Failure of constitutional government — what to do now

Jeff Long is the state’s commissioner of safety and homeland security. His paramilitary organization, the highway patrol, batters working and poor people on the road outside the scope of its legal authority — which is to enforce the shipping and freight law upon parties involved in freight and shipping. Troopers’ siege is especially harsh in places such as rural Laurence County. (Photo office of the governor)

The widespread rejection of written law by city and state authorities and the reign of the theory of judicial supremacy tells us that the experiment has failed. 

The experiment is one of constitutional government, representative and federal in pursuance of written constitutions.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

In Tennessee, we have a constitution which limits the state and protects the rights of the people. But nearly at every point, the state has ignored the limits and rushed into areas of activity and government denied to it by the founders and drafters, and injured the rights of the people and their prosperity.

The examples are many.

➤ The state is denied any power to invest in any private company. And yet, through its comprehensive retirement system, it invests in many businesses, from malls, to securities, showing favor and partiality in violation of a clear ban all that  Show of partiality and wisdom.. 

➤ The transportation statute is used to give police power, arbitrary and capricious, upon the people, even those people not involved in shipping.  The freight and passenger business ostensibly is a regulated and regulable activity. That shipping law should not be imposed upon people using the road privately. But it is, by safety commissioner Jeff Long on down to local cops — with the courts’ approval. 

➤ We have seen also the rejection of a clear statute in the criminal code requiring that the element of intent the alleged and proven in every criminal case. This element is proven and discussed only in murder cases.

➤ We see also rejection of a protection of the people by the general ignoring of a law that gives exceptions to the rule that no one can be arrested without a warrant. This law gives 11 exceptions for arrest by officer without a warrant. Yet the constabulary routinely arrests people on the spot, even though the alleged offenses are outside that list.  This miracle is done by a literary-judicial deconstructionist act under a popular convention.

➤ Grand juries are improperly constituted, led in every county by judicial favorites, tilting the form, activity and interest of grand juries to favor the state and to disfavor the people, making grand juries unwilling to root out corrupt practices by state officers. Do you think that one such as I would be able to get a hearing about my claims of the abuse of Title 55, the motor and other vehicles statute, before the Hamilton County grand jury? Still, I plan to try.

➤ Courts routinely play favorite with the state, dragging defendants repeatedly before them on stacked charges, excusing absences of police officers half a dozen times but holding fast the obligation of the accused to make one more wasted appearance in a criminal venue or face the ubiquitous charge “failure to appear.” Think of beleaguered Diana Watt or the civil death sentence under which Keelah Jackson labored, on foot, at bus stops, as the state strangled her living with a lawless prohibition of the use of a private car.

 State action without limit

The experiment in positivist law and constitutional government has failed. It has failed. Those who have power seek to increase their power and do so with increasing boldness, ignoring the rights of the people to be free, to assume that government exists to protect their rights. 

The judiciary is perhaps the worst offender, and the guild of practitioners of law, or lawyers, who infest the General Assembly, violating another law that prohibits a person exercising power in one domain — the judicial — from exercising power in another — the legislature.

The legislature cannot have lawyers sitting in either the house or the senate. And yet many, many legislators are lawyers. Their laws are complex and confusing,  wherein the strength of that guild lies. Lawyers have built into the structure of the law many emoluments, sinecures, protections, immunities and self-seeking favors.

Lack of vision, rejection of God

Given that we are lawlessly controlled and misgoverned, it is time to consider what the people in Tennessee should do. 

Because of the incredibly weak state of Christianity,  Tennesseeans don’t see the evils that are obvious to observers. They are unaware of these evils and have been trained to ignore them, trained by their pulpits to think that God cares only about the private individual and his private condition and virtue. 

The evils that we have explored, and the reforms we have endorsed, have little support because Christians are asleep and unwilling to believe in God and heed his demand for justice. 

If they believed in God, and if they had prayed, they would be on the war path toward reform. They are not on the warpath. For all the soul-touching commentary and advice they hear in the Sunday sermon, they are not prepared or encouraged to enter the lists and overturn these wicked practices, systems that are as ungodly as they are unconstitutional. They are indifferent to them. 

The point today is that the experiment in constitutional government has failed.  The people have not been forced their rights in the national covenant with government. It has failed because written laws mean nothing, written covenants mean nothing, arrangements and agreements between the people and the state are not controlling, and have long not been controlling. 

I propose that we wait for the moving of the Holy Spirit’s to bring a desire for justice and a sense of the widespread injustice imposed upon the people by their state and their officials. 

Coming day of prayer

Gov. Bill Lee has proposed Oct. 10 as a day of prayer. But it is not worth much for people to approach the throne of grace if the people don’t pray practically and in belief that God cares about things in this world and about this world, not just in benefit of the individual, but also in benefit of society as a whole, the city as a whole, Hamilton County as a piece, the state of Tennessee as an independent country with 6.7 million inhabitants. 

The day of prayer will serve nothing, and God will not hear prayers uttered to him on that day in this regard, if God’s people don’t pray particulars and pray for revival of the spirit of courage. 

I suggest that this courage may start by saying yes to free market solutions and yes to Christian witness and example, and to saying no to the threats, blandishments, appeals and propaganda of the state, starting with the police officer at the traffic stop.

“Officer, I’m traveling under transportation administrative notice, and I make no statement without my lawyer present.”

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