For the past few years, the behavior of the legislature in my home state of Maryland raises the question whether the people of Maryland may be justified in reaching the conclusion that what we call our “General Assembly” is no longer a valid legislative body.
If the case can be made that the legislature of Maryland, or your state, is not a valid body, then, it follows that no validity should be given to any of its enactments.
This is a serious thing to consider.
So let us consider it seriously and carefully.
Here’s the underlying problem, and it is a “legal” problem.
In order for an enactment of a legislative body, such as Maryland’s General Assembly, to be legally valid and legally enforceable, it must satisfy two standards.
Firstly, the enactment must not violate what our Founders, in the Declaration of Independence, called “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Another way of saying this is that an enactment must not violate God’s law. (For example, an enactment that allowed the taking of innocent life would violate God’s Commandment “Thou shalt not murder,” and would, therefore, not constitute a law – even if it were enacted and signed.)
Secondly, the enactment must not violate the limits placed on government by the Constitution of the United States or the constitution of your state. Another way of saying this is that the legislature of Maryland cannot do what it has no authority to do.
When we review the behavior of the Maryland legislature against this background, we are faced with overwhelming evidence that neither of these legal standards is followed by them, or even considered by them on a regular basis.
For example, in recent legislative sessions they have, among other things:
Tried to redefine “marriage,”
Tried to restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms, (SB281)
Declared that little girls must share bathrooms with older men who are “gender confused,”
Placed a tax on the rain.
In earlier times, our Founders referred to such enactments as “pretended legislation.”
When the people of Maryland consider this pattern of behavior, are they justified in declaring that the Maryland legislature is no longer fit to do the job they are sworn to do?
Are they justified in declaring that the Maryland legislature has engaged in what the Declaration characterizes as a “long train of abuses and usurpations,” which is designed to reduce them to despotism?
Is it possible that those who are sworn to uphold the law, such as police and sheriffs and judges and prosecutors, may soon come to the conclusion that the enactments of this body should be ignored because they are based not in law, but in lawlessness?
What can the people do – what should the people do when those who are entrusted with making and enforcing the law actually become the lawbreakers? What happens when they use the “law” to break the law?
Do you see that it is essential that the body of the people know and understand what law is and what it is not? Do you see that, unless the people know the standards which establish legislative enactments as valid law or show them to be lawless frauds, they will not be able to hold a lawless legislature like the one we have in Maryland in check?
To enjoy the benefits of law and liberty, we cannot be ignorant of their Source and nature.
Now, more than ever, it is necessary for us to think clearly about law and government. Specifically, it is critical that we, as a people, understand what law is and what law is not.
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