and their millions of minions occupying every State and territory and much of the world – is exercised in violation of this Article.
The details of that must be reserved for discussion some other time than this commentary.
But leave it as this, for now: our now departed friend (of us at TPOL and liberty) L. Neil Smith, worked long to promote Bill of Rights Enforcement. Of all the Articles, the Tenth is most in need of enforcement. At some point, ultimately it WILL be enforced by the worse form of argument and enforcement: force of arms under the aegis of the Lord God of Battles.