What Justifies the Constitution
A commenter over at Kims blog left this comment:
— What justifies the Constitution in the first place? — John T. Kennedy
It is a very important question, and one that people don’t ofetn think about. Even constitutionally minded folks who should know better havent really thought this one through.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.
The constitution is justified, because that, was ratified by the folks referred to, and contructed by the principles laid out in this:
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.
Importantly, these documents, and the structure they create, are valid only because they re-affirm and limit what governments instituted among man can do to abrogate or limit those rights inherently posessed by the sovreign man.
The constituion is imperfect; any document is, any government is. Imperfect as it is however, it is the single greatest, and most important political document in modern history. It has established the form and structure of governance, for the greatest nation that has ever existed.
If we the people should ever decide that necessary change cannot be accomplished from within the structure defined by the constitution; it is our right as men to change it from without.
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.
That is the safety valve. That’s what says “Ok, if this doesnt work, we get a do-over”.
But how does one fight against a government? How do you abolish the entrenched powers, and institute a new form of government as shall seem most likely to effect your safety and happiness?
Well the folks who wrote those documents above thought about that two, so they wrote this as well:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
As so many have said before me, the reason we have the second ammendment to the constitution is in case the government should ever decide to ignore the rest of the document.