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Madam Speaker, the United States Constitution starts out with the words ``We the People.'' It's right there at the beginning, written large so folks don't miss it. It means that we are a self-governing people. It means that the Constitution is an agreement between the people and the government. It's not an outline of what the government will give people. It's designed to keep government in a box, to keep it under control. Its purpose is to limit what government can do to the people, not the other way around. The Constitution does not live. It does not breathe. It's not an evolving document with constant change of its true meaning. It says the things it says in plain, simple language.
A current Supreme Court Justice told me recently that the Constitution means what five of the nine Justices says it means. Well, that elitist statement may be true as a practical matter, but the writers of the Constitution never wanted five Justices in a dark, damp, secret room to make the Constitution mean what the Judges wanted it to mean. It seems many of the Supreme Court opinions are so twisted with outcome-based decisions that they are the result of the ebb and flow of political and social opinion. The Constitution is not some elusive ideal that changes with time but was written to prevent government, or Judges, from making it mean different things at different times or different things depending on who is in charge, whether it be Judges, Congress, or even Presidents.
There are simple rules for adding to or taking away from the Constitution. There is a high threshold on that process for good reason. The people have to agree to change the Constitution by the complicated amendment process. The Constitution is a self-governing people's agreement with our government, an agreement that says to government that government must stay within these limits or the government violates its contract with the people by disregarding its duty to stay within those bounds of the Constitution.
Now the question to be asked is: Is our government out of control?
As the Constitution is the framework, the Declaration of Independence is our Nation's heart. The Declaration of Independence gave us the justification for establishing this new Nation. The Constitution is the foundation of this new Nation. The Declaration proclaims that our rights come from the Almighty God. They are inalienable. That means our rights cannot be stolen from us by government. We must make sure government recognizes our individual rights. Government can't change what our God-given rights are, and government doesn't give people rights. Government has no rights. Government has power, power that comes from the people because we give our government that power.
Even though it's seldom taught in our Nation's Ivy League law schools, rights are from the Almighty, not from government. If rights are from government, then government can take them away at its whim. Millions of Americans over the centuries have shed blood and even died to put government power in its box, in its place. We are to control government. Government was not established in this country to run roughshod over the people.
There seems to me, now, to be an attack on individual rights by our own government. America's founding as a Nation put an end to the centuries-long notion of ``might and power make right.'' Today, some in this country want to forget about that. Our Founding Fathers called these elites princelings--elite power-grabbers who want to be able to tell us how to live and run our own lives. Some are at the levers of government right now. Might and power does not make right.
Some want government to have the power to control every aspect