Three Crucial Words for Our Constitutional Republic
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” — Article VI, Clause 2, US Constitution
Recently there have been many pundits and incompetents who have been invoking Article VI, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause. No, progressive socialist leftists, it has nothing to do with white supremacy or racism. Please share that with Claudine Gay, lest she use the Supremacy Clause to further her insidious victimization narrative.
These same leftists, Marxists, seem to use this clause to impose their ideological agenda when they have control of the federal government. However, there are three very crucial words within the Supremacy Clause that leftists, and many others, seem to selectively, and intentionally, forget: “in Pursuance thereof.”
We must be reminded that the Constitution of the United States of America is a restraining document on the powers of the federal government. As a matter fact, the Founding Fathers clearly articulated the limits of the federal government in the last constitutional amendment of our individual Bill of Rights, the tenth. It states, “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.”
It is imperative to understand that when the writers of the Constitution — James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton — wrote the Constitution, their use of “the United States” refers to the entity of the federal government.
In other words, that which is not specifically enumerated as a power of the federal government is reserved to the States, and the individual people, citizens. I am still searching for where the federal government has an enumerated power to decide who gets married, and no, that has nothing to do with the 14th Amendment “equal protection under the law” clause. That was intended for recently freed slaves who were just made citizens.
In keeping with the same understanding, if the federal government is not “in Pursuance thereof” our rule of law, the Constitution, it is not supreme over the States.
Let’s look at the issue of illegal immigration, an invasion of millions. The Constitution in Article IV, Section 4, known as the Guarantee Clause, clearly charges the federal government with the duty to protect every State in the Union from invasion. The Biden administration is clearly in violation of the Guarantee Clause, and please, spare me the weak excuse about folks escaping climate change. Hundreds of thousands of single military-age males ain’t running from the weather. With that being said, it is disingenuous for the Biden administration to assert the Supremacy Clause against the State of Texas which seeks to protect itself in light of the federal government not acting “in Pursuance thereof” the Constitution. As well, Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution specifies exactly what States have the enumerated power to do when actually invaded, facing imminent danger, and they may take action without “admit of delay.”
Now, as evidence of this equal application of the rule of law, the Governor of Texas is empowered in the Texas Constitution, Article IV, Section 7 in his duty as Commander of the Texas Military Department to “repel invasions.” It does not say anything about “busing invasions.” To confused leftist mayors, declaring their cities, or leftist governors declaring their states, as “sanctuaries,” your actions are not “in Pursuance thereof” the laws of this sovereign Constitutional Republic.
Governor Pritzker of Illinois seeks to allow illegal immigrants to become law enforcement officers. Leftist Governor Shapiro of Pennsylvania wants to allow illegals to get drivers licenses and picture IDs. New York Governor Hochul wants illegals to vote in elections. And the well-coiffed Governor of California is telling law-abiding citizens that they must pay for free healthcare for illegal immigrants. To top it all off, delusional Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants to enlist illegal immigrants into our US Armed Forces, ya know, since Biden’s policies are decimating our recruiting and retention. Not a single one of these “dead from the neck up” Marxists are taking actions that are “in Pursuance thereof” to our Constitution. States are allowed to enact “constitutional nullification,” and We the People are not bound to obey.
Such is the case we see already, again, in Illinois where they have supposedly “banned” what they call “assault weapons;” semi-automatic rifles they think are scary and do not like. Spoiler alert, the mentally disturbed gender dysphoric school shooter in Iowa was armed with a shotgun and a handgun. Anything used to assault an individual — meaning inflict bodily harm — is an assault weapon: hammer, nail gun (see Equalizer), knife, automobile (see Christmas parade in Wisconsin), fist, foot, or pencil (see John Wick). What the leftists are doing is taking an action that is not “in Pursuance thereof” our Second Amendment right, in our Bill of Rights, in our Constitution.
The future of America is dependent upon us restoring the rule of law in our Constitutional Republic. I have not seen anywhere that government — federal, state, or local — has the enumerated power to shut down private businesses. No emergency suspends the rule of law! It was Benjamin Franklin who told us, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
The three most crucial words for our Constitutional Republic, “in Pursuance thereof,” pertain to the pursuance of individual liberty and the adherence to the rule of law. It is not about replacing constitutional rights with deranged ideological rights, such as telling parents they might lose custody of their children if their kids are not allowed to mutilate their bodies. Sadly, in America, we have such a dearth of principled men and women. Replaced by those motivated by self, and politicians fueled by special interests, enabled by useful idiots and mindless lemmings, we find ourselves at this critical moment. It is time American citizens, not insidious ideologues, start asking themselves, and those seeking to be our representatives, is what you are doing, and your policies “in Pursuance thereof” in advancing my individual rights, freedoms, and liberties? Are these politicians, not statesmen, in pursuit of their own advancement and enrichment to the detriment of our own?
The Constitution of the United States of America is not a very long document, just like the Declaration of Independence. You could certainly read both in less time than it would take you to read the confused rhetoric spewed forth by Ibram X. Kendi or Nikole Hannah-Jones, which is only “in Pursuance thereof” appeasing the “stuck on stupid.”
The challenge for America in 2024 is for more citizens to live a life “in Pursuance thereof” restoring our Constitutional Republic, as opposed to those living in pursuance of a fundamental transformation of our America.
Steadfast and Loyal.
Hastings College of Law Bars the “Heckler’s Veto” in Defense of Free Speech
For years, some of us have called upon schools to impose stricter rules against students or faculty disrupting classes or events by shouting down speakers or preventing them from being heard. While some law professors and legal sites have supported such cancel tactics, the University of California Hastings College of the Law has joined those schools in barring the use of what is loosely called the “heckler’s veto.” It is now routine for protesters to prevent others from hearing opposing views and there are often allegations that some schools quietly allow the use of the heckler’s veto. The new Event Policy prohibits
“forms of protest that substantially disrupt an in-person or virtual event in a way that has the effect of silencing a speaker,” but still recognizes and protects peaceful protest such as banner holding, counter events, and engaging in question and answer periods as part of the “essential right to protest.”
Under this rule, Administrators may now hold violators “accountable for violating the UC Hastings Code of Student Conduct and Discipline.” We have seen convocations and other important events disrupted by such protesters. We recently discussed how Cornell is pledging to punish students who prevented conservative writer Ann Coulter from speaking.
We have previously discussed the worrisome signs of a rising generation of censors in the country as leaders and writers embrace censorship and blacklisting. The latest chilling poll was released by 2021 College Free Speech Rankings after questioning a huge body of 37,000 students at 159 top-ranked U.S. colleges and universities. It found that sixty-six percent of college students think shouting down a speaker to stop them from speaking is a legitimate form of free speech. Another 23 percent believe violence can be used to cancel a speech. That is roughly one out of four supporting violence.
We discussed this issue with regard to a lawsuit against SUNY. It is also discussed in my recent law review article, Jonathan Turley, Harm and Hegemony: The Decline of Free Speech in the United States, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. We have seen how in universities (including state schools) this can turn into a type of “heckler’s veto” where speeches are cancelled in advance or terminated suddenly due to the disruption of protesters.
This has been an issue of contention with some academics who believe that free speech includes the right to silence others. Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over the use of a heckler’s veto on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers, including a speaker from the ACLU discussing free speech. Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech. At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.
In the meantime, academics and deans have said that there is no free speech protection for offensive or “disingenuous” speech. CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek showed how far this trend has gone. When conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about “the importance of free speech,” Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech. (Bilek later cancelled herself and resigned after she made a single analogy to acting like a “slaveholder” as a self-criticism for failing to achieve equity and reparations for black faculty and students).
A few years ago, I debated NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron who is a leading voice for speech codes. Waldron insisted that shutting down speakers through heckling is a form of free speech. I disagree. It is the antithesis of free speech and the failure of schools to protect the exercise of free speech is the antithesis of higher education. In most schools, people are not allowed to disrupt events. They are escorted out of such events and told that they can protest outside of the events since others have a right to listen to opposing views. These disruptions, however, are often planned to continually interrupt speakers until the school authorities step in to cancel the event.
Hastings has taken an important stand against these disruptive cancel campaigns. It must now carry out its pledge to protect free speech by holding students accountable when they seek to prevent others from speaking or being heard on campus. Of course, you must also invite speakers who offer alternative or dissenting views, which has become increasingly rare at law school.
More at: Jonathanturley.org