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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Birth Choice Gala a Success . . . But Needs Continue

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Abortion is the greatest genocide known in the history of humanity.  While the war against the slaughter of the innocent continues to rage, the forces defending the lives of babies in the womb are slowly turning the tide in the favor of Natural Law.  Like cornered animals, willing to do anything to defend their wicked predatory viciousness, the pro-abortion armies are launching unconscionable attacks from using law to force pro-life facilities to advertise abortion clinics (such as AB 775 in California which is being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court) to forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions for not only Americans, but for foreign-born persons who have entered the United States illegally (such as Oregon House Bill 3391 which was passed during the Summer of 2017).

The fight in California to defend a small pro-life pregnancy center in Temecula has been immense, and at times, costly.  Recently, when the facility moved to a larger and more appropriate location, the local pro-abortion clinic promptly moved across the street to challenge the pro-life ministry.

I am blessed to be a part of the Board of Directors for Birth Choice Centers, Inc.  We have two locations, Temecula and Hemet, where our staff and volunteers work very hard to minister and provide services to young (and not always so young) women who battle with the choice of either giving birth to a beautiful new person, or to abort that life while the baby is still developing inside the womb.

Birth Choice provides a "Voice of Love" to those in need, and the reality is, it takes funding to accomplish the task.  Once per year our largest fundraiser is a gala event in Temecula.  This year's event was called the 2018 Birth Choice Annual Gala, and it was held at the Temeku Ballroom in Temecula.  Our speakers were John Sullivan (IMDB), Alfonzo Rachel (IMDB), and Nada Higuera (Here's a link to a Focus on the Family article about Nada).

From left to right: Alfonzo Rachel, Douglas Gibbs, John Sullivan
The significance of having John Sullivan and Alfonzo Rachel ties back to the horrible serial murderer, Kermit Gosnell, now in prison for multiple life sentences as a result of a trial regarding his "House of Horrors" in Philadelphia.  Gosnell had been performing abortions since before the emergence of Roe v. Wade in 1973.  The horrifying story regarding Gosnell's procedures (which included snipping the spine at the back of the neck of fully born, viable, infants was largely ignored by the mainstream media, because it did not fit their pro-abortion agenda.

The movie is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2018.  John Sullivan is the Executive Producer of Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer.  Alfonzo Rachel, our other speaker at the event, stars beside Dean Kane in the film, playing the part of Detective Stark.

After Mr. Sullivan discussed his unlikely journey to become a part of the Gosnell film project, a trailer I have not been able to find on the internet, yet, was played for the audience.  By the end of the brief encounter with the coming full-length theatrical film, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Rather than talk much about the film, when Alfonzo Rachel took the stage he delivered a biblically based, and common-sense presentation about abortion.  He discussed the horrible history of the practice, and the devastating reality of its "culture of death" in today's society.  He quoted statistics and scripture, and by the end of the talk, the attendees were all on their feet with a standing ovation.

Rachel has always been an advocate against abortion, but when he truly had an opportunity to study its wickedness while researching for his role in "Gosnell," it became a truly horrifying thing for him.

The live auction that followed was lively, and the fundraising aspect of the event seemed to be going well, but as a board member of Birth Choice, I am aware that we always fall short of our much needed goals.  Last year, our expenses slightly exceeded our revenue, largely as a result of unforeseen circumstances, and battling the pro-abortion agenda on multiple fronts.

Nada Higuera, a local lawyer for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, rounded out the evening with a chilling story of a lifetime of sexual abuse by a "friend" of the family, and an abortion pushed by her parents in the hope of preserving their "honor" in the Muslim community.  Higuera is now a Christian, and a warrior in the fight against abortion, recently winning a case that has ultimately been very influential on the U.S. Supreme Court case regarding California's AB 775 (Reproductive FACT Act).

Opportunity Drawings and other fundraising mechanisms were successful to a point, but the fight continues.  While fundraisers are great, the biggest help comes from those who donate individually, especially when it comes to monthly giving.  The fight, while it is a countrywide battle, is especially vicious in California where the Democrat Majority in Sacramento is doing all they can to encourage abortion, and shutdown any who oppose them.  Birth Choice Centers, Inc. is but one cog in that machine.  The war rages on.  The warriors at Birth Choice fight on in resistance.

Satan's greatest trick has been to convince an entire civilization that he doesn't exist. His second greatest trick has been to convince civilization that killing their own children is not evil (from Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous Society).

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, April 21, 2018

John Cox or Travis Allen

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

As a person who is in the public eye, I try to be as objective as I can be when it comes to candidates running for office . . . well, when it comes to those who support the Constitution, anyway.  Democrats don't tend to get much attention from me, not because of any partisan reason, but because I have yet to meet a Democrat who reveres the Constitution, understands the Constitution, or considers it as being an important part of our system of liberty.  In fact, most of them view it as an obstacle, not a Blessed document and the reason behind the liberty and prosperity this country has enjoyed.

That said, when it comes to some races, as objective as I may want to be, I cannot contain myself, and my support for a candidate becomes obvious.  The race for Governor of California is one such race.

Last night, of which I will write more extensively, later, I attended an event where candidate Travis Allen was the speaker in a race pitting him and John Cox against each other as the two leading Republican gubernatorial candidates.  Prior to the event I received an email from a follower of my endeavors to spread constitutional literacy and encourage patriotic advocacy.  She wrote:
Saw where [you are] going to [a] Travis Allen speech. I liked John Cox a lot better. Have heard them both and had their bios. I think John is more experienced and mature. Than Travis. And Travis is bad mouthing Cox all over the place.
I thought about her words.  She said she "liked" Cox better.  The past tense presentation leads me to believe there may be doubt.  Also, while we may be in disagreement, this person is a conservative who loves the Constitution as dearly as I do.  I so dislike the Republican Party's tendency to bring out circular firing squads and internal bickering.  I responded:
I appreciate your opinion. I have known John Cox for a few years, primarily because of his push for his Neighborhood Legislature idea, which, in my opinion, would be disastrous. I have interviewed both of the candidates a number of times, face to face, and I believe based on those experiences that Travis Allen better represents my values and constitutional principles. To be honest, either one of them is better than Gavin Newsom or any other Democrat, so if Cox were to somehow pull off one of the two slots for November, he would get my vote. That said, in the primary, Travis Allen has my vote. Thank you for your opinion. That's what makes this country so wonderful. We may freely discuss issues and candidates without worrying about shock troops showing up and kicking in the door. God Bless, and thank you for all you do.
She received my message, and responded as I had hoped:
You are so right. We can have an opinion without any problem and can agree to disagree. I don't know a lot about either of them but as you say either would be better than any Dem candidate. Thanks for all you do to promote conservatism and to help make California red again. God Bless.
If only the snowflakes and Democrats thought the same way, or at least responded in such a humble and peaceful manner, rather than throwing fits of violence when they don't get their political way or when people dare to disagree with their authoritarian radical Marxist views.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Constitution Radio: California Revolution Explodes

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

Saturday 1-3 pm Pacific LIVE on KMET 1490-AM out of Banning, California.  Listen on your radio, online, or with your KMET phone app.

Call in 951-922-3532

Frankly, I have had a crazy two weeks, and I can't wait to talk about it.  I am back after speaking to a great group in Northridge last week, and we have scheduled blockbuster guests for today's program.

During the first 15 minutes of the program, calling in from an event, our guest will be former gubernatorial candidate, and current congressional candidate, Tim Donnelly.  The Tea Party supporting, minuteman organizing patriot is coming on at a very interesting time . . . because this is the first episode since Beaumont's opt-out of S.B. 54, California's Sanctuary State law, and Mr. Donnelly is uniquely qualified to discuss the immigration issue (considering his time in the Minutemen, and considering that immigration is always among his top priorities in his endeavors, and campaigns).  In addition to his thoughts about the illegal alien invasion, I also want to discuss his opponent, Republican incumbent Paul Cook.  Is Donnelly the better choice for the U.S. House of Representatives?  Tune in and find out.

At the top of the second hour our guest will be Aja Smith, who is running for Congress against Mark Takano in the 41st Congressional District.  She is an energetic candidate who understands the unique skills needed to survive in Washington, but as a Military Veteran for Congress, she understands the fighting spirit needed when defending the U.S. Constitution, and American Liberty.  She has, during this campaign, become a very good friend, and an exciting candidate to watch who, I believe, is much needed in Washington.

I have also asked members of the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party to call in to discuss last Tuesday's incredible victory against S.B. 54 in Beaumont, California.  While we did talk about it this morning on Conservative Voice Radio, I wish to continue the conversation, and talk about the surprise ending that shocked everyone.

Also, last night I was at the University of California at Riverside event starring gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, put on by the College Republicans on that campus.  As Travis Allen and I were ready to depart, as the last few folks there, he apologized for not appearing on the radio program as he has been promising, and asked his team to make sure it happens.  Will that be today?

At the event, Travis Allen gave an incredible speech, despite the protests outside by antifa and Democrats wearing communist clothing and waving flags with red stars on them.  The crowd inside roared as he spoke, and Travis Allen revealed, once again, why he is the best candidate to begin the process of turning California red again.

Lastly, I have asked the President of the College Republicans, Alan Nguyen, to call in to discuss the event, and how UCR tried to stop it with a ridiculous request that fortunately was resolved, thanks to a local patriot.





If you are not local, and cannot pick-up the program on KMET 1490-AM on your radio dial, Listen Live online at www.kmet1490am.com. KMET also has a phone app, and the podcast will be available if you miss the show live.

Miss the program? Podcast will be Here.

---------------------------

And, if there's time, we will also discuss the CarStar/AllStar Collision Big Stories of the Week, April 21, 2018:

⬝ The availability of "7 Worst Constitutional Liars"



⬝ Strike Against Syria was Constitutional

http://politicalpistachio.blogspot.com/2018/04/syria-strikes-were-constitutional.html

⬝ Constitutionality of Troops at the Border


Funeral of Barbara Bush

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

This morning the granddaughters of Barbara Bush read Proverbs 31:10-31 during the funeral of the former first lady, wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of President George W. Bush at St. Martin's Church in Houston, Texas.  1,500 guests joined together to remember the life of Barbara Bush.

As the wife of one President, and mother of another, an attribute only held by Abigail Adams (wife of President John Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams), Mrs. Bush was highly respected, and closely endeared.  Compassionate and strong-willed, the Silver Fox was revered by an entire nation.  A giving soul, and a support to those in her life, she cared for those around her, and the country she spent much of her life serving . . . by the side of her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush.

Her funeral, attended by members of both sides of the aisle, included moments of levity and sorrow, celebration and solemn remembrance.  While sadness filled the room, a gladness also existed, for Barbara Bush's faith in God was known, and all who were attending knew, Mrs. Bush is finally home with her Lord.

Historian Jon Meacham delivered words filled with humor and respect.  The attendees laughed, and joined in celebration.

Midway through singing Amazing Grace, with a full choir robed in white leading the way, the crowd including Barack Obama and Melania Trump, listened to a reading from the Gospel as they stood together to celebrate the life of Barbara Bush, thanking Our Lord for the pleasure of having Barbara Bush on the planet with us during the time she was with us.

The finale of the congregational signing of Amazing Graze was powerful, and filled with emotion (despite, as it was humorously pointed out later, the fact that it was sung earlier than originally planned and intended).  This writer's eyes were welling up, only to leave me nodding my head in understanding and agreement as Mrs. Bush's friend Susan Garrett Baker delivered her own eulogy, also laced with humor.  She called Mrs. Bush a tough and loving enforcer who had vision and tenacious dedication to literacy.  Her public contributions were only a part of her character.  She was also a dear friend. . . supportive, encouraging and loving as she pushed those around her to become more than they were, and more than they believed they could be.

Son Jeb Bush said his mother taught everyone around her how to live a life with purpose and meaning.  He then thanked all who attended the funeral before delivering a litany of lessons he learned from his "first teacher."

The funeral continues as I write this, targeted to meet its completion at 3:00 pm Eastern/Noon Pacific.  If the celebration of the woman's life continues as it has, each speaker will explain a number of things, focusing primarily on her toughness, traditional views, humility, and the humor that seemed to follow her around.  Rest in Peace, Barbara Bush.

All who knew her weep, not because they are sad about her passing because we know she is with The Lord . . . we weep because she will no longer be in our lives.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Conservative Voice Radio: Beaumont Opts Out of Sanctuary State


Saturday 8:00 am: 
Conservative Voice Radio

Conservative Voice Radio
Saturdays, 8:00 am Pacific
KMET 1490-AM

Conservative Voice Radio is hosted by Douglas V. Gibbs, with President of the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party Glenn Stull. Jan and Diane rounds out the round-table for this week's episode on KMET 1490-AM.

Podcast available at https://soundcloud.com/kmet-1490-am/sets/conservative-voice-radio

Topics:

- Comey's Book, McCabe's Inspector General Report

- Pompeo Confirmation includes unconstitutional Religious Test

- Beaumont Opts Out of Sanctuary State

Friday, April 20, 2018

Paying for Green

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Excerpt from my latest book, 7 Worst Constitutional Liars:
[Alexander] Hamilton was, among other things, also the founding father of Crony Capitalism and Corporate Welfare.  In addition to a government-directed economy, Hamilton made it clear that it was his opinion that the government should work with massive corporations, and use government influences to benefit politically connected businesses.  At the time, the practice was called “mercantilism.”  Hamilton maintained that government intervention was necessary, and that if the government did not provide tax-financed subsidies for businesses, manufacturing would never develop.  In his Report on Manufactures Hamilton argued for using government to try to make certain manufacturing industries appear earlier than they otherwise would on the free market – a practice that is followed today by the Democrat Party, of which they are trying to apply to “renewable resources” industries. 
Are you paying for, through your taxes or a higher cost for products, the liberal left dream of dumping "brown energy" for "green energy?  The answer is "yes," and the tactic is as old as the U.S. Constitution that our system of liberty is based upon.

In a number of circles, going green has become the trendy thing to do.  The trend, however, was not encouraged by the free market, or individualism.  It was thwarted upon us by government, and the greed for power and money that dwells within the empty skulls of establishment politicians and leftist ideologues.

We are told that there are many benefits associated with renewable energy and electric conveyances.  We need to dump our gas-guzzlers, outlaw all thin plastic grocery bags, and go hug a tree.

In California, the Democrat Party has a stranglehold on the State, so it is their policies that are getting shoved into place.  The problem is, while they claim their policies are friendly to the environment, and provides for a sustainable society, the reality is, they are neither "green," nor sustainable.

In 2010, when I was still a truck driver, Sacramento put into place a law requiring big rigs to reduce their emissions of pollutants by adding filtration systems (much like catalytic converters) to all trucks in California. All big rigs were required by law to be retrofitted with new equipment at a cost of about $25,000 per truck.  The same went for tractors, and other heavy equipment. In many cases, the retrofits cost more than the value of the equipment.  Smaller companies and owner-operators were not able to afford compliance.  Without the retrofits, the State of California shut those companies down, and disallowed them from doing business in California.  In the end, the smaller players in trucking and construction either went out of business, or left the State . . . leaving less competition for the larger corporations, of whom the Democrats claim to have a problem with.

In the end, while the move may, or may not, have helped the environment, it enabled California to force funds out of businesses, take more control over their operations, and reduce the number of companies operating in the State when it comes to trucking and construction.

A similar thing happened with the plastic grocery bag ban.  In California, thin plastic grocery bags are illegal, and if you use a thicker bag that is intended to be used over and over, there is a ten-cent tax attached.

A friend of mine was telling me about another friend of his who is in the plastic bag business.  He was afraid the new law would kill his business.  In the end, it actually helped his business.  The thicker bags cost more, and people, for the most part, are using them the same way they used the thinner bags.  The result of the switch is that the grocery stores are forced to raise prices on some products to cover the loss of revenue through the additional plastic bag expenditure.  California is receiving a ten-cent hidden tax on each bag.  However, the environment is not only not better off, in the long run it is actually worse off.  That said, my friend's friend is making a bundle.

Compared to the old, thinner bags we used prior to this law, the thicker plastic bags require twenty-six times the energy to produce, and twenty-six times the amount of time to decompose.  So, unless you are using these bags at least twenty-six times, they are worse on the environment, not better.

Most people are using them once, and then using them as a trash liner, as they did with the thinner bags, in their smaller trashcans.

Reusing the bags, if one really is a green nut and believes in the claimed original intent of the law, it turns out, is not good, either.  In fact, reuse of the bags create a legitimate health hazard.  Most people, when they reuse bags, do not wash out the bags each time they are used.  Besides, if they did, the increase of water usage may also create its own environmental situation.  But, since most folks are reusing the bags, often what happens is contaminants get into the bags, and then are passed onto their food during the next trip to the store, causing illness, and an increased strain on the health care system, and a reduction in hours worked by employees due to missing work as a result of their bag-born illness.

Overall, in addition to the damage the new thicker bags create in regards to the environment, they are also resulting in a reduction in income tax revenue (from the people who missed work due to illness caused by the re-use of the bags), an increase in environmental damage and costs, and an increase in the cost of products in stores to cover the higher cost of manufacturing the thicker plastic bags.

The green agenda has backfired, and the State of California is worsening its economic situation.

So, while going “green” may seem trendy, it's not really as green as one would think, and it is definitely detrimental to our overall economy, and the prosperity of individuals at the lower scale of things.

Even the electric cars are not as green as they say, for while they may be using electricity to run, the increase in the use of electricity is requiring brown energy to be used to keep up with the demand.

Besides, we must also remember, there are all kinds of hidden costs in the pursuit of “clean energy,” much of which directly influences all consumers.

In California, the State’s new Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, along with nine other States, have automakers pushing to produce more electric cars each year.  With California's cap and trade, automakers are forced to either meet their annual ZEV quotas or purchase costly credits to make up the difference.

The Democrats are pulling a Hamiltonian move (using government to try to make certain manufacturing industries appear earlier than they otherwise would on the free market), and to be honest, consumers aren't quite completely ready for these vehicles.  The price tag is too high, and the variety of vehicles in that industry are too limited.  Besides, you only get somewhere between 40-55 miles per charge.  Californians drive much farther than that.

Granted, a Tesla Model S may travel 200-300 miles per charge, but it's sticker price is pretty high, around $70,000.

Auto manufacturers already survive on tight margins, and that number is even tighter when it comes to environmentally friendly vehicles.  Therefore, with no wiggle room, the cost of making the cars "cleaner" is being passed on to the consumers, as is the cost of cap and trade credits.  The increases in prices are not only on those new greener cars.  Conventional auto prices are also rising in price to help subsidize more-costly electric cars.

In short, only the wealthy can afford the higher priced green cars, but in order for them to be made available, subsidies to make sure those cars make it to the showroom floor are being shouldered by lower-income families buying brown energy vehicles.

What about all of that electricity being used that is supposed to be cleaner?  As I mentioned earlier, most of that comes from what the environmentalists call "brown energy."  Almost two-thirds of all electricity generated in the U.S. comes from coal and natural gas power plants.  Thus, while advertised as non-fossil fuel cars, the plug-in electric vehicles are still being powered mostly by fossil fuels, just not through an internal-combustion engine.

Government is determined, however, to continue to compel Americans to purchase electric cars . . . to save the planet.  It's either that, or your old school car's price will continue to skyrocket to help the market nobody is participating in.  In the end, eventually the average American won't be able to afford a car at all.

But, that's the plan, isn't it?  They want us out of our cars.  That's way too much freedom, for you.  Be happy.  Ride a bike, or ride a bus.  Never mind that you commute to a job outside your neighborhood, or region.

Well, there's that, or you can leave California . . . but the Democrats are working on taxing that, too.


-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Zuckerberg Before Congress is Unconstitutional

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Yes, Mark Zuckerberg, the owner and CEO of FACEBOOK is a raging leftist, and he runs his FACEBOOK business in a manner that is politically discriminatory.  He targets conservatives, censors conservatives, and bans conservative material.  He uses technology to target advertising, shares information (of which his customers agreed to via the agreement in place by joining FACEBOOK) and treats his customers in a manner that is not good.

Fine.  He's a jerk.  But, Zuckerberg is a private business owner.  If you don't like what he's doing, take your business elsewhere.

There is no authority granted to the federal government by the Constitution giving Congress or any other part of government the authority to demand Zuckerberg to stand before Congress, and answer for his private business practices.

As a customer, Ted Cruz's questioning of Zuckerberg was fantastic and correct, but how Zuckerberg runs his business is none of the U.S. Senate's business, so as a Senator, Ted Cruz (as the "constitution guy" in the Senate) should have known better than to be read Zuckerberg the riot act.

We have a free market system.  If we don't like government dictating to a baker about their cake baking, or to preachers regarding who they will marry, why are we cheering for government to dictate to FACEBOOK on how they run their business?

Don't like them?  Take your business elsewhere.  Create a competing platform.

If Zuckerberg understood freedom and the Constitution, he would have walked into Congress and said, "My name is Mark Zuckerberg, and I am a liberal left Democrat, and as a private business owner it is none of your business, nor authority, on how I run my private corporation."

I don't like the guy, and I think it is messed up that FACEBOOK plays these games of censoring people for political reasons.   I am angry they did what they did to Diamond and Silk.  It was messed up and I will shout from the highest rooftops that it was wrong.  But, in the end, as a private business owner, there is nothing legally we can do about it, and Congress has no business being involved.  In fact, the questioning of Zuckerberg by the U.S. Senate is not only unconstitutional, but it is downright tyrannical.

Since when should conservatives and constitutionalists cheer government dictating to a private business owner how he runs his business?

The First Amendment was written to limit government, not private businesses or individuals.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Join the Fight to Pardon Dinesh D'Souza

Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-dinesh-dsouza-6

I wanted to let you know about a We the People petition and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 100,000 signatures within 30 days of its creation, the White House will review it and respond!

You can view and sign the petition here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-dinesh-dsouza-6

Thanks for raising your voice!

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Democrat's Investigation Reveals Left's Criminality

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Robert Mueller:  Mueller was a central figure in an FBI cover up that kept four completely innocent men in prison for decades, in order to protect the FBI’s reputation. Protecting the Deep State was so important to Mueller that he perpetuated an FBI cover up that allowed innocent Americans to rot in prison for more than 30 years.

Andrew McCabe: Andrew McCabe lied.  The new report from the Justice Department inspector general concludes that McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, lied to then-FBI Director James Comey, to other FBI agents, and to officials of the Office of the Inspector General. Some of those lies came when McCabe was under oath.

That's not even taking into account the lies and corruption committed by Comey, the Clintons, the Obamas . . .

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Temecula Constitution Class: War and Reconstruction, Amendments 13, 14, and 15

Temecula Constitution Class, Tonight, 6:30
Faith Armory, 41669 Winchester Rd., Temecula, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
 
 
 
Lesson 18
 
The Civil War Amendments 13, 14, and 15
 
The End of Slavery

Prior to the Civil War, any federal legislation related to slavery dealt with the importation of slaves. Aspects of slavery inside State lines were considered a State issue.
 
Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 abolished the Atlantic slave trade, and the United States Government intervened militarily to ensure the law prohibiting the importation of slaves was enforced. The Framers of the Constitution believed that in order to ensure the southern States did their part in ratifying the Constitution, while remaining consistent with the concept of the federal government only having authority over external issues, and disputes between the States, they could not abolish slavery nationally through the articles presented by the Constitution. A large number of delegates at the federal convention in 1787 desired the immediate abolition of slavery, but the fear was that the southern States would not only refuse to ratify the Constitution, but that they would refuse to remain a part of the union, eventually succumbing to attacks from Florida and absorbed into the Spanish Empire.
 
A proposed amendment to abolish slavery during the American Civil War finally passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6, but the House did not approve it.
 
When the proposed amendment was reintroduced by Representative Ashley, President Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections. Lincoln's efforts, combined with the result of the War Between the States, ensured the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56.
 
The 13th Amendment was ratified into law on December 6, 1865.
Terms:
Atlantic Slave Trade - Started by the Portuguese, but soon dominated by the English, the Atlantic Slave Trade was the sale and exploitation of African slaves by Europeans that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th century to the 19th century.
 
War Between the States - The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Seven Southern slave States seceded from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America. The "Confederacy" grew to include eleven States. The war was fought between the States that did not declare secession, known as the "Union" or the "North", and the Confederate States. The war found its origin in the concept of State's Rights, but became largely regarding the issue of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, and much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed. After the War, Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were proposed and ratified to abolish slavery in the United States, and to begin the process of protecting the civil rights of the freed slaves.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. Why wasn't slavery abolished at the founding of this nation?
 
2. Why did the House of Representatives not originally approve this amendment?
 
3. How has the abolition of slavery affected this nation since the ratification of the 13th Amendment?
 
Resources:
 
Congressional Proposals and Senate Passage Harper Weekly. The
Creation of the 13th Amendment. Retrieved Feb. 15, 2007
 
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
 
Citizenship, Civil Rights, and Apportionment
            Citizenship Clause
 
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution failed in 1866 after the southern States rejected the proposed amendment. After a second attempt to ratify the amendment, it was adopted on July 9, 1868. The ratification of the 14th Amendment occurred after the federal government began to govern the South through a system of military districts. Some historians question the validity of the ratification of the 14th Amendment because it is believed by these historians that the southern States ratified the amendment under duress, and pressure applied by the northern governorships in each of the southern States during the early part of the Reconstruction Period.
 
The first clause of the 14th Amendment is known as "The Citizenship Clause." The clause was intended to ensure the children of the emancipated slaves, as well as the newly freed slaves, would be considered citizens without any room for argument. The clause reads:
 
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
 
This clause has been misinterpreted to mean all persons born in the United States are automatically citizens, which is not the case. The defining term in this clause that enables the reader to recognize that citizenship needs more than just being born on American soil reads: "subject to the jurisdiction, thereof."
 
To understand the term jurisdiction, one may go to the debates on the congressional record of the 14th Amendment. In those debates, and in articles of that time period written to explain the intent of the language of the amendment, one finds that "full jurisdiction" was meant to mean "full allegiance to America." The intention was to protect the nation against persons with divided loyalties.
 
The writers of the 14th Amendment wished to follow the importance of "full loyalty" as portrayed by the Founding Fathers. As far as the founders were concerned, there could be no divided allegiances. They expected citizens to be fully American.
 
Despite the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, the emancipated slaves were not receiving the rights and privileges of American citizens as they should have been. The former slaves were present in the United States legally, and because they were here legally they were "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," but they were still not receiving any assurance of equal protection under the law.
 
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created in the hopes of correcting the problem. Some of the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."
 
The definition of "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" in that act was all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring, but not having any allegiances to any foreign government.
 
Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
 
Senator Howard's responses to questions regarding the language he used in the Citizenship Clause were recorded in The Congressional Globe, which are the recorded transcripts of the debates over the 14th Amendment by the 139th Congress:
 
Mr. HOWARD: "I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127."
 
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
 
"The 1st Amendment is to section one, declaring that all persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."
 
Senator Howard even went out of his way to indicate that children born on American soil of foreign citizens are not included.
 
Clearly, the framers of the 14th Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.
 
The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."
 
The full quote by Senator Trumbull:
 
"The provision is, that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.' That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.' What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?' Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means."
 
Trumbull continues, "Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court? Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States? By no means. We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction. If they were, we wouldn't make treaties with them...It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition that such persons should be citizens."
 
Senator Howard concurred with what Mr. Trumbull had to say:
 
"I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now."
 
Based on these explanations by the writers of the clause, then, it is understood that the intention was for those who are not born to American citizens to have no birthright to citizenship just because they simply were born inside the borders of this country.
 
The courts have interpreted the Citizenship Clause to mean other things, but we must remember that the Constitution cannot be changed by the courts. Changes to the Constitution can only be made by amendment (Article V.).
 
It was through the progressive actions of the Lincoln administration in the American Civil War, and the actions of the courts to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, that America ceased to be "The United States Are," and became a more nationalistic "The United States Is."
 
            Privileges and Immunities Clause
 
The next clause, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," was expected to protect the newly emancipated slaves from local legislation that may treat them differently. This clause was a direct response to the Black Codes, laws passed in the States that were designed to limit the former slaves from obtaining all of the freedoms they thought they had been guaranteed.
 
The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of the proper due process of law. The right to a fair trial was to be extended to all persons, including the emancipated slaves.
 
            Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause
 
The Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection clause, have been the subject of debate since the language written by Congressman John Bingham, the principal author of the later part of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, was first penned. Bingham believed the federal government should use all national tools available to ensure the southern States behaved as instructed. Bingham repeatedly stated his belief that the Fourteenth Amendment would enforce the Bill of Rights against the States, but the majority of the members of Congress present did not concur with his muddled and inconsistent argument.
 
Author Raoul Berger, in his book Government by Judiciary, discussed whether the 14th Amendment should be construed to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States. Relying on the analysis of Professor Charles Fairman in his published article, Does the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporate the Bill of Rights?, Berger concluded that Bingham was a "muddled" thinker whose views should be discounted. Berger agreed with Fairman that the framers of the 14th Amendment did not intend it to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States. Berger rejected even selective incorporation, arguing that the Amendment's framers did not intend that any of the first eight amendments should be made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment
 
Antislavery activists largely supported Bingham's conclusion that that Bill of Rights must be applied to the States, and such application must be enforced by the federal government. Though the Bill of Rights was originally intended by the Founding Fathers not to apply to the States, and with less than a centuryt since the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution behind them, Bingham's supporters contended that local jurisdiction over cases regarding an individual's rights could no longer be allowed because the southern States could not be trusted to be fair to the newly emancipated slaves.
 
Bingham's call for an incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States established the concept that all people's rights are supposed to be protected by the federal government. The Founding Fathers did not apply the Bill of Rights to the States from the beginning because giving that kind of power to a potentially tyrannical federal government carries with it many pitfalls. As the quote by Gerald Ford goes, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Nonetheless, despite the dangers of a central government dictating to the States regarding their laws regarding individual rights, because of the mistreatment of the former slaves by the Southern States, the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, have been commonly interpreted to mean that the Bill of Rights is applicable to the States.
 
Since the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights did not take hold as a result of the 14th Amendment, as the statists that supported Bingham's position had desired, the federal courts stepped in and took pursuit. Pursuing a nationalist agenda, the courts disregarded the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, as well as the conclusions of the Congress regarding the 14th Amendment, and began to selectively incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, beginning with the Slaughterhouse Cases just five years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868. A five to four vote by the high court interpreted the Privileges and Immunities Clause as the authority to enforce The Bill of Rights against the States. Subsequent cases also used the 14th Amendment as an authority for incorporation.
 
The courts, through this process of incorporating The Bill of Rights to the States, have changed the Constitution through unconstitutional means, and against original intent. As originally intended, all provisions in the U.S. Constitution apply to the federal government, unless otherwise noted. The Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the federal government, and if we are to remain in line with the original intent of the Founding Fathers, State sovereignty must remain protected by that original intent.
 
The attitude of the southern States, and their refusal to treat the former slaves fairly led to a perceived need for clarification and enforcement by the federal government, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and eventually to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
 
A separate but equal doctrine existed for more than fifty years, despite numerous attempts to ensure blacks enjoyed full rights and privileges of citizenship.
 
In modern politics, laws continue to test the limits of the Equal Protection Clause. While the clause was intended to make sure that everyone is treated equally under the law, politicians supporting the Affordable Care Act have handed out exemptions to members of Congress, and some individuals or corporations, allowing those that receive the exemptions to be treated differently under the law.
 
            Apportionment
 
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment altered the rules for the apportioning of Representatives in the Congress to the States. The enumeration was changed to include all residents, while also calling for a reduction of a State's apportionment if it wrongfully denies any adult male's right to vote.
 
For fear that the former slaves would support the Republicans, southern Democrats worked feverishly to dissuade blacks from voting. Section 2 addressed this problem by offering to the southern States the opportunity to enfranchise black voters, or lose congressional representation.
 
            Consequences of Insurrection
 
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason. A two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress could override this limitation. The interest was to ban the service of any members of the Confederacy that refused to renounce their participation in the Confederacy.
 
            Public Debt as a Result of the War
 
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt appropriated by Congress. The clause also indicated that neither the United States nor any State would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy. This clause was to ensure that all States recognized the validity of the debt appropriated by Congress as a result of the war, while bonds secured by the Confederacy in order to help finance the South's part of the war "went beyond congressional power."
 
Political battles over the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013 encouraged some politicians to argue that the "validity of the public debt" clause outlawed a debt ceiling, because placing a limit on federal spending interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (such as Social Security). The clause in the 14th Amendment addressing the validity of the public debt, however, was never intended to be a general clause to be used by future administrations, but a specific clause only addressing the debt accrued as a result of the American Civil War.
 
            Enforcement
 
The final clause of the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to "enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." Federal intrusion upon the States, however, has been a long-time fear by those that support the concept of State Sovereignty. The question regarding enforcement was addressed in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, where the opinion of the Supreme Court interpreted Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to mean that "the legislation which Congress is authorized to adopt in this behalf is not general legislation upon the rights of the citizen, but corrective legislation".
 
In a more recent case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress's enforcement power according to the last clause of the 14th Amendment is limited to only enacting legislation as a response to a "congruence and proportionality" between the injury to a person's 14th Amendment rights and the means Congress adopted to prevent or remedy that injury.
 
Court interpretation of the Constitution can be a dangerous practice, and we must remember that any interpretation of the Constitution offered by the courts in a ruling are merely opinions. The final authority regarding the definitions of Constitutional law resides with the people, through their States. Any allowance of the courts to fully define the Constitution at the whims of the judges opens up the opportunity for the courts to change definitions for ideological purposes, resulting in a judicial oligarchy, rather than a constitutional republic driven by the consent of the governed, and the self-evident standards of Natural Law.
 
Terms:
Black Codes - Laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.
 
Constitutional Republic - Government that adheres to the rule or authority of the principles of a constitution. A representative government that operates under the rule of law.
 
Equal Protection Under the Law - Laws must treat an individual resident or citizen in the same manner.
 
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights - The process through court rulings based on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.
 
Jurisdiction - Full loyalty, a condition in which all foreign allegiances have been released; not owing allegiance to anybody else.
 
Military Districts - Districts created in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union), headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.
 
Nationalist - An advocate of Nationalism.
 
Natural Law - Unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct; observable law relating to natural existence; birthright law.
 
Original Intent - Original meaning of the United States Constitution as intended by the framers during the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent State Ratification Conventions.
 
Public Debt - National debt; the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
 
Reconstruction Period - Period following the American Civil War during which the United States government began to rebuild the States that had seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy, lasting from 1865-1877. During Reconstruction, the federal government proposed a number of plans and committed large amount of resources, to the readmittance to the union, and the rebuilding, of the defeated Confederate States.
 
Separate But Equal - Various laws designed to undermine the 14th Amendment requirement that former slaves be treated equally under the law, contending that the requirement of equality could be met in a manner that kept the races separate. The result of these laws was a generally accepted doctrine of segregation throughout The South.
 
State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.
 
United States are - These States that are united; a group of sovereign member States in America voluntarily united into a republic.
 
United States is - Nation of the United States containing a number of States similar to provinces ruled over by a centralized federal government.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. How might have the governors of the military districts influenced the ratification of the 14th Amendment?
 
2. Does the Citizenship Clause have anything to do with Natural Born Citizenship? Why?
 
3. Why was Congress concerned with the threat of divided allegiance?
 
4. Did the 14th Amendment eliminate laws like the Black Codes, as intended?
 
5. How is it that despite the original intent of those that voted for the 14th Amendment that the Bill of Rights not be applied to the States most of the first ten amendments have been applied to the States anyway?
 
6. What pieces of legislation since the ratification of this amendment have been passed in order to ensure that the Equal Protection Clause is properly enforced?
 
Resources:
Congressional Globe, 39th Congress (1866) pg. 2890: Senator Jacob
Howard States the Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment Published in the Congressional Record, May 30, 1866.
 
Civil Rights Act, The - April 9, 1866,
http://www.tedhayes.us/CVR_civil_rights_act_of_1866.htm
 
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln; New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks (2005)
 
Frank J. Williams, Judging Lincoln; Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press (2002)
 
John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order; New York:
Vintage Civil War Library (1993)
 
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
 
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham
Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War; Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, a division of Random House (2002)
 
William S. NcFeely, Grant; New York: W.W. Norton & Company
(1981)
 
Voting Rights
The 15th Amendment was designed to protect the voting rights of all citizens, regardless of race, color, or if the voter had previously been a slave or indentured servant. As stated in the amendment, this article applies to both the federal government, and the States.
 
As the third reconstruction amendment, the 15th Amendment faced another challenge that was unexpected. In some States the requirements were that all voters and candidates must be Christians. As originally written, the amendment would require these States to change their rules regarding the manner of elections. Realizing the ratification of the amendment may depend on the support of the States with Christianity requirements regarding elections, the amendment was revised in a conference committee to remove any reference to holding office or religion and only prohibited discrimination based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.
 
Democrat Party created militias, like the Ku Klux Klan, continued to try and intimidate black voters and white Republicans. The federal government promised support, assuring that black and Republican voters could both vote, and serve, in confidence. When an all-white mob in the Battle of Liberty Place attempted to take over the interracial government of New Orleans, President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops to restore the elected mayor.
 
President Rutherford B. Hayes narrowly won the election in 1876. To appease the South after his close election, in the hopes of gaining their support and soothing angry Democrats, President Hayes agreed to withdraw the federal troops who had been occupying the South since the end of the Civil War. The hope was that the southern States were ready to handle their own affairs without a need for any interference from the North.
 
In the process, President Hayes also overlooked rampant fraud and electoral violence in the Deep South, despite several attempts by Republicans to pass laws protecting the rights of black voters and to punish intimidation. Without the restrictions, voting place violence against blacks and Republicans increased, including instances of murder.
 
By the 1890s many of the southern States had enacted voter eligibility laws that included literacy tests and poll taxes. Since the black population was normally steeped in poverty, the inability to afford the poll tax kept them from voting in elections.
 
It took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to finally take hold. The ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated poll taxes, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, served to ensure that blacks in the South were able to freely register to vote, and vote without any obstacles.
Terms:
Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for         voting.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. Why was the wording of the Fifteenth Amendment changed to not include discrimination based on religion?
 
2. Why do you think the Democrat Party played a part in forming the Ku Klux Klan?
 
3. Why did President Hayes withdraw federal protections against racial discrimination in the South?
 
4. How did poll taxes enable the Southern Democrats from keeping Blacks from being able to vote without violating the Constitution?
 
5. Why do you think it took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to be realized?
 
Resources:
 
Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 3d Sess (1869) pg. 1318
 
Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished
Revolution, 1863-1877; New York: Harper Perennial Modern
Classics (2002)
 
Gillette, William, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the
Fifteenth Amendment; Baltimore: John Hopkins Press (1969)
 
 
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs