Amendments V – VIII; In Which the Founders Explain How Not to Run an Asshole Judicial System
The last segment covered the first four amendments ratified under the Bill of Rights. Those included the rights of free speech, assembly, and religion, ownership of firearms, and freedom from quartering soldiers, being unreasonably searched, and having your stuff taken by the State. In other words, the last segment covered how the Founders who wrote the Bill of Rights expected a governing body to respect the citizens that comprise it. Unfortunately, we don’t quite live in the same country anymore. But the ethos of it remains in the hearts of most Americans mostly under the guise of simply wanting to be left alone so that they can live their lives as they wish.
Amendments five through eight pick up where the fourth left off; criminal and civil proceedings inside and outside of a courtroom. In other words, these cover how citizens are to be treated by a government that respects the rights outlined in the previous segment. And being as it is that Leftism is fundamentally an anti-Constitutional and even anti-civil strain of barbarism present in Western thought, discourse on how the Left has tried to subvert and get around these amendments reveal all of the pitfalls that the Founders had originally tried to guard against.
We begin with the Fifth.
Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Fifth Amendment is, arguably, the most important amendment set forth in the Bill of Rights. It secures the right of the accused to not incriminate himself. Turns out, the Left loves this one—and for good reason. Lois Lerner invoked it, and so did her boss over the IRS targeting scandal (the final results of which seem to have been conveniently brushed under the rug).
But there is a bit of the law that the Left absolutely detests, and that would be the bit about the grand jury. Take the controversial shooting of Michael Brown by a Missouri police officer. There were riots and movements calling for the policeman’s resignation and indictment before the grand jury trial had even commenced, much less begun deliberations. And when, after an exhausting several days of proceedings and deliberation, the grand jury decided that no, contrary to the media’s disgusting narrative, there was not enough evidence and testimony to justify an indictment, the racist Black Lives Matter movement went berserk and burned Ferguson, Missouri to the ground.
And when the rioters looted the very same shop Brown stole from before his death, when they torched small businesses and flipped cars and broke windows, what response was there from the Obama Administration? A lukewarm, begrudging condemnation, with more heart and empathy in its tone than the sort of remarks it tends to throw against ‘the opposition’: Republican congressmen and Tea Party activists who have the audacity to question the President’s omniscience without torching their own businesses or flipping over cop cars. The point of the Fifth is the presumption of innocence until the proof of guilt is beyond reasonable doubt. Social justice has no corresponding belief.
The BLM movement’s radical leftism did not want to wait for the grand jury’s decision; they wanted a trial in the court of social justice, wherein the constitutional rights of due process don’t have to apply. They wanted a mob “justice”—the same sort that left people hanging from trees in the South, people drowning in their own blood in Bolshevik Russia, and heads rolling into guillotine baskets in France. The social justice they claim to fight for is little more than idolization of power. It is the great leveling of society based upon the whims of jealousy and the basal desires of human nature—an indulgence in barbarism under the guise of “humanism,” principles, and higher learning. It is a joke worn thin by its weight in corpses.
The so-called Social Justice Warriors are the manifestation of this anti-Fifth Amendment impulse; its ethos rejects the notion that people should be tried in legal courts, that people have the right to not incriminate themselves, and especially of the last bit—that private property will not be taken for public use without compensation. The SJW ethos demands popular use of property, demands theft and promotes the abasement of the individual—any individual. It is a cowardly movement governed by the impulse of the jealous imbecile and the crushing fear of the coddled agoraphobe, a fear that has grown so visceral in the confines of the urban areas and the academies where people are so jam-packed against one another that they are no longer capable of recognizing a human being as anything more than another soulless object in their placid setting.
This impulse is not about the leveling of humanity for the sake of the human spirit. It is about the redistribution of fleshy objects that resemble human bodies on the basis of jealousy, cowardice, and self-importance. It is about the totalitarian will to surrender responsibility of individual action to the ambiguous malaise of the mob. It is about self-disgust, self-hatred, and self-abasement. The willingness of the social justice advocates to decry and circumvent the Fifth Amendment at any possible turn can only spring from such a pit of loathing and abject despair.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
As the Social Justice Warriors strive to smother the Fifth Amendment where it sleeps, so also do they use the social sphere and the culture to hound and harangue those that are found innocent of legal wrongdoing in the courts of law.
This is the problem with the SJW ethos; its governorship-via-mob means that there is no codified framework of dos and don’ts, no coherent and closed system in which anything resembling a legal process can function. That’s why the Soviet Union, which operated with the same ethos of social justice, used show trials to enforce the party line rather than a legal system. That’s why Maoist China, similarly, stole private property, made deals with corrupt warlords, and restructured their education system toward the promotion of propaganda. There was no frame of reference upon which to build a consensus of values. There was only the Party, and the Party’s rule was law, and the law was that which the Party deemed appropriate that day.
As of yet, this complete abandonment of due process has not overtaken our judicial system. Instead, the system is slandered with allegations of systemic and institutional racism, despite no such laws existing on the books. Instead, the Left attempts to slander juries by proclaiming that everyone is secretly or unconsciously a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot simply by nature of them having been born into the privileged society of the West. And instead of really fighting this nonsense, Americans are subjected to gradual and not-so-subtle acclimations toward Leftist culture for decades on end.
Amendment VII: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Much like the Third Amendment, this particular amendment has very little to do with the present state of governance in the country. It guarantees a trial of normal people in the form of a jury for common lawsuits, but only in federal courts—state courts have no obligation to this unless it is spelled out explicitly in their own constitutions. That said, federal courts generally don’t seem to even hear common lawsuits unless the money involved in the suit is somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy five thousand dollars.
Given the nature of the amendment and the nature of the Leftist and Statist agendas, there isn’t much overlap for this amendment for them to use. There are probably violations of it here or there throughout history, but to what extent they damaged the fabric and culture of the nation and to what extent they’ve been framed for posterity, I wouldn’t know.
Amendment VIII: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The Left absolutely loves this particular Amendment. At least, if by their logic, ‘loves’ means ‘forcibly overpowers, ignores, and disregards at any possible moment.’ I mean, that’s pretty much their position on patriotism. Truth be told, however, abuse of the powers alluded here is less a problem of the Left’s uniquely and more a problem of the governmental apparatus in general; cruel and unusual punishments clearly go hand-in-hand with law enforcement operations and, gosh, you know, the entire judicial establishment is corrupt, too. Just look at all those blacks lingering in federal prisons for unfair racist policies like dealing crack.
To get to the subject, you may remember some years ago the whole hubbub over the Benghazi consulate’s destruction at the hands of radical jihadists, and the Obama Administration’s attempt to call the attack an outgrowth of some peaceful protests over an anti-Islam video made by a Coptic Egyptian living in the United States. The demonstrations, if we are to believe Wikipedia, led to about 50 deaths and had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with September 11th.
Nakoula, the guy responsible for making the video, was hardly a clean guy. He’d been imprisoned a few times in the past for some fairly serious bank fraud and for attempting to make methamphetamines. Maybe he figured, living in Los Angeles and all, that bank fraud was too low-brow and he should just break into the film industry. That’s where all the real criminals are, anyway.
So he puts up trailers for this video and then, within hours of the first Obama press conference in which the video is blamed, Nakoula has not only the Feds investigating him, but radical jihadists targeting him.
But the video was a poor attempt at a joke, and the reaction was nonexistent on the internet until some presumably hapless Obama Administration aid stumbled upon it just in time for the coordinated attack on Benghazi to begin. Some Americans get killed in a country whose previous government was pointlessly deposed by an incompetent Secretary of State and President? Let’s ignore the anniversary that this date corresponds to and blame the attack on a video that nobody’s seen. And then let’s completely ruin this guy’s life because of it. We’ll say he violated parole for obfuscating his level of involvement in the video and for being some kind of public menace. It’s amazing what you can do with a script and a video camera—can’t let those civilians get gunned down by all the footage.
Before 2012 was over, Nakoula wasn’t just in a jail cell over having made a mocking and poorly-produced video about Islam, he was also sentenced to death by an Egyptian court and had a $100,000 dollar bounty put on his head by a Pakistani businessman—specifically for the video. And none of this would have happened if the Obama Administration just got their facts straight and didn’t try to turn this into a war on some petty criminal with a silly sense of humor. The guy had to sell his house and go into hiding before he was even sentenced—they effectively ruined his life over this crap. If that isn’t cruel and unusual punishment, I don’t know what is.
So we have a general idea of how Leftism views courts based purely on two things: a) the general lawlessness these amendments in the Bill of Rights were written to guard against, and b) the ways in which Leftists have circumvented such laws both historically and in modern times. If you do or say things that they happen to dislike, then they can, have, and will use the power of government, the courts, and the media against you. The only thing standing in their way from such a widespread roughshod takeover of the entire American ideal is whatever left stands for principles and common sense Conservatism in this country.