Riley J. Hood, Chairman – Milwaukee County Constitution Party

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” II Corinthians 3:17

Ever since I came active in politics, I have repeatedly encountered the dangerous view that our Rights are “enumerated” and come from the Constitution. Such a view is unconstitutional. The Constitution limits and enumerates the powers of the Federal Government. Examples would be “Congress shall make no law…” from the 1st Amendment, and the phrase, “shall not be infringed.” from the 2nd Amendment. Enumeration and limitation on Federal power is what secures a man’s God-given Rights.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,” The US Declaration of Independence states our Rights come from God, not civil government. This thought is repeated in the Preamble of the US Constitution, “…and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” The Ninth Amendment reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Tenth Amendment reads, “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.”

It is clearly stated in the US Constitution that the Federal Government is limited to the enumerated, delegated powers listed in the Constitution. This concept is known as “Enumerated Powers.” The principle of limited powers for civil rulers is applies at State level as well; every State is to have a republican form of government to be admitted into the Union.

Our Rights come from God; they are not subject to license from any form of Civil Government. The only proper definition of Rights is what God’s Word the Bible states is right and just. What the Bible proscribes an activity as sin, then that activity is not a Right. God -given, inalienable Rights are the ability to do your duty to God, unimpeded by tyrants.

If any governing document “grants” our Rights, then they can be legally taken away at the whim of a dictator. They cease to be Rights and become privileges. The premise of Rights granted by government is the basis of Soviet-style Constitutions and the UN Charter. History bears out how wrong this concept is. “Enumerated Rights” is a concept that plays well with tyrants. The Milwaukee County Constitution Party affirms that “Enumeration” is a tool for limited government, not limited liberty.