Unconstitutional Executive Orders, Censorship, And More! – On Foundations Of Freedom:  Who has standing at the Supreme Court against unconstitutional executive orders? Is the Constitution a subjective document? Should an executive orders make national policy? Are the social media giants publishers or platforms? Should Kamala Harris be able to serve as Vice President? Does America have a covenant with God? Tune in to hear the answers to these questions and more!

Air Date: 04/29/2021

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  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.

President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And 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.”

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, we’re taking on the hot topics of the day, looking at all of them from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, which means our topics today will be driven by you. Send your questions in to radio@wallbuilders.com. That’s radio@wallbuilders.com. Then also visit our radio site, which is wallbuilderslive.com. That’s where you can get archives of the programs.

You can get previous Thursday programs where we’ve taken a lot of your questions on these foundational principles. And also our Good News Friday programs. You need a little pick me up. You need to know that these solutions actually work. Listen to some of those Good News Friday programs. And then Monday through Wednesday, typically, we have a spectacular guest, and you can get those interviews there as well, all of it available wallbuilderslive.com.

Also, while you’re there, consider making a contribution, is one of the best ways you can help us. We’re really asking you to give your life, your fortune and your sacred honor. So your life is your time, take time to listen to the program, share the program with your friends and family, get out there and be a force multiplier, reach other people with it. But also its lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, which means we got to donate, we got to start investing in freedom.

David and Tim, I think one of the reasons we lost the culture over the last few years is because we conservatives, we tend to be well conservative, and we don’t invest in the culture as much as we should. The Left, you got all these billionaires on the left that have been investing like crazy into taking over the culture. 

So we have more people, I think, and probably in reality, more money out there. But we got to start making it a priority to support ministries and organizations that are fighting for the country and fighting for the Constitution, and one of the best places to make that investment, wallbuilderslive.com.

David:

Yeah, we really spend too much time as conservatives fighting uphill battles. We get behind the curve, and the other side’s already well organized, well-funded, and well out there, and then we say, oh, my gosh, we need to do something. And then we try to get organized, but they’ve already started directing the battlefield. 

Foundations of Freedom

They’ve decided the battlefield. They’ve laid down boundaries. And that’s where we need to be on the offensive.

 And that’s one of the things that support helps us do, is get ahead of the curve, see where things are coming, be able to get information out, be able to get reports out, be able to get organizational stuff going before the other side gets organized. And that does take resources.

And so that’s part of what we do behind the scenes even at WallBuilders Live! with the contact we have with state legislators and local officials and school board officials and curriculum, etc. We’re able to get ahead of that curve and not have to fight from behind. 

So for those that support WallBuilders, thank you. And for those who want to get involved in the battle and help get on the winning side of some issues, consider WallBuilders Live, is a good place to invest.

Rick:

Alright, well, let’s jump into our questions today. First question for our Foundation of Freedom Thursday, which you can send your questions into radio@wallbuilders.com, first question is going to come from, I think, I’m going to pronounce this right Opher, and Opher’s question is on executive orders, contrary to law or the Constitution?

He said “Hello, the oath of office in the US Constitution director president to faithfully execute the law. When a President signs an executive order contrary to law or the Constitution, what recourse is there to rescind the executive order? If the Supreme Court is the only option, who has standing to bring that issue to them?” 

Man, Opher, fantastic questions, I mean, on point questions, and really good acknowledgement of where this whole idea of executive order comes from in the Constitution. Is the President faithfully executing those laws?

So David and Tim, when is it an executive order constitutional versus when it’s outside of following the Constitution? And if it is outside of that, and the Supreme Court’s the only way go against it, then who gets to file that suit?

Unconstitutional Executive Orders

David:

Yeah, I think the last part is the easiest to answer. Filing the suit has to be done by someone who’s been injured by the order. So someone that it directly affects them adversely in a way that is not just a matter of my opinion, or I don’t want this, but in a way that actually violates a written law or something that’s already been done by the government and contract that’s issued or something, that’s where you have standing.

And so, we’ve already seen this right off the bat, part of that early flurry, some of the very first executive orders done by President Biden involve the border. And so one of those early orders instantly, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas jumped on one of those orders said, wait a minute, you can’t do that. 

You can’t just suspend all the border policy which has been going on. This stuff’s established by law. And a federal Judge very quickly intervene in order that that executive order be set aside, that it’d be an imbalance and that you go back to enforcing the policy. Now we’re still waiting to have a full trial, so he gave a temporary restraining order on the executive order.

But Texas was one who was affected by that, and so many of the border states are. So that gives some standing on issues like that. With others, that may be the stuff that’s going on with the green energy or with oil. And that may have effect with, let’s say, the Keystone pipeline which executive order ordered to stop building. 

Well, you got all sorts of states who have jumped on that said, wait a minute, we got contracts out, this is stuff that’s been issued. We’ve been moving forward on this. This affects a number of Indian reservations. A number of the Indian reservations actually brought suit against that, because it has a direct impact on them. ]

Who Has Standing?

So the issue of who as standing is really who’s affected by it in an adverse way that violates a law or contract that’s in place. Just the fact that I don’t like it, I’m prolife, and I don’t like his pro-abortion executive orders, that doesn’t give me standing. It has to be something that violates the law or directly impacts me in a way that I had a previous contract with.

Tim:

And you can make an argument. If somebody made a pro-abortion executive order, that would violate some fundamental principles of the Constitution, because the fundamental principle of government is to protect inalienable rights. And the chief among those is the right to life. So you can make some strong arguments that somebody, a president in this case is violating the Constitution with actions they are taking.

The problem is we’ve made the Constitution a relatively subjective document. And so it’s not just who’s going to enforce or who’s going to uphold somebody doing something constitutional, it’s even the way that now we interpret what things are. When truth is become relativistic, and we’re in this kind of this postmodern world where people get to make definitions be whatever they want, right, I mean, we’re confusing the definitions of boy and girl in modern culture.

With such challenges, big picture constitutionally, when we’re not able to agree with the words of the Constitution, the general welfare clause, we don’t even know what those words mean anymore, it is now harder in some scenarios to say that a president has violated the Constitution. 

Because we live in a world where people say, well, to me, this is what it means. We would argue the opposite, that there’s original intent, and you go back to the original intent, that words have meanings, and you go with the meanings of the actual words, we just don’t live in that same world anymore.

And that’s what is part of the challenge we will encounter with a president that overstep their bounds of what constitutionally they shouldn’t be doing, but why it will be harder to hold them accountable?

Original Intent

David:

And in general terms of original intent, Tim, like you were just talking about, original intent is that the executive order is not to be used to make national policy, is to be used to help administer the enforcement of law within your administration. It is a CEO of a company, CEO of Walmart issuing a memo policy to all of his employees: here’s what we’re going to do at checkout, or here’s when we’re going to start hours or here’s when we’re going to close the stores. 

It’s not here’s what we’re going to do with free market across the United States. So from an original intent standpoint, the executive order is designed only to tell his branch of government what is going to happen internally in the enforcement of laws and policies, not to make national policy, which is what’s happened with many executive orders that have been issued in this administration.

Rick:

Alright, great question, Opher, thank you for sending that in. We’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live with more of your questions for Foundations of Freedom Thursday.

Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. As Christians become more active in politics, they must remember to elevate principles above party loyalty. Perhaps the best illustration of this comes from the life of Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who served in the presidential administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, each of whom was from a different political party.

When Benjamin Rush was asked of his personal party affiliation, he responded, “I’ve been alternately called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power will fail or producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to government.” Like Benjamin Rush, we too must remain Christocrat, regardless of our personal party affiliation.

For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD.

—-

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.”

Platforms or Publishers?

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question comes from Sumi. And it’s “I just listened to the question about legislative bodies deferring lawmaking outside of themselves.” 

In other words, lettings, you know, handing it off to somebody, outsourcing it to agencies. “And it showed that the Constitution does not allow them to give away that power. How much is that the same as with a social media platform and publishers? Can they be addressed and brought to court together? I hope to hear an answer soon. Thanks for all of your work.”

So I think David and Tim, he’s asking if we don’t allow lawmaking authorities to give that power over to other people to make law, are they giving that power over to the social media platforms to let them decide who gets free speech and who doesn’t get free speech?

David:

Yeah, because what happened, Congress gave these big tech giants a standing as a platform, not as a publisher. And so they gave them that standing, and so now they’ve decided they’re going to be publishers instead of platforms. And so they have shifted that, that was not what was intended, that was not was designed. 

They have reinterpreted or redefine that. And they now find themselves in the position of picking winners and losers when it comes to free speech. And that was never the intent, never the design, that was not the power that was given them.

So now that they’re exercising that power, what do you do to get it back? How do you get the genie back in the bottle once you’ve let it out of the bottle? And that is the big question. Now, as it turns out, you know, this is one we’ve looked at, because it is to the benefit of progressives, of liberals, of others, to have big tech on their side and censor conservative speech. I mean, it helps them.

So why would you expect them to vote to do anything to get the genie back in the bottle, when the genie out of the bottle is their genie in helping them? I mean it’s just not going to see it. So this is where the impasse is in some ways, as we really don’t expect Congress to step in there and change the standing of these guys. 

They were given a platform position, but now they’re acting as publishers. How do you get that back in? Well, you’re really not going to. But that’s where there is also another solution.

Section 230 & the States

Section 230 did have a clause that allowed the states to get involved. And we’re seeing right now that 25 states have introduced legislation going after the big tech guys for censorship. And they’re saying, look, you’re not a publisher, you’re a platform. And if you’re going to be a publisher, then we’re going after you in that role. 

And so that could be a huge economic bite to these guys. We’ve already seen one decision this year that came down in Illinois, where that Facebook got hit with $650 million fine for violating state law in Illinois.

Well, if you have other states doing that, going after all these publishers who are no longer acting like platforms, and by the way, a platform means we’re bulletin board, we’ll just post whatever you put up there, we’re not going to take it down. You put it up, that’s fine; that we’re posting place, really for anybody who wants to post. 

Well, that is a platform. But they’ve said now, we’re not a posting place for anybody who wants to post. We want to see your message first, and if we like it, we’ll let you put it up. Well, that isn’t what they were contracted to do initially under that law.

So now you do have the option of states starting to push back and starting to say, well, we do have recourse under this. And you not have a federal government that’s willing to put you back in the bottle, but we’re going to make it hurt while you’re out of the bottle until you get yourself back in. And so if you have enough state to do this and file enough.

For example, Texas is looking at charging these guys $10,000 every time they take down a conservative post. Oh my gosh, think how many conservative posts have been taken down over the last three, four or five months and how many people have been deplatformed, I mean, just from Texas, that would have been massive fines. Add some other states in there, and this starts getting to be a big issue.

Rick:

Alright guys, quick break. We’ll be right back with our next question from the audience, send them into radio@wallbuilders.com. You’re listening to Wallbuilders Live.

PATRIOT ACADEMY

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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

Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution 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 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 press.”

Kamala Harris 

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question comes from Rich and it’s about Kamala Harris being vice president. He said “I was reading Constitution, Article 1 Section 6, the last paragraph where it says no senator or representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority the United States, which shall have been created or the emoluments were of shall have been increased during such time.” 

He asked “Since vice president Harris was a city senator who was elected to serve in the senate beyond 2021 Governor Newsom had appointed someone to fill her vacancy, shouldn’t she be barred from serving in any civil office until her term is up regardless if she resigned or not? The phrase I’m keying in on is during the time for which she was elected, be appointed to any civil officer.”

So it’s a great question. You know, I have never even thought about that. So if a senator is running for president, are they at that point ineligible to be appointed to any civil officer? Now she’s not really appointed if she’s elected. So what do you guys say?

David:

Well, this actually goes to a different idea. This is part of the original Bill of Rights. There were 12 amendments originally proposed in the Bill of Rights, they were sent to the States, the States ratified 10 and those 10 became the Bill of Rights. There were two that were out there. One got ratified in 1992. 

Now, it was introduced back in 1789, ratified 1992. And it said, alright, here’s the deal. No congressman can have a pay raise until there’s been any election between it. In other words, if Congress votes themselves a pay raise right now, it can’t take effect until after there’s been an election to throw them out of office if people don’t make him.

So the key part of the phrase in this part of the Constitution, and this is, we’re now switching to a different part, Article 1, but it’s based on this idea of the 27th amendment. It says “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created when they were in office.” 

Vice President

Now the vice presidency was not created while she was in the senate. Vice Presidency was created long before. This would apply that while she was in the Senate, she voted that there should be a Bureau of International Space Travel, and the director of that bureau should get $43 million a year. And then she left the Senate and went and took that position.

If she voted for the creation of new office, and it has whatever salary, she can’t go take that place. That’s what this is dealing with. So it’s not talking about moving around with positions that are already in government or positions that were already created by the Constitution, is for an office that was created during the time that they were in office. In other words, they can’t create a perk for themselves, a place to land, a place to retire. I’m going to give myself a good place to go get a great income.

Tim:

I just like to go on record that if international space travel operator for $43 million a year is out there, I’d volunteer for that.

David:

You’re qualified. I would recommend you.

Tim:

I’d be willing to do that job. I would serve my country in such regard. So if anybody listening knows of like International Space Director position, 43 million a year, just let them know, I’m happy to send my resume application. You just tell me where, well, we’ll work to make that happen. So just I want to go on record right now, I’m happy to do that.

David:

Or what you’d be second in line behind Kamala Harris or somebody like that. But this does go back to that constitutional amendment in the original Bill of Rights says you can’t vote yourself, increase in money until you’ve had some kind of election in between time until the people have had a chance to voice their opinions. And so this is kind of like the same thought that was in the mind of the framers when they did that original amendment in the Bill of Rights, or what was proposed to be the Bill of Rights. And so that’s the bottom line.

So in this case, it does not apply to her because she’s not in a position now that was created while she was in office. This is position created long before she ever came into existence.

AMERICAN STORY

Rick:

Alright, quick break, guys. We got time for one more question when we return. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have here at WallBuilders called The American Story. For years, people have been asking us to do a history book, and we finally done it. We start with Christopher Columbus and go roughly through Abraham Lincoln. And one of the things that that so often we hear today are about the imperfections of America, or how so many people in America that used to be celebrated or honored really aren’t good or honorable people.

One of the things we acknowledge quickly in the book is that the entire world is full of people who are sinful and need a savior, because the Bible even tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And yet what we see through history, and certainly is evident in America is how a perfect God uses imperfect people and does great things through them. 

The story of America is not the story of perfect people. But you see time and time again how God got involved in the process and use these imperfect people to do great things that impacted the entire world from America. To find out more, go to wallbuilders.com and check out The American Story.

—-

President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized 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 accorded to the human race.”

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, Foundations of Freedom Thursday today. We got time for one more question. But before we go to the question, just a great email sent in.

American Covenant

“David, Tim and Rick, thanks for everything you’re doing. In part five of the ProFamily Legislative Conference, David mentioned that police should have to take a Constitution course. As a police officer and Constitution coach, I agree. I’ve been in policing for 20 years as an elected official and a police officer. I bought the Constitution Alive! DVD set and signed up to be a Constitution coach. 

“I’ve taught at my church Constitution Alive! I see Judges, School Administration, Supervisors and Officers have no clue what a constitutional right is. I would love to help spread the original intent of the Founding Fathers so that as citizens, our rights are not trampled upon by my ignorant governing officials. 

“Please keep the Lord first and remember Jeremiah 17:9 from Rich. I truly wish I had more money to give. I feel you all are our mission field that’s been overlooked by institutionalized churches.”

Well, Rich, God bless you, man. And believe me, there’s a lot of folks out there that donate. We need more folks to do that. That’s how we’re able to give away classes for free and coaching for free and all of those things. So go to wallbuilderslive.com today, folks and do that.

And, we’ll get more people like Rich teaching those constitution classes and churches across the country and in communities across the country: such an encouragement. Thank you so much, Rich, for serving as a police officer and thank you for serving as a Constitution coach and helping to spread the good word out there.

Okay, guys, we got time to squeeze in one more question today and it is from Linda. Linda Kellogg asked it this way. She said “I liken America to Israel often in my Bible studies. But I know Israel is extra special to God. When America’s early settlers first arrived, they often planted a cross and pledged perpetuation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Do you think America has a covenant as a nation with God? I know covenants work both ways. And we’re struggling to get our country back, but is there a covenant relationship?” Really good question, interesting question, guys.

Tim:

Yeah, it is a good question. I think there certainly is a covenant. There’s several things we can point to, not the least of which is going back to the pilgrims, going back to the Puritans with John Winthrop. 

Founding Documents

And there certainly where religious groups that came to America, and they saw themselves as a city on a hill; they saw themselves as being in covenant with God, and that if they would do what was godly, they would enjoy God’s blessing and they wanted to share the gospel.

And there certainly were people whose hearts minds were in the right place who study the Bible, and really strive to follow the Bible. There’s other colonies, maybe who paid a little more lip service. You know, Jamestown, it was an Anglican colony.

 And their founding documents, they believed a Christian calling is part of why they were here and Christian duty and missionaries. The Indians, they didn’t follow that biblical notion quite as well, obviously, as your Plymouth area did, and Jamestown had a lot of issues.

And so it would kind of depend on how we’re defining did America have a covenant with God? There, certainly, were people in America that covenant with God. Was there ever a time when all of America was in covenant with God? And that’s a different question. 

I don’t think there’s any way you can argue there’s a time when every single American was in covenant relationship with God and viewed that as essential important. But there certainly were groups of people that came and established a covenant with God and you certainly see that God bless them in what they did.

David:

Yeah, there’s a lot of covenants you can point to. And Tim as you point out, it’s actually just a group of people establishing it with God. And so across America, we saw that when Connecticut was founded, the Reverend Thomas Hooker asked the people, and there was a congregation of people there and he says, are you willing to follow these laws of God? 

Do you want to do this? Do you want this state to be under God? Do you want to do what he’s asked us to do? And then when they said, yes, then they created the form of government. And so Connecticut is called the “Constitution State”, because that’s where the first Constitution was ever written in 1638.

If you go to New Haven, Connecticut, Reverend John Davenport got all the people together and said, look, here’s what God expects of his people. Are you willing to do this? Are you willing? And he went through several scriptures. 

The Important Thing About Covenant

Are you willing to live this way? Okay, then we’re forming a covenant with God. We’re asking him to bless this colony. New Haven became the other part of the Connecticut colony along with Thomas Hooker. And so God will bless us if we do our part.

And I think the thing that’s most important about a covenant and I believe there’s been a number created in America across time by a number of different leaders in different generations, and I know that God keeps covenant. Scripture says that he keeps his word to a thousand generations, so God’s willing to keep that covenant. 

But a covenant is a two way contract. It is a conditional contract. You have to perform your part for the other person to perform theirs.

And so what happens in America, a lot of people think we’re in covenant with God, he’s going to bless the nation. He’ll find a way to pull this out. Well, no, a covenant means that there are certain things you have to do. 

And so that’s why when you look at Deuteronomy 28:29&30, God says, here’s the blessings, here’s the cursings: it’s up to you guys. If you do this, you’re going to get the blessings. If you do this, you’re going to get the cursings.

And so while people really like to hit 2 Chronicles 7:14, that if we pray, God will hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. God says, if you humble yourselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from your wicked ways, if you do those four things, then I’m going to hear from heaven and forgive your sin and heal the land. 

Unconstitutional Executive Orders, Censorship, And More! – On Foundations Of Freedom

So I don’t think enough of our people spend time humbling themselves and seeking his face, they pray, but not seek face, and turn from wicked ways, change their behavior. And that’s what’s part of the contract.

So no question in my mind that we have a lot of covenants created in American history. But whether they survive today depends on the people. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we’ve got a part, He’s got a part; if we do our part, He’ll do His part.

Rick:

Part of doing our part is to listen, to learn, and to teach others as well. We’ve got to seek that truth and share that true so please share this program with your friends and family. You can do all of that at wallbuilderslive.com today. Thank you so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.

Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”