PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL LAW: The Proper Way to Change the Government

People who want to make changes to their government are nothing new.  The desire to change the government under which one lives has been with mankind since the dawn of recorded history.  Neither is the idea of allowing the population of a nation or society to have some level of control over their government.  Although they were not the first to do so, the ancient Greeks are probably best known for their experimentation with ‘democracy.’  However, what is relatively new is the notion of self-rule according to the rule of law where everyone within a nation or society is — at least in theory — equal in their rights and the protections due to them from the government.  This idea started in England, but saw it ultimate fulfillment in the United States.  In the case of the United States, this concept is built upon the notion of Natural Law.  Our founders used the principles of Natural Law to form what amounts to a Social Contract.  We know this contract as The U.S. Constitution.  The Constitution is not only law, it is the highest law in the land.  And though it is primarily concerned with the way the States are to deal with each other, it also guarantees the protection of certain rights to every citizen in the Union.  In addition to this, the Constitution contains several other important procedures, and among them are procedures for either amending or completely replacing the Constitution as it is currently written.  This means, if one wishes to alter or completely change our current system of government, these procedures are the legal way to go about affecting the desired change(s).

The procedures for amending or completely changing the Constitution can be found in Article V. of the Constitution:

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Now, it does not specifically say so, but Article V also infers the authority of the States to totally and completely re-write the Constitution.  We know this because that is exactly what happened when the Constitution was written.  The first attempt at constructing a Social Contract was known as The Articles of Confederation, but that contract failed.  As a result, the States sent delegates to draft a new Social Contract.  Those delegates wrote what is now known as The U.S. Constitution.  This is called a precedence, and it demonstrates what the States must do if they want to replace the current Constitution.  Even then, whatever new Constitution may be drafted, two-thirds of the States must ratify it.  This is a protection against a simple majority of the States forcing the entire Union into a bad Constitution.

Notice that Article V allows but does not require Amendments to start in Congress.  The States can propose and ratify Amendments all on their own.  What has been forgotten by modern society is that this is exactly how our government used to work.  The last Amendment to the Constitution, the 27th Amendment, was ratified in 1992.  Before that, the 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971; the 25th was ratified in 1967; the 24th in 1964; the 23rd in 1961; the 22nd in 1951.  If we average out the number of years between the 11th and 27th Amendment, the U.S. used to ratify an Amendment to the Constitution every 11.94 years.

So why the change?  Why have we stopped using the legal process afforded to us by which we can make the changes to our government that we desire?  Well, there is an answer to that question, but it is the subject for another post.  For now, I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusion to this question.  What I’d like now is for the reader to understand that the American People and their States have a legal way to make changes to our government, a way that has been used 27 times in the past.  And to understand that any attempt to change our government without going through this legal process is an illegal act known as subversion.




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