Sunday, March 23, 2008

Independent Courts:

The Scriptures', The Common Law's and the Constitution's Demand.

On 15 February 2007, Justice Stephens stated that since the beginning of his thirty years on the bench, he has never seen morale among federal judges as low as it now is. He attributes the low morale to low pay - annual salary for a federal district judge is $165,000 and for a Supreme Court justice $212,000.

He further states that low pay threatens the independence of the federal courts. When Congress set the foregoing salaries for federal judges, they were plenty high; though they appear to remain unchanged, these salaries have been diminished in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution, however, requires that federal "judges both of the supreme and inferior Courts . . . shall . . . receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished . . . ."

Nonetheless, in violation of this clear mandate, the manipulators of the dollar's value by the issuance of paper money - the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank - diminish the value of judicial salaries through inflation. The bankers would have us believe that the devaluation of money through inflation is not humanly controllable, but it is as long as the value of the dollar is fixed to an unchanging standard, such as gold.

Congress has abrogated its non-delegable duty under the Constitution to regulate the value of money to a private bank board: the chief share holders of the Federal Reserve Bank. Further, the Courts have failed to call Congress to account for this breach of constitutional duty.

The Constitution gives to Congress the power to establish just weights and measures and the related power to regulate the value of money. Just weights and measures, as understood in Scripture, concern the right relationship between two objects balanced on a set of scales: one of fixed weight (the standard) and the weight of the other to be adjusted to the fixed weight to achieve the balance. Thus, as a Hebrew legal term of art, "just" (Hebrew, tsedeq) weights and measures signifies an unchanging standard to which all else must adjust. He who would change such a standard, said Jeremiah, is an oppressor. (Jeremiah 22:3).

The few, through unlawful tampering with monetary standards, have made unjust gain at the expense of the many, diminishing the salaries of federal judges and, as Justice Stephens suggests, threatens the independence of our Courts. The Constitution categorically forbids any man or combination of men from diminishing the salaries of federal judges. Indeed, if any in government or in the private sector, directly or indirectly, gains the power to diminish the salary of federal judges and does so, then that person or persons has violated the express prohibition of the Constitution, the common-law and Scripture's separation of powers, and the principle of Scripture concerning just weights and measures.

In a common-law country such as the United States, the foundation of the common-law tradition of government and the most important element of common-law separation of powers is the independence of the courts from the other powers of government and from the private sector seeking to control government from without. Assuming, as Magna Carta requires, that judges have been appointed that both know the law and mean to observe it well, judges, as well as individual jurors, must remain free to follow the law. The power to diminish judicial salaries is the power to control judges.

copyright © 2008 by Brent Winters

Friday, March 7, 2008

Inheritance Rights of Daughters

When God gave the principles of the law at Sinai, he did not express every possible application according to every issue that would bob forth from the flux of human relationships. Rather, He has left the specific applications of his unchanging principles to us.

About 38 years after God gave the law at Sinai, the daughters of a fellow named Zelophehad came to Moses with a complaint. Their father had died in the wilderness with near all the of the rest of Israel, but without any sons. These ladies asked Moses why the name of their father should be done away with simply because he had only daughters. They then made their claim to Moses: we should share in the inheritance our father’s property.

Moses took their request before the Lord, who affirmed these ladies point of view, commanding that they share in the inheritance from their father. The Lord went on to give specific guidance of inheritance in cases where a man had no sons but only daughters.

The principles of the law never change, but the persons and circumstances subject to the principle do change and require fresh application. Thus, John the apostle says, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning.” Speaking of the same commandment, he then refers to it in its fresh application: “Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past and the true light now shines.”

copyright © 2008 by Brent Winters