“We have wandered too far off the path envisioned by our Founding Fathers of a government with few and defined powers. Government was supposed to be about doing only a few things; today government is about doing nearly everything. It has intruded in our business and personal lives in ways unimaginable to the wise men who gathered in Philadelphia in the sweltering summer of 1787. And to increasingly little positive benefit.”
Bravo, a noble sentiment which could stand atop the website of every Tea Party organization in America. It’s actually on a website of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and used to trumpet a new board game which shows the over-regulation of American business by the Obama Administration. I have no problem with the Chamber’s campaign to stop excessive regulation – I’m with them there.
But I have a big problem with any group that cites the Founding Fathers on one hand, then attacks the unalienable rights that the Founders fought to protect and enshrine in the Constitution. And the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the Chamber, works daily to degrade the right protected by the 7th Amendment to a jury trial for civil suits. The ILR has championed the overruling of state regulation of financial services, drugs, and medical devices in favor of more interference by federal bureaucrats. The Chamber apparently didn’t even consider the blatant inconsistency of calling for a return to the teachings of the Founding Fathers on one website, while advocating on another website to ignore what the Founders actually wrote about the civil justice process.
To make matters even worse, the ILR website includes the text of a 2008 story about “a re-enactment of the Constitutional Convention of Sept. 17, 1787, when James Wilson, a delegate from Pennsylvania, along with 54 others signed the U.S. Constitution.” The story makes a point of saying, “Equally important were the first 10 amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, that guarantee the critical freedoms of speech, press, religion and the right to bear arms.” Funny, it doesn’t even mention the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits, although James Madison, the Founding Father who pushed it through Congress to enactment by the states, thought that right was “as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.” The omission would be funny if it didn’t involve a danger to our unalienable, God-given rights.