Checks and balances adapted tjh


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Checks and balances adapted tjh

  1. 1. Why are they not working? And what can we do about it?
  2. 2. A New System of Government is Invented U.S. Founding Fathers – Experienced tyranny of George III – Studied ancient governments to evaluate government experiments of the past – Were determined to find a new form of government They created: – a Constitution that would produce the advantages of good, and prevent the inconveniences of bad government – a Constitution that would insure PEACE, FREEDOM, and HAPPINESS to the states and people of America
  3. 3. Built-in Restraints • A well-thought out system of checks and balances was written into the Constitution to protect the people from a tyrannical government. • The U.S. Constitution provides a system of self repair which deals with abuse of power by peaceful means and avoids the risk of one revolution after another.
  4. 4. What kind of Government? After the Constitutional Convention had finished its work in 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government had been decided upon. He replied: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
  5. 5. Democracy or Republic? Benjamin Franklin described it best when he said: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” History demonstrates that democracies deteriorate to mob rule and chaos while liberty is found in Republics.
  6. 6. “Alas, republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” Aristotle
  7. 7. “During the early 1900s an ideological war erupted, and the word ‘democracy’ became one of the casualties. Today, the average American uses the term ‘democracy’ to describe America’s traditional Constitutional republic. But technically speaking it is not. The Founders had hoped that their descendants would maintain a clear distinction between a democracy and a republic.” Cleon Skousen
  8. 8. Democracy Defined • Democracy means rule by the people just as precisely as monarchy means rule by one. • The Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines democracy as a government by the people, a form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the people collectively. • A democracy becomes increasingly inefficient as the population grows.
  9. 9. Republic • On the other hand, a Republic is defined as a free state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. • This form of government has sufficient power to be controlled by the people with the necessary attributes to remain stable as it is expanded.
  10. 10. A Constitutional Republic • This system of government was invented by our Founding Fathers. • A written constitution would be the supreme law of the land. This prevents government from being run by the whims of men.
  11. 11. A Constitutional Republic • Sometimes this form of government has been referred to as a democratic-republic because it would only become operational if approved by the people. • When ratified, the Constitution would become the voice of the people, thereby making the voice of the people the supreme law of the land.
  12. 12. A Balance of Freedom and Liberty Freedom A state of exemption from the power or control of another. Exemption from fate, necessity, or any constraint in consequence of predetermination. The right to sovereignty and self-determination. Liberty Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others which exemption is secured by established laws which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another.
  13. 13. Public Morality Private Morality
  14. 14. Private Morality Private morality is a matter between a person and his conscience. Private moral right is to do anything he pleases as long as it does not adversely affect someone else. Public Morality The moment moral behavior is in violation of the quality of life set by the majority of the community, the person is in the arena of public morality and must abide by the will of the majority.
  15. 15. Remember . . . Liberty is secured by established laws which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another.
  16. 16. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Galatians 5:1
  17. 17. Democracy Freedom Republic Liberty
  18. 18. The 20th Century Shift Republic Democracy Freedom from bondage Freedom from consequences
  19. 19. Out of Balance
  20. 20. A Closer Look The restraints of government must never be allowed to become obsolete or neglected because human nature does not change. secure liberty
  21. 21. Securing Liberty How is it accomplished? • Horizontal separation of power • Vertical separation of power • Representatives/Guardians of Liberty • Electoral College • Bill of Rights
  22. 22. Horizontal Separation of Powers For the first time in modern history, the Founders divided these three branches into separate heads. Legislative • Article I • Make the laws Executive • Article II • Enforce the law Judicial • Article III • Interpret the law
  23. 23. Protective Chain • The horizontal separation of powers is a protective chain written into the original Constitution. • This separation of powers, when operating properly, protects the people by preventing the consolidation of power into one person or branch of government.
  24. 24. Erosion in the System Unfortunately, this system of checks and balances has been eroded over time through amendments and judicial interpretations that are not consistent with the original intent of the Founders.
  25. 25. Vertical Separation of Powers • Separation of powers between federal, state and local governments. • Our Founders desired to assign to each level of government that service which it could perform most efficiently and most economically.
  26. 26. Vertical Separation of Powers • James Madison explained “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” • The 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights clarifies this division by stating that “the powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
  27. 27. Vertical Separation of Powers Only specific limited power assigned to each level of government. The further up the pyramid, the less power given to that branch of government. The Federal Government The Several States Thousands of Counties Millions of Communities Tens of Millions Families Hundreds of Millions Individuals
  28. 28. Individual level • The people have unalienable rights to exercise agency in governing their own affairs as long as it did not impose on the rights of others. • Individuals have the right and responsibility to solve problems relating to work, play, associations, creature comforts, education, acquisition, and disposition of property. • As a member of society, the individual has the right to a voice and a vote.
  29. 29. Family level • The family is the most important unit of organized society. • Within families the individual finds greater satisfaction and self-realization than in any other segment of society.
  30. 30. Family Level • The family is granted exclusive and sovereign rights which cannot be invaded by another branch of government unless: – There is evidence of extended and extreme neglect of children. – There is evidence of criminal abuse. – The family residence is being used for criminal purposes.
  31. 31. Inescapable Responsibilities of Parents Conduct of Children Education of Children Religious Training of Children Raising children to be morally competent, self- sustaining adults
  32. 32. The Community Level Things that a community can do better than an individual family – Roads – Schools – Water – Police protection – City courts to handle misdemeanors – Power to tax to provide these services
  33. 33. The County Level Activities which a group of communities can handle collectively with more efficiency than an individual community • Levying and collecting taxes based on property value • Issuing licenses for fishing and hunting • Records of deeds, births, deaths, marriages • Conducting elections • Caring for the needy • Protecting public health • Prosecution of serious crimes or minor crimes in a rural area • Secure long-term county jail (for prisoners serving less than one year) • Providing county roads, bridges, drainage systems • Providing rural schools, rural police services
  34. 34. The State Level Sovereign entity of a specific region which can function more effectively for all communities, counties, and people of the state than they can do for themselves. • Build roads and bridges • Supervise intrastate waterways • Pass laws to protect the health, safety and morals of the people • Moral problems include liquor, gambling, drugs, prostitution • Authority to tax • Regulate commerce • Establish courts • Define crime and prescribe punishment • Establish and maintain public schools
  35. 35. National Level “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” James Madison • Federal lands and property • Federal finance • Coining of money • Fixing weights and measures • Establishing post offices • Setting up federal courts • Handling crimes on the high seas • Violations of the laws of nations 20 powers • Foreign affairs • War, peace, national security • Managing interstate commerce • Federal taxes • Naturalization • Patents • Bankruptcy laws
  36. 36. National level • The Founders feared that federal officials and federal agencies would try to invade or control the activities assigned to the states. • They therefore included the 10th Amendment to remind the federal government that it had no authority in any area not specifically described by the Constitution.
  37. 37. “The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions he is competent to . . . It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.” Thomas Jefferson
  38. 38. Representatives – Guardians of Liberty • Representatives are selected by a majority vote of the people. This is one of the fundamental differences between a republic and a democracy. • The average citizen does not have time to study the issues to the extent required to make an informed vote. We elect representatives to do that for us. • A representative government protects us from votes cast by individuals who are easily influenced by 30 second sound-bytes and expensive political ads.
  39. 39. Representation Covenants and Accountability are the benefits of a representative government. The representative has specific, covenant duty relating to the source and boundaries of his authority, the Constitution, and to those who choose him to perform that duty, the citizens. He is accountable to both for the ethical and wise performance of his duty.
  40. 40. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the good representative. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6: 38
  41. 41. Guardians of Liberty • Guardians of liberty have been established at all levels and in all branches of government. • Guardians were set up to ensure that the Constitutional provisions are in force. Who are the guardians? The people themselves!
  42. 42. First Level of Guardians • The first level of guardianship comes from We the People. • We must elect good leaders and hold them accountable for the execution of these responsibilities.
  43. 43. Additional Guardians • Father : Guardian of the family. His role is to provide, protect, and represent the family. • Local and State leaders: Guardians of the local governments • House of Representatives: Guardians of the people • Senate: Guardians of the States • President: Guardian of the government • Supreme Court : Guardian of the Constitution
  44. 44. Electoral College The electoral college was originally instituted by the Constitution to extend the protections of representative principles to the election of the Executive.
  45. 45. The selection and purpose of the Electoral College • Each State Legislature was to decide a method by which to designate Electors numbering the sum of their Senators and House Representatives. • The sole purpose and interest of this representative body of Electors was to determine and nominate by closed and independent ballot the best candidates for president. • Each Elector selected two prospects.
  46. 46. Executive Election • The closed ballots were to be transmitted to Congress to be opened and counted in the presence of both houses. • If an individual was nominated by the majority of the Electors that person would be the President. • If more than one, or no individual has a majority, then the House of Representatives votes on which will be President, each State having one vote.
  47. 47. The 12th Amendment - 1804 • The 12th amendment requires separate electoral ballots for the president and vice president. • In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received 73 electoral votes. The House of Representatives had to vote 35 times until on the 36th ballot Jefferson won.
  48. 48. Benefits of the Electoral College • All Electors would meet on the same day so there is little chance of collaboration. The Electors would not know the outcomes from the other states until their part was over. • Electors would be representatives charged with the research and evaluation of prospective executives based upon their merits and performance in regards to public trust and constitutionality. • In the early days of the nation, electors were chosen due to their wisdom and knowledge of politics, not due to their preference for any particular candidate.
  49. 49. The Bill of Rights • The people insisted on a Bill of Rights. • They feared, from bitter experience of the past, that the courts of government executives might somehow twist the meaning of certain words in the Constitution so as to deprive them of their rights, precisely as King George and his officers had done. • This is why George Mason, a leading patriot from Virginia, declared that he would rather have his right hand chopped off than sign a Constitution without a Bill of Rights.
  50. 50. What is the Bill of Rights? • It is not a declaration of rights at all. It is a declaration of prohibitions against the Federal Government. • In the minds of the Founders, usurpation and intervention by the federal government in the affairs of the states and the people were the most ominous threats. • Therefore the Bill of Rights opens with a bold prohibition against the Federal Government. These prohibitions are restrictive on all branches at a Federal level – Executive, Legislative, Judicial.
  51. 51. What the Bill of Rights is Not • The Founders did not want the Federal government to serve as a watchdog over the states’ responsibility to protect the rights of the people. • IF the states failed in their responsibility, they wanted the pressure to build up, thus forcing correction within the confines of the state. What happens to separation of powers when we run to the Federal Government to enforce issues that should be resolved within the state or community?
  52. 52. James Madison learns an important lesson • James Madison tried to include a provision in the Bill of Rights which said: “No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.” • Obviously, this was designed to authorize the federal government to intervene if a state failed to perform its duty. • The Congress turned it down flat. They wanted the federal government to stay out of the business of the states. If the people found their state derelict they were to correct it on a state level and not come running to Washington or the federal courts to have it corrected.
  53. 53. Securing Liberty How is it accomplished? Horizontal Separation of Power Vertical Separation of Power Representatives/ Guardians of Liberty Electoral College Bill of Rights
  54. 54. How Did We Lose our Balance? • Emphasis on Democracy – Loss of Representation – 17th Amendment • Freedom from Consequence – Loss of liberty – 14th Amendment
  55. 55. Emphasis on Democracy Are we forgetting to support, communicate with, and educate our representatives? • Initiatives/Referendums of the people on the ballot allow a democracy to rob the republic. We must be cautious. The people should petition their representatives instead. • Evolution of the Electoral College • 17th Amendment
  56. 56. Evolution of the Electoral College 1804 – Each state determined how to choose electors. Initially, electors selected by State Legislatures. By 1860 - All states have decided to choose electors by direct popular vote. Trend begins towards “winner-take- all” electoral votes as the 2 party system emerges.
  57. 57. Each party puts up a “slate of electors” – a list of individuals loyal to their candidate. Individual electors appeared on the ballot but this confused voters. Today, the expression “Electors for . . . “ usually appears in fine print on the ballot in front of each set of candidates. 48 States have the winner take all rule for the Electoral College (Nebraska and Maine are exceptions).
  58. 58. • There is no federal law requiring electors to vote as they have pledged, and over the years a number of electors have voted against the instructions of the voters. • 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws binding electors to the popular vote winners, but most constitutional scholars believe that electors remain free agents and that such laws would not survive constitutional challenge. The Elector’s Vote
  59. 59. States that bind electors to the popular vote Alabama Alaska California Colorado Connecticut Delaware *District of Columbia Florida Hawaii Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Mississippi Montana Nebraska Nevada New Mexico North Carolina Ohio Oklahoma Oregon South Carolina Tennessee Utah Vermont Virginia Washington Wisconsin Wyoming *The 23rd Amendment gave 3 electoral votes to the District of Columbia, even though it is not a state.
  60. 60. States without legal binding Arizona Arkansas Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Minnesota Missouri New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Dakota Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Dakota Texas West Virginia
  61. 61. National Popular Vote Compact • Between 2001 and 2008, bills were introduced in every state in the country to change the process for selecting electors. • Most of the bills proposing changes to the Electoral College that have passed were introduced in the last two years. They would adopt the National Popular Vote Compact.
  62. 62. National Popular Vote Compact • If enough states adopt the Compact so that their electoral votes constitute a majority (270), the Compact would take effect. Under the provisions of the Compact, in any participating state, all of the state's electors would be awarded to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. • The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to activate it (VT, MD, WA, IL, NJ, DC, MA, CA, HI).
  63. 63. The Role of the Senator • The original intent of the Founders was for Senators to be appointed by State Legislatures. • The Founders had assigned the Senate the responsibility of representing the states as sovereign entities, which is why they were appointed by state legislatures rather than being elected directly by the people of the state.
  64. 64. The Role of the Senator • They did not want the Senators to be compelled to involve themselves in the popular issues of the day but instead concentrate primarily on the protection of states rights and on maintaining the established order. • The Senator would be accountable to the Legislature for how they protect State interests.
  65. 65. The Role of the Senate Balance the Budget Keep taxes as low as possible Temper the radicalism of the House Serve as the “elder statesmen” of the Congress
  66. 66. The 17th Amendment • This amendment gives the people of each state the right to elect their United States Senators instead of having them appointed by their state legislatures. • Both the Senate and the House are now a reflection of the popular will without reference to the sovereign interests of the states. • The checks and balances which the states were to have provided through their Senators have been lost.
  67. 67. When did the Fed become the watch dog? • The Founders did not want the Federal government to serve as a watchdog over the states’ responsibility to protect the rights of the people. • IF the states failed in their responsibility, they wanted the pressure to build up, thus forcing correction within the confines of the state.
  68. 68. Historical Time Line 13th Amendment • 1865 • Abolished slavery 14th Amendment • 1868 • Guaranteed freed slaves their rights 15th Amendment • 1870 • Guaranteed freed slaves the right to vote 3 Amendments passed in rapid succession after the Civil War
  69. 69. A Poorly Written Amendment • The 14th amendment was written in retaliation to the civil war. The states of the North were punishing the states of the south. • It was hastily and poorly written and includes the line “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” • Unfortunately it did more to destroy rights instead of protecting or giving rights.
  70. 70. 1940s • The Supreme Court separated the intent from the wording and substituted a totally revised and foreign interpretation. • The Court declared that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to limit the States not just on racial civil rights issues, but on numerous items contained within the Bill of Rights.
  71. 71. 1940s • The Federal Courts have also adopted a doctrine called “substantive due process” based on the 5th and 14th Amendments which has appropriated new federal jurisdiction by applying most of the federal Bill of Rights to State Governments. • This amendment changed the Bill of Rights. They were no longer a prohibition against the Federal Government, but a prohibition against any level of government as defined by the Supreme Court.
  72. 72. How the 14th Amendment changed the 1st and 2nd Amendments The original intent of the Founders was to get the Federal Government out so the State governments can be in. – We have the responsibility within our own communities to protect our standards of morality, decency and safety. – Each individual has a right and responsibility regarding standards of behavior in their community. – If we the people allow evil to come into our community, then we are responsible.
  73. 73. Consequences of a Federal Watch Dog • Judicial interpretation of the 14th Amendment allows the Federal Government to come in and dictate standards of morality, decency and safety within their own communities. • Federal government is now coming into communities and churches to tell them what to do.
  74. 74. Current Examples: Opinion on Prop 8 – 9th Circuit Court “Prior to November 4, 2008, the California Constitution guaranteed the right to marry to opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples alike. On that day, the People of California adopted Proposition 8, which amended the State Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. We consider whether that amendment violates the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. We conclude that it does.”
  75. 75. Current Examples: Chicago’s ban on handguns: June 28, 2010 • The Supreme Court decision’s ruling against the city of Chicago pertaining to Chicago’s strict ban on handguns. • The ruling basically said that the 14th Amendment allows the Federal Government to enforce Chicago’s right to bear arms.
  76. 76. Food for thought • Have 2nd Amendment rights been protected or dictated? • Does this open the door for the same type of dictatorial control over the 1st Amendment, the 10th Amendment, or any other part of the Bill of Rights? • Will this decision establish a precedent that will allow them to come into each community and dictate standards of morality and decency?
  77. 77. The authority to interpret becomes the power to control. The power to control becomes the weapon to destroy.
  78. 78. Losing Our Balance Transferring the decision back to Washington, DC, or to the popular vote, and away from the people’s local representatives, is a direct blow to the concept of a Republican form of government with proper checks and balances.
  79. 79. Why are they not working? What part of the Constitution has been broken?
  80. 80. Finding a Solution Define the problem Identify what part of the Constitution has been broken Suggest Repair Connect with like-minded organizations to educate the public and apply the repair
  81. 81. Problem Constitutional Reference Executive Orders, Federal Bureaus and Agencies creating Legislation and Regulations Article I. Section 1. “all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress” Judicial Legislation Article I. Section 1. “all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress” Loss of Representation/Republican Form of Government Article IV. Section 4. “the United States shall guarantee to every State . . . A Republican Form of Government.” Loss of Representation – Evolution of the Electoral College Article II. Section 1. “each State shall appoint a number of Electors . . . .” and 12th Amendment Loss of Representation – Selection of Senators Article I. Section 3. changed by the 17th Amendment Bill of Rights applied to State and Local Govt. with Federal Government watchdog 14th Amendment - Judicial interpretation
  82. 82. How do we repair a broken Constitution?
  83. 83. Repeal the 17th Amendment Include a provision that the Senators be paid by individual states to increase loyalty of Senators to their own States. Include a provision that a Senator can be voted out of office by the decision of a super majority of their state legislators (super majority is 2/3). 17th Amendment – Loss of State Representation
  84. 84. Clarification of the 14th Amendment Redefine the Bill of Rights to reflect the original position of the Founders 14th Amendment - Judicial Interpretation
  85. 85. Amendment to restrict an out-of- control Executive Branch Executive orders apply ONLY to the administrative offices of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Remove authority from administrative agencies to make laws. Prevent the President from issuing any agreements with foreign powers, except as outlined under the treaty provisions of the Constitution. Article 1. Section 1. “all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress”
  86. 86. Judicial Reform Amendment Section 1: Any decision or decree of the Supreme Court which violates the original intent of the framers can be repealed by 2/3 of the House and Senate or ¾ of State Legislatures. Section 2: Clarifies jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and courts of the Federal Judiciary. Section 3: Clarifies qualifications to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. Article 1. Section 1. “all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress”
  87. 87. Suggested Amendments to the Constitution Amendment to restrict an out-of-control Executive Branch Judicial Reform Amendment Repeal the 17th Amendment Clarification of the 14th Amendment
  88. 88. Amending the Constitution • Connecting with like-minded organizations • Discussion
  89. 89. Election of a courageous Congress committed to Constitutional Restoration Voter Education Connecting with like-minded organizations. Meet the Candidate Events Constitutional Certification of Candidates Classes and certification requirements for candidates Article 1. Section 1. “all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress” Discussion
  90. 90. Caution in regards to Initiatives and Referendums Education Preservation of the Caucus System Education Education and support of Representatives Education Article IV. Section 4. “the United States shall guarantee to every State . . . A Republican Form of Government.” Discussion
  91. 91. Repair the Electoral College Selection of Electors determined by State Law Education of State Legislators about Electoral College Stop the passage of the National Popular Vote Compact Article II. Section 1. “each State shall appoint a number of Electors . . . .” and 12th Amendment Discussion