The 14th amendment was a sham, as was the 17th many years later, extorted by and forced unto States into compliance. A Confederate would ask why comply in the first place, but alas we have no representation within their government, still don't.
So in the end, we get to watch the slow motion decay and collapse of an America that we could have well participated in and given an alternative to.
The wretchedness of what has taken hold of America, the modern day Socialist Liberal agenda that wishes to eviscerate all knowledge and form of Confederate history, had poisoned the open minded and young people away from our cause, a cause that was righteous and vindicating from its origin in that very Constitution that they wish to uphold and to mold and modify into a compliance with their political purpose .
By: Mike Scruggs
Principled and thoughtful legislative law is the indispensable tool of a just and orderly society. Like all good and necessary tools of government, however, unless kept within the bounds of sound reason and just moral principles, law can become tyranny. Laws must be fair, and because consistency is an important factor in fairness, good laws must consider the precedence set by past laws, judicial rulings, and enforcement. Good laws must also carefully consider the immediate and future consequences for society as a whole. Good law must not favor one industry, region, or class of people over others. Societies cannot provide the order, security, and justice necessary to thrive unless truth is highly regarded and its laws are respected. This is especially true of Articles and Amendments to Constitutional law.
Good law is an enormous blessing to society, but bad law is an evil that can continue to inflict and multiply folly, injustice, and tyranny on a people for generations. The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, effective July 9, 1868, using villainous manipulations of parliamentary process, duress against States, and other egregious violations of Article 5 of the Constitution governing amendments to the Constitution. While not every line, phrase, or intent of the Amendment is evil or useless, the despotic and unlawful methods of its passage and the heavy influence of vengeance, greed, crookedness, and conniving for partisan political power should be enough to demand its invalidation. It is extremely important that our legislators and our people honor the Constitution, but as the reader will learn, many of the motives and the dishonest and unlawful methods surrounding “ratification” of the Fourteenth Amendment were disgraceful and completely contradictory to the ideals of just and limited government envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights embodied in the first ten amendments, and the Declaration of Independence. It should not be surprising that the Fourteenth Amendment has been a primary tool for Federal tyranny against the States and the people.
One destructive legacy of the Fourteenth Amendment has been “birthright citizenship,” currently interpreted as giving automatic citizenship to more than 300,000 children of illegal immigrant parents every year. We may be the last country in the world that tolerates such abuse of our immigration system, social-welfare programs, and taxpayers.
However, the worst thing about the Fourteenth Amendment is that it essentially turned the U.S. Constitution upside-down. Whereas the first Ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights limit the powers of Congress and the Federal government and defend the Rights of the States and the people against potential Federal tyranny, the Fourteenth Amendment effectively expanded Federal Power over the States and the people, making the Federal Government the dangerous arbitrator of its own power and that of the States and the people. At least four of nine Supreme Court Justices and many Federal District Judges see the Fourteenth Amendment as their authority to overturn state legislatures and public referendums protecting the institution of marriage. This would yield bitter fruit—the further destruction of the family as a mainstay and stabilizer of American society.
Following the great tragedy of the “Civil War” and the assassination of President Lincoln in April of 1865, national leadership was largely in the hands of a Congress dominated by the Radical Republicans. They undermined the new President, Andrew Johnson, at every opportunity, and had little regard for the Supreme Court. They considered the Constitution to be an inconvenience and the Supreme Court to be an annoyance to the will of the people accomplished by Congress. States Rights, having been defeated by the coercion of bayonets, were no longer an effective check on Federal power.
The Radical Republican hard core in Congress numbered only about thirty of some 230 Northern Senators and Representatives, but their influence was very powerful, and they had strong and widespread support in the Northern press. Five men exercised dominant leadership: Thaddeus Stevens, Representative from Pennsylvania; Benjamin Butler, Representative from Massachusetts; Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts; Benjamin Wade, Senator from Ohio; and Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton.
President Johnson planned to follow Lincoln’s relatively benign plan for establishing loyal civil governments in the South and restoring them to the national family. Pursuant to this on May 29, 1865, he declared an amnesty for most Confederate veterans. By the middle of July, many Southern state governments under the control of Union loyalists were functioning. But the Radical Republicans were bent on exacting humiliating vengeance on Southern “rebels,” exploiting Southern wealth and resources for themselves, and remaking the South into a Radical Republican political bastion using black voters. One of the greatest misfortunes of American history was that political and civil rights for blacks were combined with the vengeful and exploitive treatment of white Southerners by the Radical Republicans. Later, in 1867, they even passed a Reconstruction Act including measures to disenfranchise Confederate veterans and sympathizers.
In December 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. Included in the three-quarters of the states necessary for ratification were seven Southern States whose governments had been appointed and reconstituted by President Johnson. This, however, did not guarantee many civil rights for the former slaves, and as the Southern legislatures began to consist more of elected Democrats, they trended back to more traditional Southern caution on blacks. The Radical Republicans believed more amendments were needed to assure black civil rights and to advance their agenda for permanent political dominance of the nation.
Johnson was uncomfortable with coercing the States into enfranchising former slaves, but the Radical Republicans, most of whom had been radical abolitionists, were insistent. As it turned out, the Radical Republicans were far less interested in black civil rights than black votes to perpetuate themselves in office. They envisioned massive black political support in “Reconstructed” Southern States as a guarantee of continued Radical Republican political dominance over national politics and would go to extraordinary lengths to secure that dominance and their agenda. Unfortunately, their partisan zeal would impose such tyranny on the South that it would poison race relations and regional trust for generations. To be continued.
By the end of the “Civil” War, the Radical Republicans in Congress were already concerned about the future of the Republican Party and advancing their own political and economic agendas. The term “radical” was a title they claimed for themselves rather than a pejorative given to them by their enemies. Their enemies, however, were happy to call them radicals. They were not friends to Lincoln, who considered both the Radical Republicans and the radical abolitionists a threat to his leadership. Yet he knew that their support was necessary to keep a majority of Congress on his side, which was absolutely necessary to win the war.
The Radical plan for postwar America was quite different from Lincoln’s plan. The Radicals wanted to exact vengeance on the South, exploit Southern resources, and most importantly, to use the former slaves to form a Radical Republican majority in Southern states. They believed this was the only way the Republican Party could maintain an electoral majority after the war. In the 1860 Election, Lincoln received only about 40 percent of the national vote. He only won because Northern and Southern Democrats had divided over several slavery issues. The Republicans were essentially a regional party without substantial support in the South. The Radical Republicans believed that the return of the Democratic South to the Union would end their short-lived electoral majority. Lincoln, on the other hand, believed he could successfully resurrect the old Whig coalition of Northern industrial and Southern agri-business interests with a core of Union loyalists to support a Unionist Republican Party.
The Radical Republicans favored a severe Reconstruction that would enrich Northern interests at Southern expense, assure Republican electoral majorities in Southern states, continue protectionist tariff policies unopposed by Southern Free-Trade demands, and generally punish the South for her rebellion against Northern political dominance. With the exception of protective tariffs, which Lincoln strongly favored, the Radicals feared Lincoln would throw away the North’s hard-won victory to pursue a softer, more tolerant reconciliation of North and South, risking renewed Southern influence and the subsequent decline of Northern political and economic advantages.
Following Lincoln’s assassination and Andrew Johnson’s swearing in as President, the Radicals believed Reconstruction would go more their way. Johnson had been a pro-Union Tennessee Congressman before the war and had been the Union Military Governor of Tennessee during the war. He was especially noted for his harsh words for any who supported secession. But Johnson was a former populist Democrat and a strong supporter of strict Constitutional government. He was pro-Union and anti-secession but not anti-Southern. Moreover, Johnson was
incorruptible and thus became a major obstacle to the Radical Republicans.
The Radical Republicans soon realized that the Thirteenth Amendment, outlawing slavery, needed to be followed by additional Reconstruction legislation. The Thirteenth Amendment did not give former slaves the right to vote, and facilitating and protecting that right was key to Republican aspirations for electoral dominance of a new South and the nation. The Republicans further argued that the civil rights of former slaves needed more protection, accusing several Southern states of restricting the civil rights of former slaves through new “Black Laws.” However, these “Black Laws” were simply a close imitation of even harsher anti-black legislation passed by many Northern states.
Indiana law codes would not allow blacks and mulattos to come into the state. Illinois, the land of Lincoln, and Oregon prohibited blacks from entering their states without posting huge bonds. In Illinois, it was $1,000, several years’ income for most people. Numerous other Northern states including Kansas, Michigan, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin had rejected black voting suffrage and with it other rights and privileges of full citizenship.
Thus the 14th Amendment, which was really a combination of several Reconstruction bills, was born in concept. Passing the 14th Amendment became a high priority for the Radical Republicans. So high, that they would ruthlessly violate the Constitution and engage in blatantly dishonest and despotic legislative manipulation. Several aspects of the 14th Amendment would essentially turn the Constitution on its head and open the door for widespread Judicial, Executive, and Congressional abuse and tyranny. The shameful coercion, dishonesty, and numerous legislative and constitutional irregularities involved in passing the 14th Amendment should place its legitimacy in extreme doubt.
The Amendment consists of five sections. The first section defines who is a citizen and overturns the Dred Scott versus Sanford Supreme Court decision that denied citizenship to blacks. It also prevented states from abridging the rights of citizens or denying any person due process and equal protection of the laws.
Because Section 1 defines anyone born in the U.S. as a citizen, it has had vast unforeseen consequences. .Each year, more than 300,000 children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents are automatically counted as citizens. This entitles both the child and mother to many welfare benefits covering pregnancy and birth. The writers of the 14th Amendment never intended it to benefit illegal immigrants.
Section 2 eliminated the three-fifths rule for slaves in apportioning legislative representation—ironically increasing Southern Electoral Votes. This section allowed for reducing representation as a penalty for its violation and left the door open to abridging the rights of those who had participated in “rebellion.” Section 3 was the most objectionable to the South. It denied public office to any person who had previously held Federal office or State legislative, judicial, or executive office and who had supported the Confederacy during the war. It was not only humiliating and debilitating to the South but was also designed to guarantee Republican political hegemony in the South by limiting significant opposition. Section 4 repudiated all Confederate debt, and legitimized the obligation of all citizens to pay for U. S. debt incurred during and after the war. Section 5 gave Congress the power to enforce the other four sections by legislation. This was thought by many to be an open door to increasing Federal power over the States, which turned out to be quite true.
The 39th Congress convened in December of 1865 just as the States, including seven Southern States, were finalizing ratification of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. The Radical Republicans knew that they could not depend on elected Southern Congressmen to achieve the two-thirds super majorities in the U. S. Senate and House to pass the 14th amendment. Consequently, they mustered a majority in both Houses of Congress and voted not to seat the 22 Senators and 58 representatives from eleven formerly Confederate States. This was accomplished in part by “waving the bloody shirt” of Union losses during the war, impugning the patriotism of those willing to welcome the Southern States back into the Union fold, and appealing to partisan greed and lust for power.
However, in the U. S. Senate they could count only 33 of 50 votes, just one short, of that necessary for the two-thirds majority to pass a Constitutional Amendment. To overcome this they devised a plan to retroactively unseat John P. Stockton of New Jersey, an outspoken opponent of the 14th Amendment. It would have required a two-thirds vote to expel Senator Stockton for cause, but they could not muster the votes. After several days of high pressure political maneuvering using the usual accusations and unseemly tactics, the Radical Republicans were able on March 27 to retroactively unseat Stockton. The excuse was that the New Jersey Legislature had elected him by a plurality rather than a majority vote, but this was legal in New Jersey as well as several other states. In those days, U.S. Senators were elected by state legislatures rather than popular vote. Such a retroactive unseating for transparently political objectives was highly irregular, but the 14th Amendment was counted as having passed the Senate on June 13, 1866. A few days earlier the Amendment had passed the U. S. House with 120 votes, easily more than two-thirds of the 152 that voted, but there were 30 abstentions.
The Amendment was then required to go to President Johnson before going to the States for approval. Johnson, an opponent of the Amendment, was somehow bypassed. The Amendment then went to the 37 States. A constitutional amendment requires ratification by three-quarters of the States, or in this case 28. A rejection or failure to ratify by ten States would have killed the amendment.
Tennessee was the first to ratify the amendment, but without a proper quorum of its legislature. Nevertheless, despite this irregularity, Tennessee was counted for ratification. By February 6, 1867, all ten of the remaining Southern States and three Border states had rejected the amendment. California refused to consider it and later rejected it. In addition, Ohio, in January of 1868, and New Jersey in March of 1868, reacting to Radical Republican despotism and public displeasure thereof, rescinded their earlier ramifications. Oregon had ratified in September of 1866, but after settling a controversy over a few legislative seats, formerly rescinded on October 15, 1868. The Oregon rescission was too late, however to effect the eventual outcome.
The Radical Republicans, however, had a radical plan to reverse Southern rejections of the 14th Amendment that fit their longer range agenda very well. Under their leadership on March 2, 1867, a Reconstruction Act was passed over the veto of President Johnson that revoked the legal status of the ten Southern States that had rejected the 14th Amendment and placed them under a military government administered through five U. S. Army districts.
The inconsistency, appalling capriciousness, and hypocrisy of the Radical Republican position should be noted here. If the Southern States were legal enough to have just ratified the 13th Amendment, how could Thaddeus Stevens, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, now say that these same States were “without any legal authority?” It demonstrated once again the arbitrary and tyrannical mindset of the Radical Republicans. This would become increasingly evident during the years of Reconstruction. It was also certainly evident in their contrived attempt to impeach President Andrew Johnson for trying to dismiss his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. But as previously indicated, the Radical Republicans had little regard for the Constitution, legal precedent, any concept of fairness, or honest parliamentary procedure.
And what of the declared Union objectives of the War? Reunification of the States had now become secondary to the vengeful and totalitarian will of a few men who proclaimed themselves to be the will of the people. The Radical Republican vision for the South can be clearly seen here. In effect, after a long and bloody war “to hold the Union together,” Radical Republicans now kicked the South out of the Union for their own selfish, political purposes. Southern States were to be subjugated tools of Radical Republican ambitions. Every vestige of their culture, heritage, and political sovereignty would be subjected to a campaign of deliberate debasement and attempted eradication. It revealed that a strong underlying Northern motivation for the War was keeping the South under their economic and political control as subjugated territories stripped of their political rights. The purpose of the Reconstruction was to further subjugate and exploit the South, and this was done with a spirit of malice. Re-admission depended upon their declared acceptance of the 14th Amendment.
One of the provisions of the Reconstruction Act was to enfranchise black males and disenfranchise all Confederate veterans and former Confederate officials. Hence almost the entire white male population of the South except recent Northern immigrants and proven Union loyalists were without vote or voice in state, local, or federal government. En-flaming the hatred of former slaves against their former masters was to be an important Radical Republican tool to subdue Southern spirit and provide for continued economic exploitation of the South. This was to establish a permanent Republican dominance in the South and thereby the nation. The war had been ruinous, but military and “carpetbagger” governments would see to it that the ruin was increased and recovery was slow. Reconstruction was to be continued war by ruthless and unsavory political means.
Kentucky had not only rejected the amendment in January 1867, but by overwhelming majorities in a May 1867 election, sent a solid slate of nine Democrats to Congress. On July 3, the Radical Republican Congress voted not to seat them. On July 5, Senator Sumner of Massachusetts threatened to place Kentucky and Maryland under military government. No action was taken on this, however, as Republicans began losing off year elections to Democrats in Northern states.
It was now demanded of the ten Southern States under military government that statehood would not be regained unless they ratified the 14th Amendment. Six Southern states complied with the reconstructive coercion, and with the ratification s of South Carolina and Louisiana on July 9, 1868, Congress declared the 14th Amendment ratified, ignoring the recessions of Ohio, and New Jersey, and the impending rescission of Oregon. By law, however, the official recognition of ratification of a constitutional amendment, rested with the Secretary of State, William H. Seward. Seward proclaimed ratification of the 14th Amendment on July 20, but in his written and oral proclamation he referred to the questionable status of the Ohio and New Jersey ratification's in view of their later rescission. Congress was unhappy with this. The next day, assuming the function of the Secretary of State, Congress proclaimed by joint resolution that the 14th Amendment was officially ratified. On July 28, Seward bowed to the Congressional resolution of the 21st and proclaimed the Amendment ratified. With all the irregularities, frauds, and coercions involved, however, what fair minded person would recognize the 14th Amendment as constitutional? Yet it is accepted as such, and there are now many precedents in law based on the 14th Amendment.
The 14th Amendment in many senses turned the original Constitution and the first Ten Amendments on their head. With the 14th Amendment, the nation has progressed from a philosophy of decentralized, limited government to a government increasingly characterized by highly centralized power. States Rights, once an essential check against excessive executive, judicial, and congressional power were reduced to a meek whisper, until their recent resurrection by the Tea Party movement in 2009.
Before the “Civil War,” Reconstruction, and the 14th Amendment, no federal judge would have dared contemplate removing the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building (2003) or striking down state legislation on abortion, much less making laws that forced young children to be bussed across a county to achieve an ideal racial balance, or prohibiting Bibles in schools and prayer at high school athletic events. They certainly would not have contemplated overturning state marriage laws and referendums. In addition, Congress now passes sweeping legislation that is clearly beyond the bounds of their enumerated powers in the Articles of the Constitution and in violation of the Bill of Rights, especially the 10th Amendment.
The 14th Amendment has some positives. More attention is paid to individual civil rights and due process, but this has come at the price of considerable loss of freedom and liberties to individuals, businesses, churches, civic, educational, and social organizations, and various spheres of local and state government. It also made us a coercive rather than a voluntary society. Every year under the penumbra of the 14th Amendment, we progress further toward totalitarian government with little accountability or responsiveness to the governed or any concern for constitutional limits of power.
The history of the passage of the 14th Amendment unveils a remarkable corruption of the spirit of liberty and flagrant despotism that has been covered with decades of politically correct whitewash. Such demonstrations of human depravity and course tyranny, though shameful, should not be covered up by a misguided sense of American patriotism. Few things are as necessary to a just society as truth. Hence a sine qua non of all genuine patriotism is a high regard for truth. Truth is always the high ground.
Summary of Why the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution Is Invalid
- Twenty-three Senators and fifty-eight Representatives were unlawfully excluded in securing the necessary two-thirds majority to adopt the Joint Resolution. The Senators included twenty-two Senators from eleven Southern States and one from New Jersey.
- The joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for approval.
- The proposed Amendment was rejected by more than one quarter of the States and never received the required approval three-fourths of all States in the Union.
- The governments and legislatures of ten States that had rejected the Amendment were unlawfully removed by military force and their reinstatement made contingent upon approving the Amendment.
- The Proclamation declaring the 14th Amendment valid included five States whose lawful legislatures had been replaced by unlawful puppet legislatures and two States (Ohio and New Jersey) whose legislatures had rescinded their initial approval.
In a postwar interview with former Confederate Lt. General Richard Taylor (son of President Zachary Taylor), Thaddeus Stevens, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, called the Constitution “a worthless bit of old parchment.”
“The intent of the Reconstruction Act is to work a radical reorganization in Southern institutions, habits, and manners, and to break up the foundations of their institutions.”—Thaddeus Stevens
“Greed of office, curse of democracies, will impel demagogues to grovel deeper and deeper in the mire in pursuit of ignorant votes.”—Richard Taylor
“For the tree is known by its fruit.”—Matthew 12: 33b
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28: 13, ESV.