Thomas Jefferson had a lot to say about what the courts have done to the 14th Amendment, even though it was not written for a generation after his death.
As mentioned before in this series on the abuse of the 14th Amendment, our nation was not born in a vacuum, and the complete fall of East India Trading Co. was fresh on the minds of our free people.
“I hope we shall crush . . . in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson, in the early years of the 19th Century.
Asked to speak for the grand 50th Anniversary celebration of the United States, Jefferson (now old and feeble) sent a brief message instead, acknowledging the wonder of 50 years, and July 4th being “the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”
This address to the people, and the warning to corporations, was abandoned by our courts. Not all at once, of course, but since the huge (and actually nonexistent) loophole of the 14th Amendment, banks and big business are the “more equal” pigs of George Orwell’s book, 1984.
It happens when corporations ride and Congressional bureaucrats sell saddles. Even then, Jefferson pushed to have corporations die within a reasonable lifetime. The horror now is an eternal ruling class named Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, and Microsoft.
The original intent of the 14th Amendment was to resolve the financial debts of the Civil War and give the federal government power in respect to the rights of newly freed slaves. Original intent, as originally conceived, is the normal and substantial opinion that “we meant what we said and wrote!”
The outrage against judicial corruption of our Constitution was already was clearly felt by Jefferson by 1819, when he wrote, “The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and form into any shape they please.”
We can learn a lot from our Founders’ Wisdom regarding their specific meaning, what they intended for “Constitutional Law,” and the perverse Frankensteinian notion of a “living document.” Maybe next. I’m already quite sickened by the contempt of our courts.