Memo to Mark Levin: Article V Convention of States Has One Big Caveat

By Alan W. Cohen

Watch out Mark Levin. It has all happened before. The author and conservative radio host has begun a movement under Article V of the Constitution to create a convention of states to amend the constitution to strip the federal government of much of its ill-gotten gains, gains that have diluted freedom from the individual and authority from the states. On his radio show of October 10, 2017, a caller warned him that the federal courts are lurking in the shadows, waiting to override any sweeping changes the convention might pass. In response, Levin was confident that the states would prevail.

Yet, that is exactly what happened with the Fourteenth Amendment, and we still have not recovered almost 150 years later. As I explain in much greater detail in my latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, the Civil War ended with a great Republican majority passing a series of Amendments, each with their own purpose. The Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery. The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote. But the Fourteenth Amendment had another, more profound, purpose.

As Mr. Levin explains in great detail in his most recent book, Rediscovering Americanism (please see the link to my review at the end of this blog), the Founders of our nation believed, and declared it in 1776, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. And, with all due respect to those morons on MSNBC and CNN, those rights predated, and are the basis for, the Constitution. That is because we are all individuals, individuals that banded together to protect the rights of other individuals. Yet, somewhere along the line, our nation changed from being a republic to being a democracy. Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett explains that when the Founders created the Constitution, it was based on the Declaration of Independence, and that the preamble said it all. We the People means we the people as a collection of individuals, not of the majority. Unfortunately, a movement began, less than 25 years later, to justify slavery, a movement that became the Jacksonian Democracy. Levin calls it mobocracy. Barnett calls it the Democratic Constitution. A key illustration is this phenomenon is the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, an act that empowered the citizens of those states to vote on whether to enslave a minority of their peers.

The Supreme Court signed onto the Jacksonian Democracy in 1833, the year after Jackson’s landslide victory over Henry Clay for his second term. Here I will invoke the name of a person that Mr. Levin detests as a bigot, a racist and an anti-Semite: Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. Despite his serious flaws, Justice Black proposed in a dissenting opinion in 1948 that we lost our republic in 1833 with the case of Baron ex rel. Tierman v. Mayor of Baltimore, where the Supreme Court declared that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states, but only to actions of the federal government. Black suggests that Chief Justice John Marshall was just a bit dishonest in his four-page opinion, a sparse writing of what was one the most important decisions of the century. In fact, as I explain in Private Vows, Marshall was scared, and had good reason to be. President Jackson was a scoundrel, and had recently refused to abide by a Supreme Court opinion protecting the Cherokee leading to the infamous Trail of Tears. Until Jackson came onto the scene, Marshall had carefully fostered the Supreme Court’s authority to override legislation and executive actions through the power of judicial review. Marshall anxiously wanted to preserve his gains, and knew to tread carefully to avoid Jackson’s wrath.

The real question in Baron was whether the federal courts had the authority to enforce the inalienable rights recognized in the Declaration, the rights of the individual against the authority of the state or local government that was violating those rights. That same question is with us today. In a dissenting opinion in 2000, Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with fellow Justice Clarence Thomas that the Constitution preserves those inalienable rights within the Ninth Amendment, but refused to enforce them because the Constitution did not specifically provide for a remedy. The question for Justice Scalia then, as with Chief Justice Marshall in 1833, is this: What good are rights if there is no place to enforce them? According to Justice Black, Marshall adeptly sidestepped the issue, and for good reason. As I explain in Private Vows, if the federal courts had the authority to enforce inalienable rights against state or local governments in 1833, slaves would have been coming in droves to seek redress and there would have been a civil war. Since Marshall sidestepped the issue, the Court could not enforce Dred Scott’s claims for freedom only a few years later, an event that ironically led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans that Marshall had so greatly sought to avoid. After the Civil War, according to Justice Black, it fell on Congress to right the wrong of Baron and restore the Republic, and individual liberty, with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, making it clear that individuals did indeed have a right to redress of state and local violations of their individual rights in the federal courts (as well as in the state courts).

There was one big problem. The Supreme Court was filled with Jacksonians who refused to comply with Congress’ mandate even if it was the will of the required number of states. In the infamous Slaughter-House Cases in 1873, the Court all but nullified the Fourteenth Amendment by calling it just an anti-slavery amendment:

The constitutional provision there alluded to did not create those rights, which it called privileges and immunities of citizens of the States. It threw around them in that clause no security for the citizen of the State in which they were claimed or exercised. Nor did it profess to control the power of the State governments over the rights of its own citizens

Thus began more than a century of state control over the individual so vast that individual freedom was all but lost, freedom that the Founders intended, freedom that we still don’t have today. Soon after The Slaughter-House Cases, the Supreme Court affirmed state policies based on eugenics, justifying discriminatory laws and, as a means of enforcing them, created out of thin air, as I explain in Private Vows, a justification for state regulation of marriage and divorce. As Levin explains in Rediscovering Americanism, this statist thinking became the fodder for the socialists, the so called Progressives as a means for controlling the masses. It inspired the ever Progressive Woodrow Wilson to re-segregate the entire federal government during his first term of office. It empowered the KKK to rule with a violence, ending black lives on the spot just for the crime of not being white.

Thus, the lesson for Mark Levin and his followers is that that an Amendment to the Constitution is not enough. We have to fill the Supreme Court with those willing to enforce it. While, as with the Trump travel ban, we cry over the illegal nature of the Ninth Circuit and other federal courts, those actions pale in comparison to the 19th Century and a Supreme Court that was hell bent to undo the Union victory, to preserve and restore the Jacksonian Democracy. and to preserve racial and religious discrimination.

Alan W. Cohen practiced law for more than 25 years before retiring. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and the Washington University School of Law.  Besides Private Vows, he is also the author of America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, as well as several other books on family law.

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How the Conservative/Libertarian Media Revolution Can Save America from McConnell and his Washington Cartel

By Alan W. Cohen

It would be John McCain’s biggest nightmare. It would be an equivalent blow to the mainstream media, and particularly Mitch McConnell. What if Republicans only nominate those who meet the approval of Conservative and Libertarian media? Each candidate must meet a basic litmus test. If elected, they will be under constant scrutiny of those that supported them. That would mean, gasp, honesty in politics.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz tells us he was shocked to find out that 95 percent of what his colleagues did in the Swamp was to work for their re-election, and their morbid fear of destruction in the mainstream media, particularly the Washington Post, the New York Times and the major networks. Yet, Mark Levin’s CRTV and other social media sites have stepped in to fill a void that Fox News has failed to do, to teach Americanism. Now,   perhaps for the first time in more than a century, Americans want to know how the Founders would have seen this issue or that, whether their view of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence might apply to a particular issue.  We tune in to Rush or Levin or even Hannity,  who collectively take a machete to the D.C. jungle to clear a path for us to see right and wrong.

Yet, it’s not enough just to complain about it. Rush, who has worked for decades to establish a Republican majority, can barely believe his ears (no offense intended) as he hears about their refusal to tow the capitalist line and adopt Progressivism (a/k/a Socialism).  Hannity screeches his despondence on a daily basis. His show so depressing that its hard to listen without wanting to throw yourself off the nearest highrise in utter despair. Levin gives us perspective. All agree that the Republican Party is a joke. We cannot trust the label. Politicians are addicts, but instead of cocaine or heroin or opium, they are addicted to power. And with any other addict, you know when they are lying don’t you? When they open their mouths. They will say anything and do anything to maintain their addiction. And, as long as cronies like Mitch McConnell are the pushers, we have no prayer. Imagine the Senate as a huge opium den, filled with stoners sucking from the public teat.  The temptation is overwhelming for most, and going straight might result in utter destruction, if not their political death. McConnell runs the D.C. cartel and has the keys to the Senate stash that bankrolls Senate campaigns, and to maintain his power, a power he uses to attack anyone that might be a threat, particularly Freedom Caucus associate member Mo Brooks who is running for the Senate in Alabama, and anyone who might dare to support him.  Why? Because Brooks would join true believers Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, three men who have refused to indulge in McConnell’s treason.  Mark Levin openly endorses Brooks on his radio show, and is urging Alabamans to reject McConnell and his arrogance and audacity to tell them who they should select as their Senator.

Yet, McConnell’s fears are real, and his destruction might be at hand. Last week, John McCain went on the mainstream to instruct his fellow Republicans to stop listening to “the bombastic loudmouths” on talk radio or other Conservative media. I don’t know if McCain is just that stupid, swamp infested, or is so addicted to power that he doesn’t get the fact that we don’t watch or listen to the mainstream media who have moved so far left that they actually walk in circles. Doesn’t he read the polls? Republican voters trust politicians more than they do the mainstream media, that is about 2 percent of the time. God knows, the networks even skew the weather forecast to spin their craziness on so called climate change. So, the only way that we even know that John McCain said what he did about talk radio is from … da da da da … Conservative media. What a dipshit. Sorry for that language, but there is no other word to describe McCain. I would say brain damaged, but that would be cutting it too close to the heart considering his present health condition. So, I’ll stick with dipshit. Sorry.

So, how do we keep these elected officials on the straight and narrow? How do we keep them out of McConnell’s opium den, and eventually close it down.  Two ways. First, taking from Bernie Sanders, we select only candidates that refuse financing from large corporations or super PACs. They must rely exclusively on private donations from a website. Second, these candidates must achieve a good review from Levin, who, above all, can grill them on the wisdom of the Founders and instruct them on the evils of Progressivism (a/k/a/ Marxism). A perfect candidate is Austin Peterson of Missouri, whose background is solidly in Freedomworks and is truly libertarian in his beliefs. If he survives a primary fight against the RINO candidate (likely Josh Hawley the state AG), Peterson would be the perfect foil for left of left #FireClaire McCaskill who, after due consideration, might not even run considering Donald Trump won the state by double digits.

But I digress. Political action groups give number or letter grades to candidates. Conservative and Libertarian media should do the same. We need a ten issue litmus test that they must promise to abide, or else. And, if, once elected, they might stumble into the opium den, well, then we call them out. It will take time, but sooner or later we will end up with legislators who are dedicated public servants, dedicated to the Constitution and their constituents, not to their pocketbooks ala Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders and, of course, the Clintons. But most of all, we will end up with legislators who are faithful to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in a way that the Founders intended, a world of right reason and the Golden Rule, where our only ruler is Natural Law, not a select group of elitists in the never never land that is Washington, D.C. Eventually, if we hold are course, our selected representatives will attain leadership status, where they, like McConnell, would hold the financial key to the D.C. washroom. Only then would we be able to drain the swamp.

Thirty years ago to the day, Rush Limbaugh plowed through the liberal muck and emerged as a national voice. In 1994, he was credited as a motivating force in the Contract for America. And, while that success was short lived, he is now one of many voices that outshine the now quickly dissolving mainstream media’s control of the daily message. With the election of Donald Trump, they have lost both their collective minds and their credibility. They are no longer the gatekeepers to power. Now the Conservative/Libertarian media’s turn at the wheel.

Alan W. Cohen retired after more than 25 years as a family law attorney. Besides this blog, he is also the author of seven books, all available on Amazon.  His latest book is Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, a deep dive into unconstitutional state and federal control of the family and its contribution to the destruction of marriage.

Comments:

Email him at: alan@privatevows.com

Three Important Lessons I Learned From Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism

By Alan W. Cohen

You are never too old to learn some  new tricks about understanding the Constitution, and Mark Levin just gave me a few pointers on how I can do just that with his new book, Rediscovering Americanism. I am not a longtime fan of Mr. Levin, but I am now. In fact, it was just about four months ago that I turned on my radio and listened to him make an argument that I made in my latest book,  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce. As you might expect from the title, my conclusion is that government interference in the family is not only unconstitutional, but it has been, especially for the past 50 years, completely destructive to the institution of marriage. Until I read his book, I could not understand why.  Now I know, thanks to Mark Levin.

As Mr. Levin has maintained, the Founders of our great nation believed in Natural Rights, and they considered those rights unalienable (or inalienable), meaning that they cannot be transferred or surrendered.  In the words of the Declaration of Independence, those rights are God-given. We are born with them and they remain with us until our demise. The Founders so believed in what John Locke and Aristotle called right-reason and Natural Law that they did not even consider the possibility that any government in America would interfere in the individual families of its inhabitants. After all, as Locke tells us, religious liberty was and is at the heart of the freedom the Founder fought, and died, to achieve, and the family was and is the heart of religious liberty. After the Revolution, the newborn Republic tossed out the Anglican Church, and with it state control of marriage and the family.  And, at least for the first 50 years of our nation, that was the rule, as the Supreme Court so admitted in 2015, that marriage in America began as a purely private affair. The Founders, with the Contracts Clause, made it part of the Constitution. Marriage is a private contract, and government interference would be prohibited. Yet, a little more than 100 years after the Declaration, couples could not get married or divorced without the permission of the state. And, if they were interracial, they might as well forget it. If they wanted to practice some other religion other than Protestantism, like Mormonism, and marry within its tenants, forget it. Catholic vows were irrelevant. The government was in charge.  Yet, for the vast majority of people, government interference in the family was minimal, if not infinitesimal. That all changed in the 1960s, when socialism began to overtake the religious right and wrestled control of government.

Now here are the three important lessons I learned from Mark Levin and his new book, Rediscovering Americanism:

  1. We are already a socialist nation. Political parties are useless descriptions.  In fact, with the exception of three in the Senate, and a few more in the House, there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats. That’s because, as Levin tells us, the Mainstream Media has taken charge of the Socialist (Progressive) Agenda. Politicians only care about their reelection, and they are too frightened of bad press to cross it. That fact became all the more clear with the election of Donald Trump. The media is hell bent on his destruction, even more so than that of his Republican predecessors.  As I stated in a prior blog, journalism is not dead. It was never alive. Fair and balanced is nothing more than a tagline to convince the viewer (or reader) of its truthfulness. Even Thomas Jefferson complained about the dark side of the free press, that newspapers were the voice of the wealthy, not of the People. Film buffs will recall Citizen Kane, where the protagonist declares that his newspaper would not report the news, but rather make the news. We see that now with RussiaGate. Many of the Main Stream Media (CNN, Washington Post, New York Times) have thrown off their false bravado to achieve their ultimate goal: what Levin calls a Silent Coup Timid Republicans in Washington acquiesce, cowering in a quiet corner. They know who the boss is and it’s not the People. I join in most of mid-America that have taken Levin’s advice, and have turned off the noise that is the media because we know that they are not looking out for our interests, only their own.
  2.  Socialism is evil  Therefore, we cannot compromise, for every compromise with the Progressives gives up territory that cannot be easily regained.  Just like their compatriots, the Bolsheviks, Progressives chose their name to convince the masses that they speak for the majority, knowing that the opposite is true. And just like the Bolsheviks, Progressives have largely succeeded in taking power. But, as Levin tells us, this is not a new plan, or even, as I had believed, a plan that came to pass in the 1960s. Rather, the counterrevolution in America has been mounting for more than 125 years. In fact, it has been there from the beginning, waiting in the darkness, seeking the right time to strike. When Benjamin Franklin emerged and told his public that we have a Republic if we can keep it, he knew of this darkness. All the Founders did. It was the same tyranny they had fought to overcome. It was not limited to a monarchy. Mob rule was just, if not more, dangerous. As Levin explains, the Founders rejected Rousseau in favor of Locke, unlike the French, whose revolt ended in mass murder and the emergence of a savior who promised order from the madness, Napoleon Bonaparte,  who would, in turn, lead his people to utter destruction. We saw the same with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, and a slew of dictators of would be socialist countries, most recently Venezuela. For socialists, America’s exceptionalism has proved a more difficult quarry. The ride from freedom to tyranny has been gradual. Socialists understand that, given our stubborn individualism,  it is necessary, to steal our freedom little by little, generation by generation, relying on a left skewed educational system as Levin tells us is their Mein Kampf. For example, historians celebrate Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Yet, as Levin teaches us, those leaders disavowed the Founders as historical creatures, that their time has passed, as had their beliefs in Natural Law and unalienable rights. The Bible teaches us about recognizing evil, and our character is built on how we overcome it. Mark Levin is our filter. He points out for his millions of listeners the sheer folly of compromising with socialists (or Statists) because any breach in the wall of freedom is a pathway to tyranny. Unfortunately, we are well on our way to that end. More than ever we must teach the virtues of capitalism and purge socialism from our midst.
  3. Property rights are just as important as liberty because it is our ability to acquire property and to control it that ensures our liberty. In a recent broadcast, Levin cited a laundry list of Socialist (a/k/a Democrat) politicians that have become super rich as a result of what our Founders described as public service. Bill Clinton was dirt poor as a governor. Now he is worth hundreds of millions, as is Al Gore, Bernie Sanders, and most recently Barrack Obama. Even liberal icon Maxine Waters, who claims to act for the poor, lives in a four million dollar estate in a 95 percent white and affluent neighborhood outside of her poverty-stricken district. She entered into politics, as many of her counterparts, not to serve, but to earn. These so called leaders demonstrate the folly of socialism. Marx and Engels said in their manifesto, each according to their needs, but who would decide those needs? A ruling elite of experts that, by the nature of the system, would be exempt from the scrutiny of the rest of the masses (see e.g., Bernie Sanders wife, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Levin tells us that our Founders  devised a system that divided economic power from political power because they knew that property rights kept tyranny outside that wall. That is why our Founders rejected government interference in the family, because historically, wealth is built on the stability of its shoulders. That is how Great Britain got to be great, by focusing on property rights and the right to inherit. Wealth is the ultimate incentive of capitalism, to not only provide for yourself in the here and now, but to provide for your offspring and their families as well. Socialism disdains wealth, and the destruction of family has been its long term goal, a goal that is within their grasp. As I explain in  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce,  as well as my 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, federal policy has been, for the past half century, to punish virtuous behavior and to reward bad behavior. Levin explains why. It’s all about control of the all powerful State that we must worship as a deity. Even billionaires, who built their fortunes on capitalism, now disavow it, because they fear the wrath of the so called Progressives, just as Republicans are terrified of the Main Stream Media. Destruction is just a step away, and the Progressives are watching, waiting, and ready to pounce on any indiscretion.

There is much more to learn from Mark Levin and Rediscovering Americanism. But these three lessons stand out for me personally. Every right minded, or as Aristotle said, right-reason minded, American needs to not only read this book, but to study it, and to preach its gospel to anyone who will listen. It is our duty as Americans to save our nation from the tyranny that is already inside our gates.

Alan W. Cohen retired after practicing family law for more than 25 years in St. Louis, Missouri.

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