Can The Supreme Court Overturn The Equality Act: Its Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your most pressing questions!Â
Air Date: 08/01/2019
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
President Thomas Jefferson said, I know no safe depository powers of the society but the people themselves. If we think they’re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion; the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.’
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state legislator.Â
Â You can find out about all three of us at our website, Wallbuilderslive.com.Â
Send Your Questions In Now
That’s also where you get a list of our stations around the nation and some of the archives of past programs. We go back and listen to some of the interviews or Foundations Of Freedom Thursdays or Good News Fridays or any of those programs that you missed.Â
They’re all available right now at the website Wallbuilderslive.com.Â
Â It’s Foundations Of Freedom Thursday which means we’re gonna be diving into your questions. You get to ask the question now. You can ask about founding fathers, about issues of the day, how do we apply a biblical, constitutional and historical perspective to whatever issue you’re you’re thinking about. Send those questions in.Â
You can send them in to radio@WallBuilders.com. That’s radio@WallBuilders.com.Â
Now before we dive into those questions, we’ll be asking those of David and Tim in a second. Also, we encourage you to visit that website for the opportunity to come alongside us. We are a listener-supported program. That means this is possible because of donations from people just like you, all across the nation. And some of those folks give five dollars a month, some give much more than that, but it makes it possible for us to be on-the-air and bring these great programs to you.Â
So we hope you’ll consider being a part of that as well. It’s an easy way to give up your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to preserve America’s constitutional republic. So be a part of the team go to Wallbuilderslive.com today. Click on that donate button and make a one-time or a monthly commitment that helps us continue this great work, and we appreciate you coming alongside us.
First Question – AOC Castillo Cortez
Let’s dive in the first question, which is it’s actually about something that AOC Castillo Cortez said.
The question from our listener is: is this kind of remark be impeachable? If they make an unconstitutional remark for a member of Congress.Â
Now we usually hear impeachment with regard to the President and most people won’t even think about if a member of Congress could be impeached.Â
It had to do with with with AOC and one of her comments about concentration camps.Â
Here’s what she actually said; this was in a live video she put on Instagram. She said the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border. And that’s exactly what they are. That’s her word.Â
So first of all, I mean obviously very offensive. I would think all Americans that had relatives that died in World War II to go stop the concentration camps. Certainly, all Jewish Americans should be offended by this. I mean horrible comments. Can a member of Congress be impeached over things like that?
Can A member Of Congress Be Impeached Over Things Like That?
First, when it comes to the concentration camp remark, we have a friend who’s been on the program with us before Jonny Daniels. He is in Poland, and he runs us this group called From The Depths. It’s a Jewish Christian group in Poland who really works on bridging the gap, healing the wounds from the Holocaust there.Â
Poland is where the major death camps were from the Nazis. And so he really works to find the righteous among the nations, the non-jews who save Jews and others. And so we’ve gone at least twice, Tim and I have gone and taken congressional delegations over to Poland. Jonny is taking them around through all these concentration camps. So Johnny reached out to AOC and said you apparently don’t know much about concentration camps. I want to bring you to Poland and show you what a concentration camp looks like.Â
First, on its face, the remarks she made is really utterly ridiculous: to compare it to a concentration camp. If she wants to make her own name up for whatever she wants to call it the border. That’s fine. But to invoke the historical concentration camps is on its face ridiculous. Second, I need to be careful how I say this, but those that are in these camps run by the American government, you have to come to the border, and you want to cross illegally, and so you’re picked up at the border –
These are what are known as detention facilities.
Right. So the people you’re referring to, those who are in these detention facilities which I think most people think of school when you’re in detention, you’re in this holding area.Â
But when you cross illegally, they don’t just set you free if they catch you. They hold you to try to find out your story. Some people are going yeah they were seeking asylum.Â
Well, if you’re seeking asylum, you can come over the legal port of entry, and you can seek asylum legally. You don’t have to cross the border illegally, and if you’ve been marching for thousands of miles, the road leads you to the border crossing where you legally can seek asylum. You can legally cross the borderÂ
However, they’re doing this not just for legal purposes as many asylum seekers because asylum is not even possible because they’re not being persecuted by their government. They just want a different, better life. We totally support people wanting to come to America to have a better and different life. You just need to do it legally, anyway.Â
Detention Facilities Are Definitely Not Concentration Camps
The detention facilities are where they are held as they are processed and we figure out in America what we’re gonna do with them.Â
Definitely not concentration camps.
Not concentration camps. And the thing that goes with this is when you look at groups that are humanitarian groups who are working with those who are coming. One group is Doctors Without Borders, a group that I think most people recognize.Â
According to the stats from Doctors Without Borders, of those that are coming to America and these huge group of migrants that are coming, they’re documenting that 70% of these folks are suffering violent crime along the way. And that one out of three women are sexually assaulted.Â Â
So when these guys get in detention camps, guess what? There aren’t violent crime assaults, and there aren’t sexual assaults. There are now in a much safer condition than what they’ve been and literally weeks and months of trying to get here and crossing legally.
Not to mention they’re able to take showers. They have their own cot or a bed to sleep on. They’re getting three meals a day. Their conditions are better in these detention facilities than many of them had in the nations they left.
The Holocaust, a little different – the concentration camp, the death camps a little bit different because they weren’t giving you showers.Â
the showers they gave you killed you.Â
They put you in the gas chamber.Â
The gas chamber is different from a shower. So, they’re not giving you a shower. They’re not giving you three meals a day. They’re not giving you a cot to sleep on. They’re not giving you air-conditioned facilities you’re staying in.Â
These detention facilities we’re not making people work until they die, which is what happened in a lot of the concentration camps.
Again, on its face her comments about this being a concentration camp are stupid, and they’re so stupid that that led to the question: can you impeach a congressman for stupidity?
David before you jump into that question, let’s let people know you know we’ll put Dr. Dobson’s letter about the border crisis on the Web site.
It’s probably the best summation I’ve seen from a Christian perspective that says yes this is a crisis. It’s a mess. It’s not good. But we’re doing the best that we can. These Border Patrol agents are working their tails off. This is a crisis created by liberal policies that caused these people to think they could come here. It is a bad situation. Just to sum up everything that you have been saying about the border situation. We don’t have time to go into all of it.Â
We’ll put that letter on the website today, and people can read that.
But now to the impeachment thing.
To the impeachment thing: if stupidity becomes an impeachable offense, then we’re going to have real trouble in Congress.
It Is Not An Impeachable Offense
Although, we would like to get most of them out anyway so that could be a good thing. But then we’d have a hard time electing people who haven’t said stupid things because that doesn’t seem to be a human condition. A lot of people are not as well educated when it comes to basic policies and principles of the founding era. Nonetheless
Not that I want to run for Congress but would probably remove me as well.Â
All of us. Everybody who’s ever said anything in this age of having things recorded – the visuals and everything. Everybody has said something stupid.Â
It also depends on the eye of the beholder or the ear of the beholder. That sounds stupid to me. Well, it may not seem stupid someone else. So you can’t have that.
The Impeachment Process-WiseÂ
Now, process-wise: to impeach someone you have to get 50% of the House to pass an indictment if you will. That’s an impeachment indictment. To get 50 percent of the House, which means nearly all the Democrats, to agree that she should be thrown out the house for that comment is not going to happen.Â
So impeachment by process-wise there’s not the body there being willing to do that.Â
And then if they did, could they get two-thirds of the Senate which is what would be required for conviction or to actually fulfill the impeachment. Can you get two thirds? Can you get 67 senators to agree that she should be thrown out of Congress for making a really stupid statement?
That means all you have to get is 34 to vote the other way. And with 48 or so Democrats over there; it’s a done deal. She’s not going to get impeached.Â
The First Attempt To Impeach A Sitting Member Of Congress Happened in 1797
This goes back even to something historically. Historically the first attempt to impeach a sitting member of Congress happened back in 1797.Â
It’s an interesting story because of how it came about and how Congress decided they were not going to impeach. It dealt with a signer of the Constitution named William Blount.Â
At the time the Constitution was written and signed, 12 of the 13 colonies were there. Rhode Island refused to participate. They didn’t think that there was an authority for there to be a federal government, so they had no delegates there. So when you look at the other twelve colonies in North Carolina, there were a few signers of the Constitution. It was not a particularly populist state, but one of the signers the Constitution from North Carolina was William Blount.Â
William Blount is from North Carolina and North Carolina at that time was the shape of North Carolina except it went west a really long way.Â
If you know where that North Carolina has the parallel lines, the northern border southern border, it went west a long way. In 1790, the state of North Carolina said, why don’t we split off all that western section out there, and that’s what became known as Tennessee.Â
In 1790, they made it a territory, and William Blount became the governor of what would be the Tennessee territory. Then in 1796, Tennessee is accepted into the United States, becomes a state in the United States, and he becomes a U.S. senator from Tennessee.Â
So he is a constitution signer. He’s the only governor of the territory. He now is an original U.S. senator from Tennessee.Â
Negotiations With Foreign Nations
He’s been into a lot of land speculation. Actually, he and his brothers accumulate about two and a half million acres of western lands. Then the economy goes upside down, and they’re left holding the bag. And so they come up with this deal that says; we’re going to work with Great Britain and we’re gonna give great Britain, Florida, and Louisiana in exchange for them helping pay off my debts.Â
When Congress found out that he was negotiating with foreign nations to create some difficulty, Florida was a Spanish territory, Louisiana was French territory. You’re trying to create a war inside this continental area. They went to impeach him.Â
As it went through Congress, they said no we’re not going to impeach because these guys have elections and they dropped the impeachment. Things were settled.Â
We Do Not Impeach A Senator Nor A House Member
But from that point forward we’ve held a position that no you do not impeach a senator or you do not impeach a house member. Those people can be put out of the House and Senate by actions of the House and Senate. They can remove a member of the House and Senate by actions of the House the Senate.Â
So they answered the question: although technically the Constitution would seem to say so, those who helped write the Constitution said no.Â
These two bodies have the ability to expel their own members. Now you can’t do that with President. You can’t do that with Supreme Court justices which is why you can impeach the others because they don’t have a self-expelling kind of mechanism in their rules.Â
So, that’s why the answer to the question actually is regardless of how dumb or silly she is; the house is not going to impeach her because they have other means of getting her out of the house if she does wrong.
All right folks, those kinds of questions we can dive into foundational principles when you send them in.Â
You get to pick the topics or send them in to radio@WallBuilders.com.Â
James Dobson’s Letter And Sam Rodriguez
We’ve got a lot more for you today. We’re gonna take another break. As we go to break.Â
On the break, we were talking about not only Dobson’s letter from his visit to the border but a couple of other sources we can put on the website today our friend Sam Rodriguez.Â
The Reverend Samuel Rodriguez was also one that went down there. An entire group of Hispanic pastors went down, and they’ve actually been in kind of a disagreement with Representative Castillo Cortez back and forth in the media. They’ve said the conditions are actually remarkably good for the situation we’re dealing with.Â
So we’ll put those resources if you want to dive into that particular topic a little bit more. We’re going to switch topics to our next listener’s question when we come back. So stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuildersLive.
Liberties and Freedom Are Worth Defending
Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? It’s not just that we have a few bad leaders taking us away from our founding principles and leading us down a road of destruction. The real challenge is that we’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often, no one is there.
This is a generational challenge.Â And we must have a generational solution.Â God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. And, we need to equip them for the purpose God has laid on their hearts.
Patriot Academy was created to meet that need. You, the listeners of Wallbuilders Live, have supported Patriot Academy over the years.Â You have sent your children and grandchildren to the program, and the results have been remarkable.
Patriot Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America, in the halls of Congress, in business, in the film industry, in the pulpit, in every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them.
Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So, visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.
Be At All Times Armed
Thomas Jefferson said, “The constitutions of most of our states, and of the United States, assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. That they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”Â
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live on this Foundations Of Freedom Thursday. Diving into your questions, and the next one comes from Andrew. He actually got two questions we’ll tackle on one segment at a time here.Â
He said over the past few weeks you’ve discussed the Equality Act on one show and the role of the Supreme Court on another. My question combines these two topics: first, on one show you said that Congress has the ultimate authority to decide what is Constitutional and that one justice is named (slips my mind), said the Court does not have the authority to overturn laws implemented by the President or Congress. If the Senate passed the Equality Act, and it was signed into law vetoed and passed again by the Senate by two-thirds majority would it be outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to overturn the Equality Act on a constitutional basis?
He’s got a second question has to do a second amendment. We’ll come back on our next segment and get that one.
The Equality Act
But on the Equality Act and whether or not the Supreme Court could overrule Congress on that if it was passed by two-thirds?
You’ve actually had a Justice all the way back to Chief Justice John Marshall who said the opinion at that time was that any court that overturns an act of Congress would be facing impeachment. That was John Marshall’s comment.Â
We’ve had justices more recently, for example, some immigration stuff going on where the justices on the current Court have said look, this is not something that the Constitution gave to the Court in the original jurisdiction. This is something that belongs to the elected branches, not to us.Â
So you’ve had that sentiment both past and present. But the Equality Act is essentially what would overturn the religious liberty protections of the First Amendment. It would say you do not have the right to religious conscience. Your religion can’t control the way you behave when it comes to LGBTQ issues.Â
So it is a Statutory Act trying to overturn a Constitutional provision. Would the Supreme Court have the authority to overturn that? Well, if you go back to original intent, the Supreme Court does have the authority to have a judicial review and to say here’s our opinion on what’s just done. We think this is a really bad law because you’re trying to overturn the Constitution, and we think this law is unconstitutional.Â
Having said that, to this day, every title on every Supreme Court case, it simply says the opinion of the Court. It does not cite the law of the land. So under original intent, the Court had the right to give its opinion, members of Congress, the President and others could look at that and say that’s a really good point we hadn’t thought about that. We’re not going to do this; we’re gonna change the law.Â
So that’s the way it would have gone.Â
There are times where that the courts did strike down a law and Congress allowed that to stand because Congress said, you’re right that was our ban on that we shouldn’t have done it.Â
Nothing In The Constitution Construction Gives The Court The Final Word With Any Law
Nothing in the Constitution construction or in the Constitutional commentaries like the Federalist Papers gives the Court the authority to have the final word on what happens with any law.Â
The law comes from the President. It comes from the elected members of Congress. The Court gets its opinion on it. So from that standpoint, yeah the Court could strike it down. In earlier years, that would not have meant that’s what it was.Â
A great example is the Dred Scott decision under Abraham Lincoln. He said, good news for the nation is that was only the Supreme Court giving its opinion, and we’re going to continue to be anti-slavery regardless of what the Court said today.Â
I’ve heard legislators on the floor say, let’s just go ahead and pass this and give it to the courts so they can tell us what’s Constitutional what’s not. That’s crazy.
Those legislators took an oath themselves to uphold the Constitution. They should know what it says. It’s a simple document. That’s why we taught it in elementary school. We had elementary catechism the Constitution. It’s not that difficult.Â
The Equality Act Is A Statutory Law Trying To Overturn A Portion Of The Written Constitution
So, that would have been the original intent position. I firmly believe that the Equality Act is absolutely unconstitutional because it’s a statutory law trying to overturn a portion of the written Constitution.Â Statutory law does not have the authority to do that.
Yeah, we’ve talked about this a while ago about this on the program a few years ago. How really the design is ingenious design because you can have a two out of three can win. So if the Court does say this is an unconstitutional law, and Congress wants to re-pass the law, and the President wants to sign the law again then two out of three they win.Â
Or the President reads that opinion of the Court and goes I didn’t think about that. Oh, there’s some original intent you quoted the founders on why this would be unconstitutional. I’m convinced. I’ll veto that law if they try to pass it again. So there is a balance that can be done there.Â
Every Branch Has Constitutional Arms
But David, we’ve got to go back to what you’ve been teaching for 25-30 years; that every branch has Constitutional arms. Each branch has a say in whether or not a law is Constitutional. We shouldn’t just abdicate that from Congress, and the President and say it’s all up to the courts. The courts have the final say. Otherwise, we’ll be ruled literally by these unelected, unaccountable lawyers in Washington D.C.Â
Andrew had another question that has to do with the Second Amendment but let’s come back after a break to answer that one.Â
We’ll be right back folks. You’re listening to Foundations of freedom Thursday on WallBuilders Live.
President Calvin Coolidge said the more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever reported to the human race.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring, or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago, or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But, it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for the truth about the Constitution either.Â
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall, and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.Â
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And, it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
Questions of Power
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Welcome back to Wallbuilders Live. Thanks for staying with the second half of Andrew’s question. We covered the first half of our last segment.Â
The second half of his question says, “My second question deals with the Second Amendment. Since the right to keep and bear arms is a Second Amendment right, is it unconstitutional for any State to implement gun laws? If not, how does it fall under the Tenth Amendment? Thanks, guys! Looking forward to hearing your answers. Also, feel free to rephrase of appropriate. Actually, I think that question’s really clear guys.Â
It’s an age-old question honestly; does the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution apply to the States? Does it prevent the States from passing gun laws?
No State Can Violate The Second Amendment
Well, Rick, Dad, we know this question. We actually do presentations related to this. On modern interpretation, no state can violate the Second Amendment because the Constitution has been equally applied to all the States.Â
Under original intent, however, this was something the Federal government was the only one limited by the Constitution, including by the Bill of Rights. But States still at that point, and in the founding fathers’ era, recognized inalienable rights and supported God-given rights.Â
So even though the Constitution at the time, which by the way includes the bill of rights to this point, includes all 27 amendments. That’s part of the Constitution.Â
Even though at the time it was written to limit the Federal government, the States in their own State Constitutions did things to uphold and support the Second Amendment.Â
Some Of The Early Laws Were Really Fun
Some of the early laws were really fun. There were States that actually required you to purchase a firearm because they wanted you to be able to help protect your town or your home or your community. James Wilson was a Supreme Court justice, started a law school. So he’s a lawyer and a justice. So those things kind of blended together.Â
But he explained that if a man was robbed in his own house, it was his own fault because you’re supposed to be able to protect your own castle, and part of how they thought you did that was you have a gun. You protect your own property, help protect the community, help protect your state you can join the militia. So, they definitely were not in favor of what we see today of the limitation of guns or magazines or bullets, etc. The bill of rights initially was just for the Federal government, but now the Constitution has been applied equally to all the States.
This Is An Inalienable Right
And I think the thing that we missed today is not only that the question being asked by Federal jurisdiction but Tim hit the principle: this is an inalienable right. No local, no state, no federal government can limit an inalienable right.
It’s in the Constitution to reinforce what they already believed at the state level.Â
If anybody wants to read really deep on that go look up the McDonald case out of Chicago where Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion gives the history of why the 2nd Amendment didn’t originally prevent States from doing any kind of gun control but how the 14th Amendment changed that. And how those guys that passed the 14th Amendment said, we’re protecting these individual rights as well in the McDonald case does, in legal terms, apply the 2nd Amendment to the States.Â
It Is To Be Protected At Every Level Of Government
Tim, you’re right. It is absolutely not only a modern interpretation but intent from the 14th, all the way through the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, an inalienable right as David described, is to be protected at every level of government.
No level of government should infringe upon it and prevents you from literally protecting yourself and protecting your family.Â
Lots of great questions today, folks. Keep Sending them in. Andrew, appreciate those two questions.
If you’d like to send a question, send it to radio@WallBuilders.com.Â
While you’re online there, be sure to visit the website Wallbuilderslive.com. At that website, you can donate to make the program and continue to not only come to your area but spread it all across the country and get it in the hands of as many people as possible. To equip and inspire them. The other thing we will encourage you to do is go to Wallbuilderslive.com to give us some responses.
Take a question from today, for instance; like you could take from today’s program and ask a question. Like, did you know that the immigrants that are coming across the border seeking asylum at these detention facilities actually have better conditions than most of them had back home. Because it’s been reported how deplorable the conditions are, most people don’t realize what’s actually happening on the border and what a comparison of that to what it was like back home for those people that have shown up there.
Â So ask that question and then go to our website at Wallbuilderslive.com and let us know what people are saying. Give us some responses there. Be very curious. You can ask on Facebook. You can ask as you sit down with people at lunch. However you want to do it, ask the questions then put those responses at Wallbuilderslive.com. We appreciate you doing that.
We sure appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to Wallbuilderslive.com
Our Liberties Are Worth Defending
Samuel Adams said the liberties of our country and our freedom over civil Constitution are worth defending against all hazards, and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.