We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...This is the thesis statement of this blog. In other words, there are two sources for government power:
--The thirteen united States of America
- Everyone's inalienable rights. Anyone can protect these, the government just as much as anyone else. Even if there was no constitution or law, I could stop someone from murdering you because you have the right to life. The government can't redefine your rights any more than I can, but, unless it's somehow forbidden to do so, it can protect them just as much (probably better) than I can.
- The consent of the governed. If someone tries to cut your chest open, he'll (we hope) be arrested for assault. But if you've tell your surgeon he can remove your appendix, he's allowed to cut your chest open - he's got your permission. Similarly, when everyone agree that the government may do something, it may do that. When all the people1 put this agreement in writing, it's called a social contract, or a constitution.
In this blog, I plan to try to determine what powers the US government legitimately has, as well as try to determine whether some specific actions were legitimate. I know I'm not going to get everything perfect; even the Supreme Court justices often disagree with each other. That's why the Court has nine justices, not just one, and that's why I'd appreciate your responses in the comment threads.
Actually, not quite everyone agreed to the US constitution; I'll probably post about this later. But, when I'm commenting on US political events, I'm generally going to assume the Constitution is a valid social contract - it's convenient, and nearly everyone now agrees it's valid, so not assuming it's valid would be impractical.