A Republic, If You Can Keep It - Benjamin Franklin

Newsletter | July 7, 2022

US Constitution

With the close of the Supreme Court term on June 30, Americans are reminded that the Constitution is at the core of our nation’s order and is the heart of our freedoms we must fight to keep. And despite public responses to this Court’s most newsworthy decisions – abortion, the second amendment, immigration, and limitations to federal agency power – highlighting the country’s political divide, the decisions are teaching moments, in fact they are history lessons reminding us that regardless of one’s political persuasion, our country was founded on the principle of self-government.

That is, We The People grant our government its powers, but only so long as those powers are used justly. In order to draw a line between just and unjust governance, we have our Constitution – the supreme law of the land – to guide us. The Supreme Court’s duty is to ensure that the laws of the land adhere to the Constitution. That’s it, period.

It is not the role of the Judiciary branch to make laws, enforce laws or create rights out of thin air. Nor are the unelected bureaucrats who staff Executive branch administrative agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency entitled to legislate. That’s the job of the Legislative branch, the elected representatives of the American people.

The Constitution gives us a pretty simple, though elegant, arrangement of powers. Lawmakers, elected by the people, make laws. The Supreme Court ensures those laws follow the Constitution, and the Executive branch executes them. When that system gets out of balance, it means power has been rerouted away from the people and directed toward the engorged federal government. It’s a warning that our fundamental liberties are at risk.

The rulings that came out of the current Supreme Court term, in large part, confronted issues relative to the limited powers of our federal government, almost entirely controlled by unelected bureaucrats, versus the broad powers reserved to the states.

In accordance with our system of government as a Constitutional Republic, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments plainly illustrate the states and their citizenries retain expansive broad rights and powers, while our national government is set up with limited powers – only those explicitly granted to the federal government and no more.

As a reminder, the Ninth Amendment states, “[T]he enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” and the Tenth Amendment drives home the idea of what it means to live within the boundaries of a Constitutional Republic as opposed to living in a country where rules are created, enforced and judged by a dictator, tyrant or crown. The Tenth Amendment reinforces the principles and values of this great nation, stating, “[T]he 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.”

These two amendments were developed to mitigate acts of usurpation and abuses of power. Fortunately, this term the Supreme Court respected both.

Contrary to how newsroom zealots framed this Court’s recent decisions, these weren’t really victories for the right, or losses for the left. Rather, they were crucial checks against the expansion of government which, as our Founding Fathers knew, inevitably arrogates more power to itself, which invariably leads to corruption, political and moral.

As Benjamin Franklin reportedly said in response to a question about what sort of government the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1778 had created, “A republic, if you can keep it.” And as James Madison famously reasoned, “the powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

America’s Future urges all citizens to read the Constitution, continue to stand up and speak out and stay informed. Generations of Americans to come are depending on us to keep our Constitutional Republic system of government intact and thriving. Heed the words of Benjamin Franklin and never quit the fight for freedom.

Please take this week’s Reader’s Survey and share your thoughts and insights with us about the topics presented in the essay above. Thousands of people participate in our surveys. We read them all and appreciate your time and attention to submit your responses. And please join our Executive Director, Mary O’Neill, every Monday at 9 a.m. on America’s Mondays With Mary to hear some of our readers’ responses and other news about America’s Future activities. Thank you for your American patriotism!

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Destiny Calls All Americans To Get Involved

“What am I going to do to help my country, to help my family, to help my community?” is the question asked to all Americans in a just released video with General Michael Flynn. General Flynn is Board Chair of America’s Future and the powerhouse force in America’s fight for freedom and the preservation of our Constitutional Republic and God-given rights as citizens of this great nation.

“Destiny calls us to act with courage and accountability to pass the torch of freedom to our children and grandchildren or lose it all,” he writes in an accompanied essay. “There is no other way. The destiny of America will be decided once again, not along the path you walked upon yesterday, but which path you choose to walk on tomorrow.”

America’s Future urges all Americans to get involved and never quit the fight for freedom. Please watch the video and heed General Flynn’s message.

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America’s Future Files with the SCOTUS to Protect Fourth Amendment Rights

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On Tuesday, July 5, 2022, America’s Future along with seven other amici organizations, joined together to submit what is called a “motion for leave of court to file [an Amicus brief]” with the SCOTUS in Torcivia v Suffolk County (Dkt. No. 21-1522). 

Motion For Leave Synopsis 

A “motion for leave of court” to file whatever important legal document a filer is seeking to submit is the legal equivalent of asking permission to offer the court fresh insight or important information about complex issues or constitutional questions. It is significant to note that this represents the first time America’s Future has been compelled to file a motion for leave of court for purposes of filing an Amicus brief.

It is not unusual, particularly during protracted litigation, for parties to file these types of motions for one reason or another, however they are often considered a formality filed out of respect for rules and decorum.  Motions for leave of court are commonly filed by parties when circumstances arise such that procedural technicalities like a court-imposed deadline must give way to candor and due process.

Typically attached as an exhibit to a motion for leave of court is a significant or consequential document (in this case, our Amicus Brief) filed by attorneys or parties to inform or update the court with new facts, new evidence, new binding legal decisions, sometimes to intervene in an ongoing court action or to amend and correct a formal legal pleading. 

As for the Rules of the Supreme Court regarding motions for leave, “[n]o motion for leave to file an amicus brief is necessary…[as long as] written consent of all parties has been provided,” the rules continue, “[m]any parties provide blanket consent to the filing of all amicus briefs, and such consent is typically reflected on the Court’s docket.” Only four months ago, the SCOTUS published proposed revisions to the Rules including a revision eliminating the requirement that the parties consent.  It is clear the Justices will go to great lengths to gain a vast breadth of knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the constitutional and complex legal issues that come before them to decide cases concisely and correctly. Therefore, it is not insignificant that the respondent in this case, Suffolk County, declined to provide blanket consent.

Amicus Brief Case Overview 

Getting back to the merits of this case, America’s Future requested the SCOTUS grant permission for our organization to file our Amicus brief in faithful support of Petitioner, Mr. Wayne Torcivia, who seeks relief from grave violations of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches, seizures and all other unjustified governmental intrusions for that matter.  In fact, the hallmark guarantees under the Fourth Amendment stand for the most basic inalienable, God-given rights to live in freedom.  Fourth Amendment rights are absolute and serve as pillars standing up our Republic as indivisible with liberty and justice for all.  

Protecting our Fourth Amendment rights against abuses of power, acts of tyranny and incidences of overreach by our federal government’s intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and all other public servants is the only way to ensure our standards of living remain always exceptional and our right to be treated equally and fairly under the law remain always intact.

Central to freedom is the ability to retreat to our homes and remain undisturbed.  Your home should be where you feel most safe; it is sacred ground where you are able to freely think, speak and act.  The SCOTUS has made it clear in case after case, year after year, that law enforcement must be held to an extremely high bar and must bear a high burden of proof if they deprive a person of his right to feel safe and secure in his person and at his home where he rightfully expects much privacy.  

If the government plans to trouble you at your home, a warrant ordered by an independent Judge based on evidence and articulable probable cause (not just a hunch) first must issue or, if no warrant was issued, the intruding law enforcement agency must be prepared to prove that an extraordinary and emergency circumstance made it absolutely impossible to procure proper authority to enter a home and deprive a citizen of his or her belongings.  

America’s Future demands our federal government and all public servants be held to account if Fourth Amendment violations occur, particularly in connection with entering a person’s home, uninvited, disruptively offending the sacrosanct right to go on with the day, untroubled by the enormous weight and power of the government.

As of 2 p.m. today (July 7, 2022), the SCOTUS has not ruled on our motion nor has it ruled on similar motions filed by other amici, or “friends of the court.”

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Amicus Filings Updates

America’s Future continues to file Amicus briefs in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and around the nation in various U.S. Courts of Appeal.  Our Amicus briefs are filed in defense of our Constitution and to guard and protect our individual liberties. These efforts are in furtherance of our mission to fight to preserve the rights and freedoms of American citizens.

As a refresher, Amicus briefs are legal briefs filed with appellate courts, including the SCOTUS, by nonparty participants or non-litigants, termed Amicus Curiae or “friend of the court.”  Amicus briefs generally contain argument in support of one party or the other, although at times they are filed in support of neither party, but rather to persuade the court to rule in a certain manner whether or not it is inconsistent with both parties’ respective positions.  The central purpose of an Amicus brief is to call the courts attention to relevant information, insight or additional reasoning not already brought to its attention.


To keep readers informed, as of noon today (July 7, 2022), the following are summary updates regarding the Amicus briefs filed by America’s Future thus far: 
 
1. In Duncan, et al. v Bonta, SCOTUS Dkt. No. 21-1194, we filed an Amicus brief in support of Petitioner Virginia Duncan’s request for relief in her fight to protect our Second Amendment right to bear arms. We can report that on June 30, 2022, the SCOTUS granted Petitioner’s request for relief by vacating the Ninth Circuit’s earlier ruling and remanding the case back for “further consideration in light of [the SCOTUS’s June 23, 2022 ruling in] New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022).
 
2. In Yukutake v Conners (formerly Yukutake v Shikada), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Dkt No. 21-16756), which is also a Second Amendment case, we filed an Amicus brief in support of the Plaintiffs, Mr. Yukutake and Mr. Kikukawa who had been granted a summary judgment at the lower level trial court (i.e. the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii).  We can report that on July 1, 2022, the appellant, Clare Conners (formerly Holly Shikada), in her official capacity as the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii filed a motion to remand the case back to the lower level trial court (or in the alternative order supplemental briefings) in light of the SCOTUS decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ____ (2022).  As of noon today (July 7, 2022), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had not ruled on the appellant’s motion.  
 
3. In State of Illinois, et al v. David Ferriero, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Dkt. No. 21-5096), we filed an Amicus brief supporting the dismissal at the lower-level trial court issued regarding the State of Illinois’ recent request to certify the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as part of our Constitution. We can report that on June 16, 2022, the Court of Appeals scheduled oral argument for Wednesday, September 28, 2022.  At issue is whether the dismissal of the case by the trial court Judge was properly based on procedural defects regarded by most scholars as fatal to a court action, including lack of standing to sue and “laches,” a legal doctrine known as “sitting on your rights.”   
 
4. In Heltzel v Youngkin, SCOTUS Dkt. No. 21-1084, we filed an Amicus brief in support of Petitioner Janet Heltzel’s request for relief in her fight against “cancel culture,” more specifically we agreed with Ms. Heltzel’s opposition to the destruction of the Lee Monument, a Virginia statue of Robert E. Lee, erected in 1890 on land conveyed, by contract, to the Lee Monument Association reserving a portion solely to serve as the venue of the Robert E. Lee’s statue. We can report that on March 28, 2022, the SCOTUS denied Ms. Heltzel’s petition.
 
5. In Jewel v NSA, SCOTUS Dkt. No. 21-1017, we filed an Amicus brief in support of Petitioner’s request for relief in her fight to protect and safeguard civil liberties guaranteed under the First and Fourth Amendments.  We agreed with Ms. Jewel that constitutional violations by the U.S. government against its own citizens occurred, including over two decades of covertly and unlawfully intercepting, collecting, retaining inter alia detailed records of American citizens’ communications without any authority and under the color of law.  We can report that on June 13, 2022, the SCOTUS denied Ms. Jewel’s petition.
 
6. In National Federation of Independent Businesses v U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), SCOTUS Dkt No. 21A244 consolidated with Ohio v OSHA Dkt No. 21A247, we filed an Amicus brief in support of Petitioners’ respective Emergency Applications for Stay in connection with OSHA’s mandatory vaccine regulation for “large employers” (i.e. 100 or more employees) published in a November 5, 2021 Interim Final Rule (IFR).  We can report that on January 13, 2022, both Emergency Applications for Stay in connection with OSHA’s “large employer” vaccine mandate regulation were granted by the SCOTUS.  On February 18, 2022, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the government’s motion to dismiss, as moot, all pending litigation challenging OSHA’s large employer vaccine mandate regulation. 
 

7. In Missouri v Biden, SCOTUS Dkt. No. 21-1463, we filed an Amicus brief opposing enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandates pursuant to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) agency-created administration regulation announced on November 5, 2021 as “immediately effective” nationwide. Our position in this case is consistent with our position opposing the OSHA vaccine mandates as bureaucratic overreach by the federal government operating beyond its scope of authority.  We can report that yesterday, July 6, 2022, the case filings, including our Amicus brief, were distributed to the Justices in connection with a conference scheduled for September 28, 2022.

There are no updates to report regarding litigation in connection with two of our most recent Amicus briefs, i.e. Torcivia v Suffolk County and 303 Creative LLC v Elenis. As new information is reported by the courts, America’s Future will continue to share the results.
 
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Reminders & Updates

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The next “Champion Conversation With General Michael Flynn” for our Champion For America members community is scheduled for July 25, 2022 at 1 p.m. (ET). Please mark your calendars to join in the conversation!

RAISE THE FLAG. SAY THE PLEDGE: Because every day is “flag day” in the USA, America’s Future teamed up with Colonial Flag to offer an assortment of discount-priced flags along with a beautifully-designed Pledge of Allegiance insert and a free pocket-size U.S. Constitution signed by our Board Chair, General Michael Flynn. Click here and choose the perfect flag for your home and business today!

VOTE! Primary elections are happening across the country. Make sure you exercise your right to vote. Encourage your family members and friends to do the same.

AMERICA’S MONDAYS WITH MARY: Tune in every Monday morning at 9 a.m. (ET) to watch our Executive Director Mary O’Neill report out on the comments and insights submitted via our weekly Reader Survey and listen to updates about America’s Future activities and what’s ahead at America’s Mondays With Mary.

STAY CONNECTED: You’ll find America’s Future on your favorite social media platforms. Thank you for remembering to follow us and please share our posts.

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