Constitution pic

“The Supreme Court has shown it no longer has the confidence of the people! The court has proven to be extremist! It has gone too far! It has stolen our sacred rights!”

“The courts have spoken! This is now the law of the land! Anyone defying the courts is a threat to democracy!”

These are not just quotes from last month’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade, or from raving Leftists, pro-aborts and Democrats. They have been on-going for 50 years and more. From prolifers between 1973 and 2022, and now we can reverse the quotes from both sides of the abortion issue.

Whaddya know? We found some common ground after all!

But wait. No, since the beginning of the earliest days of the U.S. Constitution, and pretty much continuously, the courts were correctly seen as possessing the potential of destroying our liberties. The problem is, it depends on whose ox is being gored. Whenever a law is passed, or a decision is made that pleases our particular side, we are perfectly willing to accept it, the Constitution be damned.

And damned if it hasn’t been.

It is an imperfect system, an imperfect constitution created by imperfect men and implemented for generations by imperfect leaders.

Disobeying the Constitution is an art form, and began with Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. Remember, our Founding Fathers were human. We can pick their good moments and quotes, and learn from their mistakes. Hamilton was an early liberal, eager to expand the powers of government, and may have been either blind to his earlier writings in The Federalist Papers, or was a sneaking weasel who dropped his pretenses once he gained Washington’s ear as Secretary of the Treasury. The evils of an unconstitutional national bank live on today in the unconstitutionally contracted privately-owned Federal Reserve.

From Jefferson: You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps … Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.

From Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address:  The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

So, what Alito did with the Dobbs decision was to bring the court into its proper and limited sphere, at least insofar as the abortion issue. But hold on: I contended in a recent column that it went into a realm that was out of bounds in striking down New York State’s gun control laws during the same week. Now, I liked their decision expanding the right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn’t mean it was constitutional.

Yes, we live in a time of Great Reset, but we can turn it on the Leftist’s heads.

In the same way that the recent federal gun control laws were unconstitutional when passed by the Democrats and RINOs, the court’s misreading of the 2nd Amendment is dangerous. It is still claiming the false premise that the courts can strike down state laws. And lo and behold, the Democrats in New York state have – ta-da! – rediscovered state nullification! If New York has a state constitution that protects gun rights, let them hash it out.

We might expect that the new conservative majority of the courts might strike down that new federal gun control law as unconstitutional. This they have the right to do, but it is going to depend on the executive prerogative to enforce it. We read in Federalist #78, penned by the at-the-time limited government weasel Hamilton: The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

Trust me, should the supreme court rule that the recent federal gun control law is unconstitutional, Biden and the liberals will discover the angle that Andrew Jackson used in the Worcester v. Georgia decision in 1832: “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him try to enforce it.”

You might say, then, what is the remedy? We will wind up chasing our own tails between the courts, the Congress and the president!

Well, that is what has been happening for 250 years, folks. If you think we are in a mess now, you should consider what happened between 1861-65. The shredding of states’ rights and 625,000 lives is as apocalyptic as it gets. Or 64 million in the abortion genocide. It is an imperfect system, an imperfect constitution created by imperfect men and implemented for generations by imperfect leaders.

Properly understood, the states are sovereign. They are the ones who ought to be deciding their local issues. This, too, is an imperfect system. Slavery, abortion, forced public education, income taxes, gun control – ad infinitum – are all evils. The best we can do is to keep it localized. If you want a perfect world, then, you must wait for the Divine apocalypse, not the Marxist one, which is a proven failure strewn with mass murder and state slavery.

But governments have limitations. The true transformation of a culture belongs elsewhere: with religions, artists, essayists, novelists, playwrights, poets and preachers. If you don’t like them, consider that the alternatives are riots, bayonets, torched cities, concentration camps and civil war.

Alaska is no different, of course. That is why we need a constitutional convention to correct our own flaws, clarify the gray areas of jurisdiction, and cite the federal tyrannies of unconstitutional powers by the federal government that we ought to have never accepted.

Yes, we live in a time of Great Reset, but we can turn it on the Leftist’s heads. Let’s make it a proper reset, not a Marxist one, but one that follows the Natural Law of God and the original intent of the Constitution.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: Respecting the Constitution means taking the good with the bad

Bob Bird
Bob Bird ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 47-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. He has a passion for studying and teaching Alaska and U.S. constitutional history. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for The Talk of the Kenai, on KSRM 920 AM from 3-5 pm and heard online


  • AK Pilot says:

    I must respecfully disagree regarding the Court’s decision in New York with respect to the 2nd Amendment. “Shall not be infringed” means just that; it doesn’t say “shall not be infringed by Congress,” but “shall not be infringed.” Period. The right to keep and bear arms is a right reserved to the people, not the states.

  • Jes Sayin says:

    @AK Pilot, the amendment reads, “A well regulated militia…”. Just to be fair.

  • Bob Bird says:

    To properly understand the 2nd — and all the 10 amendments — you must read the Preamble. No, not to the Constitution, but to the Bill of Rights. It is talking ONLY about the federal gov’t. Here it is: “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” Abuse of whose powers? The Constitution’s. “Government” here means FEDERAL gov’t, because that is what the Constitution does — create the federal one, NOT the states. Hope this convinces all those who, like me, wish to see gun restrictions lifted.

    • AK Pilot says:

      The First Amendment explicity states “Congress shall make no law…” which very clearly indicates that the provision applies to the federal government, not the states (although nearly all, if not all, states have a substantially similar provision in their own constitutions). The Second Amendment contains no such statement, commanding only that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Note that it doesn’t say the right of the states, but the right of the people. This very clearly indicates the intention to reserve this right to the people, or else why wouldn’t the authors of the Bill of Rights have used similar language to the First Amendment? Why does “the people” mean something different in the Second Amendment than in, for example, the Fourth?

  • joe mamma says:

    I feel that you give the constitution too much respect and in doing so you give it the power to send this whole country to the dogs ( and i think it might have taken you up on that offer). just because something is constitutional doesn’t mean it is moral or becoming of a christian nation. the constitution was, in the words of John Adams (my relative), written for a principled people. our people are by and large no longer principled and we cant let them run away with the country– even if it is constitutional. Hitler was fully within the bounds of the german “constitution” when he implemented the mass genocide of the jews and waged war on the world. does this mean the germans ought to have stood by and watched it all happen?

  • Bob Bird says:

    Dear AK Pilot: I am sure you are an intelligent person, otherwise you would not be in favor of gun rights. But we need to also be in favor of “constitutionalism”, as it was originally intended. If the 2nd amendment (and the others) applied to the states, please ask yourself: “Why have all the states largely cloned these amendments, and nearly verbatim?” It is because they had to make sure that those same restrictions would apply to their STATE governments. Why waste the time if the Big Brother is already protecting you? With the Preamble to the “Bill of Rights” clearly expressing the need to placate the reasonable concerns that were expressed in the ratifying conventions about what the FEDERAL government might someday do, this wraps it up — for most people. By all measurement of language and reason, I hope that this will clarify that the contention that the 2nd amendment applies to the states is erroneous. However, you do have a lot of company that insists that the SCOTUS should force states to do their bidding. I have made it clear: I don’t like gun control. But even worse is the idea of SCOTUS control. You accept that, then you and I both are going to hate it when a liberal court reverses a conservative one. None of us would have to worry about who controls the court, IF THEY OBEYED THE CONSTITUTION.

    • John says:

      I stand with Bob Bird…

    • AK Pilot says:

      Part of constitutionalism, at least as I understand it, is reading things according to their plain language meaning when they were written. Preambles, records of debates/discussions, etc. can help us gain insight into the intent of a particular provision when its meaning is unclear, but what actually got written down, voted on and adopted is ultimately what counts. I will reiterate, however, that the meaning of such text must be essentially fixed in time or else it will have no meaning at all. For example, when the 14th Amendment was ratified I can practically guarantee that not a single person believed it would somehow protect the “right” to abortion, same-sex marriage, contraception or any number of other left-wing social policies forced upon us by (mostly) the Warren and Burger courts. They certainly didn’t think it would apply to voting rights, as less than two years later the States saw it fit to ratify the 15th Amendment (and later on the 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments).

      To bring things back to the topic at hand, it is abundantly clear that the Founders wanted to protect the ability of private citizens (which, at that time, constituted the “militia”) to own firearms as a final check against a tyrannical government. It may well have been the federal goverment and not the states about which they harbored concern, but the policy they chose to enshrine in our Constitution does not differentiate between the two (unlike the 1st Amendment, which explicity applies only to Congress despite the fact that courts have ignored this language for many decades). The fact that many states (including Alaska) have seen fit to include provisions in their own constitutions protecting gun rights does not change the plain language of the 2nd Amendment.

      I agree with and share your concerns about rule by SCOTUS, but merely saying that the justices need to “obey the Constitution” doesn’t solve the problem. The fact that intelligent people like you and I (and I appreciate the compliment!) can disagree on what exactly the Constitution says underscores the importance of the political process in selecting judges based on their adherence to the Constitution rather than the policy outcomes of their decisions as well as the importance in electing leaders who will take this seriously. Closer to home, it further underscores the need to amend Alaska’s constitution (most likely through a convention) to remove the Alaska Bar Association’s power over the selection of judges and rightfully place that power with the publicly accoutable Legislature and Governor.

  • Evan S Singh says:

    Bird: several of the children at the Uvalde mass murder were decapitated by gunfire. In order to bring the horror into focus, do you support publicly airing those photos or photos like them that show what bullets do to the flesh of ten year old?

  • Bob Bird says:

    AK Pilot: you have stated your position well. And it was well qualified with, “As I understand it.” That also applies to me, and I would venture to say, that is according to the original intent, but we have exhausted the parley. And thank you for supporting a “Yes” vote on a con-con this fall. If you ever attend one of my talks, be sure to introduce yourself. I may be back in Wasilla and Anchorage soon. Oh, and in another rabbit hole to go down, the 14th amendment was never approved. The Watchman may still have my column posted on that from a few years ago.