In recent commentary in the Cape Charles Mirror, I made reference to a thoughtful, well-researched, well-reasoned and scholarly essay from the University of Richmond Law Review entitled “A VANISHING VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION?” by The Honorable Stephen R. McCullough, Judge, Court of Appeals of Virginia wherein these three issues were raised by Judge McCullough in his capacity as a loyal citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to wit:
1) The Constitution is the fundamental law of Virginia;
2) It is the charter by which our people have consented to be governed; it sets forth the basic rights and principles sought to be maintained and preserved in a free society; and
3) In recent decades, however, the most fundamental rights protected for Virginians by the Virginia Constitution have been, for all practical purposes, steadily vanishing.
And these conclusions were drawn:
1) Some of the most important protections embodied in the Virginia Constitution should not be relegated to irrelevance by sweeping declarations that they are co-extensive with provisions found in the United States Constitution.
2) Instead, a determination of the scope of a provision under the Virginia Constitution should be made on a case-by-case basis, following an examination of text, history, and precedent.
3) The point of ensuring the continued vitality of the Virginia Constitution is not to advance a conservative or a liberal political project.
4) Preserving the vitality of the states in our system of government does not advance any particular ideology.
5) State constitutions should retain their vitality not only because they represent the foundational charter of a sovereign component of the Union, but also because the rights protected by the Virginia Constitution represent a valuable inheritance.
6) Ensuring their continued relevance for the centuries to come is a suitable end in itself.
Subsequent thereto, as the lawyers are wont to say, in a Good Morning America article entitled “Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe Restores Voting Rights of Felons” by Margaret Chadbourn on 22 August 2016, we, the people, and the candid world, as well, were informed of recent political actions taken by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a self-proclaimed rabid partisan of Democrat presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton, and statements made, as follows:
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe today restored voting rights to 13,000 felons, circumventing a court ruling and defying objections to his earlier attempts from Republican legislators.
“We’re not going to waste any time about arguing about the old Virginia way,” McAuliffe, a Democrat, said while making the announcement at the Civil Rights Memorial on Capitol Square in Richmond.
“Let me put this in plain English: We will proceed,” he said.
“We’re not going to waste any time about arguing about the old Virginia way,” McAuliffe, a Democrat, said.
Time to do things a new way, folks, not the way the Constitution and law say, but the way Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a rabid Hillary Clinton, dictates instead, which is Rule of Man, not Rule of Law as is supposed to be guaranteed to the people of Virginia by the Virginia Constitution Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe appears to have just forsaken in seeming contempt of Virginia Law 98, A Bill Prescribing the Oath of Fidelity, and the Oaths of Certain Public Officers, 18 June 1779, wherein the oath of office of the Virginia Governor, in this case Democrat and Hillary partisan Terry McAuliffe is stated as follows:
“I, (name), elected Governor of Virginia, by the representatives thereof, do solemly promise and swear, that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, execute the said office diligently and faithfully, according to law, without favour, affection, or partiality; that I will to the utmost of my power, protect the citizens of the commonwealth in the secure enjoyment of their rights, franchises, and privileges, and will constantly endeavour that the laws and ordinances of the commonwealth be duly observed, and that law and justice, in mercy, be executed in all judgments; and, lastly, that I will peaceably and quietly resign the government, to which I have been elected, at the several periods to which my continuance in the said office is or shall be limited by law, and the constitution.”
“So help me God.”
For those unfamiliar with the term, WIKIPEDIA defines “Rule of man” as absence of rule of law, a society in which one person, in this case Democrat Terry McAuliffe, or a group of persons, the Hillary Clinton Campaign, rules arbitrarily.
A society in which the Sovereign, in this case Democrat Terry McAuliffe, exercises absolute authority and is not bound by any law.
In other words, as he appears to be doing when he states above “We’re not going to waste any time about arguing about the old Virginia way,” he as a person now stands outside law.
And his political “out” is right there in front of us in the statement in the Governor’s Oath, “I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, execute the said office diligently and faithfully.”
What Terry McAuliffe is saying, or admitting here, is that he really didn’t have any skill or judgment with which to execute the Office of Virginia Governor diligently and faithfully, and the people of Virginia are now stuck with the result, the loss of their Constitutional protections in Virginia, because they were fool enough to put Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the State House to “protect the citizens of the commonwealth in the secure enjoyment of their rights, franchises, and privileges.”
In other words, “SORRY, SUCKERS, THAT IS WHAT YOU GET FOR BEING STUPID IN THE VOTING BOOTH.”
But that takes us back around to Judge McCullough above here and his statement to the loyal people of Virginia that the Virginia Constitution Democrat Terry McAuliffe appears to be forsaking is the charter by which the people of Virginia have consented to be governed and it sets forth the basic rights and principles sought to be maintained and preserved in a free society.
Think on those words for a moment if you will, people:
* Consented to be governed; and
* Basic rights and principles sought to be maintained and preserved in a free society.
And then ask yourself – if Democrat Terry McAuliffe for partisan political purposes can take it upon himself to suspend or nullify the provisions of law in Virginia as set forth in the Constitution of Virginia, can it be considered a “free society” any longer.
Or has it become a tyranny?
As for me, I learned about the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia when I was in kindergarten in New York state right after WWII.
Because understanding the origins of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia is vital to an understanding of what “constitutional government” and “rule of law” in the United States of America are supposed to mean, as opposed to what mealy-mouth partisan politicians in this country say they mean.
And because an understanding of the origins of the Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution is vital to an understanding of how the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution came to be, and how it must be interpreted so as to provide substantial justice to all of the people in the United States of America, and not just a chosen few in a powerful political faction that has been able to grab political power in this nation at the expense of the majority.
As James Madison, a son of Virginia and American president known as the “Father of the U.S. Constitution” so wisely said so long ago that it has now been all but forgotten:
“Do not separate text from historical background.”
“If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
James Madison was speaking to all of us when he said that, not just the people of Virginia.
And by his actions as Virginia governor in this matter of his granting mass pardons to convicted felons so they can swell the Virginia voter rolls, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is handing us all a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
Why should I care?
Because I am a loyal United States citizen, and what Democrat Terry McAuliffe is doing in Virginia to aid the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign sets a very dangerous precedent that does affect each and every one of us in this nation, regardless of what state we now happen to live in.
If we don’t hang together in calling attention to this blatant abuse of political power in Virginia, as if Terry McAuliffe were Royal Governor appointed by a tyrannical king as opposed to being an elected public official answerable to the people of Virginia, then it is certain that we will all hang separately because at this same time Democrat Andy Cuomo in New York state is taking similar executive actions in aid of the Hillary Rodham Clinton for president campaign that have effectively stripped us of our Constitutional protections of law as Andy too established Rule of Man to replace Rule in New York in anticipation of Hillary Clinton instituting Rule of Hillary to replace Rule of Law at the federal level when she ascends the throne of power in January as our newly annoited queen, with Andy Cuomo as her Attorney General, and God help us, Terry McAuliffe on the United States Supreme Court.