The Constitution of the United States is the basis for our laws. Under this Constitution, our nation is designed as a Constitutional Republic, a nation of laws. The framers intended for the Constitution to be a "fence" around the Federal Government. Too often we see politicians take an oath to support the Constitution, then they ignore it daily. We should elect representation that has a level of mastery of our governing document and who embrace it as written and will adhere to and obey their oath. The Constitution is my guide for everything from the role of government to evaluating proposed legislation. The very first qualification for anyone running for the United States Congress (House or Senate) must be a command understanding of the United States Constitution and the basics of how to determine the Original Intent of the Framers.
I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment just as it is written. For clarity of my firm position, let me add the following: In its 2008 landmark decision District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the first clause of the Second Amendment that references a “militia” is a prefatory clause that does not limit the operative clause of the Amendment. Additionally, the term “militia” should not be confined to those serving in the military, because at the time the term referred to all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to such service. Justice Scalia writing for the 5-4 majority noted that to read the Amendment as limiting the right to bear arms only to those in a governed military force would be to create exactly the type of state-sponsored force against which the Amendment was meant to protect people. The majority went on to explain that the text of the Amendment should be read in the manner that gives greatest effect to the plain meaning it would have had at the time it was written, the operative clause should be read to “guarantee an individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
Later in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago, the court went further, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense applicable to the states. With Justice Samuel A. Alito writing for the majority, the Court reasoned that rights that are "fundamental to the Nation's scheme of ordered liberty" or that are "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition" are appropriately applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court recognized in Heller that the right to self-defense was one such "fundamental" and "deeply rooted" right. The Court reasoned that because of its holding in Heller, the Second Amendment applied to the states.
As of my writing on this issue, 25 states have passed "Constitutional Carry" in their legislatures completely returning Second Amendment rights to their citizens the way the framers intended. In light of the plain text of the Second Amendment, and backed by strong originalist court rulings faithful to original intent of the framers, I believe that citizens have not only a Constitutional right but also a God given right to bear arms in self defense devoid of any civil government permission (Constitutional Carry). I fully support efforts in the state legislature to pass "Constitutional Carry"..
The Second Amendment clearly is an individual right and has nothing to do with the collective rights of any group. It also says nothing about hunting or sporting purposes. The founders understood that an armed citizenry was the last defense against tyranny.
Abortion is a scourge on our nation. I am staunchly and unapologetically committed to defending the most defenseless among us, the unborn child. I believe both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution clearly give the federal government the authority and duty to protect the rights of the unborn child. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the nearly 50 year old abominable decision in Roe v Wade whereby civil government sanctioned the slaughter of innocent unborn children. It is now time for state legislators that claim to be pro-life to pour their efforts into identifying the person-hood of the unborn and into protecting children from this barbaric practice from the point of conception / fertilization.
Many people don’t understand that a ratified treaty becomes the law of the land, equivalent with or superseding the Constitution itself. We must be cautious in entering international treaties to ensure that American sovereignty is not compromised.
The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states, “The 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.” My position is that of the framers, who made it very clear that any power not specifically granted to the federal government belongs to the individual states. For example, functions such as education should be handled at the state level, since the federal government has no Constitutional authority over this area.
The First Amendment protects all Americans equally. All are free to worship, or not, as guided by their conscience. Too many have misconstrued freedom of religion into freedom from religion. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of a state or national religion; it does not preclude recognition of a common faith shared by the majority of Americans.
All people, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion, or other demographic factors, enjoy equal rights under the law. Preference for one group over another is antithetical to the principles of equality.
We welcome all people who wish to come to our country in accordance with our laws and assimilate into our culture with open arms. It is not fair to apply double standards for immigration and the acquisition of citizenship to different people based upon their ethnicity or country of origin. Federal Immigration laws were enacted to protect our nation and citizenry by requiring background checks, health screenings, etc.
Capitalism has brought more prosperity and freedom to the world than any other system. However, our federal government has made it increasingly difficult for free enterprise to work. Excessive regulation and taxation inhibit economic growth. More government is not the solution to economic troubles.
Our nation does NOT have a taxing problem, it clearly has a spending problem. Taxes cannot be raised high enough to cure our budget deficit; there simply isn’t that much money available. Rather than continue to increase taxes and place further chains on economic recovery, the tax code needs to be modified into a system that is fair for all Americans and produces real growth.
The United States needs to decrease its dependence on foreign energy sources. This means research into viable alternative energy sources, facilitating the construction of state-of-the-art nuclear power plants, and expanding domestic production of oil and natural gas. Developing domestic energy resources would also have the effect of adding thousands of jobs to our economy.
The U.S. Senate has the responsibility of properly and thoroughly vetting nominees presented by the president, especially when it comes to the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS). My position is that a Supreme Court nominee’s record must be evaluated according to the Constitution, the ultimate law of our nation. The framers of the Constitution told us that they expected it to be interpreted in light of its meaning when it was written.
"On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." — Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.
Liberals today tell us that the Constitution must be interpreted as a "living" document. They do this in order to grow the federal government outside its limited Constitutional function. This philosophy of interpretation leaves the meaning of the Constitution up to the whims of an unelected federal judiciary and is fraught with dangers to the Republic.
For our Constitution to function as intended, it is imperative that it be interpreted per its original meaning. The framers gave us a process to change it in an orderly deliberative fashion via the Amendment process laid out in Article V. Absent amendment, it must be interpreted per its original meaning.
The very 1st qualification for any Federal court nominee must be that of adhering to the Original Intent of the Constitution. Any nominee that does not show evidence or reflect a jurisprudence based upon Original Intent should be rejected and would be rejected by me.
In recent years, the United States Congress and the state legislatures have shown more and more of a propensity to enact so called "Hate Crime" legislation in an attempt to appease leftists bent on singling out thoughts that motivate specific crimes against groups of individuals. These legislative efforts are rooted in leftist ideology designed to create special categories of individuals and carve out "enhanced" penalties based upon the accused persons belief or perception regarding the victim's race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability.
An example would be a bill put forward in the South Carolina House of Representatives (H. 3014) in 2023 that was named after former State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Senator Pinckney, also served as the pastor of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, SC. On June 17, 2015, Pastor Pinckney and nine other members of his congregation were murdered in cold blood during a Wednesday evening bible study by a white supremacist hell bent on murdering church members of the Mother Emmanuel church simply because of the melanin content in their skin pigmentation. It should be noted that had H. 3014 been enacted at the time of the murders it would have done nothing to create more Justice for the victims of the evil acts of the murderer. He was already eligible for South Carolina's death penalty. And yet opposers of the death penalty (almost all Democrats and many Republicans) held the day. These so called "Hate Crime" bills are nothing more than leftist virtue signaling done by elected officials who many times don't even want to enforce the penalties already on the books.
Constitutional Conservatives ought to look at this issue from the perspective that we punish bad ideas in the arena of debate rather than at gun point (force of law). We reserve the force of law for actions. And we enact the harshest penalties for the most heinous crimes and enforce them! The biblical principle of punishing "doers" of wickedness / evil, even up to the use of the sword. (Romans 13:4, 1 Peter 2:14). The notion of punishing thoughts and ideas with the force of law historically has led to government tyranny over ideas.
Constitutional Conservatives ought to understand that the next step following these statutes are "Hate Speech" laws that will be used to silence not only political speech but also pastors in America that refuse to bow to cultural depravity. The framers would most ardently oppose such legislation. This is not "tin foil hat" talk, simply look no further than Canada to see what they are doing with speech today.
I believe that marriage is designed by God and intended to be for one man and one woman.
For thousands of years marriage has been defined as a union between people of opposite sex. In most societies the tradition is monogamy, while in a few polygamy can still be found, but the universal standard has been that marriage is a state between men and women.
This standard is basic to society, with the family being the foundational unit. This is because the family is where children are produced, nurtured, and prepared to be the progenitors of the next generation after they grow up. Thus societies sustain themselves.
The most stable and healthy environment for a child to grow up in has both a mother and a father. Statistically,
• Traditional marriages last longer than same-sex unions
• Traditional marriages are less violent than same-sex unions
• Traditional marriages give children the balanced effect of both male and female influences
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (CDC, 2001), approximately 58% of traditional marriages last more than 20 years. In contrast, only about 5% of same-sex unions last that long (2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census). In Norway and Sweden, which have had same-sex marriage for a number of years, male homosexual couples are 50% more likely to divorce than heterosexual couples, and lesbian couples are twice as likely to divorce. This is not the recipe for a stable society.
I believe that the definition of marriage consisting of a covenant between a man and a woman must be upheld. Redefining marriage outside of those terms would cause it to be something else and weaken the institution.
Bob Menges provides expert testimony in support of H3125 (Convention of States Project Resolution) before South Carolina House of Representatives Study Committee - 13 February 2020.
Bob Menges - Convention of States Interview