General Welfare does not Trump Private Rights

“We see particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power; where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other; that the private interest of every individual, may be a sentinel over the public rights.” (James Madison Federalist # 51)

If this principle is not resolved and reasserted with force, the purpose for which we have established constitutional government, “securing liberty and property to individuals,” will be lost.  Alas, seditions, tumults, and wars are not the greatest evils that befall nations. No, it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness, as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending, and to give the name of peace to desolation…. Instead of wearying their subjects in wars, they only seek, by perverted laws, corrupt judges, false witnesses, and vexatious suits, to cheat them of their money and inheritance. 

“Again, there is a way of killing worse than that of the sword: for as Tertullian says upon a different occasion “Prohibere Nasci eft occidere;”  Those governments are in the highest degree guilty of blood, which by taking from men the means of living, brings some to perish through want, drive others out of the country, and generally dissuade men from marriage, by taking from them all ways of subsisting their families.” (Algernon Sidney (1622-1683), Discourses Concerning Government. FB&c Ltd. 2018, Sec. 26, p. 373-375)

In our constitution, the relationship between the executive and the people is represented in the maxim of law, that protection and subjection are reciprocal. And these reciprocal duties are what, I apprehend, were meant by the convention in 1688, when they declared that king James had broken the original contract between king and people. Not only do the American people have the unbroken continuity of the laws of nature, and of nature’s God, we have the original covenants between our government and the people in the US Constitution and the Common Law of England rooted in Magna Carta.

We must learn and stand on the foundations which Sir Coke did in his day as well stated by Ms. Catherine Drinker Bowen: “The fathers of American independence founded their case on ‘that wonderful Edward Coke, masterful, masterless man,’ who made two English kings bow to the common law.” (“Lord of the Law” Catherine Drinker Bowen)

The southern Border issue today is the breaking of contract between the government and the people by failing to protect the States and their people from invasion. Also, the overzealous administrative state through environmental regulations and policy running rough shod over private rights in the name of the public good is a failure to adhere to the law of the land.

“So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of itno, not even for the general good of the whole community. . .  In vain may it be urged, that the good of the individual ought to yield to that of the community; for it would be dangerous to allow any private man, or even any public tribunal, to be the judge of this common good, and to decide whether it be expedient or no. Besides, the public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual’s private rights, as modeled by the municipal law.” (William Blackstone, COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND BOOK I: THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS Wallachia Publishers New York City, NY 2015, Ch. 1 Of The Absolute Rights of Persons (first published 1769)

“The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and Senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.” (Adam Smith, Road To Serfdom pg.100, Planning and Democracy)

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