Friday, April 15, 2011

Gov. Walker wrong; Rights not derived from the Constitution

Rights derived from "natural law" rather than legislative mandate

Gov. Scott Walker recently gave testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on the issue of state governments and their budgets. During that testimony, Walker made an interesting comment.

While discussing the rights of workers to bargain collectively, Walker insisted that “Rights come from the Constitution.” His argument, therefore, was that since no explicit right to bargain collectively existed in the document, it wasn’t constitutionally protected.

Walker, as usual, is completely wrong. Rights aren’t derived from the Constitution -- they never have been. Even our founding fathers knew that the rights they proscribed in the Constitution weren’t derived from their pen, but rather from nature.

Look at the wording from the First Amendment as proof: the phrase “Congress shall make no law” is more than just fancy wording, but an admission by the founders that Congress doesn’t have the authority to deny people certain rights because it is outside of their power TO deny them. What is the source of that power? It’s not the Constitution -- rather, these rights are naturally bestowed unto us, by either a higher power or through the common realization that we’re all equal in nature’s eyes.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are also indicative of rights being derived from a power greater than the U.S. Constitution. The Ninth Amendment states that powers not necessarily "granted" by the Constitution aren't necessarily prohibited. In other words, rights that aren't mentioned are still rights -- their omission from the Constitution, the founders having forgotten to mention them, doesn't mean that they don't exist. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment allows powers not mentioned by the Constitution to be "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Rights exist beyond their explicit mentioning within the Constitution -- your right to bargain collectively, though perhaps not explicitly within the Constitution, is still a right retained by you and your co-workers.

What's more, we may have stumbled upon something profound here, why Walker thinks he’s able to carry out such a destructive legislative agenda: he thinks he’s in control of dispensing rights. As the head of a state government, Walker is in control of Constitutional rights, at least in his own mind, within the state of Wisconsin.

That couldn't be further from the truth: no person, not even Scott Walker, has the ability to determine your rights. Only "nature's law" has that right; and the laws of nature surely dictate that a collective group of people, who share a similar career within a specific organization, have the right to negotiate their contracts as a cohesive unit.

Walker is wrong to assume that rights are derived from the Constitution. His lack of knowledge on the matter is truly telling.

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