Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

U.S. Constitution not signed by authors
(July 3, 2007)

Hey, is there a Bill of Rights or not?

Boise, ID – On July 1, 2007, the Idaho Statesman ran a quiz entitled, “Getting to know the Constitution,” and asked 20 questions, “How much do you know about the historic document that established the United States government?”

   Question 20 asked, true or false:  “The Constitution was written in 1787 and signed Sept. 17 of that year.  It wasn’t until 1788, however, that it was ratified by the nine necessary states.”  Answer:  “True.”

   Buzz, wrong.

   The U.S. Constitution was never signed by its authors or anybody else.

   In an essay entitled, “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (1870),” by Massachusetts lawyer Lysander Spooner (1808-1887), he reveals what everybody of that period already knew:  Unlike the Declaration of Independence, nobody signed the U.S. Constitution and thus, claimed Spooner, it was not contractually binding on either the authors, their progeny, or anybody else.

   The appearance of printings of the Constitution in modern times which bear signatures of the drafters of the document – an annotation, not an assertion of a contract -- does not affect Spooner’s point.  Contracts are not binding upon the signers’ progeny or those who didn’t sign it.

   Hey, is there a Bill of Rights or not? -- FM Duck

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