The Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights reads:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury… nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
That is pretty clear; doesn’t leave much room for misinterpretation. But somehow the Environmental Protection Agency claims the authority to fine people for breaking their regulations. These are not laws, passed by a legislative body of a state or the country, they are rules made up by an unelected bureaucratic body. The EPA then demands money be paid by individuals for violating these rules: they deprive people of money–property–without those people being indicted by grand jury, and without due process of law.
If this is how the government operates, why have a system of government at all? Why have rules for the government to follow if they can just bypass them with random excuses for why it is “necessary” to ignore the rule of law. And without due process, without legislative process, and without enforcing restraints on government as defined clearly and explicitly in the Constitution, we are left simply in a dictatorship. And I’m not overreacting based on emotion, I am simply calling a spade a spade.
If the laws of the country come from unelected bodies who make and enforce rules absent legislation, and absent courts, what is that system of governance if not a dictatorship? Can we change the rule makers based on elections as in a representative republic? Not if the rule makers are unelected. Can we change the laws by voting, as in a democracy? Not if the laws are put forth by appointed bodies.
One victim of this dictatorship is a welder from Wyoming who lives on a farm with his family. Remember who the victims of government abuse are when the excuses go flying that the EPA is necessary to “reign in big business” who would otherwise pollute our waters without restraint. It is not corporations or big business who care about fines–protection money they can pay the EPA to keep quiet and mislead consumers about the real dangers posed by their companies, thus making the EPA just another piece of the crony-capitalist puzzle. No, the victims always seem to be farmers, laborers, tax payers, and the middle class.
So the family man from Wyoming who took a step towards self sufficiency and independence by building himself a stock pond on his 80 acres can now be issued a $75,000 per day fine. The EPA claims the authority to deprive this man daily of what it probably takes at least 6 months, possibly a year to earn as a welder. No courts, no laws, just the EPA depriving this man and his family of there right to property and due process enshrined in the Bill of Rights, specifically in this case by the Fifth amendment.
But not only has the Fifth amendment been violated by the EPA, but the Tenth as well. 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.
Well guess what, this welder who has so vociferously violated EPA regulations followed the rules of his State government when building his stock pond–but then it always seems to be the ones who follow the rules that the federal government “makes examples” out of. He got his state permit, and built his pond which as a stock pond is exempted from already illegitimate EPA regulations that governs bodies of water which can effect navigable waterways down stream.
Therefore not only has the EPA violated this man’s individual rights, it has violated the rights of the State of Wyoming and every individual that lives there to make their own rules, or make no rules when it comes to the environment, in accordance with the Tenth amendment. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government authority to regulate the environment, therefore it must be a state issue. But why would the State stand for such abuse at the hands of a central government?
Because long ago in 1913 states were deprived of their suffrage in Congress when the 17th amendment was passed, making Senators elected by popular vote in each state, instead of by the legislature of each state. When US Senators were elected by the state government, they would be able to do the bidding of the state at the federal level, which is why the Senate is considered “the upper House” of Congress. The people are represented by their Representative, while the State governments were represented by their Senators.
Of course the people of each state still influenced who got sent to DC as a US Senator, because they already elected the State Reps and State Senators who make up the legislature who elect the US Senator. By denying states their vote in Congress, it took away control state government had over the federal government, and allowed money to play a bigger role in electing US Senators; the bigger the race, the more that money can influence the outcome.
State Reps and State Senators win elections if they knock on every door in their district. US Reps need some money, but they can still win over their district with some hard campaigning. US Senators used to have to get votes from the legislature by talking to each of their co-workers, and promising that the interests of the State would be represented if they got sent to Washington. Now they just have to spend more money than their opponent, and the uninformed voters will be fooled by their commercials.
We have the power as the electorate to change these things, but our window of opportunity is rapidly slamming shut. We could still repeal the 17th amendment, and restore the vote each state was guaranteed in the Constitution. We could still restrain the federal government back to Constitutional size, empowering the States to implement what works, and cut the waste. We could still be a free society, but not if we continue to allow control to slip through the fingers of the people, of the individual, in favor of edicts by unelected bodies basing their rules and actions on nothing more than their own desire for power.