10 votes

Your State Constitution Sux

Have you had a chance to read your state's constitution?

I have not read them all in detail yet but they all seem to follow a similar pattern

The government has total power with only a few "rights" reserved for the individual.

Contrast this with the federal constitution where article 1 section 8 grants only 17 specific powers and the restrictive clauses limits how those powers are used.

(restrictive clauses are found in article 1 section 9 and the first ten amendments)

To achieve individual liberty, state constitutions ought to be re-written in a similar format as the federal constitution, with very FEW powers granted to the state government.

(In addition, we should never allow the government to be in control of our courts, like they are now.)



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Constitutions are for Public Servants to Protect and Defend

“The government has total power with only a few "rights" reserved for the individual.” It may seem that way but you are a people with unlimited rights. Constitutions mention a few of the unlimited ones people have and public servants, by their Oaths, are to protect and defend Constitutions.

Preamble to the US and NY Constitutions - We the people ... do ordain and establish this Constitution...; ...at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects...with none to govern but themselves... [CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA (US) 2 U.S. 419 (1793); The people of this State, as the successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the King by his prerogative. [Lansing v. Smith, 4 Wend. 9 (N.Y.) (1829).

Think as a King and you've got it.

“To achieve individual liberty, state constitutions ought to be re-written in a similar format as the federal constitution, with very FEW powers granted to the state government.” It may seem so but "People are supreme, not the state." Waring vs. the Mayor of Savannah, 60 Georgia at 93.

You have unlimited liberty. You can do anything you want as long as you do not injure or cause a loss to anyone else (common law).

“(In addition, we should never allow the government to be in control of our courts, like they are now.)” It may seem so you only have to defend your unlimited liberty in a “court of record,” as most courts are. The proceedings are according to the common law. Statutes don’t apply.

My 2¢.

yes: let's do this. Bill Thornton Students welcome:)

"It may seem that way but you are a people with unlimited rights..."
-I agree that the rights of the individual are innumerable... essentially blessed by creation with the power to be/do/have any way one wishes without interference from others so long as one does not initiate direct, proximate, and non-consensual harm.
--HOWEVER, our mutual problem is THE LEGAL SYSTEM does not recognize that natural, fundamental right. AKA the legislature does not recognize our natural rights therefore we don't have the legal right to be/do/have any way we wish without interference from others.
---Go ahead and disobey the legislature and see what happens. If you disobey, they will put you in a cage, if you resist, they will put you in the ground. And they are more than happy to do so 24/7.
----Also, I studied Bill Thornton's work extensively for a number of years, and am very familiar with his positioning and also very familiar with his frustration that the courts are not friendly to his notions.

CHISHOLM v. GEORGIA
Reinforced the notion that the people, in their sovereign capacity, have the power to form any kind of government they wish. Not that the individual is free from government.

"People are supreme, not the state."
-and they may change the power the state has by way of constitution.

"You have unlimited liberty. You can do anything you want as long as you do not injure or cause a loss to anyone else (common law)."
-Go for it! And tell me what happens when you get caught disobeying a statute.
--The government is not bound to establishing injury like a private party is, only that its will has been crossed.
---Shouldn't that idea be expressed in the operative parts of the different constitutions that occupy our land? Because I agree with you and believe it would lead to incredible abundance and happiness.
..."you only have to defend your unlimited liberty in a “court of record,”..."
-Submit evidence that you have been successful doing this; that a court has recognized the validity of these ideas. Because everywhere I turn, these people are getting their tails kicked in court.
-----------------------------

When the people wrote the constitutions, they created distinct governmental entities with rule making/military dominance over society. The people did this because it was thought that such governments would best protect their interests.

The legal mechanism to divest these entities of their power is their constitutions.

The people in their sovereign capacity granted these entities power by way of constitution, and the people in their sovereign capacity can divest these entities of their power by way of constitution.

Not Only Do Most State Constitutions Suck

the courts have come up with this whole theory of constitution construction whereas a state is permitted unless there is an express prohibition in a state constitution versus club fed is permitted so long as there is an express grant of power. It is an outrageous theory of state constitution construction if all political power derives from people and is allegedly delegated by people.

I agree they all pretty much follow the same pattern of suck with virtually no or extremely limited express prohibitions against anything, judicial monopolies, etc.

Texas Constitution. It's long. We still have the one when we

We still have the one when we were our own country.

"The Constitution of the State of Texas is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Texas. The current constitution took effect on February 15, 1876. Texas has had six other constitutions: Coahuila y Tejas, the 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas, and the state constitutions of 1845, 1861, 1866 and 1869.

The 1876 Constitution is the one of the longest state constitutions in the United States, and one of the oldest still in effect. Amendments have been adopted 456 times; an additional 176 have been passed by the Legislature then rejected by voters. Although a somewhat chaotic document, it is not nearly as long and chaotic as the Alabama Constitution, which has been amended almost 800 times despite having been adopted 25 years after Texas' current constitution.

Most of these amendments are due to the document's highly restrictive nature. It states that the State of Texas has only those powers explicitly granted to it; there is no state equivalent of the necessary and proper clause to facilitate controversial legislation. Thus, the Texas Constitution functions as a limiting document, as opposed to the U.S. Constitution's purpose as a granting document. Because of the unwieldiness of the state constitution, there have been several proposals for a constitutional convention to propose a new constitution. In 1974, the Texas Legislature met in joint session as a convention, but failed to propose a new constitution. In 1975, the Legislature, meeting in regular session, revived much of the work of the 1974 convention and proposed it as a set of eight amendments to the existing constitution. All eight of the amendments were rejected by the voters. There have been several subsequent proposals to revise the constitution, but none of those efforts has been successful. However, several sections (and one entire article) were successfully repealed in 1969." https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080909184059A...

This is a contradiction

"It states that the State of Texas has only those powers explicitly granted to it"

"Thus, the Texas Constitution functions as a limiting document, as opposed to the U.S. Constitution's purpose as a granting document."

-This is a contradiction.
--If the state of texas has only those powers explicitly granted to it, then it is a "granting documnet" just like the federal constitution. But I have found no such clause.

You are not reading it correctly

Your state constitution protects all inalienable rights, including the pursuit of happiness. What are your inalienable rights? Pretty much anything that does not violate the rights of others. Most people only try to protect those rights in a defensive position (defendant). The plaintiff always has an avantage, they brought the case. If ANYONE violates your inalienable rights, you can be the plaintiff. Anytime the state is the plaintiff and against your inalienable rights, it is a case of mistaken identity. There is a presumption (an incorrect one) that is persisting because it has not been contradicted. The state will sure as hell never assume anyone has inalienable rights, they must be claimed. And the pursuit of happiness is very powerful. Who says what that is but you? People, learn and study the law and how to claim and protect those rights. Most of these problems are the failure of the people to know the law. If the state ever presumed inalienable rights, it could never collect one penny through taxation (corporations have no inalienable rights, neither do businessess and commerce).

preambles are not operative meaning they have no force of law.

The preamble has no force of law.
The powers the succeeding document grants are totalitarian.

Much of what you said is the way it SHOULD BE

But that's not the way it is under the current legal system...including your state constitution.

Many preambles speak in high form but the preamble is not operative...to our mutual detriment.

If you can produce documentation of a controversy settled in the favor of the individual please post. It would be the fastest route to individual liberty.

However, I have a feeling you are parroting PAYtriot freedom theories and not actual civics.

Few Are Aware Of Constitution Construction ...

as far as any state or federal court are concerned constitutions are constructed in the following manner:

With regards to any state constitution power not expressly reserved is delegated to the state which is the opposite to a federal principle of express delegated power.

When people say things the federal government does are unconstitutional, what are they talking about? Is there any undelegated power exercised at a federal level without the consent of states? Hardly ... quite the opposite. States gladly hold out their hands for federal monies or handouts to go along with any federal agenda.

Delegating a power simply means it can be exercised without permission because consent occurred in the act of delegation. If a power is not delegated but exercised with the consent of states it is not unconstitutional.

Haven't read all

of Oregon's Constitution, but it definitely gets off on the right foot:

Article I, Section 1
Natural rights inherent in people.

We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper. —

also

Section 27
Right to bear arms; military subordinate to civil power.

The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power[.]

Not much ambiguity there.

Sweet words for a preamble :)

Those beginning words are the sweet to justify the bitter.

"We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.-"
And therefore the people institute the following government:
1)Legislative branch with total power
2)Executive branch
3)Judicial branch
4)Few retained "rights" for the individual.

So they say that the natural right of the people is to institute any kind of government they wish, and in this instance, the government is gonna have total power with just a few rights reserved for the individual.

It would better serve the individual for the government to have a few defined powers instead of total power, and also limit how it is allowed to use those powers.

Ideally, to convert the government into a non-profit management company of certain infrastructure. Instead of the government having the power to micromanage the the individuals private affairs and to take what it wants, when it wants.

Excellent Thread!

Great observation, Absolute Rights!

I concluded the same a few years ago and actually started writing a new constitution for my state. Not sure what to do when I complete it. That uncertainty has inhibited some of my zeal, but you have rekindled it.

Thanks for the great post.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

Thanks, I'm glad

I found another like minded liberty lover.

We, as in you and me, and any other liberty loving individuals)need to pool our intellects and write constitutions that enshrine individual liberty.

Make it so simple and attractive that our fellows would fight to institute it. We can do it if we put our minds to it. I would be up for any brainstorming sessions/collaborations.

I know Dave Champion has been working on one for a long time.

I like this idea

"Make it so simple and attractive that our fellows would fight to institute it." This is the challenge. How to get people off of their butts!

I think the Internet changes how people communicate and interact. If the constitutuions you refer to were to go "viral," there's no telling what it could evolve into, perhaps even its stated goal. The Internet creates a sort of free market of ideas with the ability to reach massive amounts of people. Something tells me this is why China and Russia heavily regulate it. I think it's interesting to consider what makes something go viral, and how can one use such variables to make something so wonderful as uniting a diverse population under the simple concept of individual freedom possible.

One issue is how the concept itself is framed. Obviously this is a political document for political purposes, but political documents don't go viral (unless they expose FF attacks). What I would be interested in discussing is how to increase the likelihood of this idea being understood and supported by a critical mass of individuals. Most people don't care about politics, so they have to be reached through a mixture of common sense and emotion. How to not only appeal to the individual's emotions (via love, courage, truth, confidence, etc) but to different "groups" of people (blue collar, academic, sports fans, college kids, yuppies, hippies, all races and religions). Freedom means something different to many in these "groups" so maybe there should be several ways to frame a "new constitution" so that people feel included in this idea, showing the "groups" that we're all just individuals with less freedom than we had the day before.

What state do you call home?

I'm a native Arizonan.
Feel free to contact me via the DP contact widget or whatever you call it.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

Texas

Texas

Put me down as interested

While I'm no educated man, I do believe I grasp the true understanding of freedom to be a helpful contributor. A valid constitution is universally acceptable. However, it must have teeth. Our US Constitution is great, but it has no teeth. Therein lies the problem.

I do hope your constitution includes a right of secession of the people and counties in its bill of rights. It should also recognize the right of revolt. The way I see it, if you don't like the way things are run, you have the following options: Change it (elections), leave it (secession), shoot it (revolt). Changing it is the best method as it provides the most satisfaction to the individual, whereas secession is next preferable as those who are still satisfied can choose to remain and those that are not satisfied will leave. Revolution occurs when satisfaction is no longer possible amongst the many. The problem with our US Constitution is it doesn't recognize secession or revolution as a direct right of the people. For all the foresight of our founding fathers to include a bill of rights to put down in words the obvious fact that we have inalienable rights, they seem to have forgotten the right to leave and to abolish, both of which were employed at the birth of this nation.

________________________________________

okay

you're in.

I'm starting a thread that we can all collaborate on.

"The way I see it, if you don't like the way things are run, you have the following options: Change it (elections), leave it (secession), shoot it (revolt)."
-YES
"The problem with our US Constitution is it doesn't recognize secession or revolution as a direct right of the people"
-YES

very good

will do

Yeah, it's always better to

Yeah, it's always better to have a massive central authority vs smaller competing ones. That's why the federal Constitution has been so successful at protecting our rights. <-sarcasm in case your detector isn't working

How do people who claim to love and understand liberty miss such a fundamental tenet? Libertarians need to learn the basics of their own philosophy before they'll be able to win over others.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

what are you talking about

who said anything about wanting a massive central authority. Is that something you desire?

its possible to have lots of smaller competing governments with limited and defined powers.

As it is, the americas are occupied by many big governments with almost unlimited power. Ick!

What's the fundamental tenet you think I missed? I really want to know :)

I think you missed

Mr. Raceboy's sarcasm. Read his comment again.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

The way I read it

Is that Mr Raceboy's first paragraph was sarcasm, but the second one was not. Maybe Mr Raceboy misinterpreted Absolute's structural comparison of state constitutions and the federal constitution to mean Absolute favored one centralized constitution over the state constitutions. Do I get a prize if I'm right?

Being right...

...is its own reward. :)

The confusion comes, I think, from the fact that the People are the only authority, but when they ratify a "central" or federal constitution with limited powers, it becomes the supreme law of the land, not because it is federal, but because the People designate those certain, enumerated, delegated powers to be the supreme law.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

I

Tried to read California's, but it got disgusting and has obvious abuses built right in.

nice dovetail ...

http://www.dailypaul.com/317124/in-all-honesty

Life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate.
Don't Give me Liberty, I'll get up and get it myself!

Slaps hand on forehead....

....My State has a Constitution...???...!!!! *...runs to Wikipedia..!!

funny

and oh so true