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From: Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Eagle Forum's Court Watch; President, The Blackstone Institute
1. "The Constitutionalist Manifesto: A Declaration of Independence from Judicial Supremacy": A summary of the basic principles for which we Constitutionalists must be fighting in the 2004 elections and the Culture War beyond. Theses principles are foundational to all efforts and to the other action tools included in this packet.
2. "Candidate Questionnaire: The Constitution and the Courts": A unique questionnaire which is appropriate for candidates for virtually any office. Since 2000, we have seen how officials from a county election board to the U.S. Congress may be involved in constitutional/judicial struggles. The attached questionnaire requires no candidate to comment on a particular court case. Rather, the focus is on the candidates' underlying philosophies of the Constitution and culture. Candidates' responses indicate whether they support our effort to free America from judicial supremacy.
3. "Omnibus Party Resolution on the Constitution and the Courts": A set of practical actions that can, and should, be taken immediately to help free America from judicial supremacy. This non-partisan resolution can be used by any party and should be included in both state and national party platforms. Most of the measures advocated have already been included in Congressional initiatives to restore constitutional supremacy in America.
The Constitutionalist Manifesto: A Declaration of Independence from Judicial Supremacy
By: Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D.,
National Chairman, Eagle Forums Court Watch; President, the Blackstone Institute
America is engulfed in the fires of a Culture War and federal judges have been whipping the flames to a white-hot heat. Their objective? The crusading and coercing roles of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary , . . . [are] a model for all those whose primary aim is the wholesale reconstruction of American society. . . (Robert Nisbet, 1982). Judicial supremacy has replaced Constitutional Supremacy. The Reconstructionists responsible for this constitutional and cultural tragedy must be repelled. The responsibility for freeing America from judicial supremacy falls on us Constitutionalists, who revere the Constitution and its foundations. The Constitutionalist Manifesto draws our line in the sand and is a Twenty-First Century Declaration of Independence for our constitutional republic. The principles of the Manifesto are summarized below.
1. The Constitution is, and must be, by definition, the supreme, fundamental, paramount, permanent law of the land. No court decision, statutory law, or other form of law is either equal to, or superior to, the Constitution.
2. The basic purpose of our Constitution, as of all constitutions, is to provide the stability necessary for our legal system to survive and prosper. Additionally, the Preamble lists six specific Constitutional purposes, which balance liberty with the common good.
3. The provisions of our Constitution have a fixed meaning. This meaning can, and must, be determined by careful, objective study of the express language of the text, the context of the provision being interpreted and of the entire document, the intent of the Framers, and the world view in which the Constitution was embedded by its Framers.
4. The Constitution, properly interpreted, can express the values of only one world view. It cannot reflect a pluralism or diversity of world views.
5. The world view in which the Constitution is embedded is the Judeo-Christian world view. The Constitutions principles and purposes are defined and prioritized by the Judeo-Christian value system. The Constitution cannot survive if it is ripped from its Judeo-Christian moorings.
6. The Constitution embodies a multiplicity of distinct principles to guide our legal system and our culture. These principles include popular sovereignty with representative government, life, liberty, the rule of law, due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and private property/free enterprise. These principles are to be secured by structural principles including federalism and the separation of powers.
7. Federal judges have neither the authority nor the competence to rewrite the Constitution by altering its basic meaning. Federal judges are governed by the Constitution. Judges are required to observe their boundaries and respect fully the legitimate range of powers residing in the individual, the other branches of the national government, the state governments, and the other institutions of society (e.g., the family and the church).
We, Americas Twenty-First Century Constitutionalists, affirm these principles as both our foundation and the objects for which we are fighting in Americas Culture War. We call upon all Americans who love our constitutional republic to understand clearly, and support completely, these principles. Thus may we fight together to reclaim our culture, our Constitution, and our courts!
[The entire Constitutionalist Manifesto can be accessed at the website listed above.]
Candidate Questionnaire: The Constitution and the Courts
From: Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Eagle Forums Court Watch; President, The Blackstone Institute
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the items below is a direct quote from an American court opinion, legislative measure, or credentialed legal scholar. Respond to each item in the following manner:
1 =Agree; 0 = No Comment; 2 = Disagree
1. ______. . . the word person, as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.
2. ______. . . the government creates civil marriage . . . . . . . civil marriage is, and since pre-colonial days has been, . . . a wholly secular institution.
3. ______Without religion there can be no morality, and without morality there can be no law.
4. ______Although creation science is educationally valuable and strictly scientific, it is now being censored from or misrepresented in the public schools.
5. ______If lawyers hold to their precedents too closely, forgetful of the fundamental principles of truth and justice which they should serve, they may find the whole edifice comes tumbling around them.
6. ______. . .this countrys founding documents support the idea that it is from the people, and not God, that the state draws its powers.
7. ______. . . this Court is [not] vested with power to invalidate all state laws that it considers to be arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or oppressive . . . [or] unwise or unnecessary.
8. ______No government has the authority to legalize any type of union (e.g., civil unions or domestic partnerships) other than traditional marriage.
9. ______[Government regulation of homosexual conduct] seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class [homosexuals and lesbians] that it affects. . . . [Such regulation] is rooted in persistent prejudices against persons who are . . . homosexual.
11. ______It is . . . clear that requiring schools to teach creation science with evolution does not advance academic freedom.
12. ______ The extent to which a government can be neutral and equally tolerant of all deeply held values, including religious beliefs, has very definite limits. . . . . Increasingly, government will be compelled to make choices between conflicting values, including religious values.
13. ______At the heart of liberty is the right to define ones own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
14. ______. . . [Even] legislation that is largely symbolic and infrequently enforced . . . has significant pedagogical value. Laws teach people what they should and should not do . . . .
15. ______[Basing our law] on the history of Western civilization and . . . Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards does not [but should] take account of other authorities pointing in an opposite direction [e.g., Irish and Canadian law and the European Court of Human Rights].
16. ______The institution of rights against the Government is not a gift of God, . . [but] a complex and troublesome practice that makes the Governments job . . . more difficult and more expensive. .
17. ______Marriage is a union of one man and one woman. No government has the authority to alter this definition.
18. ______The absolute prohibition on any mention of God in our schools creates a bias against religion.
19. ______. . .the term child who is in utero means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any state of development, who is carried in the womb.
20. ______[The U. S. Supreme Court] owe[s] Congress findings [upon legislative questions] an additional measure of deference out of respect for its authority to exercise the legislative power.
OMNIBUS PARTY RESOLUTION ON
THE CONSTITUTION AND THE COURTS
From: Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D.
National Chairman, Eagle Forums C Watch; President, The Blackstone Institute
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States is, and must be, the supreme law of the land, superior to all court decisions;
WHEREAS, the Constitution must be interpreted in the light of its text, constitutional tradition, and its Judeo-Christian foundation;
WHEREAS, these constitutional foundations include a base of three primary societal institutions (marriage/family, church, and civil law/government) co-existing in balance with one another;
WHEREAS, the Constitution establishes systems of separation of powers within the national government and federalism to protect Judeo-Christian values;
WHEREAS, federal courts have blatantly assaulted these fundamental Constitutional principles and have re-written it under the guise of interpreting it;
AND WHEREAS, We the people still possess the ultimate human political power in this nation and have delegated to the President and Congress very broad powers to establish and empower national courts;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT ________ urge the President to nominate for the national bench only those candidates who evidence a clear commitment to the above principles;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT _________ urge the White House and other GOP leaders to exercise the full political and persuasive powers of their positions with the public and press to restore fairness and constitutionality to the judicial selection and constitutional interpretation processes;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT ________ urge the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role regarding judicial nominations by advising and consenting only and formally eliminating unconstitutional filibustering of judicial nominees;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT ________ urge Congress to curb runaway national courts by actions including, but not limited to:
* Requiring national courts to totally disregard any foreign or international law in interpreting the Constitution, excepting English constitutional and common law and the non-English antecedents of that law (e.g., the Ten Commandments);
* Protecting from national court jurisdiction the acknowledgement of God on public property and in official utterances (e.g., our national motto);
* Protecting the institution of marriage as traditionally defined from all judicial efforts to re-define it or protect substitute relationships (e.g., civil unions);
* Denying federal money and/or federal authority for the enforcement of any court decisions violative of the above principles and proposed executive or Congressional actions;
* Providing that none of the Congressional actions proposed above would, if enacted into law, be reviewable by any national court.