Carl Herman, Contributor
A useful place for Americans to stand is with the US Supreme Court in one of its most cited decisions that concluded anything passed as law in obvious violation of the US Constitution is not law, but void. Void as a legal term means the alleged “law” has zero legal force; that “void things are as no things.”
Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall’s crystal-clear wording is below. This definitive legal ruling empowers Americans acting upon or enforcing such non-laws to reject them in full confidence of their Oaths to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
A 3-minute video asks police, military, and other law enforcement: When you signed-up to serve the US Constitution, was your Oath sincere?
US military are authorized by their Oath of Enlistment and training to refuse unlawful orders, with officers authorized to arrest those who issue them.
Given that US wars are unlawful because the US is treaty-bound to only use our military if under attack by another nation’s government, all current war orders are unlawful and should be refused. Military of civilian “leadership” who issue such orders should be arrested to immediately stop War Crimes.
Our peaceful and lawful 2nd American Revolution points to other “emperor has no clothes” obvious void laws and criminal acts:
- assassination of Americans upon the non-reviewable dictate of the president,
- control-drown/waterboarding anyone dictated as a “terrorist” despite all US and international case law finding this to be torture,
- NDAA 2012 and 2006 Military Commissions Act that state a president can dictate any person as a “terrorist suspect,” and then disappear them without challenge,
- presidential executive order saying the US government can seize any resource, any person, at any time for “national defense.”
- US agencies’ official reports that show all “reasons” for war on Iraq were known to be false as they were told that are unacknowledged by the 1% and not prosecuted.
- all “reasons” for war on Iran are easily and objectively proven as also false as they are being told in the present, yet the 1% continue to lie for war.
- tripling of the US national debt since 2001 while we ignore obvious solutions to create money for full-employment and infrastructure investment (here, here, for examples). Pushing Americans into debt-slavery rather than using money is financial fraud.
- the King Family civil trial found the US government guilty for the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The King family’s conclusion of motive was to prevent Martin’s “Occupy DC” for the summer of 1968 until the Vietnam War was ended and that funding directed to ending poverty. The 1% never acknowledge this.
Here is the US Supreme Court’s ruling (my parenthetical notes and emphases):
The powers of the Legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may at any time be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed …
Between these alternatives (limited and unlimited government) there is no middle ground. The Constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.
If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law; if the latter part be true, then written Constitutions are absurd attempts on the part of the people to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.
Certainly all those who have framed written Constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be that an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void.
… So, if a law be in opposition to the Constitution, if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case, … those, then, who controvert the principle that the Constitution is to be considered in court as a paramount law are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the Constitution, and see only the law.
This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written Constitutions. It would declare that an act which, according to the principles and theory of our government, is entirely void, is yet, in practice, completely obligatory. It would declare that, if the Legislature shall do what is expressly forbidden, such act, notwithstanding the express prohibition, is in reality effectual. It would be giving to the Legislature a practical and real omnipotence with the same breath which professes to restrict their powers within narrow limits. It is prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure.
That it thus reduces to nothing what we have deemed the greatest improvement on political institutions — a written Constitution, would of itself be sufficient, in America where written Constitutions have been viewed with so much reverence, for rejecting the construction. But the peculiar expressions of the Constitution of the United States furnish additional arguments in favour of its rejection.
… Why otherwise does it direct … an oath to support it? This oath certainly applies in an especial manner to their conduct in their official character. How immoral to impose it on them if they were to be used as the instruments, and the knowing instruments, for violating what they swear to support!
The oath of office, too, imposed by the Legislature, is completely demonstrative of the legislative opinion on this subject. It is in these words:
I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich; and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent on me as according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the Constitution of the United States if that Constitution forms no rule for his government?
… If such be the real state of things, this is worse than solemn mockery. To prescribe or to take this oath becomes equally a crime.
It is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution, have that rank.
Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument (the US Constitution).
And as Abraham Lincoln stated:
The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. – “Abraham Lincoln, [September 16-17, 1859] (Notes for Speech in Kansas and Ohio),” Page 2.
Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher in economics, government, and history. His conclusions are explained and documented in these two articles (academic/professional voice, and more passionate citizen voice):
Open proposal for US revolution: end unlawful wars, parasitic economics
Common Sense for new American Revolution: revolt from US government by dicts
He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu