The Blurry Line Between Constitutional Consent and Congressional Overreach
The Constitution for the United States clearly sets up the U.S. Congress with a “dual mandate”:
1) to govern the U.S. capitol city, all possessions which the government owns and the government’s insular possessions and citizens of those areas with “all needful Rules and Regulations” as they see fit and
2) to govern on behalf of the several states in the specific areas defined in the Constitution within the limitations imposed by the Bill of Rights.
Constitution for the United States Article 1, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power:
Clause 17) To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; - this goes to the first mandate above.
Clause 18) And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. – this goes to both mandates above.
Constitution for the United States Article 4, Section 3:
Clause 2) The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States. – this goes to the first mandate above.
The zone of federal jurisdiction, where the U.S. Federal Government has exclusive legislative authority (mandate 1), is within the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the other American Offshore Territories and possessions, and “Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be” (Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings). This zone of federal jurisdiction was referred to as the Federal Zone by Chief Justice Rehnquist in his 1995 ruling (“…Each of these now has an invisible federal zone extending 1,000 feet beyond the (often irregular) boundaries of the school property" - U.S. v Lopez.
Federal citizens (We have in our political system a government of the United States and a government of each of the several States. Each one of these governments is distinct from the others, and each has citizens of its own who owe it allegiance, and whose rights, within its jurisdiction, it must protect. - United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 588, 590 (1875)) are those who live or work within the federal zone or to whom the government has granted the privilege of citizenship through naturalization or amnesty (Federal citizenship: Rights and obligations accruing by reason of being a citizen of the United States. State or status of being a citizen of the United States. A person born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof is a citizen of the United States and of the State wherein he resides. Fourteenth Amend., U.S. Const. -- Black’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations, Fifth Edition.) A State Citizen can also be federal citizen. A State Citizen falls under the jurisdiction of the State government whereas a State Citizen who is also a federal citizen falls also under the jurisdiction of the federal government. In some cases, when it is to their benefit, the federal government treats State Citizens of the states united as if they are federal citizens on the presumption that these Citizens have volunteered to become federal citizens subject to federal jurisdiction.
The government can act as king with respect to how it governs itself , its possessions and its citizens (the federal zone) but when it comes to the several states united, the government has very defined and limited roles as described in the Constitution; thus, the dual mandate. It is when the legislative wordsmiths in Washington effect legislation for themselves and their possessions but use words that make it sound like it applies to all of us that they intentionally blur the line between Constitutional Consent and Congressional Overreach.
By clever wordsmithing, Congress routinely crafts legislation which is well within its power (if legislating for the federal zone), legislation which is worded in such a way that the average reader would think it applies to everybody. For example: Congressional legislation often defines “United States” as the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and other insular possessions. And then they pass a law that pertains to all citizens of the “United States”. What they have actually done is pass a law that pertains to themselves and their possessions (which they have a perfect right to do) but they have used words that make the rest of us think that it applies to all of us. After all, in common parlance, we are citizens of the United States – just not the “United States” defined in the legislation.
In fact the wordsmiths in Washington, D.C. have invented three meanings for the term "United States" and thereby injected obfuscation (Obfuscation [or beclouding] is the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, willfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret) which they have learned to use to their every advantage. They use "United States (1)" to mean a sovereign nation among the nations of the world thus, when you travel abroad you can proclaim that you are a citizen of and resident of the United States. They use "United States (2)" to mean the area over which congress has exclusive legislative authority and jurisdiction – the federal zone. They use the term "United States (3)" to mean the states united as in "The Constitution for the United States (3)" or the United States (3) is comprised of 50 individual sovereign states. The numbers 1-3 in parentheses are used here to indicate the three distinct definitions of the term “United States”.
The federal government has every right to govern the areas over which it has exclusive legislative jurisdiction (United States (2)) any way it chooses (Article 1, Section 8). It can write whatever laws it wants. It can tax without limit. The constitution does not apply to that United States (2) or its citizens. The Constitution applies to the United States (3) and its Citizens. Inside the federal zone, congress rules. Outside of the federal zone, in the 50 states united, the Constitution rules.
So, when congress writes a law for the United States (2) and says that the law applies to "the citizens of the United States", it is legislating for that area over which it has exclusive legislative authority and jurisdiction (unbound by the Constitution), the United States (2). But we, who are accustomed to calling ourselves United States (1) citizens living and working in the United States (3), have also become accustomed to thinking that they are legislating for us (over whom they have no legislative jurisdiction or authority what-so-ever aside from the very limited powers enumerated in 1:8:1-18)). This is confusion by design. They (our elected representatives) have deliberately used custom definitions of the term "United States" to confuse, obfuscate, usurp and defraud - think Obama care, department of energy, department of education, federal income tax, social security, Medicare to name just a few. They legislate for the United States (2) and allow us to assume that the legislation applies to the United States (3). That is how and why Nancy Pelosi could incredulously ask "Are you serious? Are you serious?" when questioned about the constitutionality of Obama care (remember the Constitution does not apply when congress legislates for the United States (2) unless we Citizens volunteer to become federal citizens subject to federal jurisdiction). That is how and why the president can sign "executive orders", an authority not granted in the Constitution. Such deceptions have become the norm. Such is the stripe of our "representatives".
Does Congress have the right to mandate healthcare insurance over themselves and their possessions? Absolutely! Do they have the right to mandate health insurance for all of us outside of their exclusive legislative jurisdiction? Absolutely Not!
Does Congress have the right to mandate education standards for everyone inside the federal zone? Absolutely! Do they have the right to mandate education standards for all of us outside of their exclusive legislative jurisdiction? Absolutely Not!
Does Congress have the right to mandate the restriction of firearms for themselves and their possessions? Absolutely! Do they have the right to impose those restrictions on all of us outside of the federal zone? Absolutely Not!
Thus, when we think Congress is passing laws that are unconstitutional, they are unconstitutional only if congress attempts to impose those laws upon “We the People” beyond the constraints of the Bill of Rights and beyond their exclusive legislative jurisdiction.
Does Congress have the right to pass an un-apportioned direct tax on those over whom it exercises exclusive legislative jurisdiction? Absolutely! Does it have the right to impose that tax over all of us outside of their exclusive legislative jurisdiction? Absolutely Not!
Is Obama-care unconstitutional? Not inside the federal zone! Does it apply to most of us? NO!
Is the law requiring forced pat downs in airports unconstitutional? Not within the federal zone! Does it apply to most of us? NO!
Is Social Security unconstitutional? Not within the federal zone! Does it apply to most of us? NO!
Has the government made us believe that Obama-care and airport pat downs and social security and a thousand other things (which they can lawfully impose upon the federal zone) apply to all of us outside of their exclusive legislative jurisdiction! Absolutely, on the presumption that we Citizens have volunteered to become federal citizens subject to federal jurisdiction because it is to the government's benefit to so presume.
It is time to wake up to the “Dual Mandate” of our federal government and realize that their legitimate use of power in illegitimate ways is robbing us of our inalienable rights, our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and our beloved republic. It is time to realize that those in the federal zone can be made slaves of the government but, within our Republic, “We the People” are the master.
- George -