Assault on the Fifth Amendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous, crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offense, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. – The Bill of Rights
Here is another of the rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution that has been systematically stripped away.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous, crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger;
Democrats and Republican alike supported the illegal detention of Japanese-American citizens in World War II, and they continue to support legislation that detains and imprisons American citizens considered to be enemies of the State.
“Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.” write Lewis Seiler and former Congressman Dan Hamburg of the watchdog group Voice of the Environment, Inc.
Concentration style camps and detention facilities have been constructed around the country and bills are being introduced in Congress authorizing the Department of Homeland Security to implement its network of FEMA camp facilities to house U.S. citizens in the event of a national emergency or to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”
An article co-written by a former Congressman and carried by the San Francisco Chronicle gained much attention as it shines light on a coordinated federal government program to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States.
“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”
– Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943
Senator John McCain introduced S. 3081: Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 that would have set out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States. Those individuals would be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning. The bill does not distinguish between U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Fortunately the bill died in Congress
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the federal government, via the MIAC report and innumerable other leaked documents, now consider virtually anyone with a dissenting opinion against the state as posing a threat.Millions of peaceful American citizens could be swept up by this frightening dragnet of tyranny.
President Bush issued an executive order that could be interpreted to outlaw anti-war protest. This new executive order empowering the federal government to freeze the assets of people who threaten Iraq’s stability and its government is so broad it could be applied to any domestic opponent of the Iraq war who has assets in the U.S., charged a former Reagan administration official. Bush’s new order authorizes government agencies to freeze the property of anyone who has committed or might plan acts of violence in Iraq. It also targets anyone seeking to disrupt reconstruction efforts or harm humanitarian workers in the country.
But constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein insists the executive order is “so sweeping and broad that it permits the president to threaten virtually anybody who opposes our policy in Iraq.” “The frightening thing about this executive order is that there is no opportunity to respond. There isn’t even a requirement that when the president identifies you as a tainted person whose assets can’t be used that you even have to be notified,” said Fein.
Witness against yourself
No person shall be… “shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself;”
Citizens are routinely required to sign statements and declarations under the penalty of perjury.
Dr. Phil Roberts was sentenced to 3.5 years in federal prison for a misdemeanor violation of the tax code (26 U.S.C. 7203, “Willful Failure to File a Tax Return”), after refusing to submit tax returns for two years to preserve his Fifth Amendment rights not to testify against himself. At his trial held in 8th Circuit court, Arkansas, Dr. Roberts was was not allowed to present witnesses or evidence or appear at trial and was railroaded into either confessing or going to jail. The government prosecutor never once spoke of any law that Dr. Roberts may have violated and only tainted the jury with how much money he made, where he lived, what he drove and what else he had purchased. When objections were raised, the judge would say, “you can take that up on your appeal.”
No person shall be… “subject, for the same offense, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
The constitutional provision of double jeopardy forbids that a defendant be tried twice for the same crime on the same set of facts. This clause is intended to limit abuse by the government in repeated prosecution for the same offense as a means of harassment or oppression. It is also in harmony with the common law concept of res judicata which prevents courts from re-litigating issues which have already been the subject of a final judgment.
Though the Fifth Amendment initially applied only to the federal government the US Supreme Court has ruled, (Benton v. Maryland), that the double jeopardy clause applies to the states as well through incorporation by the Fourteenth amendment.
But now we can be punished for the same crime in several ways, at both federal and state levels, and by having property seized or by means of other “civil” procedures.
For example, a state might try a defendant for murder, after which the federal government might try the same defendant for a federal crime (perhaps a civil rights violation or kidnapping) related to the same act. An example of this technique was used in the Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with assaulting Rodney King in 1991 who were acquitted by a county court, but some were later convicted and sentenced in federal court for violating his civil rights.
The clause, it has been held, does not prevent separate trials by different governments, and the state and federal governments are considered “separate sovereigns”. Therefore, one may be prosecuted for a crime in a state court, and also prosecuted for the same crime in another state, a foreign country, or (most commonly) in a federal court. For example, Timothy McVeigh was executed by the federal government for murdering eight federal employees with a bomb, but could also have been tried in state court for murdering numerous other persons in the same explosion.
Double jeopardy can also be ignored if the later charge is civil rather than criminal in nature, which involves a different legal standard. Acquittal in a criminal case does not prevent the defendant from being the defendant in a civil suit relating to the same incident. For example, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of a double homicide in a California criminal prosecution, but lost a civil wrongful death claim brought over the same victims.
No person shall be…”deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;…”
Following the mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Uvalde, Republicans are feared to be caving in on new Democrat-favored gun-control measures that include so-called “red flag” laws many believe are unconstitutional violations of due process requirements.
A red flag law is a so-called gun violence prevention law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. A judge makes the determination to issue the order based on statements and actions made by the gun owner in question. Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense.
Opponents of red flag laws argue that such legislation infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms and the right to due process of law, and object to ex parte hearings. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the dispute to be present. Based on a mere accusation, a law-abiding gun owner is subjected to an “ex parte” hearing (a secret court proceeding in which the gun owner is not allowed to offer any exonerating evidence and isn’t even informed of the hearing, let alone be entitled to defense of counsel). Victims are almost always deemed guilty. And if not, getting their legally-owned weapons back is a whole other process.
Red Flag laws clearly violate the presumption of innocence principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. It was traditionally expressed by the Latin maxim ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (“the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies”). In the case of individuals posing a threat to others or themselves, there should FIRST be an opportunity for that person to defend himself BEFORE depriving him of his property, i.e. due process.
As of 2021, 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of red-flag law. The specifics of the laws, and the degree to which they are enforced, vary from state to state with the specific provisions of who may petition for a risk protection order. For example, in Indiana, only law enforcement may petition for an order. In contrast, in Oregon, any person living with the person of concern may file a petition.
Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, introduced a bill, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would allow states to use grants to develop red flag laws and make it a federal felony under 18 U.S. Code § 922(g) to possess a firearm in violation of a state red flag law. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, introduced a separate bipartisan bill that would use grants to encourage the passage of state red-flag laws. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in 2019 that he also planned to introduce legislation to encourage states to pass red flag laws.
If we the people allow these red flag laws to continue, what’s next?
If we allow the government to violate a person’s constitutional rights on the assertion by another claiming that person is unstable, what about other rights?
We’re already seeing efforts to criminalize speech if it’s a Christian speaking out against homosexuality. It’s called “hate speech“. Is it a stretch to believe that someday people would say that because you believe in a mythical god that preaches hate, that’s proof you’re unstable and your guns should be taken away? What about your First Amendment right to speech?
It’s been documented some in government see Christians, patriots, Conservatives, and anybody promoting conspiracy theories, to be a threat to civil order.
What about the censorship we see now being permitted by social media giants like Google, Facebook, and YouTube? Whether it’s content that offends somebody else or content that exposes truths that conflict with the official narrative, that content is being buried or removed from the public debate.
Red Flag laws are an early step toward Social Credit Scores like we see in China. Only those deemed worthy by the State are permitted the benefits of the State and those deemed unworthy are denied those benefits. What about your social security check? Government already denies governments and corporations access to their money if they’re declared to support terrorism. What about the Christian or Conservative that has been declared a terrorist because of his beliefs? Would the government withhold your social security benefits because you might use the money for some nefarious purpose?
I support current gun control law that prohibits guns in the hands of felons, fugitives from justice, drug users and addicts, mental defectives, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged military, former U.S. citizens who renounced their citizenship, persons subject to restraining orders, and persons who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. That law should be enforced rather than adding new laws that target individuals that have NOT broken any law.
|Our Second Amendment Then and Now: Arguments for the Constitutionality of Americas Evolving Gun Control Laws
For over 100 years following the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment would go relatively untouched. In 1934, however, the first major federal gun control legislation would be passed in the National Firearms Act (which is still in law today). Later we saw the Gun Control Act of 1968 and today estimates on the number of gun control laws on the books in the US (depending on parameters of defining such laws and the inclusion or non-inclusion of state and local laws) range from the hundreds on the low end all the way into the tens of thousands.
The right to own property.
With the stroke of a pen, the Supreme Court of the United States effectively rejected one of the most fundamental constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens…
No person shall be…”deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use…”
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Kelo v. New London that the govenment may seize a home, small business, or other private property of one citizen and transfer it to another private citizen – if the transfer would boost the community’s economic development or increase its tax base.
With this ruling, no privately owned property is safe from govenment seizure. Houses, farms, churches, church camps, family-owned restaurants, and small businesses are all at risk. In the dissent, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor argued that this decision would allow the rich to benefit at the expense of the poor, asserting that “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.” She argued that the decision eliminates “any distinction between private and public use of property—and thereby effectively delete[s] the words ‘for public use’ from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment”. As Justice O’Connor wrote in her dissent, “Any single family home might be razed to make way for an apartment building; any church might be replaced with a retail store.”
Cities across the country have been using eminent domain to force people off their land, so private developers can build more expensive homes and offices that will pay more in property taxes than the buildings they’re replacing.
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance. – Micah 2:2
This ruling creates a scenario where churches and religious organizations which are tax exempt, could be especially vulnerable to make room for economic development that will enhance the tax base. The socialist arm of the liberal left will likely see this an an excellent “back door” tactic to silence Christians and further alienate them in our society.
Dana Berliner and Scott Bullock, attorneys at a libertarian non-profit group called The Institute for Justice, says “This is a nationwide epidemic,” and “We have documented more than 10,000 instances of government taking property from one person to give it to another in just the last five years.” [CBS News: Eminent Domain: Being Abused?, July 4, 2004]
- In mid-September 2008, the Saint Paul Port Authority announced its intention to take the property of Advance Shoring Company, a successful business that has operated for generations in St. Paul, to make way for a private development project that amounts to questionable real estate speculation with $10 million in public subsidies.
- Vera Coking, an elderly widow from Atlantic City, fought off attempts of the condemnation of her home by a State agency that sought to take her property and transfer it—at a bargain-basement price—to another private individual: Donald Trump. Trump convinced the State agency to use its “eminent domain” power to take Vera’s home so he could construct a limousine parking lot for his customers—hardly a public purpose.
- With the blessing of officials from the Village of Port Chester, a politically connected developer approached Didden and his partner with an offer they couldn’t refuse. Because Didden planned to build a CVS on his property—land the developer coveted for a Walgreens—the developer demanded $800,000 from Didden to make him “go away” or ordered Didden to give him an unearned 50 percent stake in the CVS development. If Didden refused, the developer would have the Village of Port Chester condemn the land for his private use. Didden rejected the bold-faced extortion. The very next day the Village of Port Chester condemned Didden’s property through eminent domain so it could hand it over to the developer who made the threat.