Here are five Constitutional points to consider when approaching this local election season:
1. “No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid…” (Art. 1, Sec. 9, US Constitution)
Did you know that a Property Tax is a Direct Tax? Although this clause is a particular restriction on the federal government and not on the State of Utah, would the principle behind it not remain intact if applied locally? Or do direct taxes magically become moral when it is done by local expropriators?
2. “No state shall…emit Bills of Credit.” (Art. 1, Sec. 10, US Constitution)
Did you know that any type of bond is a bill of credit? And please note that this quotation is one of the items that every state that joins the Union must agree not to permit.
3.The United States Constitution has two very clear provisions on Trial by Jury. In fact, the Father of the Bill of Rights, George Mason, stated that “in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.” (Virginia Declaration of Rights, Sec. 11)
“The Trial of all Crimes…shall be by jury.” (Art. 3, Sec. 2, US Constitution)
“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…” (Fifth Amendment, US Constitution)
In fact, one of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence was that the British government was “depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury”.
In the Utah Constitution, which is directly applicable to affairs in Orem, it states that:
“In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right…to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.” (Art. 1, Sec. 12, Utah Constitution)
Even in spite of all of this, many don’t even demand jury trial due to their ignorance of the fact that it is constitutionally protected. In fact, did you know that accused persons do not receive their civil right of jury trial, even if demanded, for infractions at the local Orem Justice Court?
4. The Utah Constitution and the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution both have this section in it, with a few punctuation differences, and some differences in emphasis.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.” (Art. 1, Sec. 14, Utah Constitution)
Did you know that some local police officers, and other government officials, are not living up to this standard as set forth in the Constitution? Since this provision cannot enforce itself, what are we doing to ensure that our constitutionally protected right is not going to be willingly violated?
5. The US Constitution had very little to say about economy. This is due to the wise rejection of a government-run economy in favor of free markets and private enterprise. In fact, the Interstate Commerce Clause, as well as the forbidding of taxes on exports from any state, was meant to help provide the free flow of goods and other commerce throughout the states, free from government intrusion. The Utah Constitution, in a similar spirit, has three provisions that are often ignored even here locally.
a- “The Legislature shall not delegate to any special commission, private corporation or association, any power to make, supervise or interfere with any municipal improvement, money, property or effects, whether held in trust or otherwise, to levy taxes, to select a capitol site, or to perform any municipal functions.” (Art. 6, Sec. 28, Utah Constitution)
b – “(1) Neither the State nor any county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State may lend its credit or…subscribe to stock or bonds in aid of any private individual or corporate enterprise or undertaking.” (Art. 6, Sec. 29, Utah Constitution)
c – “Is is the policy of the state of Utah that a free market system shall govern trade and commerce in this state to promote the dispersion of economic and political power and the general welfare of all the people. Each contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce is prohibited. Except as otherwise provided by statute, it is also prohibited for any person to monopolize, attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize any part of trade or commerce.” (Art. 12, Sec. 20, Utah Constitution)
How can things such as UTOPIA, or Midtown Village or any other government intrusion into the marketplace be in harmony with any one of these provisions, let alone all three? How could these Public-Private Partnerships NOT be contrary to these very clear provisions?We need to renew our knowledge and trust in the free market system that is the most moral economic system known to mankind.
In Conclusion, Since, every public official, as is requisite in both the US Constitution and the Utah Constitution, takes an oath or affirmation to these documents, we should once again begin to study and apply the principles of freedom. We need to restore the Right Republic that is deserved by future generations. To quote the words of the Utah Constitution:
“Frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government.” (Art. 1, Sec. 27, Utah Constitution)