Thanks to Your Support, MORE Big Things Are Happening!

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Just last week we received word from the Hawaii Secretary of State that the Constitution Party is now officially recognized as a ballot-qualified party in that state.  This is the first time ever that the Constitution Party has achieved ballot access in Hawaii in a mid-term election. The party completed the signature drive in mid-February, but by state law, the petition could be challenged within 20 business days of when the final petitions were submitted to the state for verification.  That deadline was  March 7th and the following day the Hawaii Secretary of State confirmed that no one had challenged our petition thereby qualifying the party for ballot status.

Other big news for the party is our ballot petitioning effort going on in North Carolina.  Gaining ballot access in that state will be a landmark achievement.  By this weekend, we should be able to surpass the 6,000 signature mark. If the validity rate of 83% holds up we should be able to secure the required 12,000 valid signatures with a total of about 15,000.  We continue to average  getting about 1,200 signatures a week in spite of the inclement weather being experienced in that state.  At this rate, we should be able to complete the signature drive before the end of April….a full month before the deadline.  Since completing the petitioning in Hawaii Nicholas Sumbles has been gathering signatures in North Carolina.

Besides Nicholas’ work, we have volunteers working gun shows every weekend and the number of volunteers grows each week. The goal of the party leaders is to gather signatures in all 100 counties in the state. At this point, they have succeeded in getting signatures from 93 of the counties.  This is a most remarkable feat and has been possible only because of the increased number of volunteers who are gathering signatures. However, in order to reach our goal we are going to need additional financial assistance from our supporters. We are paying Nicholas $2.00 a signature which is a very reasonable rate compared to what other professional signature gathers have quoted us.

This is where we need your help and we need it very urgently.  We must keep the funds coming in so that we can keep Nicholas there.  A donor from North Carolina has offered to match dollar for dollar any funds that we raise up to $4,250.00. Due to the generosity of our supporters, we are close to qualifying for the total amount of the matching funds, but we are still going to need additional donations to reach our 15,000 signature goal. If you are in a position to donate any amount please go to www.constitutionparty.com and donate what you can to ballot access.  If you wish, you may also send a check payable to the Constitution Party to P O Box 1782 Lancaster, PA 17608.  A donation of $5.00, $10.00, $15.00, $20.00, $25.00. $50.00. $100.00, $500.00, or whatever you are able to donate would be deeply appreciated.  It is urgent that we raise those funds immediately.

Gaining ballot access in North Carolina will open other doors for us in yet more states. Again, I plead with you to give what you are able to. Then share this message with family and friends of like mind. Your sharing this message with others is paying off as we are receiving donations from people who have never donated to the party before. I can not thank you enough for the effort you are making to help us make history in North Carolina.  I have been extremely impressed with the hard work and dedication of the party leaders there.  Together we can achieve heights we have never reached before.

My sincere thanks and appreciation to each of you for your past support and encouragement.

For God Family and Country,

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National Chairman
Constitution Party
www.constitutionparty.com

The 2nd Amendment and Mass Shootings

The Constitution Party’s Response

By Darrell Castle, February 24, 2018

I would like to start by asking, what is the greatest human achievement? Is it sending men to the moon or perhaps the great pyramids? I would answer that the greatest human achievement is bringing government under the authority of the rule of law. This struggle was an English achievement and it took about 1000 years to complete.

The struggle for the rule of law made the law a shield and protector of the people. It put a restraint on the ruler rather than the ruled. The U.S Constitution is a good example of the results of the struggle as it provided a limitation on government and a protector of the people.

In the 20th and now the 21st centuries the rule of law has been steadily eroded and lost in America. Government officials are no longer subject to the law but the people are. The shield and protector is broken and no longer safeguards the people. As evidence, I point to the rule by executive orders and the many crimes of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, which have gone unpunished. The people now know that there is one law for them and another one for government.

Interestingly, in recent years the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the 2nd Amendment and denied the authority of government to reinterpret it. No, the court said, it means what it says in its plain words. McDonald v. Chicago, the D.C. v. Heller case and the cases decided by the various circuits, such as Moore v. Madigan decided by the 7th circuit in 2013, recognized that the government can’t just change the 2nd amendment at its discretion. It cannot be allowed the power to wantonly violate the Bill of Rights. The 2nd of the enumerated rights listed in the Bill of Rights or the 2nd Amendment says:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,

the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The Constitution does however permit later generations to change or “amend” the Constitution if the people feel that it is outdated and needs to be modernized. Article V sets out the requirements for amendment. Obviously, much care must be taken by those in favor of amending to ensure they do not “throw out the baby with the bath-water”.

Should the government decide that the 2nd Amendment needs to be removed from the Bill of Rights or changed in some way it would be making a huge mistake because it would destroy the legal and moral foundation of our system of law. In ripping apart the Constitution, government would have removed the last vestiges of protection the people have from tyranny. The Bill of Rights are more than words and more than canaries in a coal mine. They are the final warning before what the Marine Corps in my day called “final protective fires” are authorized. That term meant that Marines were being overrun so every Marine was to fire his rifle at the full cyclic rate in a final act of defense. It meant that we were all facing imminent death anyway and that was one final desperate attempt to stop the enemy’s attack.

I hope and pray that those calling for removing or tinkering with the 2nd Amendment will remember that they are playing with one of the final lines of defense Americans have with their government’s strength. THUS, the Constitution Party supports the 2nd Amendment and opposes any attempt to alter or amend it and would recommend resistance to any such effort with any legal means necessary.

This article has not discussed the recent mass school shooting in Florida out of respect for the victims and their families, but nothing about that event changes anything having to do with the 2nd Amendment or the Constitution Party’s position regarding the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Constitution Party views the 2nd Amendment as the last line of defense against tyranny.


Krisanne Hall

SOVEREIGN DUTY: Don’t Miss KrisAnne Hall Discussing Her New Book on C-Span 2’s Book TV

KrisAnne Hall is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She got her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Black college in Illinois, joined the United States Army, was trained as a Russian linguist for military intelligence in the Army. She has also worked for the Missouri state attorney’s office for many years as a prosecutor after graduating from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, working under Jerry Player.  She later went to work at a constitutional law firm defending religious and first amendment liberty for several years. Returning to the state attorney’s office in Missouri’s, she worked under the Honorable Skip Jarvis.  From there she was providentially launched into speaking about American liberties and the Constitution.  KrisAnne now travels across the nation teaching an average of 265 events in over 22 states for about the last six years.  In addition, she has a radio show which broadcasts six days a week, including one as a television show on the Christian television network- Lifestyle Channel. Her slogan is Liberty Over Security, Principle Over Party, and Truth Over Your Favorite Personality. She believes that we should protect, defend and abide by constitutional principles no matter who’s in office or which party is in power.
C-Span is now featuring her on C-Span 2’s Book TV program.  KrisAnne speaks about her book Sovereign Duty, in which she outlines what citizens can do to ensure that their constitutional rights are protected. She argued that the federal government has failed in its duty to uphold the Constitution. Catch one of the upcoming airings, or view it below.

  • 23 February 2017 – 10:47 pm, ESTKrisanne Hall
  • 24 February 2017 – 3:24 am, EST
  • 26 February 2017 – 12:00 am, EST
  • 27 February 2017 – 5:00 am, EST

Your national chairman,

Frank Fluckiger

 

 

Frank Fluckiger

 

A Brief Look at the History of Third Parties in America

by Gary Odom, political activist and former National Field Director for the Constitution Party
 
Gary Odom Publicity Shot Most Americans have been led to believe that that the United States has a two-party political system. In fact, of course, the Constitution of the United States says nothing about political parties and many of the founding fathers abhorred the very idea of political parties taking root in America.

The fact that political parties have developed over the history the United States of America is largely due to human nature–a tendency to congregate with others who have mutual ideas and interests.  From almost the beginning there were two competing parties–the Federalists of Washington, Hamilton and Adams and the Democratic-Republicans of Jefferson, Madison and others.  This was the beginning of the so-called “two party system.”

Despite this, new parties are not a unique experience in American politics.  It wasn’t long before there was a change in the original line-up.  In 1816,  the Federalists were to run their last Presidential candidate and for much of the remainder of the first part of the 19th Century the Whig Party provided the primary competition for the party that came to be known as the Democrat Party.  Well known Whigs included Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison and Henry Clay.

In the 19th Century new parties continued to develop.  In 1832, the Anti-Masonic Party won 8% of the vote.  In 1848 the Free Soil Party, led by former President Martin Van Buren, won 10% of the vote.  In 1856, the year the Republican Party was born–as a new or “3rd Party–another 3rd Party, the American Party (or Know Nothings as they came to be better known) won 22% of the popular vote with former President Millard Fillmore heading the ticket.  Of course, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln of the new Republican Party was elected President.  The Republican Party had been born as a “third party” in 1856, as aforementioned, largely in response to the issue of slavery.

Thereafter, the Whig Party, which had failed to take a strong stand on the matter of slavery, faded from the political scene and was replaced by the Republican Party as the second major party in the eyes of most people.  Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the 19th Century new parties continued to burst onto the scene and some met with success.  The People’s Party (also known as Populist Party) flourished in the latter years of the 19th Century and continued on into the early years of the 20th Century.  Its Presidential ticket carried four states in 1892 and it elected candidates to office in local and statewide races in some jurisdictions.  Its fortunes were short lived, however, as the Democrat Party co-opted many of its main issues in 1896.  It re-organized and hung on to some degree until 1908 when its flame finally flickered out.

In the early 1900’s the interest in alternative political solutions had not, however, abated.  As the late William K. Shearer noted, in his history of the American Independent Party: 

“By the early 1900s, the Republican Party had become thoroughly dominated by a few powerful political bosses, the giant political bosses, and the financial empires which the bosses serve.  Farmers, workers and independent businessmen suffered while the power of government was directed only to serve the interests of railroad, banking and other monopolies.”

“Particularly in the Midwest and West rebellion stirred.  Dynamic political personalities such as Robert La Follette in Wisconsin, George Norris in Nebraska, Hiram Johnson in California, the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota, and the Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota overturned the monopoly-dominated Republican machines and elected public officials pledged to progressive goals…” 

This, generally speaking, was the foundation of what became known as the Progressive Party.  In 1912, the Progressive Party, with Theodore Roosevelt as its standard bearer, received over 4,000,000 popular votes (27.4% of the total) and over 88 electoral votes.  In 1916, however, Roosevelt deliberately scuttled the Progressive Party, and went back to the Republican Party.  That year, the Progressive Party failed to nominate a candidate for President at its national convention.  The Progressive Party did survive in some states until the 1940’s and again ran a Presidential ticket in 1924 with Senator Robert La Follette as its Presidential nominee and Senator Burton K. Wheeler as its Vice-Presidential candidate.  That ticket secured 4,800,000 popular votes (16.6%) and 13 electoral votes, but 1924 proved to be the end for the Progressive Party as a national entity.

In the 20th Century there were more new party efforts, not all of which does space allow mention of here.  The 1948 Presidential Campaign featured two “third parties,” the States Rights Dem­ocrats, “Dixiecrats” lead by South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond and a new Progressive Party incarnation led by former Vice-President, Henry Wallace, though neither effort took on a life beyond the 1948 election year.  Two other major third party efforts in the 20th Century must also be noted:  The American Independent Party candidacy of former Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968 and the Reform Party candidacies of Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996.

In 1968, a year of great turbulence in American history, George Wallace secured nearly 10,000,000 popular votes and about 14% of the votes along with the electoral votes of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.  This effort did grow into an ongoing political party, the American Independent Party, though Wallace was never again to be its nominee.

After the Wallace candidacy of 1968, the Republicans and Democrats and the power brokers who support them, were sufficiently alarmed so as to cause them to begin the process of making ballot access laws for new parties–particularly in some southern states–much more difficult around the country.  As a result, new grassroots parties such as the Constitution, Libertarian and Green Parties now face difficulties not generally encountered by 3rd Parties in the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century in just putting its candidates on the ballot.  Many state laws make simply qualifying for the ballot an exceedingly difficult chore.  It is, of course, very difficult to compete in an election when one isn’t even allowed to be on the ballot!

Another obstacle arising more prevalently in the latter part of the 20th Century has resulted in the dwindling number of competitive news media sources that are willing to provide information about new parties and their candidates.  With the vast reduction in the number of newspapers and consolidation of all news media sources into the hands of just a few major corporations, which are closely interlocked with the major financial institutions who have a strong interest in perpetuating the status quo, there is very little opportunity for a new political “brand” to break through the media barrier.  In fact, since 1972, after the shock to the establishment caused by the Wallace candidacy in ’68, there has been in effect what has been described as a “blackout” concerning new or “third” political parties on the part of the national media.

The majority of Americans who depend on the national media for their information are now completely unaware of the existence and efforts the so-called “minor parties” such as the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party or the Green Party.  Only in unique circumstances, when its hand is forced, does the national news media even acknowledge other parties or independent candidates, in any kind of a serious way.  Such a circumstance did arise in 1992, when well- known billionaire Ross Perot ran as a candidate on his newly established Reform Party.  It was clear to the news media that if it ignored his candidacy he could bypass any blackout by simply buying all of the paid advertising that he needed.  In addition, his money would allow him to overcome ballot access barriers which provide difficult obstacles to grassroots party movements.  Therefore, the national news media didn’t even try to ignore him.  Because of his folksy manner and the fact that he was hitting on important issues,  ignored by the other parties, such as the national debt and trade policies which were causing the loss millions of  American jobs, Perot actually led all candidates in the polls for quite a while in 1992 and finally ended up setting a record for an independent or third party popular vote total, though he received no electoral votes.

It should be noted that in 1992 there were several other well organized third party efforts including the US Taxpayers (Constitution) Party, Libertarian Party, and Natural Law Party.  These parties did not have millions at their disposal to spend and were ignored by the national news media, despite the serious messages propounded by their candidates.

That only two parties have dominated the American political scene for most of the 20th Century and early portion of the 21st Century can be attributed to the fact that this “two-party paradigm” has served the established economic powers very well.  While this was to some extent true throughout history, the consolidation of media sources and the mergers of major corporations and financial interests have made the effect more pronounced since the latter part of the 20th Century.

Dr. Carroll Quigley, a professor at Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown Universities wrote a book entitled “Tragedy and Hope” which amounted to an “expose,” albeit an affectionate one, of the international “roundtable” network which, working with “the ‘powers of financial capitalism, has the aim of establishing world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”  Certainly in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is little room for doubt that we have seen the consolidation of financial power into fewer hands and that these power brokers exert greater control over the media and the political system than ever before.

In examining the “two party system” prevalent in the United States, Professor Quigley noted:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers.  Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.”

One doesn’t have to subscribe to a “conspiracy theory of history” to understand that this “pendulum-style political system” serves the big-monied special interests and the entrenched parties, whom they control, quite well.  The powerful special interests, sitting, figuratively, at the fulcrum of the pendulum, contribute to and exert tremendous influence and control over both, the Republican and Democrat parties.  While the voters feverishly push the political pendulum back and forth from one side to the other, election after election, under the impression that they are making significant changes, there is actually almost never any significant change made at all when it comes to real policy.  In fact, those who exert the real power and influence behind the scenes (or at the fulcrum for the purpose of this example) rarely, if ever, care which candidate or party is elected.  While the names sometimes change, and the rhetoric may be passionate and seem significantly different between the parties, policy almost never changes because the big money power brokers who effectively control most of what happens in both major parties remain the same and so do their interests.

History demonstrates that new parties, despite the “conventional wisdom” that America has a two-party system, have existed almost from the beginning of our nation’s history.  Rather than being a strange anomaly, they have been a natural and frequent political occurrence.  On two occasions previously dominant national parties were replaced by newer parties.  First, the Whigs replaced the Federalists and later the Republicans replaced the Whigs.  In both 1968 and 1992, similar re-alignments nearly occurred.  As dissatisfaction with major party politicians has reached an all-time high, it would certainly appear that some new re-alignment of political parties is highly possible, and would be extraordinarily appropriate.  It will be necessary however, if this is to occur, for American voters to begin to think for themselves and to cease being slaves to “pendulum politics.”  The American voter must break from the habit of voting for the lesser of two evils out of fear, and begin voting for what, in their heart, they know is right and for those candidates who they know will do right, according to the Constitution of the United States of America.

If the American people are ready to take this courageous step, the Constitution Party is prepared to be that new broom that will sweep clean and give the American people a real chance to reclaim their nation.


(“A Brief Look at the History of Third Parties in America”, page 5;  America Needs a Third Party Now!


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BILL OF RIGHTS

Congress of the United States

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

THE VIRGINIA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government .

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Section 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.

Section 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration. And that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Section 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, nor being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Section 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part, of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

Section 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assembled for the public good.

Section 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and ought not to be exercised.

Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

Section 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.

Section 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.

Section 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Section 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Section 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

Virginia’s Declaration of Rights was drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. It was widely copied by the other colonies and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776.

THE VIRGINIA RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocably express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.

That this assembly most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the Union of the States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them, can alone secure it’s existence and the public happiness.

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constitutiong the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret, that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which having been copied from the very limited grant of power, in the former articles of confederation were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect, of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases; and so as to consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.

That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the “Alien and Sedition Acts” passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thererto;_a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.

That this state having by its Convention, which ratified the federal Constitution, expressly declared, that among other essential rights, “the Liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by any authority of the United States,” and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry or ambition, having with other states, recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was, in due time, annexed to the Constitution; it would mark a reproachable inconsistency, and criminal degeneracy, if an indifference were now shewn, to the most palpable violation of one of the Rights, thus declared and secured; and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the other.

That the good people of this commonwealth, having ever felt, and continuing to feel, the most sincere affection for their brethren of the other states; the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the union of all; and the most serupulous fidelity to that constitution, which is the pledge of mutual friendhsip, and the instrument of mutual happiness; the General Assembly doth solemenly appeal to the like dispositions of the other states, in confidence that they will concur with this commonwealth in declaring, as it does hereby declare, that the acts aforesaid, are unconstitutional; and that the necessary and proper measures will be taken by each, for co-operating with this state, in maintaining the Authorities, Rights, and Liberties, referred to the States respectively, or to the people.

That the Governor be desired, to transmit a copy of the foregoing Resolutions to the executive authority of each of the other states, with a request that the same may be communicated to the Legislature thereof; and that a copy be furnished to each of the Senators and Representatives representing this state in the Congress of the United States.

Agreed to by the Senate, December 24, 1798.

THE KENTUCKY RESOLUTION

RESOLUTIONS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE representatives of the good people of this commonwealth in general assembly convened, having maturely considered the answers of sundry states in the Union, to their resolutions passed at the last session, respecting certain unconstitutional laws of Congress, commonly called the alien and sedition laws, would be faithless indeed to themselves, and to those they represent, were they silently to acquiesce in principles and doctrines attempted to be maintained in all those answers, that of Virginia only excepted. To again enter the field of argument, and attempt more fully or forcibly to expose the unconstitutionality of those obnoxious laws, would, it is apprehended be as unnecessary as unavailing.

We cannot however but lament, that in the discussion of those interesting subjects, by sundry of the legislatures of our sister states, unfounded suggestions, and uncandid insinuations, derogatory of the true character and principles of the good people of this commonwealth, have been substituted in place of fair reasoning and sound argument. Our opinions of those alarming measures of the general government, together with our reasons for those opinions, were detailed with decency and with temper, and submitted to the discussion and judgment of our fellow citizens throughout the Union. Whether the decency and temper have been observed in the answers of most of those states who have denied or attempted to obviate the great truths contained in those resolutions, we have now only to submit to a candid world. Faithful to the true principles of the federal union, unconscious of any designs to disturb the harmony of that Union, and anxious only to escape the fangs of despotism, the good people of this commonwealth are regardless of censure or calumniation.

Least however the silence of this commonwealth should be construed into an acquiescence in the doctrines and principles advanced and attempted to be maintained by the said answers, or least those of our fellow citizens throughout the Union, who so widely differ from us on those important subjects, should be deluded by the expectation, that we shall be deterred from what we conceive our duty; or shrink from the principles contained in those resolutions: therefore.

RESOLVED, That this commonwealth considers the federal union, upon the terms and for the purposes specified in the late compact, as conducive to the liberty and happiness of the several states: That it does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union, and to that compact, agreeable to its obvious and real intention, and will be among the last to seek its dissolution: That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence: That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who adminster the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy: That this commonwealth does upon the most deliberate reconsideration declare, that the said alien and sedition laws, are in their opinion, palpable violations of the said constitution; and however cheerfully it may be disposed to surrender its opinion to a majority of its sister states in matters of ordinary or doubtful policy; yet, in momentous regulations like the present, which so vitally wound the best rights of the citizen, it would consider a silent acquiesecence as highly criminal: That although this commonwealth as a party to the federal compact; will bow to the laws of the Union, yet it does at the same time declare, that it will not now, nor ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitutional manner, every attempt from what quarter soever offered, to violate that compact:

AND FINALLY, in order that no pretexts or arguments may be drawn from a supposed acquiescence on the part of this commonwealth in the constitutionality of those laws, and be thereby used as precedents for similar future violations of federal compact; this commonwealth does now enter against them, its SOLEMN PROTEST.

Approved December 3rd, 1799.