America’s Supreme Judicial Dictatorship
Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas DiLorenzo: Charles
Koch Makes a Good Point
War between the States established . . . this principle, that the
federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its
Government in the United States, p.
and nineteenth-century Jeffersonians warned that if the day ever
arrived when the central government became the final judge of its
own powers, Americans would then live under a tyranny. The government,
they believed, would inevitably proclaim that there are in fact
no limits to its powers. That day came in 1865 when citizen control
over the federal government ended along with the rights of nullification
and secession. Not surprisingly, a warmongering, imperialistic megalomaniac
like Woodrow Wilson would then celebrate this fact several
decades later, as the above quotation attests.
system of checks and balances is a farce and a fraud; the reality
is that all three branches of the federal government work together
to conspire against the taxpayers for the benefit of the state and
all of its appendages. As Judge Andrew Napalitano wrote in his book,
Constitution in Exile, the Supreme Court failed to rule
a single federal law unconstitutional from 1937 to 1995. The Court
is essentially a political rubber stamp operation with all of its
black-robed ceremony being nothing more than part of the circus
that is employed to dupe the public into acquiescing in its dictates.
There is no
such thing as an "American union." The original union
was a union of the free, independent, and sovereign states.
If that union still existed, then Wisconsin, Florida, Massachusetts,
Alabama, and all the other states would have at least a say in the
current discussion in the Supreme Court over whether or not the
American system of healthcare should be Sovietized. They do not.
Every television and radio talking head is feverishly awaiting the
Pronouncement from Upon High from the black-robed deities of the
"Supreme" Court on this issue.
Jefferson, who penned the words, "Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"
really think it was a good idea to place everyone’s liberty solely
in the hands of five government lawyers with lifetime tenure? Or
perhaps even one single government lawyer with lifetime tenure,
i.e., the "swing vote" on the Supreme Court, thought by
many to be one Anthony Kennedy? Not likely.
Now with perfect
timing comes a great book that asks Americans to rethink the federal/judicial
monopoly that is a primary source of their servitude to the state.
Just published by Pelican Publishers is Rethinking
the American Union for the Twenty-First Century, edited
and with an introduction by Donald Livingston. It is a collection
of essays by such authors as legal and constitutional scholar Kent
Masterson Brown; Yours Truly; constitutional scholar Marshall DeRosa;
philosopher Donald Livingston; Kirkpatrick Sale, author of the book,
Scale; economist Yuri Maltsev; and Champlain College Professor
A major theme
of Rethinking the American Union is stated in Professor Livingston’s
introduction where he quotes Thomas Jefferson as writing on August
13, 1800 that: "Our country is too large to have all its affairs
conducted by a single government." Such a vast country detaches
the people from their political representatives, which "will
invite the public servants to corruption, plunder & waste,"
he wrote. In 1800! If "the principle were to prevail,"
Jefferson continued, "of a common law being in force in the
U.S., (which principle possesses the general government at once
of all the powers of the State governments, and reduces us to a
single consolidated government) it would become the most corrupt
government on earth" (emphasis added). This of course is
exactly the kind of government that has been existence since 1865,
when all states, North and South, became mere appendages of the
central government in Washington, D.C. This relationship was cemented
into place in 1913 with the advent of the income tax and the creation
of the Fed, which gave the federal government the ability to threaten
and bribe all individuals and all state governments to acquiesce
in its dictates. As Frederic Bastiat sagely observed in his classic,
Law, "democracy" can become indistinguishable
from socialism if it is characterized by governmentally-coerced
uniformity, whether it is for socialized healthcare or anything
"the public good" possibly mean in a nation of 305 million
people, Livingston asks. Well, it is what it is: "Washington
could not be anything other than a scene of frenzied pork-barrel
spending, waste, inefficiency, corruption, and special-interest
patronage for the politically well connected." As your author
has often said, the purpose of government is for those who run it
to plunder those who do not.
in the book are a response by a proposal by the late George Kennan
who, late in his life, proposed limiting the tyrannical proclivities
of American government by dividing it "into a dozen constituent
was the ideological cornerstone of all of the evils of government
during the twentieth century and beyond, from National Socialism
(Nazism) to communism and welfare/warfare statism. Devolution of
power and the denationalization of government as an antidote is
the subject of the essays.
essay, "Secession: A Constitutional Remedy that Protects Fundamental
Liberties," Kent Masterson Brown, a Lexington Kentucky trial
lawyer and legal scholar, writes of how secession was – and is –
a remedy that evolved over the centuries as an essential ingredient
of contract law. If the Constitution is an agreement or compact,
he writes, then the states that are a party to it have a right of
rescission. "[T]he equitable remedy of rescission in the law
of contracts was one of the most important concepts applied by the
framers and ratifiers of the Constitution . . ." Brown’s essay
is a careful, lawyerly history of the right of secession, its role
in American constitutional history, and of how it was undermined
by statist politicians even prior to 1861.
contributes an essay on how, from the very origins of the American
republic, such nationalist politicians and government bureaucrats
as Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, Justice Joseph Story, Daniel
Webster, and Abraham Lincoln toiled mightily to rewrite American
constitutional history in such a way that would have made the propagandists
of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany blush. Indeed, the latter characters
might well have learned their tactics from their fellow nationalists
in America generations earlier. Hitler himself did in fact quote
Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address in Mein Kampf to
make his case for centralized governmental power and the
abolition of states’ rights in Germany.
exposes the fatal flaw in the current Tenth Amendment Movement,
namely, that it relies on the judgment of the Supreme Court as to
whether nullification is constitutional. This "servile posture"
to the central state has been so ingrained in the American mind
by generations of government "education" that most "Tenthers"
do not seem to realize the absurdity and futility of what they are
doing. If they are serious about the devolution of power away from
Washington and back to the people of the states, writes DeRosa,
then they must realized that "there is neither divided sovereignty,
an oxymoron if there ever was one, nor an imperium in imperio.
Each of the several States is sovereign, and as sovereigns they
have the prerogative to inform the national government that it has
exceeded the grants of its authority. Whether that is by nullification
(or interposition) via blocking national policies or a complete
withdrawal from the onetime voluntary union of the States via secession
is for each sovereign State to decide."
that would take principled courage on the part of any "Tenthers"
who would not be intimidated by the state’s usual tactic of smearing
all advocates of decentralization as racists who would like to bring
back slavery or segregation. In utilizing this particular smear
tactic the state relies on the "rational ignorance" of
American history by almost all Americans these days, and believes
that it can censor all discussion of its unconstitutional and tyrannical
behavior by mere name calling.
must also realize that the Supreme Court is nothing more than "a
facilitator of the national ruling class’s hegemony over the constitutional
rights of the States." They must "be prepared to bypass
the U.S. Supreme Court." DeRosa’s essay includes a scholarly
history of how Jefferson’s cherished Tenth Amendment was destroyed
by nationalist politicians, lawyers, and bureaucrats over the generations.
presents the kind of essay that he has long been known for: a deeply
scholarly effort that spans philosophy and history. He surveys the
idea of republicanism going back 2,000 years in which it was always
thought that republican government was only possible in relatively
small polities. This is the history that informed Thomas Jefferson
when he commented that the American polity of 1800 was too big to
be governable by just one government. Over half of the states in
the world today are not the massive mega-states like the U.S., but
have populations of less than 5 million people, Livingston points
Sale revives the Aristotelian argument that everything in nature
has a natural or efficient size beyond which it becomes dysfunctional.
He makes the case that relatively small states of 3-5 million population
have superior performance compared to large states in such areas
as prosperity, crime, human rights, healthcare, literacy, and a
general sense of well-being. He proposes a "Law of Government
Size" that contends that "Economic and social misery increases
in direct proportion to the size and power of the central government
of a nation."
applies Austrian economics to explain the failure of the Soviet
Union. Without the institutions of private property and free market
prices, there was never any chance that socialism in the Soviet
Union (or anywhere) else could work as an economic system. Maltsev
explains why in detail, in a fine primer on some of the basic principles
of Austrian economics. He also explains why, in realizing that socialism
could never work, "Kremlin leaders realized from the first
that the only way of managing an economy under socialism was . .
. with direct government coercion based on mass murder and forced
labor." The only people in the world who still believe in socialism,
Maltsev writes, are academics, especially American academics, who
always strut about their campuses posing as Keepers of the Moral
High Ground despite the fact that the system they associate themselves
with is inherently based on mass murder and forced labor
or slavery. "We should all be thankful to the Soviets that
they proved conclusively that socialism does not work," Maltsev
The final essay
by by Rob Williams is a history of the most active secession movement
in America, the Second Vermont Republic. Vermont was an independent
country from 1777 until it joined the American union in 1791; hence
the name. The state’s propaganda organs, such as the Southern Poverty
Law Center, have attempted to smear those associated with the Second
Vermont Republic, but their attempts have been ludicrous. Claiming
that these mostly liberal Democrats who are disgusted with both
the national Republican and Democratic parties, are somehow part
of a racist conspiracy to bring back Jim Crow Laws by advocating
their independence from Washington, D.C. is only something that
someone with an I.Q. of around 35 could believe. That is apparently
the audience – and a major target of fund-raising appeals – of such
repulsive race-hustling rackets as the Southern Poverty Law Center
and the federal politicians who support them. Unlike most "Tenthers,"
the people of the Second Vermont Republic hold no delusions that
the central state’s "Supreme" Court will someday dismantle
the unconstitutional American empire that it has spent the past
150 years constructing.
J. DiLorenzo [send him mail]
is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the
author of The
Real Lincoln; Lincoln
Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe
Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s
Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution
– And What It Means for America Today.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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