In the primary, there was some misrepresentation of my intentions with the vote on CACR32, so let me take the opportunity to share some thoughts about the Federal Government with respect to the Constitution. First, let’s review some of the potential violations of the Constitution by the Federal government, without trying to be comprehensive or exhaustive.
First Amendment - Dozens of people across multiple Federal agencies worked with media companies to censor speech protected by the First Amendment.
Second Amendment - The Bump Stock ban not only is an infringement on the right to bear arms, but it was issued through executive order and not passed into law through the normal legislative process. This is a violation of Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution.
Third Amendment - The eviction ban, which was also issued outside of the legislative process, came under fire for violating the 3rd amendment for requiring housing for soldiers in the time of peace without the passage of a law. But, what was even more concerning was when the executive order was found unconstitutional it was reissued in defiance of that decision, with the expressed goal to stay in effect while the legal challenges slowly worked themselves through the courts.
Fourth Amendment - The Federal government has decided that if you share some personal information with another person you relinquish 4th Amendment protections to that information even if you have an agreement with the person/entity that the information is to be kept confidential. Additionally, the Federal government chose to redefine “search” in the constitution to essentially mean hitting the “search” button on the computer, so they can download all your old emails from your web server to store on their mainframe and it is not a “search” until they actually perform the keyword search on your old emails to find all your emails about “Kittens” or whatever.
Fifth and Sixth Amendment - The “Patriot Act” allowed indefinite detention without trial or charge of American citizens with an order from the President in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation and a speedy and public trial in the Sixth Amendment.
Many people are busy living life and may only be vaguely aware of these issues, or simply discount them because they have not been directly affected by them. Although we see low approval ratings of our Federal Government, there is not a widespread call for reform, yet. A very small minority dive deep into all the different violations of our rights at every level of government and find themselves overwhelmed with the scope of the issues and thus decide the Country is too far gone. It may seem, at this point, like the Federal Government is not only violating those rights it is tasked to protect, but it is almost contemptuous of the Constitution. I believe that the vast majority of this country still wants our Constitution followed by the Federal Government. As the issues found by those doing the deep dives become more widely publicized, I believe the citizenry will demand the Federal Government adhere to the Constitution and protect the rights within, much like we did with the Suffrage and Civil Rights movements.
I believe listening to the redress of grievances (as required in the NH Constitution) allows us to educate our elected officials and ourselves on the places in which we may have not been living up to our own stated principles enshrined in the Constitution and also allows for a course correction. That is why I supported having more hearings on the issue of Peaceful Separation from the Federal Government, not because I think we should, but because the conversation could lead to valuable information about the issues in the Federal Government being brought to light and the opportunity for the public to demand reforms.
Is it unreasonable to expect our Federal Government to adhere to the Constitution, or is that the minimum that they should be doing? Is it unreasonable to hear the concerns of our fellow citizens that believe constitutionally protected rights are being violated, or is it the least we can do?