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Term Limits: Senate – George Mason, Virginia Ratifying Convention

George Mason, Virginia Ratifying Convention

16 June 1788Papers 3: 1079

The senators are chosen for six years. They are not recallable for those six years, and are re-eligible at the end of the six years. It stands on a very different ground from the confederation. By that system they were only elected for one year, might be recalled, and were incapable of reelection. But in the new constitution, instead of being elected for one, they are chosen for six years. They cannot be recalled in all that time for any misconduct, and at the end of that long term may again be elected. What will be the operation of this? Is it not probable, that those gentlemen who will be elected senators will fix themselves in the federal town, and become citizens of that town more than of our state? They will purchase a good seat in or near the town, and become inhabitants of that place. Will it not be then in the power of the senate to worry the house of representatives into any thing? They will be a continually existing body. They will exercise those machinations and contrivances, which the many have always to fear from the few. The house of representatives is the only check on the senate, with their enormous powers. But by that clause you give them the power of worrying the house of representatives into a compliance with any measure. The senators living at the spot will feel no inconvenience from long sessions, as they will vote themselves handsome pay, without incurring any additional expences. Your representatives are on a different ground, from their shorter continuance in office. The gentlemen from Georgia are six or seven hundred miles from home, and wish to go home. The senate taking advantage of this, by stopping the other house from adjourning, may worry them into any thing. These are my doubts, and I think the provision not consistent with the usual parliamentary modes.

The Papers of George Mason, 1725–1792. Edited by Robert A. Rutland. 3 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.

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Richard Henry Lee: Objections to the Constitution

Lee’s Objections to the Constitution

Richard Henry Lee

October 16, 1787

LETTER FROM THE HON. RICHARD HENRY LEE, ESQ.,
ONE OF THE DELEGATES IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA,
TO HIS EXCELLENCY, EDMUND RANDOLPH, ESQ.,
GOVERNOR OF SAID STATE.

New York,

It has hitherto been supposed a fundamental maxim, that, in governments rightly balanced, the different branches of legislature should be unconnected, and that the legislative and executive powers should be separate. In the new Constitution, the President and Senate have all the executive, and two thirds of the legislative power. In some weighty instances, (as making all kinds of treaties, which are to be the laws of the land,) they have the whole legislative and executive powers. They, jointly, appoint all officers, civil and military; and they (the Senate) try all impeachments, either of their own members or of the officers appointed by themselves.

Is there not a most formidable combination of power thus created in a few? and can the most critic eye, if a candid one, discover responsibility in this potent corps? or will any sensible man say that great power, without responsibility, can be given to rulers with safety to liberty? It is most clear that the parade of impeachment is nothing to them, or any of them: as little restraint is to be found, I presume, from the fear of offending constituents. The President is for four years’ duration; and Virginia (for example) has one vote of thirteen in the choice of him, and this thirteenth vote not of the people, but electors, two removes from the people. The Senate is a body of six years’ duration, and, as in the choice of President, the largest state has but a thirteenth vote, so is it in the choice of senators. This latter statement is adduced to show that responsibility is as little to be apprehended from amenability to constituents, as from the terror of impeachment. You are, therefore, sir, well warranted in saying, either a monarchy or aristocracy will be generated: perhaps the most grievous system of government may arise.

It cannot be denied, with truth, that this new Constitution is, in its first principles, highly and dangerously oligarchic; and it is a point agreed, that a government of the few is, of all governments, the worst.

The only check to be found in favor of the democratic principle, in this system, is the House of Representatives; which, I believe, may justly be called a mere shred or rag of representation; it being obvious to the least examination, that smallness of number, and great comparative disparity of power, render that house of little effect, to promote good or restrain bad government. But what is the power given to this ill-constructed body? To judge of what may be for the general welfare; and such judgments, when made the acts of Congress, become the supreme laws of the land. This seems a power coëxtensive with every possible object of human legislation. Yet there is no restraint, in form of a bill of rights, to secure (what Doctor Blackstone calls) that residuum of human rights which is not intended to be given up to society, and which, indeed, is not necessary to be given for any social purpose. The rights of conscience, the freedom of the press, and the trial by jury, are at mercy. It is there stated that, in criminal cases, the trial shall be by jury. But how? In the state. What, then, becomes of the jury of the vicinage, or at least from the county, in the first instance—the states being from fifty to seven hundred miles in extent? This mode of trial, even in criminal cases, may be greatly impaired; and, in civil cases, the inference is strong that it may be altogether omitted; as the Constitution positively assumes it in criminal, and is silent about it in civil causes. Nay, it is more strongly discountenanced in civil cases, by giving the Supreme Courts, in appeals, jurisdiction both as to law and fact.

Judge Blackstone, in his learned Commentaries, art. Jury Trial, says, “It is the most transcendent privilege, which any subject can enjoy or wish for, that he cannot be affected either in his property, his liberty, or his person, but by the unanimous consent of twelve of his neighbors and equals—a constitution that, I may venture to affirm, has, under Providence, secured the just liberties of this nation for a long succession of ages. The impartial administration of justice, which secures both our persons and our properties, is the great end of civil society. But if that be entirely intrusted to the magistracy,—a select body of men, and those generally selected, by the prince, of such as enjoy the highest offices of the state,—these decisions, in spite of their own natural integrity, will have frequently an involuntary bias towards those of their own rank and dignity. It is not to be expected from human nature, that the few should always be attentive to the good of the many.” The learned judge further says, that “every tribunal, selected for the decision of facts, is a step towards establishing aristocracy—the most oppressive of all governments.”

The answer to these objections is, that the new legislature may provide remedies! But as they may, so they may not; and if they did, a succeeding assembly may repeal the provisions. The evil is found resting upon constitutional bottom; and the remedy, upon the mutable ground of legislation, revocable at any annual meeting. It is the more unfortunate that this great security of human rights—the trial by jury—should be weakened by this system, as power is unnecessarily given in the second section of the third article, to call people from their own country, in all cases of controversy about property between citizens of different states, to be tried in a distant court, where the Congress may sit; for although inferior congressional courts may, for the above purposes, be instituted in the different states, yet this is a matter altogether in the pleasure of the new legislature; so that, if they please not to institute them, or if they do not regulate the right of appeal reasonably, the people will be exposed to endless oppression, and the necessity of submitting, in multitudes of cases, to pay unjust demands, rather than follow suitors, through great expense, to far-distant tribunals, and to be determined upon there, as it may be, without a jury.

In this congressional legislature, a bare majority of votes can enact commercial laws; so that the representatives of the seven Northern States, as they will have a majority, can, by law, create the most oppressive monopoly upon the five Southern States, whose circumstances and productions are essentially different from those of theirs, although not a single man of these voters are the representatives of, or amenable to, the people of the Southern States. Can such a set of men be, with the least color of truth, called a representative of those they make laws for? It is supposed that the policy of the Northern States will prevent such abuses. But how feeble, sir, is policy, when opposed to interest, among trading people! and what is the restraint arising from policy? Why, that we may be forced, by abuse, to become ship-builders! But how long will it be before a people of agriculture can produce ships sufficient to export such bulky commodities as ours, and of such extent? and if we had the ships, from whence are the seamen to come?—4,000 of whom, at least, will be necessary in Virginia. In questions so liable to abuse, why was not the necessary vote put to two thirds of the members of the legislature?

With the Constitution came, from the Convention, so many members of that body to Congress, and of those, too, who were among the most fiery zealots for their system, that the votes of three states being of them, two states divided by them, and many others mixed with them, it is easy to see that Congress could have little opinion upon the subject.

Some denied our right to make amendments; whilst others, more moderate, agreed to the right, but denied the expediency of amending; but it was plain that a majority was ready to send it on, in terms of approbation. My judgment and conscience forbade the last; and therefore I moved the amendments that I have the honor to send you enclosed herewith, and demanded the yeas and nays, that they might appear on the Journal.

This seemed to alarm; and, to prevent such appearance on the Journal, it was agreed to transmit the Constitution without a syllable of approbation or disapprobation; so that the term “unanimously” only applied to the transmission, as you will observe by attending to the terms of the resolve for transmitting. Upon the whole, sir, my opinion is, that, as this Constitution abounds with useful regulations, at the same time that it is liable to strong and fundamental objections, the plan for us to pursue will be to propose the necessary amendments, and express our willingness to adopt it with the amendments, and to suggest the calling a new convention for the purpose of considering them. To this I see no well-founded objection, but great safety and much good to be the probable result. I am perfectly satisfied that you make such use of this letter as you shall think to be for the public good; and now, after begging your pardon for so great a trespass on your patience, and presenting my best respects to your lady, I will conclude with assuring you that I am, with the sincerest esteem and regard, dear sir, your most affectionate and obedient, humble servant,

RICHARD H. LEE.

Which Shall It Be? Liberty or Equality, Americanism or Marxism

Which Shall It Be?
Liberty or Equality, Americanism or Marxism

By R. Carter Pittman

Address delivered before the Annual Convention of the
Alabama Bar Association, Montgomery, Alabama, July 16, 1954
(Published in the Congressional Record of Saturday, July 31st, p. A5624)

SEVERAL years ago J. Edgar Hoover asked Herbert Philbrick, a quiet, humble church worker of Massachusetts, to go underground and become a “Communist” for his country. For 9 years Philbrick was an FBI counterspy deep in the Communist underground. Finally he emerged and is now on the staff of the New York Herald Tribune. Speaking in Arkansas recently he said;

One of the great problems which we have in dealing with communism is the fact that there seems to be in the minds of the American people certain blind spots.

He then described how the Communists have reduced deception to a science — the science of filling in blind spots with falsehood and misleading people by “scientific” thought control. The Communists call that system “cybernetics.” It is the control and falsification of information. It is hyprocrisy in red robes.

Empty minds, like empty stomachs, grab at any bait. Man learned that as a jungle dweller. Russians claim to have just discovered it. Cybernetics therefore consists of the elevation of the lowest level of human depravity to the dignity of sociological “science.” Its name sounds learned. As usual, many who wish to appear learned become fellow-travelers, and Communists use them as a front. Fellow-travelers usually call themselves and call each other “doctors” or “liberals.”

A well-conceived and plausible falsehood, spoken or written at the proper moment gains popular credence, shapes thoughts and actions, and makes history.

Man is frail, is gullible, and is prone to err. He stands forever in need of fervent prayers and gentle guidance. The best of us stagger forward to ideals that seem always beyond reach.

The most fertile field for the communistic and “liberal” practice of the so-called “science” of cybernetics lies in the barren area left by our ignorance of the foundations of human liberty and dignity in America. Liberty has lost its landmarks. Its history is a blind spot.

Twenty-eight years ago an eastern university law-school senior, paying his way by tutoring American history, questioned certain conclusions of Dean J. H. Wigmore, late of Northwestern University, as to the history of a provision of the fifth paragraph of the Federal Bill of Rights. Soon this student had run the indexes in the law and general libraries of Columbia University. He not only found nothing on the history of the Fifth Amendment, but found nothing indexed on the history of the many other provisions of the Bill of Rights. Librarians were consulted. The casual and unconcerned reply was: “We have nothing.”

At the New York Public Library the answer was: “We have nothing.” At the Harvard and Yale University libraries, the answer was: “We have nothing.” Finally, at the Library of Congress, that supreme repository of the records of American civilization, the inquiring student stood speechless to hear the final verdict. It was: “We have nothing.”

A quick look at the indexes revealed mountains of books on the history of the Declaration of Independence, a document that accords no constitutional right and affords no constitutional immunity, a document no man could use then or now to shield his naked body from the lash of tyrants, a document that served a noble but temporary purpose in the American Revolution, but which never drew one breath as living law.

The indexes at Harvard University library revealed many thousands of volumes on fish. A recent news item disclosed that Harvard’s great Widener Library is the proud repository of 21,800 volumes on fish and fishing. But it does not yet contain one book on the history of the Federal Bill of Rights or any of those State bills of rights that preceded it and particularly the Virginia Bill of Rights, and upon which it was based. The most influential constitutional document ever penned by man was the Virginia Declaration of Rights of June 12, 1776. It was the grandfather of them all. Both it and its author await a Boswell.

The disillusioned and empty-handed student spent spare time for a full year, trying to find materials with which to set Dean Wigmore aright. Old unindexed records of American civilization were searched in boiler rooms and basements. Uncut leaves revealed that no other had traveled that way before.

At last he was able to piece together a semicoherent story of the historical evolution of the privilege against self-incrimination in America. A few years later the resulting paper was sent to Harvard Law Review, where it was rejected as uninteresting. Columbia Law Review rejected it for the same reason. Finally Virginia Law Review printed it as a space filler. Dean Wigmore picked it up in the third edition of his Work on Evidence, quoting that part of it that caused him to change and restate his views.(1)

Justices Black and Douglas are especially fond of it. The Supreme Court has since cited it many times. Dean Griswold, of Harvard Law School, used it in his article on the subject in the June 1954 issue of the American Bar Association Journal. The Attorney General, Herbert Brownell, Jr., used it in his address to the Law Club of Chicago on November 6, 1953, in which he told the lawyers of Chicago more than once to see Pittman, “The Colonial and Constitutional History of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in America” (21 Va. L. Rev. 793, et. seq.).(2)

Candor of mind displaced humility of heart, that I might tell that story for the first time. That student speaks to you now. Aside from and yet germane to the purpose we have in mind, we beg indulgence as we exercise the natural right of self-defense and quote one paragraph of that article. It has never been quoted in any reference we have seen in the mass of literature that cites Pittman to buttress Fifth Amendment Communists. Here it is:

This privilege against self-incrimination came up through our colonial history as a privilege against physical compulsion and against the moral compulsion that an oath to a revengeful God commands of a pious soul. It was insisted upon as a defensive weapon of society and society’s patriots against laws and proceedings that did not have the sanction of public opinion. In all the cases that have made the formative history of this privilege and have lent to it its color, all that the accused asked for was a fair trial before a fair and impartial jury of his peers, to whom he should not be forced by the state or sovereignty to confess his guilt of the fact charged. Once before a jury, the person accused needed not to concern himself with the inferences that the jury might draw from his silence, as the jurors themselves were only too eager to render verdicts of not guilty in the cases alluded to.

“Society’s patriots” in this Nation will need that “defensive weapon” and foxhole of liberty in the bleak winters ahead. Treasure and use it for the causes that our Anglo-Saxon forefathers intended it to be used. Stand mute before the bars of sociological injustice. Informed Anglo-Saxon jurors will do the rest. The privilege against self-incrimination was fashioned to parry the blows of just such a government as the Supreme Court seeks to impose upon us in 1954. In such a government, the last refuge of helpless man is “a jury of his peers,” with courage and virtue to render verdicts of not guilty. It was fashioned for cases where governments — not the governed — broke out of bounds — where rulers ruled by will instead of law.

In his great work on Civil Liberty and Self-Government (1880), at page 24, Francis Lieber said:

A people that loves liberty can do nothing better to promote the object of it than deeply to study it; and in order to be able to do this, it is necessary to analyze it, and to know the threads which compose the valued texture.

There is no surer way for a civilization to lose liberty than for it to lose, deface, ignore or destroy the charts which mark its springs and sources. We have done that. The repositories of our cultural records are virtually barren of any evidence as to the springs and sources of basic American liberties. The foundation stones of our freedom are as abandoned rubble.

The shocking experience of the law school senior left in him an urge to place one book on the library shelves of America that would tell the history of each provision of the Federal Bill of Rights. For 27 years he accumulated materials. Hard earned and expended dollars soon became hundreds. Hundreds soon became thousands. It was early found that all the main roads of constitutional liberty in America bypassed big names to converge at last at a grand terminal with evolution’s pioneer George Mason, of Gunston Hall. It was found that big names had borrowed from that fearless, humble, godly and forgotten man. It was soon learned why Jefferson regarded him the wisest man of his generation, why Madison described him the greatest debater he had ever heard speak, and why Patrick Henry named him the greatest statesman he had ever known.

The search was renewed with Mason as a guide. It was rewarding. Microfilms, photostats, and other material accumulated. The project outgrew the researcher. The sympathetic chief justice of the supreme court of an Eastern State encouraged the researcher to apply at the portals of an eastern foundation for financial help to finish the job. The insulting reply discouraged any further opening for like humiliation. Hope matured into despair.

The Truman-sponsored National Historical Publications Commission was activated in 1951. Since Truman professed to be a historian, it was hoped that the Commission would list the father of our Bill of Rights as one whose papers were worthy of publication, but on the list of 121 published names of Americans whose writings were deemed worthy of publication the name of George Mason was not to be found.

Judge Felix Frankfurter was a member of the Commission and helped to make up that list. He preferred to list the papers of Andrew Carnegie, Tench Coxe, Ignatious Donnelly, Harvey Firestone, Samuel Gompers, Horace Greeley, Robert La Follette, Brigham Young, and Sidney Hillman as of more importance than those of the father of our most cherished freedoms. Frankfurter would guano American minds with trifles and mulch them with trash.

Ask cybernetic doctors of philosophy, “Who wrote the Federal Bill of Rights?” The answer most likely will be: “Thomas Jefferson.” One who has never been to school and can’t read and write may say: “I don’t know.” That would be about the only correct answer one would get.

A staff of 25 editors of Life magazine issued a publication in 1951 entitled “Life’s Picture History of Western Man.” On page 288 this book speaks of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, saying:

The delegates were fortunate in two respects: First, there were among them several great men — notably, Adams, Hamilton, and Madison — who not only believed in the Declaration [meaning the Declaration of Independence] but had taught themselves to know more about political philosophy than any men of their time.

In the next paragraph Life‘s editors described the limitations of powers reenforced by “Jefferson’s Bill of Rights.” In the same paragraph it was stated that Jefferson “aimed to give the Supreme Court a democratic bent by making it the guardian of his Bill of Rights.” They then gave John Locke credit for Jefferson’s “pursuit of happiness” phrase.

(1) John Adams did not attend the Constitutional Convention. He was in England. (2) Jefferson never wrote a single liberty preserving provision of any Constitution or Bill of Rights that has ever been adopted in America. (3) He never sat in a Constitutional Convention in his life and was in France while Mason’s struggle for a Bill of Rights was being waged. (4) He formulated his preamble to the Declaration of Independence, containing the equality and “the pursuit of happiness” phrases from George Mason’s Virginia Bill of Rights, adopted June 12, 1776, and John Locke had nothing to do with it. (5) The only connection Jefferson ever had with the Federal Bill of Rights was that he favored it from afar. (6) “Political philosophy” played no respectable part in the framing of our Constitution, and none in the Bill of Rights. Experience was the guide. John Dickinson expressed the idea well on August 13, 1787, on the floor of the Constitutional Convention, when he said:

Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.

There was only one philosopher in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. His name was Dr. Benjamin Franklin — one of the least influential men there. It has been noticed by several students of the Convention that he seemed to be the proponent of more rejected proposals than any other delegate.

If the editors of a great publication such as Life magazine pay such homage to philosophy and falsehood, how can we expect our children to know the historic truths that made and kept our ancestors free? A free press that knows not the author of its freedom will not long remain free.

Ask cybernetic doctors where Jefferson got the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. In unison, 98 percent of them will cry out, the philosopher, Dr. John Locke, and quote from a hundred books written by other doctors. Jefferson himself denied it many times, but most cybernetic doctors had rather make Jefferson out a liar than to admit that he worshipped at the feet of George Mason, who knew history and laughed at soothsayers. Some philosopher must be made to play the leading role in every great scene on the hill tops of history, even though he be a ghost.

The most intensely uneducated, ignorant and dangerous men in America are some of those who salve an inferiority complex by calling themselves doctors of philosophy or some pseudo-socio-science. The Un-American Activities Committee of Congress lists such doctors by the scores on their roll of treachery and dishonor.

The genealogy of the Declaration of Independence remains an untold story, though often told by doctors of cybernetics. Jefferson did not tell an untruth about it. When he said that it was not original with him but its source was the American mind, he told the truth. When he said he “copied from neither book nor pamphlet,” he excluded Locke, Otis and Paine and again told the truth. He didn’t exclude newspapers, manuscripts or circulars. That tip was the payoff but the cybernetic doctors all duck it. Those self-styled doctors prefer to lose it in John Locke’s philosophy, even if they must defy truth and defame both Jefferson and history.

Philosophy and sociology have always been the tamper tools that have sprung institutions of liberty out of alinement. Historical research and common sense born of experience, have always been the tools to spring them back into place. Doctors of pseudo-socio-science have always been the apes of tyranny.

A few days ago we glanced over the various constitutions of Alabama from her first until the last, printed in Thorpe’s Charters and Constitutions (1909). We found one provision traceable to Thomas Jefferson. It was in her carpetbag constitution of 1867. It was article 1, section 1, as follows:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That was forced upon the people of Alabama by carpetbag doctors of psuedo-socio-science, while Federal bayonets held the outraged white people at bay. As soon as those doctors were run out, Alabama called a constitutional convention, struck the first line, went back to George Mason, copying from the first paragraph of the Virginia Declaration of Rights of June, 1776:(3) “That all men are born equally free and independent.”

The carpetbag doctors put the same doctrine of equality into the constitutions of Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Every one of these six States except North Carolina, heaved it as soon as the carpetbag doctors were driven out(4) North Carolina ran her carpetbaggers as far as her college campuses. There they swapped their title “Scalawag” for doctorates and there they have ever remained, screaming: “Academic freedom.”

George Mason’s original first line was, “That all men are born equally free and independent.” The Virginia convention changed it to read: “That all men are by nature equally free and independent.” Jefferson perverted it to read, “All men are created equal.”

We do not condemn Jefferson for converting the first three paragraphs of the Virginia Declaration of Rights into a preamble for the Declaration of Independence. But we do not commend him for playing the part of a gypsy, first defacing before claiming as his own. But men don’t stand on etiquette in the midst of revolution. Jefferson was writing, not to appeal to America but to appeal to France. America was in a death struggle. Washington commanded her troops long before July 4, 1776. The doctrine of equality then had a powerful appeal to the simple-minded peasant and philosophers of France. Jefferson was just giving them some cybernetics. He knew that France was a despotism tempered with epigrams. He knew the secret Napoleon later revealed at St. Helena when he said that the French mind wanted equality more than liberty and, it not being possible to give both, he gave them equality.

Jefferson was not a stranger to wisdom. He could have foreseen that which Lord Acton recorded many years later: “The deepest cause which made the French Revolution so disastrous to liberty was its theory of equality.”

Jefferson was an advocate, pleading America’s case at the bar of French public opinion. If “all is fair in love and war,” he was justified in appealing to the ignorant and shallow-minded philosophers of France with a false epigram, palatable to them, though abhorrent both to himself and to all America. He could not know that a Supreme Court would try to turn it into an “American creed” near two centuries later.

Jefferson indicted George III because: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.” He clipped that from the South Carolina Constitution of March 1776, whose indictment read, “. . . excited domestic insurrections; proclaimed freedom to servants and slaves . . .” Again, a Jefferson defacement fooled France and her philosophers. It didn’t fool America then. Only fools are fooled now. Marxists and Communists never object or even refer to that clause of the Declaration of Independence. Servitude and slavery is a necessary concomitant of equality — look beyond the Iron Curtain.

Let it be said to the honor and glory of the American States, of the United States, and of the whole non-Communist world, that the George Mason concept of equality of freedom and independence under law took root in all of their constitutions. Faint traces of the Jeffersonian dialetical defacement may be found dangling like dodder in the declarations of rights of Idaho,(5) Indiana,(6) Kentucky,(7) North Carolina,(8) Massachusetts,(9) and Nevada.(10)

The original George Mason concept is both implicit and explicit in the constitutions of every one of those six States. It is to be found in all of our constitutions today and in more than one-half of the American state declarations of rights in the words of Mason. Paragraph after paragraph and clause after clause of the original phrases of George Mason are to be found in the fundamental laws of every American state, the United States Constitution and more than one-half the constitutions of the world. The equality clause of the Declaration of Independence never took root in America. The philosophy of equality beyond the range of legal rights dies in free soil. It thrives only in the sewers of Slavic slavery.

At a quick glance we identified 16 paragraphs of Alabama’s Declaration of Rights of 1901 as having been first framed by the pen of George Mason, before being recorded as preservatives of liberty in Alabama. They are as follows: Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 15, 21, 25, 26, 27, 29, 35, 36, and 42. Jefferson is unknown to Alabama’s fundamental laws.

Of the 83 constitutions of sovereign nations of the world in 1950, 50 expressly preserved the old Anglo-Saxon concept of equality under law. The same concept is implicit and protected by safeguards in 78 of these constitutions. Only four contain the carpetbag concept of social equality. Those four are Guatemala,(11) the Mongol Peoples Republic,(12)the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,(13) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.(14)

Mongolia puts it this way: “Equal rights in all spheres of the state, economic, cultural, and sociopolitical.”

Russia puts it this way: “Equality of rights of citizens of the U. S. S. R. irrespective of their nationality or race; in all spheres of economic, government, cultural, political and other public activity.”

America expressed it in the 14th amendment with the phrase “equal protection of the laws.” The carpetbaggers that fell on Alabama in 1867, didn’t fall on the Nation in 1868. We can thank God for that.

Thirty-one of the constitutions of the nations of the world use exactly the same equality clause,(15) to wit: “Equal before the law.”

Each of the other 47 non-Communist nations use language that means the same thing. (See Peaslee, Constitutions of Nations.)

France rejected Jeffersonian advocacy to copy George Mason’s concept into her Declaration of Rights of 1789, in these words: “All men are born and remain free and equal in respect of rights.”

In the bath of blood we know as the French Revolution, Jefferson’s defacement replaced the Mason original in 1793, as follows: “All men are equal by nature.”

That substitution was symtomatic of the government of flesh that was to leave a tragic legacy in the history of France. After 153 years of sorrow, Jefferson’s advocacy was stricken and Mason’s concept went back into her fundamental law in 1946, exactly as it was in 1789.(16) Six years before, France had found the light in sackcloth and ashes. Her revolutionary motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” was stricken from the tomb of her liberty. That cluster of inconsistencies no longer tarnishes the tricolor of France.

The doctrine of sociracial equality no longer stands forth in this world, except in four Communist countries and within the secret chamber of a strange Supreme Court of the United States.

On June 26, 1787, Alexander Hamilton, speaking on the floor of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia said:

Inequality will exist as long as liberty exists. It unavoidably results from that very liberty itself.

Every mind assented.

It is inequality that gives enlargement to intellect, energy, virtue, love and wealth. Equality of intellect stabilizes mediocrity. Equality of wealth makes every man poor. Equality of energy renders all men sluggards. Equality of virtue suspends all men without the gates of heaven. Equality of love would stultify every manly passion, destroy every family altar and mongrelize the races of men. Equality of altitude would make the whole world a dead sea. Mountains rise out of plains. Plains rise out of the sea.

Equality of freedom cannot exist without inequality in the rewards and earned fruits of that freedom. It is inequality that makes “the pursuit of happiness” something other than a dry run or a futile chase.

On page 334 of his book (cited above) Francis Lieber said: “Equality absolutely carried out leads to communism.” Communism is but another name for equality in slavery. There can be no equality of freedom, without leaving to man his own free choice of the lawful “means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness,” as George Mason had it when Jefferson copied and defaced it from the first paragraph of the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776. The right to equality of freedom is a guaranty of the right to unequal shares of the earned fruits in freedom.

The recent decision of the Supreme Court on Segregation was one in which the Court was led into a vacuum by the cybernetics of sociological doctors, who found a judicial blind-spot and practiced a fraud upon the judges to victimize a helpless people. The most effective “expert” in cybernetics seemed to be Dr. Gunnar Myrdal, who wrote An American Dilemma (1944). His 1,483 pages of “psychological knowledge,” financed by Carnegie Foundation, controlled the Court. It was cited by the Court as the “modern authority” on which its decision was grounded. An American Dilemma is now Corpus Juris Tertius in American pseudo-socio jurisprudence.

Dr. Myrdal learned that the biggest blindspot in America is our abysmal ignorance as to the basic principles of American liberty. He found a vacuum or a vortex into which most anything could be thrown and it would pass for food. Thus he created an “American Creed,” that would have evoked universal laughter but for the fact that his creation was in a “blindspot.” Ignorance can’t laugh for fear of being laughed at. On page 4 of his atrocity he defined his “creed” as “the fundamental equality of all men.”

In the same breath he said its “tenets were written into the Declaration of Independence, the preamble of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and into the constitutions of the several states. The ideals of the American creed have thus become the highest law of the land.”

He knew that what he said was an untruth, but he thought he was in a blind spot, and had that same feeling of security that an ambush gives to a midnight assassin.

Nevertheless for fear some unbeliever might cite the Constitution on him he put his shoes on backwards to make tracks both ways. On pages 12-13 he said:

Conservatism, in fundamental principles, to a great extent, has been perverted into a nearly fetishistic cult of the Constitution. This is unfortunate since the 150-year-old Constitution is in many respects impractical and ill-suited for modern conditions . . . The worship of the Constitution also is a most flagrant violation of the American Creed . . . which is strongly opposed to stiff formulas.

On page 18, lawyers and judges became anathema to the American people and the “American Creed,” because, as he says, the “judicial order . . . is in many respects contrary to all their inclinations.”

As his cybernetic pages of Slavic philosophy are turned, the “American Creed” becomes the amalgamator of races. On page 614, “. . . the cumbersome racial etiquette is ‘un-American.'”

He praised Thomas Jefferson to heaven on page 8 for the equality content of the specious “creed,” which he claims to have found in the Declaration of Independence. But he again reversed his shoes on page 90 and damned him to another place for proposing emancipation and simultaneous segregation of Negroes to Africa, in his Notes on Virginia.

While reversing his shoes in rapid succession, his socks slipped off. What an odor. On page 9 he exposes a half-concealed truth in the midst of half-truths. Here it is:

Against this [liberty] the equalitarianism in the Creed has been persistently revolting. The struggle is far from ended. The reason why American liberty was not more dangerous to equality was, of course, the open frontier and free land. When opportunity became bounded in the last generation, the inherent conflict between equality and liberty flared up. Equality is slowly winning. The New Deal during the ‘thirties was a landslide.

For once Dr. Myrdal told the God’s truth. Liberty and equality cannot coexist. The Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that truth and used equality to destroy liberty. Dr. Myrdal is the modern authority on that truth. Was that the purpose of Carnegie Foundation in financing Myrdal’s atrocity? John W. Davis is one of the Carnegie trustees. He is a lawyer. He defends Carnegie Foundation with the same mind he used to defend the Constitution and the Anglo-Saxon race. Before a committee of Congress, he defended Carnegie’s employment of Alger Hiss, and his retention after his treason was known, by pleading stupidity. The blindspot in his mind must have been a cavern — a heaven for cybernetics.

The Supreme Court specifically held that the records in the so-called segregation cases affirmatively disclosed that the “separate but equal” formula laid down in Plessy v. Ferguson (163 U.S. 537), had been fully and completely complied with, and that equality of white and black schools in respect to all tangible factors had been demonstrated beyond doubt. The Court thus found itself faced with three alternatives: (1) It could adjudge according to law and facts and find in favor of segregation; (2) it could usurp the powers of a Constitutional Convention and give to itself power to legislate against segregation; or (3) it could copy Dr. Myrdal and Ananias, usurp the power of God, and make new facts. It chose both alternatives (2) and (3) and made a new constitution and new laws for the cases, and new facts for the records. It did not hold Plessy v. Ferguson to be bad law. It held it to be bad sociology, according to Dr. Myrdal, the modern authority.

Unabashed, the Court went back to the records in the graduate school cases of Sweatt v. Painter (339 U.S. 629), and McLaurin v. Oklahoma Regents (339 U.S. 637), and extracted from them what the Court described as “intangibles” and transplanted them into the Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware case records, then before the Court.

Next the court found an intangible lurking in the Kansas record that the trial judge had discovered by a new process of psychoanalysis. It was that segregation generates a sense of inferiority and that such “a sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn.”

The court didn’t stop to consider whether the effect was good or bad. Most psychologists hold that an inferiority complex increases the motivation of a child to learn, but the Supreme Court could not afford to subject Dr. Myrdal’s cybernetics to the light of reason. It transplanted that unevaluated, and hyprocritical intangible into the records of the South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware cases in order to fill vacuum with void. By that time the Court had lost all sense of reason, direction, and proportion. It then doubled back to fill void with vacuum. Here is the new intangible that made its first appearance in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence and its last in a government of law:

Whatever may have been the psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy against Ferguson, this finding is amply supported by modern authority.[11] Any language in Plessy against Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected.

The modern authority as set forth in footnote 11 is quoted below.(17) It is sociology, not psychology.

Modern authority is not law. The Court said it wasn’t. It is not within the remote boundaries of the science of law. It first made its appearance as gossip, in whispers and undertones in the secret chambers of the judges. It is not evidence, because, as said by Mr. Justice Brandeis in U.S. et al v. Abilene & Sou. Ry. Co. (265 U.S. 274, 288):

Nothing can be treated as evidence which was not introduced as such.

Modern authority was never introduced in evidence in any of the cases. It couldn’t have been admitted if tendered, because it was hearsay and gossip. No court this side of Moscow admits such evidence.

In Ohio Bell Telephone Co. v. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (301 U.S. 292), the Supreme Court held, by a full bench, that to treat anything as evidence which was not introduced as evidence, denies to the complaining party “due process of law,” as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. By the same reasoning, like judicial misconduct on the part of a Federal court is a denial of Fifth Amendment “due process of law.” Thus Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, and Kansas parties were denied “due process of law” by the very Court that had held such to be unconstitutional. “Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” even though the gander struts.

In that Ohio case, the commission transplanted factual findings from an Illinois Federal case into the Ohio record. It also transplanted therein “information secretly collected” by the judicial body. Exactly what the Supreme Court did in the segregation cases. When asked for an opportunity to examine, to explain, and to rebut them by the injured party in Ohio, the response was a curt refusal. In the so-called segregation cases no opportunity was given to ask. The whole thing was kept secret until the judgment was announced. Justice Cardoza spoke for the Supreme Court, in the Ohio case, with indignation:

The fundamentals of a trial were denied to the appellant. . . . This is not the fair hearing essential to due process. It is condemnation without trial . . . This will never do if hearing and appeals are to be more than empty forms . . . There can be no compromise on the footing of convenience or expediency . . . nothing . . . gave warning . . . of the purpose of the commission to wander afield and fix . . . [the facts] . . . without reference to any evidence, upon proofs drawn from the clouds. As there was no warning . . . there was no consent to it. We do not presume acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights.

Cardoza is no more, but Black is. In National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Inc., et al. v. McGrath (341 U.S. 123), a group of organizations listed and publicized as communistic by the Attorney General were complaining that the Attorney General had acted on secret information without notice and a fair hearing. Justice Black was enraged. His sociological blood ran hot. We quote him as he tempered the wind to the shorn lamb skins that concealed the communistic wolves:

The heart of the matter is that democracy implies respect for the elementary rights of men, however suspect or unworthy; a democratic government must therefore practice fairness; and fairness can rarely be obtained by secret, one-sided determination of facts decisive of rights.

. . . The plea that evidence of guilt must be secret is abhorrent to free men, because it provides a cloak for the malevolent, the misinformed, the meddlesome, and the corrupt to play the role of informer undetected and uncorrected. Appearances in the dark are apt to look different in the light of day. . . .The validity and moral authority of a conclusion largely depend on the mode by which it was reached. Secrecy is not congenial to truth-seeking and self righteousness gives too slender an assurance of rightness. No better instrument has been devised for arriving at truth than to give a person in jeopardy of serious loss notice of the case against him and opportunity to meet it. Nor has a better way been found for generating the feeling, so important to a popular government, that justice has been done.

An “opportunity to meet” Myrdal with a pointed cross-examination would have withered him in a few minutes. What a dissertation he would have given on George Mason’s constitutional privilege against self-incrimination. He might even had cited Pittman on the history of it.

In Stromberg v. People of California (283 U.S. 359), Stromberg had been convicted in California for violating a statute forbidding the display of a red flag “as a sign, symbol, emblem of opposition to organized Government or as an invitation or stimulus to anarchistic action or as an aid to propaganda . . . of a seditious character.”

The Supreme Court reversed the case, holding that it was a violation of the 14th Amendment thus to trample upon the banner of Communism and strike its flag of treason.

However, in Beauharnais v. People of Illinois (343 U.S. 250), the shoe was on another foot and turned backward. The Supreme Court stated the facts as follows:

The information, cast generally in the terms of the statute, charged that Beauharnais did unlawfully . . . exhibit in public places lithographs, which publications portray depravity, criminality, unchastity, or lack of virtue of citizens of Negro race and color which exposes [sic] citizens of Illinois of the Negro race and color to contempt, derision, or obloquy . . . The lithograph complained of was a leaflet setting forth a petition calling on the mayor and city council of Chicago ‘to halt the further encroachment, harassment, and invasion of white people, their property, neighborhoods, and persons, by the Negro . . .’ Below was a call for one million self-respecting white people in Chicago to unite . . ., with the statement added that if persuasion and the need to prevent the white race from becoming mongrelized by the Negro will not unite us, then the aggressions . . . rapes, robberies, knives, guns, and marihuana of the Negro, surely will. This, with more language, similar if not so violent, concluded with an attached application for membership in the White Circle League of America, Inc.

In his opinion upholding the conviction of Beauharnais, Justice Frankfurter expatiated on the terrible racial troubles in Chicago and vicinity, describing the race riots in that non-segregated area, such as are unknown to the segregated South because of segregation. He said:

Only those lacking responsible humility will have a confident solution for problems as intractable as the frictions attributable to differences of race, color, or religion. . . . Certainly the due-process clause does not require the legislature to be in the vanguard of science — especially sciences as young as human ecology and cultural anthropology.

. . . It is not within our competence to confirm or deny claims of social scientists as to the dependence of the individual on the position of his racial or religious group in the community.

So the Red banner streamed in California, while Beauharnais served his sentence in Illinois, because the Court didn’t have the competence to evaluate racial issues in a science as young as human sociology.

The Supreme Court just had too much humility to say that Illinois had run afoul of the constitutional rights and liberties of Beauharnais. Human sociology and cultural anthropology were just too young in 1952. The Court thus humbly disavowed its competence to confirm or deny claims of social scientists on racial issues.

Never before, in all recorded history, have human sociology and judicial competence blossomed before they budded. Never before have such flowers been plucked from the same vine.

When color alinements changed from white to black, and from red, white, and blue to red, human sociology and judicial competence descended upon the Court like an avalanche. Judicial humility lost its virtue to a strange and alien suitor in the secret chambers of the Supreme Court on May 17, 1954. Liberty under law was then and there prostituted by the depraved philosophy of equality under sociology.

A civilization that lets carpetbag doctors paint the alien equality philosophy of Karl Marx on the minds of its children for one whole generation cannot expect them to retain their liberties. Presidents who systematically exclude lawyers from the supreme judicial bench can have no wish to retain the liberties of the people.

Under our common law and under our Constitution, no man or body of men may make law for freemen except the elected representatives of the people. Every freeman in a republic has the despotic right to veto all laws made by any man or group of men except his own delegates. For 500 years Anglo-Saxon freemen have exercised that veto power. Only a blind spot in our knowledge of history could cause any man to doubt the right of any freeman to disobey the unconstitutional edicts of a judge or king. Only fools and pseudo-socio-doctors contend that the Supreme Court can make law, but of such is the kingdom of tyranny. Constitutional liberty is the child of Anglo-Saxon history, christened by the blood of our fathers. How could we so soon forget that the leading principle of the American Revolution was that only delegates chosen by the people may make constitutions and laws for the people? Every forgotten grave from Lexington to Yorktown is a memorial to that principle.

We have no answer to the dilemma. It may be too late. Liberty is lean. In his Virginia bill of rights, George Mason said: “That no free government, or the blessings of liberty can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” None but a fool would dispute his word. None but a fool, or a cybernetic doctor, will tell you that liberty and equality may grow in the same soil.

Equality reaches into the pockets of the frugal to put fat on lazy bones. Fat fools don’t fight, except at the trough. From the trough of equality there may be no road back. The next gate may lead to slaughter pens or to the mines of Siberia. We may have lost the will to be free.

In closing we mention one answer taken from the history of the sanguinary struggles of the Anglo-Saxon race to retain liberty under law. The one word that best describes it is segregation. The very gates of heaven were built for the sole purpose of segregating the good from the bad and the true from the false. The God who segregates beyond the earthly grave by the principle of inequality, segregated the races of men in the beginning by the principle of color, placing the yellow man in Asia, the black man in Africa, the white man in Europe, and the red man in America. We must not be afraid to practice his principles.

At the peak of the tyranny of the sociological Stuart kings in England, our forefathers segregated the royal court and every friend of the court. As Charles I rode from Whitehall to Guildhall and thence into the city of London, with his armed guards, seeking to effect the arrest of five members of Parliament for opposing his tyrannies in 1641, multitudes lined the streets. Everywhere Charles I turned, his eyes were met by cold stares. The only greeting he heard was “Privileges of Parliament.” “Privileges of Parliament.” A man by the name of Walker boldly stepped forth and planted a pamphlet in the royal carriage at the King’s feet, entitled “To Your Tents, O Israel.” Thereafter wherever the King and his friends were seen they were greeted: “To Your Tents, O Israel.” As Charles I went to the block to lose his head, the crowd cried out to him: “To your tents, O Israel.”

Forty-five years later that watchword of freedom was still ringing in the ears of old Judge Jeffries of the Bloody Assizes. At the trial of Richard Baxter, in 1685, Jeffries was in a rage. From the bench and before the royally packed jury, he screamed at Baxter: “Time was when no man was so ready to bind your king in chains and your nobles in fetters of iron, crying, ‘To your tents, O Israel.'” As Jeffries cheated the gallows to die in London Tower, rather than on Tower Hill, “To your tents, O Israel” was the last sound recorded in his depraved mind.

In 1773, as the chains of slavery were being forged for our forefathers in the American Colonies, the Sons of Liberty revived that old Anglo-Saxon watchword. Socio-judicial prostitutes were chilled to the marrow of their bones as they constantly heard that cry, and saw it written on roadsides. When they tried to hold courts on Massachusetts circuits, jurors called to the bar stood mute and took no oaths.

The irate socio-judicial tools of tyranny were finally led from the bench at Worcester by an orderly crowd of 5,000 patriots and gently caused to walk between parallel single files, each of 2,500 patriots and were gently forced to disavow, 30 times, compliance with the tyrannical laws of England they were sent there to enforce — 30 times. A symbol of the 30 times Parliament had been forced to reaffirm Magna Carta on account of depraved kings’ judges who had destroyed governments by laws in England and driven our forefathers to American shores. As those judges were herded to a haven to his majesty’s ships, the last words that rang in their ears was, “To your tents, O Israel.” Samuel Adams was the brain behind it in New England. Segregation was the secret. Every traitor to his land and race was segregated.

In Virginia the committee system was instituted. George Mason was the brains. George Washington was Mason’s most effective segregator. The Washington papers in the Library of Congress still contain the papers George Mason wrote for Washington to circulate for signatures. In fact, Mason wrote every state paper Washington ever carried in his pockets before he assumed command of the continental army before Boston. Washington went to Williamsburg with Mason’s Fairfax County Resolutions in his pocket in the spring of 1774. There they became the Virginia Resolves in the summer, and at Philadelphia they became the Continental Resolves in the fall. Listen to the old Anglo-Saxon doctrine of segregation in paragraph 20, “that the respective committees of the counties, in each colony . . . publish by advertisements in their several counties, a list of names of those (if any such there be) who will not accede thereto; that such traitors to their country may be publicly known and detested,”

Every traitor was segregated in order that America might regain its freedom. Every traitor must be segregated in 1954 that we may retain that freedom they won for us. The Anglo-Saxon race must again emulate the Founding Fathers and organize to fight fire with brimstone. “Sons of Liberty” is an honored name for such an organization. “To your tents, O Israel”(18) is an honored watchword. Above all remember this: Samuel Adams and George Mason had brains and character. There is no substitute for those qualities at the top.

------------

NOTES

1. Wigmore on Evidence, 3d edition, vol. 8, p. 303 et seq.

2. His speech reported in Tulane Law Review, December 1953, vol. 28, p. 1.

3. Art. 1, sec. 1, Alabama constitution, 1875.

4. In Arkansas constitution art. 11, sec. 1, 1864; out, art. 11, sec. 2, constitution 1874; in Florida, art. 1, sec. 1, 1868; out, art. 1, sec. 1, 1885; in Louisiana title 1, art. 1, 1868; out, 1879. maryland, 1864; out, 1867. In, South Carolina, art. 1, sec. 1, 1868; out, 1895.

5. Idaho (art. 1, sec. 1, constitution, 1889).

6. Indiana (art. 1, sec. 1, constitution, 1851).

7. Kentucky (sec. 1, constitution, 1890).

8. North Carolina (art. 1, sec. 1, 1868).

9. Massachusetts (pt. 1, art. 1, 1780).

10. Nevada (art. 1, sec. 1, 1864). (See Thorpe’s Charters and Constitutions alphabetically and chronologically arranged.)

11. Art. 23.

12. Art. 79.

13. Art. 103.

14. Art. 123. (See Constitutions of Nations, alphabetically arranged, by Peaslee (1950).)

15. Albania, art. 12; Argentina, art. 28; Belgium, art. 6; Brazil, art. 141, Bulgaria, art. 71; Burma, art. 13; China, art. 7; Costa Rica, art. 25; Cuba, art. 20; Czechoslovakia, sec. 1; Egypt, art. 3; El Salvador, art. 23; Finland, art. 15; Haiti, art. 11; Ireland, art. 40 (1); Italy, art. 3; Japan, art. 14; Korea, art. 8; Lebanon, art. 7; Liechtenstein, art. 31; Luxembourg, art. 11; Monaco, art. 5; Nicaragua, art. 109; Panama, art. 21; Paraguay, art. 33; Rumania, art. 16; Switzerland, art. 4; Thailand, Sec. 27; Turkey, art. 69; Uruguay, art. 8; Yugoslavia, art. 21.

16. Peaslee, Constitutions of Nations, Vol. II, p. 21.

17. K. B. Clark, “Effect of Prejudice and Discrimination on Personality Development” (Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth, 1950); Witmer and Kotinsky, Personality in the Making (1952), ch. VI; Deutscher and Chein, “The Psychological Effects of Enforced Segregation: A Survey of Social Science Opinion,” 26 J. Psychol. 259 (1948); Chein, “What are the Psychological Effects of Segregation Under Conditions of Equal Facilities,” 3 Int. J. Opinion and Attitude Res. 229 (1949); Brameld, “Educational Costs, in Discrimination and National Welfare,” (McIver, ed., 1949), 44-48; Frazer, The Negro in the United States (1949), 674-681. And see generally Myrdal, An American Dilemma (1949).

18. This was the watchword of revolt of the 10 tribes of Israel, when they separated from Rehoboam.

finis

This speech was published in several periodicals including The Alabama Lawyer Vol. 15, p. 342,
and in Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. 20, p. 754 (No. 24), October 1, 1954.

http://rcarterpittman.org/essays/misc/Which_Shall_It_Be.html

The TRUTH about Marriage in America: Why the Government got involved in Marriage.

1871
Rep. Andrew King (D-MO) proposes a U.S. constitutional amendment banning all marriage between whites and people of color in every state throughout the country. It will be the first of three such attempts.

1883
In Pace v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that state-level bans on interracial marriage do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling will hold for more than 80 years.

The plaintiffs, Tony Pace and Mary Cox, were arrested under Alabama’s Section 4189, which read:

“[I]f any white person and any negro, or the descendant of any negro to the third generation, inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation was a white person, intermarry or live in adultery or fornication with each other, each of them must, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not less than two nor more than seven years.”

They challenged the conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Johnson Field wrote for the Court:

“The counsel is undoubtedly correct in his view of the purpose of the clause of the amendment in question, that it was to prevent hostile and discriminating state legislation against any person or class of persons. Equality of protection under the laws implies not only accessibility by each one, whatever his race, on the same terms with others to the courts of the country for the security of his person and property, but that in the administration of criminal justice he shall not be subjected, for the same offense, to any greater or different punishment …

“The defect in the argument of counsel consists in his assumption that any discrimination is made by the laws of Alabama in the punishment provided for the offense for which the plaintiff in error was indicted when committed by a person of the African race and when committed by a white person … Section 4189 applies the same punishment to both offenders, the white and the black.

Indeed, the offense against which this latter section is aimed cannot be committed without involving the persons of both races in the same punishment. Whatever discrimination is made in the punishment prescribed in the two sections is directed against the offense designated and not against the person of any particular color or race. The punishment of each offending person, whether white or black, is the same.”

1912
Rep. Seaborn Roddenbery (D-GA) makes a second attempt to revise the U.S. Constitution in order to ban interracial marriage in all 50 states.

Roddenbery’s proposed amendment read as follows:

“That intermarriage between negroes or persons of color and Caucasians or any other character of persons within the United States or any territory under their jurisdiction, is forever prohibited; and the term ‘negro or person of color,’ as here employed, shall be held to mean any and all persons of African descent or having any trace of African or negro blood.”

Later theories of physical anthropology will suggest that every human being has some African ancestry, which could have rendered this amendment unenforceable had it passed. In any case, it didn’t pass.

1928
Sen. Coleman Blease (D-SC), a Ku Klux Klan supporter who had previously served as South Carolina’s governor, makes a third and final serious attempt to revise the U.S. Constitution in order to ban interracial marriage in every state. Like its predecessors, it fails.

1964
In McLaughlin v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that laws banning interracial sex violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

McLaughlin struck down Florida Statute 798.05, which read:
“Any negro man and white woman, or any white man and negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.”

While the ruling did not directly address laws banning interracial marriage, it laid down the groundwork for a ruling that definitively did.

1967
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturns Pace v. Alabama (1883), ruling in Loving v. Virginia that state bans on interracial marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

As Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the Court:

“There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy …

“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men … To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

From this point on, interracial marriage is legal throughout the United States.

Elbridge Gerry Writes To Massachusetts General Court Explaining Why He Did Not Sign Constitution

Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry to President of Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives of Massachusetts (October 18, 1787)

New York, Oct. 18, 1787.

Gentlemen : I have the honor to enclose, pursuant to my commission, the Constitution proposed by the Federal Convention.

To this system I gave my dissent, and shall submit my objections to the honorable legislature.

It was painful for me, on a subject of such national importance, to differ from the respectable members who signed the Constitution; but conceiving, as I did, that the liberties of America were not secured by the system, it was my duty to oppose it.

My principal objections to the plan are, that there is no adequate provision for a representation of the people; that they have no security for the right of election; that some of the powers of the legislature are ambiguous, and others indefinite and dangerous; that the executive is blended with, and will have an undue influence over, the legislature; that the judicial department will be oppressive; that treaties of the highest importance may be formed by the President, with the advice of two thirds of a quorum of the Senate; and that the system is without the security of a bill of rights . These are objections which are not local, but apply equally to all the states.

As the Convention was called for “the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and the several legislatures, such alterations and provisions as shall render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the Union,” I did not conceive that these powers extend to the formation of the plan proposed; but the Convention being of a different opinion, I acquiesced in it, being fully convinced that, to preserve the Union, an efficient government was indispensably necessary, and that it would be difficult to make proper amendments to the Articles of Confederation.

The Constitution proposed has few, if any, federal features, but is rather a system of national government. Nevertheless, in many respects, I think it has great merit, and, by proper amendments, may be adapted to the “exigencies of government, and preservation of liberty.”

The question on this plan involves others of the highest importance: 1. Whether there shall be a dissolution of the federal government; 2. Whether the several state governments shall be so altered as in effect to be dissolved; 3. Whether, in lieu of the federal and state governments, the national Constitution now proposed shall be substituted without amendment. Never, perhaps, were a people called on to decide a question of greater magnitude. Should the citizens of America adopt the plan as it now stands, their liberties may be lost; or should they reject it altogether, anarchy may ensue. It is evident, therefore, that they should not be precipitate in their decisions; that the subject should be well understood;–lest they should refuse to support the government after having hastily accepted it.

If those who are in favor of the Constitution, as well as those who are against it, should preserve moderation, their discussions may afford much information, and finally direct to a happy issue.

It may be urged by some, that an implicit confidence should be placed in the Convention; but, however respectable the members may be who signed the Constitution, it must be admitted that a free people are the proper guardians of their rights and liberties; that the greatest men may err, and that their errors are sometimes of the greatest magnitude.

Others may suppose that the Constitution may be safely adopted, because therein provision is made to amend it. But cannot this object be better attained before a ratification than after it? And should a free people adopt a form of government under conviction that it wants amendment?

And some may conceive that, if the plan is not accepted by the people, they will not unite in another. But surely, while they have the power to amend, they are not under the necessity of rejecting it.

I have been detained here longer than I expected, but shall leave this place in a day or two for Massachusetts, and on my arrival shall submit the reasons (if required by the legislature) on which my objections are grounded.

I shall only add that, as the welfare of the Union requires a better Constitution than the Confederation, I shall think it my duty, as a citizen of Massachusetts, to support that which shall be finally adopted, sincerely hoping it will secure the liberty and happiness of America.

I have the honor to be, gentlemen, with the highest respect for the honorable legislature and yourselves, your most obedient and very humble servant,

E. GERRY.

To the Hon . Samuel Adams , Esq., President of the Senate, and the Hon . James Warren , Esq., Speaker of the House of Representatives, of Massachusetts.

COL. MASON: Right to Reform, Alter or Abolish

Immigration Reform: The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

MALDEF logo

Founded in 1968 with a $2.2 million seed grant from the Ford Foundation, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) describes itself as “the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization.” Its mission is to “promot[e]social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.” The intended beneficiaries of these efforts are Latinos, whom MALDEF seeks to “bring … into the mainstream of American political and socio-economic life.”

MALDEF was the brainchild of Latino activist and lawyer Peter Tijerina, a member of the San Antonio, Texas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens(LULAC). In the early 1960s, Tijerina grew disaffected with LULAC’s assimilationist approach to immigration issues. Instead, he was inspired by the example of radical Latino activists who were coming to prominence during the cultural ferment of that decade. Preaching about “Brown Power” and “Chicano Power,” they urged their fellow Latinos to embrace their ethnic identity, to reject assimilation, and to confront America’s supposedly racist and oppressive system as well as their ethnic counterparts who betrayed the cause through assimilation. For example, Tijerina was galvanized by the example of Latino militant Reies Tijerina (no relation), a New Mexico-based preacher who led a series of violent actions in the 1960s to occupy land that he claimed rightfully belonged to Mexico but had been stolen by “Anglo” ranchers and lawyers.

Seeking to emulate that model, Peter Tijerina conceived the idea for a more confrontational alternative to LULAC. In 1967 he approached the Ford Foundation to ask for support in setting up a new Chicano rights organization. It was, on the face of it, an unusual appeal. Despite an often-difficult immigrant experience, Hispanics in the United States had never been subjected to the kind of systemic racism suffered by African-Americans. While Mexican schoolchildren were often segregated from whites in states like Texas and California, such segregation was not sanctioned by law; Jim Crow laws did not apply to Mexican Americans. Black leaders consequently took issue with the new Latino activists’ claims that the plight of Mexicans demanded the intervention of a civil rights organization.

Nevertheless, the Ford Foundation’s leadership embraced Tijerina’s request, accepted his claims, and officially came to view Mexicans in America as an oppressed minority in need of a new advocacy group to defend them. Ford president McGeorge Bundy formulated the foundation’s new radical view of the Mexican-American community—and by implication of America itself—in a statement equating the situation of Mexican Americans with that of former black slaves who had suffered more than a half century of legal segregation in the South and were systematically discriminated against across the country: “In terms of the legal enforcement of rights, American citizens of Mexican descent are now where the Negro community was a quarter-century ago.” On this premise, the Ford Foundation in 1968 granted nearly $2.2 million (to be dispensed over a five-year period) to Tijerina’s organization, MALDEF.

During the first three decades of MALDEF’s existence, the Ford Foundation supplied almost all of the group’s funding—a total of more than $25 million. Ford’s support also provided the radical MALDEF with a mainstream imprimatur, thereby helping the organization draw additional millions from foundations like Carnegie and Rockefeller and from corporations like Anheuser-Bush, Coca Cola, AT&T and Verizon, among many others. As a result, MALDEF, which had started as a fringe civil-rights group (in San Antonio) with no national resonance, became a nationally influential advocacy organization with regional offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Chicago, and Washington, DC; a satellite office in Sacramento; and program offices in Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Houston. Today MALDEF has net assets of approximately $6.8 million, an annual budget of $4.2 million, and a staff of 75 (including 22 attorneys).

Even more notable than its size is what MALDEF—with Ford’s backing—has been able to accomplish. Much of the organization’s policy agenda has been passed into law—whether in the form of federally funded bilingual education programs, in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants, the granting of driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status, or the establishment of “sanctuary cities.” And because of the group’s ever-growing stature in the pantheon of American immigration groups, MALDEF officials have been called to testify at Congressional hearings dozens of times since the 1970s.

Just as significantly, MALDEF has played a major role in: (a) radically transforming the immigration debate in America, fostering what has become the widespread acceptance of direct attacks on the very idea of national sovereignty; (b) the de facto elimination of any requirement for citizenship rights; and (c) the casual dismissal of all critics as “anti-immigrant” nativists, racists, and “McCarthyites.” For example:

  • MALDEF co-founder Mario Obledo said in 1998: “California is going to be a Hispanic state and anyone who doesn’t like it should leave. They should go back to Europe.”
  • In 2008, MALDEF joined the George Soros-funded Media Matters and Center for American Progress in supporting the National Council of La Raza’s “We Can Stop the Hate” campaign, which was designed to silence critics who raised alarms about mass illegal immigration into the United States and who opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants. Disparaging those critics as “hate groups, nativists, and vigilantes,” the campaign made no attempt to answer their substantive concerns—for instance, the presence of an estimated 12-20 million illegal immigrants in the country; the budget-breaking economic burdens placed on social services and education provided by municipalities and states; the disproportionate crime and gang activity associated with illegal immigrants; or the fact that illegal immigration is perceived by Hispanic radicals as a way to reclaim the Southwestern United States for Mexico. (For an overview of this “reconquista” agenda, click here.)
  • MALDEF contends that those who wish to make English the official language of the United States are “motivated by racism and anti-immigrant sentiments”; that those who favor sanctions against employers reliant on illegal labor, seek to discriminate against “brown-skinned people”; that “fear and prejudice” is chiefly what animates those who oppose the distribution of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants; and that people who call for the enforcement of immigration laws are acting out of “racism and xenophobia.”

In the process of pushing (along with allied organizations such as the National Council of La Raza) the mainstream American debate on immigration to the left, MALDEF has helped to radicalize Hispanic groups that at one time were distinguished by their political moderation. A prime example is LULAC, whose traditional approaches to immigration and citizenship had offended radicals like Peter Tijerina and inspired them to create MALDEF. Whereas LULAC and other liberal groups had once touted the virtues of patriotism, legal immigration, and cultural assimilation, by the 1980s that view of citizenship had become the province of so-called “reactionaries.” Echoing the MALDEF/LaRaza rhetoric of Chicano separatism, LULAC officials now stridently declared, “We cannot assimilate! We will not assimilate!”

MALDEF La Raza

Through its advocacy campaigns, MALDEF has radically distorted the concept of citizenship rights, transforming them into “human rights” as though the establishment of such rights was not contingent upon the existence of a nation-state and polity committed to them. These rights, once reserved for actual citizens and legal residents, are today widely presumed to apply to also those in the U.S. illegally with no commitment to preserving them. As former MALDEF president Vilma Martinez has said, “Our definition of Mexican-American has expanded to encompass not only the citizen, but also the permanent resident alien, and the undocumented alien.”

Although MADLEF professes a commitment to the expansion of opportunities for Latinos, that commitment wavers observably whenever certain Latinos deviate, even if only hypothetically, from the organization’s uncompromising support for unrestricted immigration. Thus, in 2001 and in subsequent years as well, MALDEF declared against the nomination of Miguel Estrada, a Honduran immigrant, to the Washington, DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Among its objections, MALDEF cited the possibility that Estrada might fail to “protect the labor and employment rights” of “undocumented workers.” In January 2005, MALDEF similarly opposed the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General, expressing concern that he might allow states to enforce federal immigration laws.

MALDEF Unions

MALDEF’s Top Priorities Today

MALDEF’s chief social and political concerns today are the following:

Immigration: MALDEF’s Truth in Immigration campaign asserts that: “Political pundits, candidates for elected office, media networks, anti-immigrant organizations, and hate groups consistently disseminate negative myths about [Latino] immigrants that poison the atmosphere for immigrants and all Americans.” These “dehumanizing anti-immigrant stereotypes,” says MALDEF, “generate increased bigotry and violence.”

Another MALDEF initiative, titled Immigrant Integration, calls for “investments” of taxpayer dollars “to train and educate English language learners and assist [them in] transition into their new communities.” To this end, MALDEF has led a coalition of more than 200 local and national organizations “in support of legislation that invests in English language acquisition opportunities for adults and children; creates incentives for businesses to educate their workers and be a part of the integration of immigrants; and provides resources to help communities bring together key stakeholders.”

Trumpeting the economic contributions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, MALDEF maintains that America’s “failed immigration policy … has resulted in a complete lack of legal recognition of millions of immigrants who are the backbone of the U.S. economy … doing the jobs that U.S. citizens and residents do not want.” To address this problem, MALDEF has exhorted Congress to “considerlegalization” for all “undocumented persons living and working here in the U.S.”

In 1994 MALDEF strongly opposed California’s Proposition 187—a referendum that would have denied government-funded education, health care and social services to illegal immigrants in that state—which was passed with the support of 59% of California voters. But following its passage, Prop 187 was immediately subjected to legal challenges, and a district court overturned the new law by judicial fiat. When the state of California initiated an appeal of that decision, MALDEF put a great deal of legal and political pressure on then-governor Gray Davis, eventually forcing the state to drop the appeal. Following that resolution, MALDEF openly trumpeted the large role it had played in winning “this victory of basic human and civil rights.”

MALDEF has sought not only “to expand access to driver’s licenses without regard to immigration status,” but also to gain official U.S. acceptance of Matricula Consular cards—the fraud-prone ID cards issued by the Mexican government—which are frequently used by illegal immigrants as a substitute for American identification documents. A CNS News report states: “The Matricula Consular has been under scrutiny by various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on the ground that the authenticity of the documents used to obtain the Matricula cannot be accurately verified.”

MALDEF steadfastly opposes the use of local and state police personnel to enforce federal immigration law, citing concerns about racial profiling and the disparity of enforcement against Mexican illegals. “The reason that we don’t want state and local police involved in immigration enforcement … it’s very, very bad for public safety,”said former MALDEF immigration-rights attorney Katherine Culliton. “If immigrants are afraid that they may get deported, they don’t report crimes. We know of cases of domestic violence where people don’t call. The overwhelming problem is that when immigrants don’t report crimes because they are afraid, then we’re all a lot less safe.”

When the Arizona legislature in 2010 passed SB 1070, a law making illegal immigration a state crime and giving state police broader powers to detain illegal immigrants when they were stopped for an unrelated infraction, MALDEF pronounced the law “unacceptable.” Critics who followed MALDEF’s lead similarly lambasted SB 1070 as intolerant and “draconian” in its supposed subversion of rights. Almost without exception, the national Democratic Party adhered to the MALDEF line, with Colorado Congressman Jared Polis going so far as to declare that the law was “reminiscent” of Nazi Germany and likening Arizona to a “police state.” The spirit of these charges was echoed by the Obama administration, which went on the warpath against the Arizona law. The President himself claimed that SB 1070 would “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans,” while the Justice Department launched a lawsuit to prevent the law from going into effect. In July 2010, a federal judge bowed to MALDEF’s demands and blocked key provisions of the law.

In keeping with its campaign against local enforcement of federal immigration laws, MALDEF has promoted “sanctuary city” policies that prevent police from checking the immigration status of criminals, verifying resident status in the workplace, or securing the nation’s borders. MALDEF’s opposition to border-enforcement efforts is so effective that it routinely trumps national security. For example:

  • In 1994, MALDEF condemned Operation Gatekeeper, a U.S. government program intended to restore integrity to a portion of the California-Mexico border, across which many thousands of illegal aliens were streaming each year. Condemning this program for callously “diverting” illegal border-crossers “from California to the harsh and dangerous Arizona desert,” MALDEF charged that Americans who opposed unrestricted immigration were motivated largely by “racism and xenophobia.”
  • After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MALDEF spearheaded a protest campaign against Operation Tarmac, a federal crackdown on illegal aliens working in secure sections of the nation’s airports. According to MALDEF, such law-enforcement efforts amounted to “actions that harm the civil rights of Latinos rather than protect them.”
  • MALDEF was a signatory to a March 17, 2003 letter exhorting members of the U.S. Congress to oppose Patriot Act II on grounds that it contained “a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers … that would severely dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights.”
  • During approximately the same time period, MALDEF endorsed the goals of the California-based Coalition for Civil Liberties, which tried to influence city councils nationwide to pass resolutions of noncompliance with the provisions of the Patriot Act.
  • In 2004, MALDEF emerged as a leading champion of the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, which, under the rubric of promoting “our nation’s safety,” sought to impede the ability of federal authorities as well as state and local law agencies to enforce immigration laws.
  • In December 2006, MALDEF—in conjunction with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials—called on U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to place a moratorium on work site raids designed to apprehend illegal aliens.

Hate Crimes: Asserting that “hate crimes against Latinos have risen 40%” in recent times, MALDEF laments that this “national epidemic” and “wave of hatred” is “spurred each day by hate speech, distortion of facts, and anti-immigrant sentiment expressed on cable shows, local radio shows and across the airwaves.” To counter those voices, MALDEF exhorts Congress to pass national legislation such as the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act.”

Economic Recovery: In 2009, MALDEF pledged to “work with partners in Congress and the [newly installed] Obama Administration to ensure that full economic recovery reaches the Latino community.” Toward that end, the organization staunchly supported the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, or stimulus bill, which Obama signed into law in 2009. In fact, MALDEF and the National Council of La Raza both helped the Obama Administration and Congress to draft that legislation, always with an eye toward “ensur[ing] that the concerns of Latino workers and families were addressed.” Among the bill’s key provisions, said MALDEF, were a variety of taxpayer-funded programs that would be “helpful to Latino families,” such as “an expanded Make Work Pay credit that assists low-income workers”; “the expansion and modernization of unemployment insurance”; “significant resources for state stabilization funds, [to] ensure that critical state programs and benefits remain available”; and “large investments in job training and education.” MALDEF lauded, in particular, House Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) for their efforts to include pro-Latino provisions in the stimulus bill.

Voting Rights: MALDEF’s top public-policy priority is to help Latinos and other “historically disenfranchised populations” gain “unimpeded access to the polls, regardless of national origin or language ability”; to “enhance Latino influence in the political process” by putting more ballots into their hands. However, MALDEF unequivocally opposes Voter ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements for those voters. In 2006, for instance, the organization filed a lawsuit challenging an Arizona law—passed by ballot initiative two years earlier—that required voters to prove their citizenship before casting their ballots.

MALDEF likewise opposes laws that bar convicted felons from voting in federal elections. Such laws, says the organization, disproportionately “disenfranchise” blacks and Latinos, who are convicted of such crimes at higher rates than whites. In an effort to ensure that “the most fundamental right of our democracy—the right to vote,” is made available to convicted felons, MALDEF in January 2003 launched a Right to Vote Campaign along with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Brennan Center for Justice, Demos, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, the People for the American Way Foundation, and the Sentencing Project.

MALDEF also opposes the reconfiguration of voting districts in a manner that would “dilut[e] the votes of hundreds of thousands of Latinos.” In other words, it favors the creation and retention of districts wherein Latinos constitute a numerical majority or a plurality, thereby enabling Latinos as a distinct demographic bloc to elect whichever congressional representatives they want.

MALDEF redistricting_usa

MALDEF equates English-language ballots with the racist literacy tests that were once used to disenfranchise black voters in the American South. This perspective dates back to the early 1970s, when MALDEF filed (and won) a voting rights lawsuit on behalf of Puerto Ricans living in New York. The suit argued that English literacy tests discriminated against Puerto Ricans as a class of people. The courts agreed, allowing MALDEF to establish the radical legal precedent that holding elections in English—the official language of the United States—was an act of oppression that disenfranchised Hispanic voters. By 1975, groups like MALDEF were successfully campaigning to amend the 1965 Voting Rights Act and forcing jurisdictions with significant numbers of Hispanic residents to provide voting materials in Spanish. Instead of Hispanics integrating into American culture, as had been the traditional approach, they were now to be granted special treatment on the basis of their ethnicity—a key pillar of the multicultural agenda.

Fair Employment Practices: MALDEF contends that “discrimination continues to affect Latino workers at all levels of the economy,” in the form of “a hostile work environment”; “the denial of promotions”; “being forced to work unpaid ‘overtime’”; having “limited … opportunities for advancement”; and being “paid at substantially lower rates than non-Latino workers.”

As a partial remedy for the aforementioned problems, MALDEF supports affirmative action in hiring and promotion practices, and advocates the “consideration of race and gender in the awarding of public contracts.”

By contrast, MALDEF opposes the Electronic Employment Verification System (E-Verify), the Social Security Administration’s means of sending “No-Match” letters to business owners whose employees’ names and corresponding Social Security Numbers do not match the SSA’s records.

Education: Education has long been a leading concern of MALDEF. In the 1980s, for instance, the organization threw its legal clout behind the claims of illegal immigrants in Texas, who demanded a right to a free education at the taxpayers’ expense. In a successful lawsuit, MALDEF argued that denying the plaintiffs this “right” was unconstitutional.

MALDEF has also brought suit against public colleges and universities, charging that they were wrongly denying admission to illegal immigrants due to their “perceived immigration status.” In a corollary campaign, MALDEF has sued to compel state universities to allow illegal-immigrant students who reside in-state, to pay the same discounted tuition rates as their in-state legal counterparts.

MALDEF has repeatedly filed lawsuits aimed at forcing states to guarantee the availability of bilingual education in public schools, and has sought to suppress successful ballot initiatives—such as California Proposition 227 and Arizona’s Proposition 203—that would ban bilingual education programs which have long proven to be ineffectual. After California voters passed Prop 227 in 1998, for example, MALDEF joined the ACLU in filing for a temporary restraining order to keep the state’s largest school district from implementing the will of the voters.

MALDEF has also waged campaigns against the use of standardized tests to evaluate student achievement and abilities. In the late 1990s, for instance, the organization filed a class action suit against Texas to prevent that state’s schools from conditioning a high-school diploma on a student’s ability to pass a basic academic achievement test, the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Attorneys for MALDEF argued, unsuccessfully, that because some students, including a quarter of Hispanic students, failed the test, it was “unfair to all students,” and to “minority students” in particular.

The same mindset has long guided MALDEF’s activism in the realm of higher education as well. Indeed, the organization has commonly sought, by means of lawsuits and legislative proposals, to prevent universities from factoring standardized test scores into their admissions decisions. In 2004, for example, MALDEF filed suit against California State University, claiming that the school was “misus[ing] standardized test scores” and was thereby creating an admissions system that was “dysfunctional and unfair” to minority students. In support of that accusation, MALDEF adduced the fact that the university “attaches great weight to an applicant’s SAT or ACT score.”

One of MALDEF’s top priorities is to “ensure that students have equal access to educational opportunities regardless of income, nationality, or language skills.” Toward that end, the organization seeks to enforce compliance with “desegregation”decrees in various cities across the United States. Typically, such decrees are mandates for the reassignment and transportation of students to different schools, so as to change the racial makeup of the student bodies.

Leadership: Since 1989, MALDEF’s Parent School Partnership Program “has empowered parents and community leaders throughout the nation to become change agents in their communities” and to “become effective advocates in improving their children’s educational attainment.” In addition, MALDEF’s Law School Scholarship Program awards scholarships to several students each year based on their “past achievement,” “potential for achievement,” “financial need,” and “commitment to serve the Latino community through law.”

Funding and Leadership

MALDEF’s funding derives primarily from a core group of corporations and large foundations, most notably the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. It has also received considerable support from the Ahmanson Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Verizon Foundation. Only 2% of MALDEF’s revenues come from grassroots donations.

MALDEF is headed by a president and general counsel and is governed by a 30-member national board of directors. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization operates four regional offices. These are located in Los Angeles, San Antonio,Chicago, and Washington DC.

MALDEF Website:  MALDEF

NEXT:  Immigration Reform: The Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA)

“Immigration” Reform: The Players – The Objective

Four of the main Hispanic pressure groups, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Council of La Raza (La Raza) and the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), are united in their main objectives. They promote an agenda of racial and ethnic consciousness. They all want more immigration of their own people into the United States. They want to stop deportation of illegal aliens and want to provide American citizen’s rights, including the right to vote, to non-citizens. They promote Spanish as the official language in areas dominated by Hispanics. They believe that Americans must assimilate to Hispanic culture and language. They believe this is already their land and have no need to become citizens, learn English or assimilate in any way. By proclaiming the southwestern United States, Aztlán, they believe all those of Hispanic decent are already citizens. It appears that anyone who disagrees with that agenda is considered a racist.

Next I will explain the Four Main Groups, their history and their roll in “Immigration Reform”

Immigration Reform
NEXT:  Immigration Reform: LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS (LULAC)

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