“All Power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are no other sources. All delegated power is trust, all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.” Thomas Paine
As Thomas Paine said, time does not alter either the nature or the quality of the principles behind power. Either that power is delegated from a superior source of Sovereignty or it is assumed and therefore usurped. Now, the question of Sovereignty is perhaps one of the most important questions concerning the degree and quality of Liberty within this country. Only a Sovereign Source can delegate power and authority; likewise, only a Subordinate Source can receive those delegated powers and authority to act upon them.
It then becomes quite obvious in the following words within the Declaration of Independence where all Sovereignty emanates: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”
“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” Those peculiar words were to declare the independence of the colonies from Britain. Additionally, once the War for American Independence was won, Great Britain recognized each State, by name, as being Sovereign and Independent States. This same phraseology was then used in the Articles of Confederation in the description of the States.
When these same States, by the consent of their Citizens, through Convention ratified the Constitution they did so in the same Sovereign Status as they did when they Declared their Independence to form a Revolutionary government and then formulated a Confederation through Consent and Compact; as the need arose they then entered into a Compact between themselves to form the Sovereign States in Union. They, through Consent, retained the same style throughout every stage of political formation. Each government, both the government of the Several States and the general government of the States or the federal government, were delegated powers and authority derived from the Consent of the People Sovereign.
The facts are well-established and the provision within the Constitution is too explicit to deduct any other opinion except that the States retained their Sovereign Status through the delegated authority and powers of the People through their Consent. So, even after the Ratification of the Constitution, the independent, distinct and sovereign character by which they both formed and ratified that Compact was never divested from the States, nor the People. The People are the Prima Materia Imperium from which all Powers and Authority stems within this country and within both the State and the federal governments, it can not originate in either government since they are both ordained and established by the People. Remember, a thing created can never be greater then the one who created it, the act of creation is the superior act.
Each government is the natural extension of the governed since each government, whether State or general, partakes in the character of the source which formed it to act as an Agent on the behalf of those who gave Consent; thereby delegating authority and power to act in their best interests. Since Sovereignty is the source of all delegated powers and authority, the primary benefactor of such power and authority will be the States in which the Sovereign People reside, from there the States, acting as Agents of the People will properly delegate and grant a degree of authority and powers to the general or federal government to act in a limited capacity on behalf of the States united as a political community for the Sole Benefit of their Citizens.
The federal government has no powers or authority that emanates inherently from itself, despite its claim to the contrary, but must rely solely upon the delegation of those powers and that authority from the Sovereignty of the People of the Several States. The federal government is a reflection of the States united through the Voluntary Compact of Union, otherwise known as the Constitution.
The allegiance of the People therefore, will naturally be toward their respective States since it is the Several States that make up the Voluntary Union of States which reflects those States through the usage of Three Distinct and Separate Branches. Each of those Branches are also totally dependent on the Concurrent Consent of the States and the People in their Sovereign Character as each Branch depends on the Delegation of Their Power and Authority to act.
So, the States were Ordained to act through the powers and authority delegated to them by the Sovereign People of each State, in turn the federal government was Ordained by the States to act both on the behalf of the States and in turn the People Sovereign. The government of the United States is not now, nor has it ever been singular, but reflects the Several States by their Concurrent Consent as Ordained and Granted by the People.
The Preamble of the Constitution defines the reasons for the Ordination of the government and those reasons are clearly enumerated as very specific objects: “to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” So, it was the Several States, or the People that make up the Several States, that Ordained the government through the Ratification of the Constitution between them; this Act of Concurrent Consent and Ratification did not place the federal government over the States or the People, the Several States, and thus the People only delegated a degree of authority and power to it in order for it to fulfill the specific enumerated objects previously stated.
It is obvious therefore, or at least it should be, that the one to whom authority and power is delegated is not, nor can it be higher then the one delegating that power and authority. The Authority that ordains and establishes must therefore, be higher than that which is ordained and established. This should be common sense, unfortunately the assumption of powers not only usurps common sense, but power as well.
The 10th Amendment states clearly that: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
So, by the Compact between the Several States vested a degree of power and authority to the general or federal government. It split this power and authority between Three Branches, distinct in purpose and operations. The 10th Amendment then continues to say that those powers that are not delegated to the federal government and that are not prohibited by it [the Constitution] are reserved to the States or to the People. This is not a limitation upon either the States or the People, but solely upon the federal government of these United States. It is also apparent that there are powers and authority that the People did not delegate to either the States or the federal government, but that are completely retained by them alone.
This is the bar, the measurement of all government action and legislation. There can be no action or legislation that infringes upon the Retained Rights, the Retained Authority and Power of the People. Although Congress and even the State Legislatures tend to present and pass legislation that does not conform to the principle that the People retain these Sovereign Characteristics, the proper and legal measure of all legislation is if that legislation contradicts those Rights Reserved and Retained by the People and the People alone. There are, in additional to those Rights enumerated within the Constitution, Rights, Power and Authority Retained by the People which are not mentioned, not enumerated within the Constitutional Compact.
Additionally, even the Supreme Court of these United States should, by the act of the Sovereign Source of its own delegated powers, always consider the measure of all opinions based not on an allowable degree of Rights due the People, but solely limiting the assumption of powers by the government itself. The Supreme Court only holds the degree of supremacy as it is delegated to it and no more.
Through the Compact between the Several States, the People ordained and established a government of the People, by the People and solely for benefit of the People. This government was formed and intended to operate as a federal, in contradistinction of a national government. In a national government all other Constitutions and governments, such as those of the States would be superceded and absorbed, but that was never the case, nor is it the case even though for decades that has been the primary focus of certain elements within the federal government and both of the ruling political parties. The Several States are the expression of the People's Sovereignty, as is the federal government the expression of the People's Will through the Several States in Union. Each of the Several States, by Concurrent Consent of the People, ratified this Voluntary and Reflective Union but retained all Sovereignty and Power to alter, abolish or, if necessary, to leave that Voluntary Union.
Likewise, the Executive and the Legislative Branches are only allowed a degree of authority and power as it is delegated to them to perform a very specific and narrow set of obligations to the People. Any actions or Legislation beyond those specific and narrow set of obligations and all Three Branches only assume power, or usurp it from the People.
Of course, through the decades the 10th Amendment, like the 9th has been ignored to the point of being effectively neutralized. There are no divided powers, no divided authority, no divided sovereignty; it all rest within the People and is only delegated to the Several States and to the federal government. The Several States and the federal government hold Authority and Power only in Delegated Trust; with that Trust comes all the Responsibility and Duty enumerated within the Compact between the Several States agreed by Concurrent Consent of the People of those Several States.
Since all Power and Authority is either Delegated through legal Consent or Assumed and thereby Usurped illegally, where does that leave us in our opinion of this current government? What respect or loyalty do We legally have to a government who has illegally Assumed and Usurped its Authority and Power from the People of these Several States united?