There is a definite, unique, American belief that translates into specific principles for the establishment and workings of our government. This continues a discussion of immortal principles central to liberty and American greatness as found in the Declaration of Independence. Compromise of any of the following principles leads to harmful consequences.
American Principle Seven: Moral Duties of Civility Are a Predicate for Interpreting Constitutional Meaning
The impartial “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” from the Declaration of Independence are the moral connectors that uphold the work ethic, prosperity and civil community.
When we speak of morality, we are speaking of what John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote in the Marbury v. Madison opinion. Marshall rightly said, “The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws [such as the Ten Commandments, displayed in courthouses throughout the nation], and not of men.”
John Marshall was not advocating that judges be empowered to dictate to the states and overrule the people’s elected legislators or administrators. People are the sovereigns, not a handful of lawyers on the Supreme Court. When the people do not like the policies of legislators or elected administrators, they elect different servants for those roles. Lord Acton, the English historian, emphasized the importance of citizen control. The centralization of power at the top tends to corrupt, and power unrestrained becomes absolute.
The Declaration of Independence: “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” When applied, this common sense guideline protects man from authoritarian deception and intrigue. The Laws of Nature, inherent in the Ten Commandments, and Golden Rule are foundational to the American Constitution. This is consistent with Common Law that protects the Constitution as a tool from being twisted by arbitrary man-made Case Law (see Alexander Hamilton in the Philadelphia newspapers, August 28, 1794).
First Amendment freedom from secular judiciary tampering is extremely important. James Madison, the fourth President, known as “The Father of the Constitution,” made the following statement, “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
~ David Norris