American Minute with Bill Federer JULY 28 - Reconstruction Amendments and consequences
American Minute with Bill Federer
JULY 28 - Reconstruction Amendments and consequences
In 1857, the Supreme Court, with 7 of the 9 Justices being Democrat, decided that Dred Scott was not a citizen, but property.
Chief Justice Roger Taney,
appointed by Democrat President Andrew Jackson, wrote that slaves were
"so far inferior...that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced
to slavery for their own benefit."
After the Civil War, the 13TH AMENDMENT was adopted December 6, 1865, abolishing slavery in America.
Southern Democrat Legislatures then passed Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws, requiring freed slaves to be "apprenticed" to "employers" and punished any who left.
November 22, 1865, Republicans denounced Mississippi's Democrat
legislature for enacting "black codes" which institutionalized racial
On February 5, 1866, Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens introduced legislation to give former slaves "40 acres and a mule," but Democrats opposed it, led by President Andrew Johnson.
On April 9, 1866, Republicans in Congress overrode Democrat President Johnson's veto and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans.
To force Southern States to grant State citizenship rights to freed slaves, the U.S. House passed the 14TH AMENDMENT, May 10, 1866, as did the Senate, June 8, 1866. One hundred percent of Democrats voted against it.
The 14TH AMENDMENT was adopted by the States on JULY 28, 1868.
Republican Congressman John Farnsworth of Illinois stated, March 31, 1871:
reason for the adoption (of the 14TH AMENDMENT)...was because of...
discriminating... legislation of those States... by which they were
punishing one class of men under different laws from another class."
On January 8, 1867, Republicans granted voting rights to African-Americans in the District of Columbia, after overriding Democrat President Andrew Johnson's veto.
On July 19, 1867, Republican passed legislation protecting voting rights of African-Americans, after overriding Democrat President Andrew Johnson's veto.
On March 30, 1868, Republicans began impeachment proceedings of Democrat President Andrew Johnson.
On September 12, 1868, Democrats in Georgia's Senate expelled Civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other Republican African-Americans, who would later be reinstated by a Republican Congress.
On October 22, 1868, while campaigning for re-election, Republican Congressman James Hinds was assassinated by Democrat terrorists who organized vigilante groups known for intimidation tactics and lynchings.
The 15TH AMENDMENT
was passed February 3, 1870, overcoming 97 percent Democrat opposition,
granting the right to vote to all Americans regardless of race.
On May 31, 1870, Republican President U.S. Grant signed the Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for depriving any American of their civil rights.
On June 22, 1870, Republican Congress created the U.S. Department of Justice to safeguard the civil rights of African-Americans against Democrats in the South.
On February 28, 1871, Republican Congress passed the Enforcement Act providing federal protection for African-American voters.
On April 20, 1871, Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed African-Americans.
On October 10, 1871, African-American Republican civil rights leader Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democratic Party operative, after repeated threats by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting.
On October 18, 1871, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant deployed U.S. troops to combat violence committed by Democrat terrorists who formed the Ku Klux Klan.
In solving one problem, another was created.
questioned as to whether the 14th Amendment might open the door for the
Federal Government to usurp other rights away from the States, its
sponsor, Republican Congressman John Bingham of Ohio, replied:
"I repel the suggestion...that the Amendment will...take away from any State any right that belongs to it."
Yet after the 14th Amendment was ratified, activist Federal Judges began to do just that.
philosopher Herbert Spencer influenced Harvard Law School dean
Christopher Columbus Langdell to apply evolution to the legal process.
than upholding the intent of those who wrote the laws, Langdell taught
that laws could evolve through a series of "case precedents."
influenced Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., to
challenge the traditionalist concept that the Constitution does not
change, so neither should its interpretation.
The 14th Amendment
soon became a door by which Federal Courts gradually took authority away
from the States in other areas such as trade disputes, union strikes,
what farmers could grow, and eventually religion.
Federal Judges gradually began using the 14th Amendment to remove from States' jurisdiction responsibility for:
-Freedom of speech and press, Gitlow v. New York, 1925 (re: Socialists) and Fiske v. Kansas, 1927 (re: Unions); -Freedom of press, Near v. Minnesota, 1931 (re: anti-Catholics); and -Freedom of assembly, DeJonge v. Oregon, 1937 (re: Communists).
Judges used the 14th Amendment to remove responsibility for religious
freedom from States' jurisdiction in cases regarding Jehovah's
Cantwell v. Connecticut, 1940; Minersville School
District v. Gobitis, 1940; Jones v. Opelika, 1942; Taylor v.
Mississippi, 1943; Martin v. Struthers, 1943; United States v. Ballard,
1944; Saia v. New York, 1948; and Niemotoko v. Maryland, 1951.
Cases of anti-Catholic discrimination were appealed to the Supreme Court:
Pierce v. Society of Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, 1925, and Everson v. Board of Education, 1947.
then, Federal Courts used a case by case "crucible of litigation"
(Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985) to evolve the First Amendment into its
present anti-religious interpretation.
Thomas Jefferson warned that this would eventually happen, in a letter to Charles Hammond in 1821:
germ of dissolution of our...government is in...the Federal
judiciary...working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little
today and a little tomorrow...until all shall be usurped from the
The pre-14TH AMENDMENT view of "Separation of Church
and State" was to simply to limit the Federal Government, as President
Thomas Jefferson stated in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805:
matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed
by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General (Federal)
I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to
prescribe the religious exercise suited to it; but have left them, as
the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State
and church authorities by the several religious societies."
On January 23, 1808, Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller:
consider the (Federal) Government of the United States as interdicted
by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions,
their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.
This results not only
from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the
establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which
reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States
Certainly no power to prescribe any religious
exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been
delegated to the General (Federal) government. It must then rest with
the States as far as it can be in any human authority...
I do not
believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil
magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines...
religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for
these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own
up the pre-14TH AMENDMENT view, Justice Joseph Story wrote in A
Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, 1840:
real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to
advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating
Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects."
In his Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote:
some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in
other, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others,
The whole power over the subject of religion is left
exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to
their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions."
When North Carolina was considering ratifying the U.S. Constitution, its Governor, Samuel Johnston, argued, July 30, 1788:
"The people of Massachusetts and Connecticut are mostly Presbyterians... In Rhode Island, the tenets of the Baptists, I believe, prevail. In New York, they are divided very much; the most numerous are the Episcopalians and the Baptists. In New Jersey, they are as much divided as we are. In Pennsylvania, if any sect prevails more than others, it is that of the Quakers. In Maryland, the Episcopalians are most numerous, though there are other sects. In Virginia, there are many sects... I hope, therefore, that gentlemen will see there is no cause of fear that any one religion shall be exclusively established."
In 1889, John Bouvier's Law Dictionary
(Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Company) hinted of the novel use of the
14TH AMENDMENT in its definition of the word "Religion":
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof'... By establishment of religion
is meant the setting up of state church, or at least conferring upon one
church of special favors which are denied to others...
Christian religion is, of course, recognized by the government,
yet...the preservation of religious liberty is left to the States...
provision and that relating to religious tests are limitations upon the
power of the (Federal) Congress only...Perhaps the Fourteenth Amendment
may give additional securities if needful."
Justice Joseph Story wrote in his Commentaries, 1833:
at the time of the adoption of the Constitution...the universal
sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive
encouragement from the state so far as was not incompatible with the
private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.
attempt to level all religions, and make it a matter of state policy to
hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal
disapprobation, if not universal indignation."