The Constitution --- Plain and Simple

In Perspective

Curtis W. Caine, MD

This column on the Constitution appears in the Medical Sentinel to remind us that it is the unConstitutional (and thus illegal) activities in medicine and all other facets of our lives that have trampled on and outlawed our God-endowed freedom and liberty.

In each of the previous twenty-eight issues of the Medical Sentinel, I have striven to plainly and simply elucidate the history, content, intent, precepts, integration, restrictions, precedents, proscriptions, violations, discipline, penalties, and duties of the provisions of the Constitution of these United States, on their textual face.

On August 4, 2001, Howard Phillips, in a few short paragraphs, brilliantly condensed and expanded much of my feeble, labored attempt. Please be alert and contemplative when you read his remarks that follow.

Let us each resolve to expend ourselves to the reestablishment of our Republic to its Constitutional limitations and Biblical undergirding presuppositions.

Dr. Jim McClellan is one of America's great Constitutional historians, having begun, inter alia, the editing and updating, together with Dr. Mel Bradford, of "Elliott's Debates" on the state conventions called to consider ratification of the U.S. Constitution of 1787.

Among other matters we discussed with the McClellans during our visit to their home in Farmville, Virginia, was the continuing relevance of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, drafted, respectively, by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Those resolutions asserted that "the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: That the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers, but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

In the First Quarter 2001 edition of Southern Partisan magazine, Dr. McClellan observes, "The conquerors, it is said, write the histories of all conquered peoples....At a loss for an ethical or moral justification for the military invasion of the South and the wanton destruction of Southern lives and property, Yankee historians hit upon the idea that slavery alone was the cause of the war, and that the sole purpose of Northern aggression was to save the Union and abolish slavery.

"Echoing Lincoln, they claimed that the Confederates were responsible for the conflict, and that political actions taken by Southern leaders constituted treason and rebellion.

"The word 'rebellion' was fundamental to the Unionists' interpretation of the struggle, and it was later embodied in the name given to the official records of the War and to many Unionist pamphlets and histories.

"From the beginning, Northerners denied that the South had a right to secede, insisting that there was no lawful basis for the South's withdrawal from the Union....

"Ignoring the commanding role played by the States in the formation and ratification of the Constitution, to say nothing of the amendment clause that gives the States the final say on whether the document shall be changed, Northern Unionists denied the fact that the Union was a compact of sovereign States and claimed that the words 'We the people' showed that the Union was created not by the people meeting in State conventions, but by the 'American people' abstractly considered.

"Unionist theoreticians also conveniently overlooked the fact that some States, notably Virginia, had expressly reserved the right, in their instruments of ratification, to 'resume' their powers if the Federal government became 'oppressive.'

"This simplistic theory of the nature of the Union promulgated by Lincoln and his followers soon crumbled under the weight of evidence gleaned from the record of the Constitutional Convention and the State ratifying conventions....

"Union sympathizers --- to this day --- have never produced a single rebuttal to the constitutional case for secession....

"That West Virginia was permitted to secede from the 'indestructible' State of Virginia did not even enter the discussion," observed my friend, and fellow director of The Conservative Caucus, Dr. James McClellan.

My friends, history tells us that truth may be set aside, may be trampled upon, and indeed, it may be temporarily defeated, but so long as it has its advocates, the truth can and shall ultimately prevail --- not necessarily in tune with our schedules, hopes, and expectations, but in God's good time.

The true principles of the War for American Independence, the Declaration which preceded it, and the Constitution which followed, are untaught today in the government schools and forgotten and misunderstood by our contemporaries, but, so long as you and I are there to be advocates of those founding principles, we can have both hope and expectation of their ultimate restoration.

The several states, at the end of the 18th century, delegated certain limited and enumerated functions to a newly constituted Federal republic, proceeding from the basic principles of sovereignty, liberty, an accountability and recognized, without objection, regardless of theological differences, that "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable, rights," and that civil "government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed."

As God's creatures, we owe a duty of stewardship to our Creator, reflected in the Constitutional principle that, when we assign powers to civil government, it must be accountable to us, so that we can be accountable to Him.

Nowhere is this principle of our accountability to the sovereignty of God more clearly reflected than in the first sentence of the Constitution following the Preamble, in which it is stated that "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

Through the popularly elected House, there was direct accountability to the people.

The Senate, members of which were selected by the Legislatures of the several states in the republic, was to be held accountable to those governing institutions, the states, which gave it life, and from which the Senate, derived, its legitimacy.

Unfortunately, over time, the states and the people have permitted Congress in derogation and disregard of their Constitutional obligations not merely to delegate but, in all too many cases, to surrender those legislative powers, including the authority to spend funds and to set policy, which authority is exclusively vested by the Constitution in the House and Senate, to institutions which are in no way directly accountable to either the several states or their citizens, the people.

Thus, legislative powers over us are now unconstitutionally exercised variously by regulatory agencies, Presidential Executive Orders, judicial edicts, mandated grantees and contractors of the Federal government, civil service bureaucrats, governors of the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Alliance, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and, sadly, many other similar entities, too numerous and too obscure to mention.

Because they are not accountable to us, God's creatures, we are less able to be accountable to our Creator...

Clearly, the cause of sovereignty, liberty, and accountability has suffered many defeats since 1787.

Even with respect to the ratification of treaties and the making of war, Congress has surrendered to the Executive its Constitutional obligations.

The illegitimate 14th Amend-ment rests on the principle that we are citizens of the states in which we reside only by virtue of the fact that we are first citizens of the United States.

The 16th Amendment gives Federal authorities power to penetrate the protection which the states previously provided and to directly tax the citizens of the states, requiring, in the process, violation of the 4th Amendment guarantee that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." Whenever we fill out an IRS Form 104G, we give up our 4th Amendment protections.

The 17th Amendment undermines the Federal principle whereby states have a governing voice in the Congress of the republic, replacing a system of senatorial selection based on familiarity, experience, and collegial esteem with one based instead on the necessity of vast wealth, either personal or procured, and the practical need to gain the favor (or at least the neutrality) of powerful forces which control the instruments of finance and communication.

The 19th Amendment denied states and localities the right to base the electoral franchise on the principle that the family is the most important unit of government in civilization, and that its unity ought not be arbitrarily or forcibly penetrated, circumvented, or undermined in pursuit of egalitarian, anti-patriarchal feminist political objectives.

The 26th Amendment, removing from the states the right to determine qualifications of age for exercise of the right to vote, is a gratuitous infringement of the decision-making authority of those governing powers closest to the people.

One of the most insidious amendments to the Constitution (the 24th) requires that "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax."

Let me say at the outset that I would be pleased to free any person who chooses not to pay local head taxes of the obligation to do so, provided that such person thereafter surrenders the right of franchise: to vote in elections or to hold office --- and that such person forswears access to special privileges and financial benefits from the Federal government.

This is consistent with the Biblical principle that to be "an elder in the gates" one must be a contributing member of society

But the 24th Amendment is even more insidious than it would first appear, because it strikes: at the heart of the concept of a head tax at the local level, based not on one's earnings or assets, but rather on the principle of equality before the law, whereas the property tax is based on the destructive notion that we do not own the property which is taxed, but merely rent it from civil government.

A voluntary head tax, applied equally to each family unit in a political constituency is based on the true concept that no family which participates in civil government may be obliged to suffer a greater burden or be permanently entitled to a lesser one in sustaining the responsibilities which may be legitimately assigned to civil government.

In addition to the unfortunate ways in which the original Constitutional document has been altered, there are many other ways in which it has been ignored.

Let us take the simple Article I, Section 8 statement that "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" and for no other purpose.

If we would adhere to this principle, more than three-fourths of the current Federal budget of the U.S. government would be eliminated, inasmuch as it consists of matters which do not relate to payment of the debts, or provision for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States.

This essay concludes with Part II in the next issue of the Medical Sentinel.

Remarks by Howard Phillips, Chairman, Constitution Party of Virginia, 450 Maple Ave., East, Vienna, VA 22180


Dr. Caine is an anesthesiologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Medical Sentinel. His e-mail is

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2001;6(4):137- 138. Copyright©2001 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)