In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,…
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the “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.
We hold these truths to be “self-evident,” that (all men are created equal), that they are endowed by their “Creator” with certain (unalienable Rights), that among these are (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness).
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the “consent of the governed,” That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the (Right of the People to alter or to abolish it), – and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely (to effect their Safety and Happiness).
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established (should not be changed) for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute (Despotism), it is their right, it is their duty, to (throw off such Government), and to provide new Guards for their future security.
According to Webster: “des·pot·ism,” A government in which the ruler exercises absolute power.
Preamble to the United States Constitution…
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Politicians of any persuasion who solicit an individuals vote, he or she (by tradition), not in reality or actuality, promises to make America a better nation – a more fair and equal nation, as prescribed by law.
The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”.
A primary motivation for this clause was to validate and perpetuate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed that all people would have rights equal to those of white citizens.
As a whole, the Fourteenth Amendment marked a large shift in American constitutionalism, by applying substantially more constitutional restrictions against the states than had applied before the Civil War.
The meaning of the Equal Protection Clause has been the subject of much debate, and inspired the well-known phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”.
This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision that helped to dismantle racial segregation, and also the basis for many other decisions rejecting discrimination against people belonging to various groups.
The (equal protection) clause applies only to state governments.
However, the requirement of equal protection has been read to be judicially enforceable against the federal government as well, beginning with the controversial opinion in (Bolling v. Sharpe) (1954).
Contrary to the desires of advocates of selective modern race identity politics, and other such revisionist groups, even though the law may have been birthed to address a certain more common offense of racial inequality protection of the laws within the said period, it’s not the slightest controversy to acknowledge and affirm, that equal protection of the laws was never to be granted only to (non whites), but rather as the plain meaning of the words, and the words of the law indicate; “any person” shall not be denied equal protection of the laws.
If the intention of the amendment drafters was only to grant specific “races” equal protection of the laws, the words of the law would indicate so, and the law itself would be in conflict with itself.
Note: By indicating “any person,” certainly the drafters of the amendment had the foresight and wisdom to know the balance of power and tendencies towards abuse of that power may change over time, so that one “race” that is deprived equal protection of the laws in one generation by one “race,” may very well be the “race” depriving equal protection of the laws to that “race” in subsequent generations.
Case in point; “the Obama Administration.”
The Equal Protection Clause is located at the end of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment:
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Shortly after the Union victory in the American Civil War, the (Thirteenth Amendment) was proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in 1865, abolishing slavery.
Many ex-Confederate states then adopted “Black Codes” following the war. These laws severely restricted the rights of blacks to hold property, including real property (such as real estate) and many forms of personal property, and to form legally enforceable contracts.
The Black Codes also created harsher criminal penalties for blacks than for whites.
Because of the inequality these Black Codes imposed, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
This Act provided that all those born in the United States were citizens (contrary to the Supreme Court’s 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford), and required that “citizens of every race and color … [have] full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens.”
Doubts about whether Congress could legitimately enact such a law under the then-existing Constitution was one factor that led Congress to begin to draft and debate what would become the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Another factor was a desire to make the main principles of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 unrepealable by future congresses.
Moreover, Congress wanted to protect white Unionists who were under personal and legal attack in the former Confederacy. The effort was led by the Radical Republicans of both houses of Congress, including John Bingham, Charles Sumner, and Thaddeus Stevens.
The most important among these, however, was Bingham, a Congressman from Ohio, who drafted the language of the Equal Protection Clause.
The Southern states were opposed to the Civil Rights Act, but in 1865 Congress, exercising its power under Article I, section 5, clause 1 of the Constitution, to “be the Judge of the … Qualifications of its own Members,” had excluded Southerners from Congress, declaring that their states, having rebelled against the Union, could therefore not elect members to Congress.
It was this fact—the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted by a “rump” Congress – that allowed the Equal Protection Clause to be passed by Congress and proposed to the states. Its ratification by the former Confederate states was made a condition of their reacceptance into the Union.
Correct me if I’m wrong; I don’t believe blackmail, extortion and criminal intimidation were legal in 1866.
During the debate in Congress, more than one version of the clause was considered. Here is the first version: …
“The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure … (to all persons) in the several states equal protection in the rights of life, liberty, and property.”
Bingham said about this version: “It confers upon Congress power to see to it that the protection given by the laws of the States shall be equal in respect to life and liberty and property to all persons.”
The main opponent of the first version was Congressman Robert S. Hale of New York, despite Bingham’s public assurances that “under no possible interpretation can it ever be made to operate in the State of New York while she occupies her present proud position.” However, Hale ended up voting for the final version.
When Senator Jacob Howard introduced that final version, he said: …
“It prohibits the hanging of a black man for a crime for which the white man is not to be hanged. It protects the black man in his fundamental rights as a citizen with the same shield which it throws over the white man. Ought not the time to be now passed when one measure of justice is to be meted out to a member of one caste while another and a different measure is meted out to the member of another caste, both castes being alike citizens of the United States, both bound to obey the same laws, to sustain the burdens of the same Government, and both equally responsible to justice and to God for the deeds done in the body?”
The 39th United States Congress proposed the Fourteenth Amendment on June 13, 1866. A difference between the initial and final versions of the clause was that the final version spoke not just of “equal protection” but of “the equal protection of the laws”.
John Bingham said in January of 1867: “no State may deny to any person the equal protection of the laws, including all the limitations for personal protection of every article and section of the Constitution….”
By July 9, 1868, three-fourths of the states (28 of 37) ratified the amendment, and that is when the Equal Protection Clause became law.
Question: When it comes to the equality, and/or, equal rights and equal protection under the law, – do the men and women that “create, enact and enforce” our laws (in fact), meet their own criteria?
Creating, enacting and enforcing a law requiring a US citizen to purchase a (product or a service), of any description is not in any way shape or form, “a factor” that our founding fathers had in mind when they penned the Constitution.
The Golden Rule or “ethic of reciprocity” is a (maxim), ethical code or morality that essentially states the following: …
According to Forbes, Bill Gates, (Microsoft), currently has a net worth of $76 billion – making him the richest man in the world.
According to Forbes, the Koch brothers, (Koch industries), currently have a net worth of $36 billion “each,” which (if) combined would come in second just behind Bill Gate’s $76 billion, – to make the Koch brothers (together) the second richest folks in the world.
Question: So why are the Koch brothers perceived as being evil by our teleprompter reading buffoons – while Bill Gates is perceived to be the guy next door?
In short; The Koch brothers are “conservatives” who believe in capitalism and have done (very well) for themselves in the marketplace.
..while Bill Gates is a “liberal” who believes in capitalism and has done (very well) for himself in the marketplace.
The American public via advertising at every level has been indoctrinated to believe that the folks that sell you gasoline and oil at inflated prices are evil and need to be punished via paying a higher share of their profits to support the poor and indigent.
While Bill Gates, the provider of Windows 8 – the latest portal for Americans to commune with their friends via “Facebook,” and other social media outlets is a great fellow who deserves accolades for his contribution to society.
There is no equality within the realm of life – there never has been and there never will be. Homo sapiens, and/or, human beings exercise their free will on a daily basis by eating the flesh of a bovine, and/or, “a hamburger” for lunch – we step on ants and spiders without slightest thought or concern for their families, friends or neighbors.
In the summer months we allot a fair amount of our time and energy to swatting flies in our homes – and dutifully spraying our lawns for moths and mites.
We justify allowing our water bill to increase by 20% in the pursuit of a vibrant lawn – while we spend $150 at Walmart on one pesticide or another to destroy the plants that don’t please us – we are all guilty of selfishness at some level.
For myself, I am currently in the process of preparing to plant tomatoes and summer squash, a variety of bell peppers and onions, – living entities that I will harvest and consume within the next 55 to 75 days.
America is not an individual – America is a Nation.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow