Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Nobody called the first ten amendments the Bill of Rights until incorporation was invented in the early part of the 20th century. Amendment One is part of a suite of twelve amendments that were proposed in the first congress and sent to the states for ratification. The sole and explicit purpose of those amendments were that the states that ratified begrudgingly -- like New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia especially, North Carolina, which would not ratify until amendments had been proposed and adopted -- the sole, explicit purpose of those first ten amendments that were ratified were to ensure that the new general government would not abuse its powers. They were not directed at the states. If they were directed at the states, then the states already had the political power to do everything in those amendments. Check out the rest in today's transcript...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the Free Phone Friday telephones. Mark is in Georgia first up today. Hello.
Caller Mark: Good morning, Mike. How are you?
Mike: I am well, sir, thank you.
Caller Mark: I love your show. I learn a lot. It’s a beacon. I have a question. I’m not quite getting your point on the First Amendment thing. Let me finish and then respond. Isn’t the point of the amendment so a citizen who feels that their right for free speech is being suppressed by the state, local, whomever, has the right to then sue and appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court and then get that overturned --
Caller Mark: Am I incorrect on that?
Mike: If you woke up this morning and tried to be as incorrect as anyone on Earth has been, you would have accomplished your goal.
Caller Mark: Okay. Explain.
Mike: That is absolutely incorrect. Without any doubt, without any equivocation, 100 percent incorrect. By the way, nobody called the first ten amendments the Bill of Rights until incorporation was invented in the early part of the 20th century. Amendment One is part of a suite of twelve amendments that were proposed in the first congress and sent to the states for ratification. The sole and explicit purpose of those amendments were that the states that ratified begrudgingly -- like New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia especially, North Carolina, which would not ratify until amendments had been proposed and adopted -- the sole, explicit purpose of those first ten amendments that were ratified were to ensure that the new general government would not abuse its powers. They were not directed at the states. If they were directed at the states, then the states already had the political power to do everything in those amendments. It wouldn’t have made any sense for those amendments to be directed at the states, seeing as how the states created the federal government. If you read the preamble to the first ten amendments, it’s clear, in order to secure more safeguards against abuse, and I’m paraphrasing, against the abuse of the new general government these amendments are sent to the states for ratification. The First Amendment was not a guarantee of free speech from here all the way to the star gate, or from Philadelphia all the way to Anchorage, Alaska, or for a nation, or for the states that would operate under and trade a little bit of their sovereignty to what we call today the United States. It was solely and explicitly to stop Congress, to stop and forbid the new Congress from doing it.
This is why you have to read. If you’re confused about this, number one, get a copy of the Bill of Rights and read the preamble, the statement that was sent to the states when it was ratified. It’ll explain the whole thing to you, that the first ten amendments were to secure further safeguards from abuse of the general government. Then, when the Alien and Sedition Acts are passed in 1798, the gut reaction, the visceral reaction of the Virginians and the Kentuckians, namely Madison, Jefferson, Taylor of Caroline and many of the men of Virginia, was that we specifically have a First Amendment to stop the sedition part of the Alien and Sedition Acts. If you read the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, written by a pair of men wiser than you and I, that would be Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson, they fully explain that Congress has no authority whatsoever over censoring anyone’s speech, and that’s explicit in the First Amendment. So no, it’s not a grant that you can do and say whatever you want to and you have redress and can take it to the Supreme Court. If Congress or an agency funded by Congress does censor your speech, then the First Amendment applies, and only then.
Caller Mark: I’m not a Supreme Court aficionado, so nowhere then in our history has anybody taken a case --
Mike: I haven’t said that the courts haven’t abused it.
Caller Mark: So when did that happen? I’m sure I’m not alone in my way of thinking.
Mike: It began in the early part of the 20th century. I don’t recall the actual case. I could find out for you. It began in the early part of the 20th century when someone dreamed up this cockeyed interpretation of the 14th Amendment and because it has this Due Process Clause in there, that that means that the writers and ratifiers of Amendment 14, which was never ratified, meant to use the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to then use the first ten amendments and apply them to the states, that the courts could apply them to the states. This was an invention. It was invented somewhere around 1917 or 1918.
AG: So, Mike, is that why, as we discussed the story about these ads going up in subway systems, the Washington, D.C. subway system, because it’s a different type of territory and funded through Congress, would be viewed differently than New York City and their ability to restrict or allow these ads up in their subway?
Mike: There were seditious libel speech codes in every state of the union at the time of the First Amendment’s ratification, just as there were state churches in Connecticut, in Rhode Island, to give two examples. Those amendments are not directed at the states. Here’s what the preamble to the submission of those twelve amendments to the states to ratify says. I’ll read it to you verbatim. A guy named James Madison wrote this, so I think he knew a little bit about it.
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution:
Mike: In other words, the states did not trust the new general government and they wanted specific amendments that would specifically declare that the new general government, organized under the Constitution, would not exercise any abuse of its powers as they are described in amendments one through ten. Mark, if you have any question about this, feel free to challenge me and to look it up for yourself and do a little due diligence. When you’re doing your research on this and when you’re reading up about it, try to find a First Amendment case directed against the state before 1920. See if it’s out there. Also bear in mind that at the time of ratification, the reason the Virginians and New Yorkers did not want to ratify is because they believed there would ultimately be abuses, that Congress would ultimately abuse its power, that there was not significant safeguard in the Constitution to stop them from abusing the power. This is why you have the first ten amendments.
If I didn’t cover anything here, read Amendments Nine and Ten very closely. If anyone had any doubt as to whether or not the new general government was a rights organization and would be the ultimate arbiter and determiner of the rights that the people of the states would experience outside of those that were enumerated, read Amendments Nine and Ten and come back and interpret that for me. Tell me why you think that applies to the states, when it specifically says that anything that’s not enumerated in this Constitution is reserved to the people and the states, meaning that the states reserved the right to take your guns away, should they choose to, should you elect people that would vote to do so and a governor would sign it. The state reserved the right to censor certain forms of speech and commerce, should they choose to, and that you had duly elected people to pass those laws.
End Mike Church Show Transcript