By The People

There are fundamental flaws in how American government operates today,
contrary to the Constitution and the vision of a representative republican form of governance.
I intend doing something about it: by educating and informing others who
are not even aware of the dangers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What is the Law?

On the 12th of March, 1812, the state of Virginia became the 13th and final state to ratify the 13th Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The text of that amendment is:

"If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them."

 But the Constitution as we know it today has a completely different 13th Amendment. The text of which is:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.  

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

So which is the correct one? It seems to me that if we are to trust the records of the Senate and the House as they were written at the time(s), the second version would have become the 16th or 17th, since the 13th as indicated in the previous version above was ratified more than 50 years prior.

This brings up two relevant issues regarding both the Constitution of the United States and the judicial powers and responsibilities of the Supreme Court of the United States. The first being that according to the document itself, and to the powers and responsibility of the Supreme Court, the Constitution is THE law of the land and the Supreme Court's duty is to test cases based on their constitutionality. 

Was there anything that changed to invalidate this? Was there a legislative act passed by both houses of Congress to nullify the Constitution and grant the Supreme Court the powers of "the law of the land?" If that is the case, then I want to know where I find the law(s) that supersede and nullify the Constitution. Perhaps I have been living under a false assumption all of my life, but then so are all other American citizens who believe they live in a representative federal republic. Many think we live in a democracy.

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