IS THE U.S. CONSTITUTION THE “SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND?”

For as long as I can remember going back to childhood in elementary school in Utica, New York we children were taught that “America is a Nation of Laws, not a nation of men;” and that “The United States’ Constitution is The Supreme Law of the Land.” In the considered opinion of this writer there is much reason as we enter AD 2015 to question whether either of the foregoing vaunted claims are still, or have ever been true. In an article written by conservative ‘blogger’ James Schott on June 24, 2014 in “Faultline USA,” the author notes that A nation of laws means that laws, not people, rule,” and further, that “No one is, or can be allowed to be, above the law.”  Mr. Schott goes on to make the following statement that “The Founders wrote restrictions into the Constitution against bills or laws of attainder,” which are laws that do not apply equally to everyone, but target specific persons or groups in their enforcement, and are also known as ‘bills of pains and penalties,” which such laws he states: “In the hands of corrupt officials…, could be used as a weapon…”    

Saliently, Mr. Schott asks the following question, and answers it himself: “Can there be a better way for a nation to deal with its citizens than treating them all equally under the law? About the only people who would disagree with this concept are those who are in a position, or want to be, to abuse the law and use their official positions unfairly, or those who benefit from that abuse.” I should note that Mr. Schott’s extraordinarily truthful comments in the foregoing, were a lead-up to some rather disparaging statements he went on to make against then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Attorney General Eric Holder, and of course — President Barack Obama. It would appear that Mr. Schott could only find Democrats whose actions qualify them as …those who are in a position…to abuse the law and use their official positions unfairly…” 

As a Race-conscious African-American citizen who has observed the severe escalation in incidents where militarized police routinely murder citizens they are supposedly “…sworn to protect and serve” — especially, but not limited to — young African-American males, I prefer to apply Mr. Schott’s analysis of the U.S. as a “Nation of Laws and not a Nation of Men” to the police establishment in this country as the penultimate example of “those who are in a position to…abuse the law and use their official positions unfairly.” The esteemed Mr. Schott himself acknowledges that “Sadly, there are plenty of these un-American folks on the loose,” and I argue they are disproportionately to be found among the ranks of America’s law enforcement establishment! The Sheriff of the county in which I reside, Palm Beach County, Florida is a prime example of such law-enforcement officials who qualify as one of  “…these un-American folks on the loose.”

In a recent article carried in “blackbluedog.com” titled: “Florida Sheriff Calls Protestors ‘Violent Thugs’ Who Should be Run Over With Cars,” Angela L. Braden reports that Rick Bradshaw made the inflammatory remarks at a community meeting in Boynton Beach on January 14th. Bradshaw reportedly told attendees “…they should run over protestors with their vehicles if the ‘violent thugs’ are seen blocking the streets.” Shades of “Bull Connor!” According to Ms. Braden’s account, Sheriff Bradshaw had the following to say in response to concerns made by an elderly woman at the meeting:

“Your safety is far more valuable than those violent thugs illegally blocking the roadways. If you see the protestors, and you can’t back up, stopping will make you an easy target for violence, robbery, or murder. If you are driving on a Florida roadway, it is up to them to move, so sit as low as possible in your car and accelerate forward. If you run over protestors, remember that your safety comes first and they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Whatever you do, I can’t emphasize enough how important enough it is not to stop and if they are injured, they brought it upon themselves.” 

Obviously, this clone of the infamous sheriff “Bull Connor” does not include peaceful protestors against perceived injustice as being included among those American citizens whom he and his department are allegedly ‘sworn’ to “protect and serve.”  But Bradshaw was apparently on a roll, and went on to show his true white supremacist, racist nature by having “…stoked racial fears and heightened racial tension by calling the protestors violent thugs who kill white people with hammers.”  I don’t yet know how many persons of African descent are employed in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, but what are they waiting for to stage a mass walkout demanding that their racist boss be re-called? This is especially perplexing insofar as this same sheriff “…has been at the center of over 40 discrimination lawsuits…” according to Ms. Braden’s report, and “…Bradshaw was known to show pictures of and brag about a dog from the canine unit biting and ripping the testicles from an African-American man.” Those black employees should not need to be reminded that their overlord is being investigated by a local television investigative reporter for “…being at the center of a massive cover-up within the sheriff’s department” regarding two of their fellow African-American deputies who were killed while on duty by a white deputy who ran into the two men while driving at 106 MPH! Could it be that the white deputy was following the same advice Bradshaw later gave the audience in Boynton Beach, and chose to pretend his two black fellow deputies were “protesting” at the time he ran them over?

If there is any justice left in America, the families of those two deputies who were slain by one of their fellow officers and then abandoned by their boss, will at least be given astronomical sums of money in civil suits for violations of the victims’ Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the award is large enough, perhaps the citizens of Palm Beach County will themselves demand that Rick Bradshaw be removed from office immediately and permanently because it is their tax dollars that would be paid to the victims, not Rick Bradshaw’s!!

In my own research I have yet to find the specific phrase “The U.S. is a nation of laws and not a nation of men” anywhere is the U.S. Constitution.  The phrase is more commonly referred to a the “Rule of Law,” which is also not found in the Constitution itself. However, the same cannot be said of the premise that “The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”  Article VI of the Constitution states in part:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the     authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” And goes on to state that: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution…”

The clear intent of the foregoing Article VI is subsequently applied to citizens of the United States by the following series of excerpts from referenced Amendments to the Constitution:

Amendment IV:          “The right of the people to be secure in their persons…shall not be violated…”

             Amendment V:           “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime…nor be deprived of life. liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

             Amendment VI:          “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall…be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;  and have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

             Amendment VIII:       “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

             Amendment XIV:       “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In view of the foregoing, where does Palm Beach County, Florida Sheriff Rick Bradshaw get the right to selectively authorize one group of United States citizens to violate the Constitutional rights and privileges of another group of U.S. citizens — purely on Rick Bradshaw’s say-so? In what court did Bradshaw secure a ‘conviction’ as “violent thugs” against the peaceful protestors he had so labeled, and under what statute in Florida law is protesting declared to be a crime?  According to what “due process of law” did Bradshaw ‘try’ the protestors and find them guilty as he charged them? At what point after one of the white attendees at the meeting where Bradshaw made his incendiary, racist remarks, had decided to heed the Sheriff’s advice and run over and kill a protestor, would a court of law have decided that the sheriff had complied with the Constitution and informed the dead protestor of the “nature and cause” of the accusation against him or her; and provided the accused with “assistance of counsel for his defense?”

Would the death of a protestor at Sheriff Bradshaw’s urging not have constituted infliction of “cruel and unusual punishment” in view of the contention that “One is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?”  What statute of Florida law provides Sheriff Rick Bradshaw with authority and power to deny any of the protestors “…equal protection of the laws,” the very ‘protection’ Sheriff Bradshaw and his deputies are ‘sworn’ to provide to any and all citizens who have not been adjudicated guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction? Bradshaw must be made to renounce his assumed power to be “above the law,” even above the “Supreme Law of the Land!” Neither Rick Bradshaw or any of his ilk should be allowed to remain in office once it has become clear that he has claimed the right for himself to usurp the roles of prosecutor, judge, and jury on the streets of Palm Beach County!

As this is written, efforts are underway to identify a law firm or attorney willing to defend the U.S. Constitution against “…un-American folks on the loose” as exemplified by Sheriff Rick Bradshaw. We and our allies in this particular cause are scouring the country seeking a firm or lawyer who is not deathly afraid to go up against the “blue line” of ‘gestapo-esque’ police officials and their unions. We are calling for a class-action lawsuit to be brought against any and all states that have passed laws is direct contravention of the letter, intent, and spirit of the U.S. Constitution! We believe strongly that such laws far surpass the description of being “bills of pains or penalties.” Several such fearless attorneys are considering the feasibility of inviting like-minded attorneys from many states with such ant-citizen laws, to form a special task-force of pro-Constitution lawyers to launch such suits. This has the makings of a landmark case! If you are one such lawyer, or know of someone who is, we call upon you to reach out to this writer and I will facilitate the necessary contacts.

I also take this opportunity to extend “the good right-hand of fellowship” to the young protestors around the country who have been galvanized into a force to be reckoned with under the battle cry: “Black Lives Matter!” to join forces with the “One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors” (OMCBV&C) initiative, to rid the country of unjust, anti-Constitutional laws permitting and condoning police murders of American citizens with increasing impunity! This is one way to bridge the generation-gap with their movement as referenced in a recent article in the “Final Call” Newspaper written by Minister Akbar Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam.

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