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Constitution Study Group


Constitution Study Group

Study the U.S. Constitution to learn the original meaning as shown by The Federalist Papers

Members: 821
Latest Activity: Jun 9


1. STAY ON TOPIC! This Group is about our founding documents:The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, etc. Please do not post photos, info about rallies, candidates, your own pet theories, your own agenda, links to groups you want to promote, stuff you are selling, rumors, forwarded emails which have circulated throughout the country, etc.

2. Vulgar & obscene language is not tolerated. 

3. PLEASE read previous posts & discussions before you post anything. You may find that your Questions have already been addressed! I'm trying to keep the posts as CONCISE as possible so new members don't have so much to read to catch up.

Discussion Forum

We Have Rights and the Government Has Privileges

Started by Jack Coleman Dec 18, 2013. 0 Replies

Part 1 -…Continue

George Mason on Politicians

Started by Katie Baker. Last reply by Jack Coleman Sep 29, 2013. 2 Replies

"Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of…Continue

Tags: Politicians, Convention, George_Mason

Dangers to representative government and Safeguards

Started by Jack Coleman. Last reply by Cindy Lyons Aug 12, 2013. 9 Replies

 This Training Manual No. TM 2000-25 on Citizenship, U.S. History and the Constitution was compiled and issued by the U.S. War Department, November 30, 1928, to teach our young men in the services…Continue

The 4th Amendment and PRISM

Started by Mike Foil. Last reply by Jack Coleman Jun 10, 2013. 1 Reply

Amendment IV“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but…Continue

Tags: Constitution, PRISM, Amendment, 4th

Comment Wall


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Comment by David J Edwards on March 16, 2013 at 1:42pm


Rights exist because they are God given.  ALL living humans own Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  However thieves exist too.

Consider this situation:

I own an orange chainsaw.  I have not seen it in about 10 years.  A thief possesses it but does not own it.  He stole that chainsaw from my Rightful possession.  He was sneaky and careful when he stole it. Therefore, I lack the knowledge to find him and retrieve my chainsaw.


Hiding behind a façade of Representative governance, many Washington DC, state level, and local politicians steal our wealth, power, Freedoms, Lives, and Liberty from us every day... even though those things are Rightfully ours.


Because we foolishly believe their promises (duped with lies) or we are too ignorant or cowardly to effectively oppose their thievery and preserve possession of the Rights that God gave us.


Comment by David J Edwards on March 16, 2013 at 1:12pm

PH has published another fine article about nullification and the "Supremacy Clause".   You may savor it here, if you chose:


Also, be encouraged that there are many in America who understand our Constitution but are not seen in TPN (or similar forums) .  The LINK above was shared with me (and some Congressmen and Senators) by a friend who is not affiliated with large groups.  He is much like Horatio Bunce from the story about Davy Crocket's great blunder in Congress. 

The spirit of Horatio Bunce lives on in many parts of America today.

Comment by Jon Brunke on March 7, 2013 at 9:34am

Darn it... good answers folks.  I just read your's after writing mine so I'd like to post it anyway.


Moory Markowitz asks:

“...what is the ESSENTIAL DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC of a "right" which differentiates it from a favor, a privilege, a gift, a grant, permission, or any other similar terms. What IS a "right?

I’d like to take a shot at answering.  However, in order to do so I have to point out that his qualification makes doing so difficult if not impossible.

“I don't mean a description of some of its qualities, or what the source of rights is, or how they come about...”

Agreeing on the definition or “distinguishing characteristic of a right” vs. Favor, privilege or permission necessarily involves understanding and agreeing on “what the source of a right is”.  Lacking that understanding or agreement negates any meaningful dialogue (IMO).

In the founder/framers day they made a distinction between positive and natural law. To a large degree this fundamental principle (the origin of their rights) lay at the root of our disagreement with the British.

Natural Law

1) Standards of conduct derived from traditional moral principles (first mentioned by Roman jurists in the first century A.D.) and/or God's law and will. The biblical Ten Commandments, such as "thou shall not kill," are often included in those principles. Natural law assumes that all people believe in the same Judeo-Christian God and thus share an understanding of natural law premises. 2) The body of laws derived from nature and reason, embodied in the Declaration of Independence assertion that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 3) The opposite of "positive law," which is created by mankind through the state.


Positive Law

Statutory man-made law; as compared to "natural law," which is purportedly based on universally accepted moral principles, "God's law," and/or derived from nature and reason. The term "positive law" was first used by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651).

Again the framers in particular were well studied and understood these well discussed and documented concepts.

The primary “distinguishing characteristic” among “rights” lies on this ground.  “…the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them (us)…” to “unalienable” rights that pre-exist man-made “positive” laws that describe civil rights.  Unalienable rights are not granted by men or their form of government nor can they be taken away by men or their form of government.

If this explanation is agreeable the remaining question is, can positive man-made law and/or derived "poitive" rights ignore or pre-empt my unalienable natural and God given rights.  From this perspective Mr. Markowitz right to live is inviolate; beyond question and the answer is no.

If this is not the case, if the source of our rights is cast free of any common unalterable foundation then we are left doomed to make any law whatsoever.  If the majority of a people are free to make any law they wish for whatever reason they rationalize then we may take Mr. Markowitz life for no more reason than not liking his question.

I have no such right to his life; so called progress, the existence of drones and the election of narcissists in leadership positions notwithstanding.

Comment by Mark on March 6, 2013 at 6:01pm

A right is authority. Plain and simple. Whether that authority is Statutory, Sovereign, Constitutional or Contractual is incidental to the existence of the right.

Rights have certain characteristics;

A "right" denotes a responsibility and also a remedy.

The exercise of a "right" does not hinder the rights of another; that is- my right to life, liberty and property  does not require that another surrender their right to life, liberty or property, etc. except by law, contract or agreement.

A right is something that is perpetual unless the individual who enjoys that right acts in some form or fashion to surrender that right. (eg taking a life; the consequence in some states is Capital Punishment, or violating the terms of an agreement, or violating the rights of another) This is crucial to understand especially with respect to the gun issue. The federal govt has no Constitutional authority to restrict firearms to law abiding citizens. Rather than simplify the issue, the 2nd Amendment confounds the matter by inferring that Congress must have some authority over the matter or it would not have been mentioned. ( I dislike the bill of rights for this reason, and don't support organizations that rely upon amendments over the body of the Constitution to justify their position)

Your right to life is granted by the authority of God! The governments job is limited ONLY TO THE PROTECTION of that right. It does not GRANT you that right, nor does it grant you the correlating right to defend and preserve that life. Our right to life (including preservation thereof) cannot be infringed or alienated by the government because their RIGHT (ie. Constitutional authorization) of governing is restricted by the clear and unequivocal language of the Constitution which established that government.

Incidentally, the right to a jury trial, writs of habeas corpus, and warrants do however derive from the Mosaic laws of the old Testament. The testimony of two adult males was required in many instances in order for "justice" to be carried out. The right and duty of the Israelites to bring unresolved causes before "judges" are directly reflective in our modern American justice system.

The "allowance" of deducting expenses upon a tax return is a regulatory provision, not a "right" by definition; since by an Act Congress could (without your consent) eliminate them entirely.

Hope this helps.

Comment by Mike Foil on March 6, 2013 at 12:41pm

Morry, I will take a stab at this.

"What is a RIGHT?"

The word is broadly used to cover a wide range of situations and there are various degrees or levels (typically based on the source of the rights being considered).  Privileges, benefits, necessities, etc. are often mistaken for "rights".

RIGHTS - An attribute, inherent and universal, belonging to a set or subset of people.

A God given right, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is inherent and universal to the set of all humans.  These are inalienable-cannot be taken away by someone else because they were not given by another person.

A right expressed in the Constitution is inherent and universal to the subset of citizens of the United States.  These can be lost, such as in the case of a felon, due to being granted by humans.

Comment by Mike Foil on March 6, 2013 at 4:58am

Morry, you wrote:

"It has to cover the right to life and the right to a jury trial or a tax deduction."  When I first read this sentence, my reaction was they do not fit together under the same meaning of a "right".  But, then I realized that it was not a difference in that they should not all be called "rights" but a difference in who or what gave us each "right".  I agree, the DOI states that the right to Life comes from God; but the right to not being searched without a warrant does not.  This distinction does not alter that they are each rights. 

Good question!

Comment by Morry Markovitz on March 6, 2013 at 3:54am

I'd like to ask, what IS a "right?" 

I don't mean a description of some of its qualities, or what the source of rights is, or how they come about, or whether or not contradictory rights can exist, etc, but before any of that discussion, I'd like to know the DEFINITION, so we know what we're talking about -- ie, what is the ESSENTIAL DISTINGUISHING  CHARACTERISTIC of a "right" which differentiates it from a favor, a privilege, a gift, a grant, a permission, or any other similar terms. What IS a "right?"

It is logically NECESSARY that we agree on a definition of the term before we proceed with a discussion of it. You can't draw conclusions about how ANYTHING relates to or is influenced by other things if you can't identify what that "anything" is.  To discuss something for which no commonly acceptable  definition has been agreed upon, is to waste time and words accomplishing nothing.  It is a LOGICAL REQUIREMENT that the simplest possible definition be agreed upon, one which enables us to identify a "right" when we see one and distinguish it from other seemingly similar concepts -- a requirement that we do this BEFORE we can expect anyone else to take seriously any conclusions we may claim to draw -- about something we can't even define. (It's also necessary if we are to avoid contradictory conclusions.)

I ask this because I think we can all agree that God did not grant us the right to a jury trial, or to the requirement that a warrant for just cause be issued by a judge before a search can be legally made, or the right to vote, or the right to deduct your air fare from your income on a tax return.  WHAT IS IT THAT ALL THESE "RIGHTS" HAVE IN COMMON, AND WHICH DISTINGUISHES THEM FROM ALL OTHER THINGS WHICH ARE NOT "RIGHTS?"

To be 100% frank, I think even the Framers made an error by leaving "rights" with only an IMPLICIT definition.  They pointed out a few things generally regarded as "rights" in the Declaration, then later used that same word to describe other, very different subsidiary "rights" -- eg, in the Bill of Rights. Their failure to DEFINE explicitly what a"right"is, is one  reason (amongst many) that our simple and clear Constitution has been vulnerable to so much "misinterpretation," both intentional and unintentional. 

The topic of rights is particularly crucial because our nation's very existence arose from a revolutionary idea about the rights of the governed with respect to their government. A failure to define the very term that is the "topic of this topic" will leave us all voicing opinions or expressing conclusions that no one will be able to defend against some word-spinning expert out there in the world beyond this group.  

Definitions are NOT arbitrary.  BY definition, A definition must specify the ESSENTIAL differentiating characteristic of what's being defined.   That means it is what enables you to uniquely and unambiguously distinguish it from all other things.   Otherwise, when we go out to make our case to others, they can simply say "I have a different opinion of what rights are" and dismiss everything we've said and we'll have no leg to stand on.   So. . . what we need is NOT opinions on what a right is, but a definition that can be SHOWN to isolate what we are talking about from confusion with anything else, and from any possible misinterpretation or misapplication.

And remember, the definition has to apply to ANYTHING that is in fact a right.  It has to cover the right to life and the right to a jury trial or a tax deduction.  

Does anyone want to explain to us exactly what it is that's being discussed here, by defining it?

Comment by Cindy Lyons on March 3, 2013 at 4:51pm

Publius have you posted the transcript to this YouTube that was made of you? "Publius Huldah on the Original Intent of the US Constitution"

I went yesterday to a Democrat's Townhall and they defer their requirement of knowing the Constitution themselves to a set of lawyers. That is sad. I'm going to post a lengthy post on my wall in a few minutes. You'll see just how bad the Constitution is being violated in the State of Colorado. 

Comment by Cindy Lyons on March 1, 2013 at 10:40am

Publius I just watched you on YouTube. I loved what you said so much that I am thinking of transcribing the video I saw you in and and using that to testify against the anti-2nd Amendment leftists this M-W as they are putting very damaging anti-2nd Amendment bills forth. This will be in the Denver State Capitol. Have you been watching what's been going on with the 4-6 bad gun bills in Colorado? They are very bad, bad bills.

If you want to fly to testify at our State Legislator this week for their committee hearings... don't let me stop you. ;) But if you can't then do you have a transcript of your testimony at the Tennessee AG on the Supremacy Clause? I'd have to modify it by replacing the AG to Denver Senate. Let me know.

God bless your efforts in TN. 

Comment by Mike Foil on January 22, 2013 at 10:52am

I think it was Ben Franklin who also said that our Consitution and form of government was established to work with moral and religious people and that it would not survive with any other... or something very similar to that.  No wonder America is in trouble!


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