Republican form of government:Use it or lose it

2/15/04 To the Government of the United States, Vermont, the people and our first line of defense against tyranny the free pressBurlington Free Press “Right to smoke in bars? Wrong” by Jon MargolisThrough a reply to Jon Margolis’ column maybe we can understand what is wrong in this state and nation. Jon presents a few basic tenants to establish the basis for justifying his argument against smoking in bars; a compelling state interest, rational regulation and majority rule. These three entities are of legal substance but when used in place of our constitutionally defined governance they undermine and replace the rule of law of the US and Vermont State Constitutions. Jon also redefines property rights noting business is a special property. He forms a constitutional rights hierarchy where the right to free speech is held higher than others and elevates community to a governing power with special right to control people. Above all he recreates our governmental theme and authority by stating government’s purpose is to control the people. Jon advocates mob rule of the 51% majority. Jon also supports parties or groups using the power of 51% to apply mob favoritism for implementation of specific issues for a segment of the population. Wrong, Jon! You have rewritten our Constitutions modifying government and the rights of the people. You are parroting the current operation of government.This is what American Freedom is all about!Kings, nobility, political parties or mobs do not rule our states and nation; we are governed by the rule of law of Constitutions. The Rule of Law is established by the US Constitution (Article VI) and requires all federal, state, and local laws must be consistent with the US Constitution that includes the Bill of Rights. All judges must hold the US Constitution above all other law. Members of Congress, state legislatures, state and federal judges and state and federal executive officials must swear to support the Constitution. The Vermont State Constitution is a manifestation of the right of all states to a Republican form of government secured by the US Constitution (Article IV, Section 4). The Constitutions are social contracts among the people, who consent to government to preserve their lives, liberties and property. Constitutions do not grant rights, rights are secured to the people via the contract and government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Government is authorized as three branches, executive, legislative and judicial each with exclusive responsibilities and authorities separate and distinct from the others. All persons have a right to the Constitution specific form of government with its powers authorized and limited by the Constitutions. State Constitutions are consistent with the US Constitution but frequently define additional rights and privileges. The Bill of Rights portion of the US Constitution includes the 10th amendment mandating that if a particular power was not assigned to the federal government by the Constitution itself, then the states may exercise the power, unless the Constitution also prohibits the states from exercising it. The tenth amendment also states that people are free to act, without permission of the federal government, in areas outside the scope of the federal government’s powers. The 9th Amendment declares that just because certain rights are not mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that they do not exist. Courts may not infer from silence of the Constitution that an unlisted right is unavailable to protect individuals from the government. The 14th Amendment entitles all persons to basic fairness, due process according to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All laws must be enacted and enforced in a way that treats people equally. Vermont’s equivalent is chapter I, Article 7th that requires government operate without advantage to any single person, family or sets of persons. Sovereignty, independence, self reliance, basic fairness, equal treatment, privacy, property ownership, liberty, freedom to chart your own course in life without interference are Constitutional Rights along with the 9th Amendment right to be protected from control by government. There is no right to replace our rule of law with a compelling state interest, rational regulation, and majority rule or by redefining property rights. Vermont’s specific property owners rights of real and personal property include rights to acquire, possess, protect, transfer, and enjoy property. Owners have absolute control not government. Government is not assigned authority to prohibit property use. No right elevates free speech or any other right over another right. No right differentiates between a business property and other real estate or personal property for special regulation. Jon has even taken further liberties with our Vermont Constitution and elevated Burlington to a governing body along with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. Communities do not have any governance power over the people nor can it legally be delegated. Governance by community is promotion of dissimilar treatment under the law across the state and destructive to the 14th amendment and Article 7 of the Vermont Constitution. The 51% of majority rule is mob rule replacing Constitutional governance, the rule of law. Communities are social bodies not government entities. Constitutions cannot be added to, altered, abolished or infringed and laws, rules, statutes or anything with the effect of law that can only be enacted by the General Assembly when consistent with the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and the Vermont Constitution. Since the 19th century when the Council of Censors was eliminated compliance with the Constitution has degraded. The Council was the check and balance of the legislature’s lawmaking authority against the Constitutional limitations. There is no power derived from the United States Constitution or the Vermont Constitution that allows regulation of our Constitutionally secured rights. It is unconstitutional and destructive to the 14th amendment for any government power to advocate for one group or segment of society. Rights commanded, controlled and regulated by government no longer belong to the people. Jon’s argument about smoking in bars has nothing to do with contracts between owners their customers and employees; it is about owners employing their United States and Vermont Constitutional rights to ENJOY their business property the way they wish. The reason Dartmouth College stands free from N.H. government control is due the US Constitutional limitation preventing states from interfering with private contracts.Smokers and landlords have been under attack by the mob in Burlington and Montpelier. People have the right to be free to do anything they wish as long as it does not infringe on the rights of another. People have no constitutional responsibility to be ‘their brother’s keeper’. Government has no authority to order this form of socialism and no authority to transfer wealth from one person to another or utilize taxes to achieve it. Vermont tax contributions have constitutionally ordered purpose and use, for the right of every individual member of society to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property (Article 9th). Freedom, independence, privileges and immunities of the individual person are the Constitutional theme. While Constitutions promote the theme that we have so many rights we haven’t discovered all of them yet, Jon parrots the practices of the two party manipulation and control system we commonly call government that use their power to keep everyone under their thumb.This country has deteriorated to ignoring Rights and the Rule of Law in promotion of a party or mob’s position on an issue. Majority rule of the mob with 51% has replaced the Rule of Law. The party or mob in power through majority rule does anything it wishes with many examples in elevating government control every element of our life from womb to tomb. Government knows no bounds to its authority. The Federal government is invasive to state and individual liberties with acts similar to the Large Farm Bill, Help America Vote Act, and No Child Left Behind act. This is Federalism using politics of intimidation, blackmail and extortion to effectively rewrite state constitutions and individual rights. Vermont consistently ignores individual rights in favor of the Montpelier mob’s agenda in areas of taxation, economic development, environment, property rights, health Care Insurance, education and their responsibility to Vermonters before allowing them to be set off to war and in spite of oaths taken to uphold the US and Vermont Constitutions. We no longer have a Constitutional representative government only an aristocratic mob that implements what’s best for us. All Constitutional rights have been eliminated except for free speech that falls on government’s deaf ears. This is what wrong with this country and state, Jon!SincerelyWilliam Brueckner Sr1421 Shaw Mansion RoadWaterbury Ctr., VT 056771-802-244-7517