Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. House managers and staff.
Members of the Senate, the majority leader and the minority leader at the beginning of these proceedings on January 16, the chief justice administered the oath of office to the members of this body. And then again on Tuesday. In doing so, the chief justice was honoring the words of our constitution, Article 1, Section 3. We all know the first sentence of that article by heart. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments within the constitutional text goes on to say this when sitting for that purpose, they shall be on earth oath or affirmation.
That oath or affirmation in turn, requires each member of the Senate to do impartial justice.
Now this constitutionally administered oath or affirmation has been given in every proceeding in this body since seventeen ninety eight, indeed, to signify the importance of the occasion. The Senate's more recent traditions call for you, as you did to sign the book. And that book is not simply part of the record. It's entrusted to the National Archives. In contrast, members of the House of Representatives do not take an oath in connection with impeachment.
The framers of our Constitution well knew when an oath or affirmation should be required.
The Senate? Yes. The House? No. And thus, each member of the world's greatest deliberative body now has special, indeed unique duties and obligations duties imposed under our founding document during the Clinton impeachment trial 21 years ago in this chamber. The chief justice of the United States ruled in response to an objection that was interposed by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.
The senators are not sitting as jurors. Senator Harkin noted the chief justice agreed with that proposition. Rather, the Senate is a court. In fact, history teaches us that for literally decades this body was referred to in this context as the High Court of impeachment. So we're not in a legislative chamber during these proceedings.
We're in a tribunal. We're in court in Federalist 78. Alexander Hamilton, who's been quoted frequently in these proceedings. But in Federalist 78, he was describing the role of courts, your role.
And in doing so, he distinguish between what he called the exercise of judgment on the one hand, which is what courts do and the exercise of will or policy preferences, if you will, on the other hand.
That's what legislative bodies do. According to Hamilton, courts were to be, in his word, impartial. There's that word again.
I know that's a daunting task for judges. Struggling to do the right thing, to be impartial, equal justice under law. It's certainly hard in life to be impartial in politics. It's not even asked of one to be impartial.
But that's the task that the Constitution chose to impose upon each of you. And significantly, in this particular juncture in America's history, the Senate is being called to sit as the high court of impeachment. All too frequently. Indeed, we are living in what I think can aptly be described as the age of impeachment in the House, resolution after resolution.
Month after month has called for the president's impeachment. How did we get here with presidential impeachment invoked frequently in its inherently destabilising as well as acrimonious Way briefly told the story begins 42 years ago in the wake of the long national nightmare of Watergate.
Congress and President Jimmy Carter collaboratively ushered in a new chapter in America's constitutional history.
Together, in full agreement, they enacted the independent counsel provisions of the Ethics and Government Act of 1978, but the new chapter was not simply the age of independent counsels.
It became, unbeknownst to the American people, the age of impeachment.
During my service in the Reagan administration, as counselor and chief of staff to Attorney General William French Smith, the Justice Department took the position that, however well intentioned the independent counsel provisions were unconstitutional.
Why, in the view of the department?
Those provisions intruded into the rightful domain and prerogative of the executive branch of the presidency. The Justice Department's position was eventually rejected by the Supreme Court. But most importantly, in helping us understand this new era in our country's history. Justice Antonin Scalia was in deep dissent among his stinging criticisms of that law. Justice Scalia wrote this The context of this statute is acrid with the smell of threatened impeachment.
Justice Scalia echoed the criticism of the court in which I was serving at the time, the District of Columbia Circuit, which had actually struck down the law as unconstitutional and a very impressive opinion by renowned Judge Laurence Silberman.
Why? Why would Justice Scalia refer to impeachment? This was a reform measure.
There would be no more Saturday night massacres. The firing of a special prosecutor, as he was called Archibald Cox by President Nixon.
Government would now be better, more honest.
Greater accountability. And the independent counsel would be protected. But the word impeachment haunts that dissenting opinion. And it's not hard to discover why, because the statute by its terms expressly directed the independent counsel to become, in effect, an agent of the House of Representatives and to what end to report to the House of Representatives when a very low threshold of information was received that an impeachable offense left undefined may have been committed.
To paraphrase President Clinton's very able counsel at the time, Bernie Nussbaum, this statute is a dagger aimed at the heart of the presidency.
President Clinton nonetheless signed the re-authorized measure into law and the nation then went through the long process known as Whitewater, resulting in the findings by the office, which I led the Office of Independent Counsel.
In a written report to the House of Representatives, that referral to Congress was stipulated in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. To put it mildly, Democrats were very upset about what had happened.
They then joined Republicans across the aisle who, for their part, had been outraged by an earlier independent counsel investigation that had a very distinguished former judge, Lawrence Walsh, during the Reagan administration.
Judge Walsh's investigation of what became known to the country as Iran-Contra spawned enormous criticism on the Republican side of the aisle, both as to the investigation itself, but also as to the statute. The acrimony surrounding Iran Contra and then the impeachment and the trial and President Clinton's acquittal by this body led inexorably to the end of the independent counsel era.
Enough was enough. And living through that wildly controversial 21 year bold experiment with the independent counsel statute, Congress in a bipartisan way had a change of heart. It allowed the law to expire in accordance with its terms in 1999.
That would be in well-intentioned reform measure, died a quiet and uneventful death, and it was promptly replaced by Justice Department internal regulations promulgated by Attorney General Janet Reno during the waning months of the Clinton administration.
One can review those regulations and see no reference to impeachment. None. No longer were the poison pill provisions of presidential impeachment. Part of America's legal landscape. They were gone.
The Reno regulations seemed to signal a return to traditional norms.
Impeachment would no longer be embedded in the actual laws of the land, but returned to the language of the Constitution. But in the meantime, America's constitutional DNA and its political culture had changed even with the dawn of the new century, the 21st century. Impeachment remained on the lips of countless Americans and echoed frequently in the people's House.
The impeachment habit proved to be hard to kick.
Ironically, while this was happening here at home across the Atlantic, the use of impeachment as a weapon disappeared in the United Kingdom, from which, of course, we inherited the process. Impeachment was first used more than two centuries before those first settlers crossed the Atlantic.
But upon thoughtful examination, a number of modern day parliamentary committees looked and found impeachment to be obsolete.
Among other criticisms, members of Parliament came to the view that the practice, which had last been attempted in Britain in 1868, fails to meet modern procedural standards of fairness.
Fairness, as Sir William McKay recently remarked. Impeachment in Britain is dead.
Yet here at home and the world's longest standing constitutional republic, instead of a once in a century phenomenon which it had been presidential impeachment has become a weapon to be wielded against one's political opponent.
And her thoughtful Wall Street Journal op ed a week ago Saturday, Peggy Noonan wrote this Impeachment has now been normalized. It won't be a once in a generation act, but an every administration act. Democrats will regret it when Republicans are handing out the pens, the pens of the signing ceremony. When we look back down the corridors of time, we see that for almost our first century as a constitutional republic, the sword of presidential impeachment remained sheathed. Had there been controversial presidents?
Oh, yes, indeed. Think of John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts. Think of Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, where partisan passions occasionally inflamed during that first century.
Of course, unless there be any doubt the early Congresses, Falwell knew how to summon impeachment to the fore, including against a member of this body, Senator William Blount of Tennessee. During the Jefferson administration, the unsuccessful impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase, a surly and partial jurist who was nonetheless acquitted by this chamber, became an early landmark in maintaining the treasured independence of our federal judiciary.
It took the national convulsion of the civil war, the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, and the counter reconstruction measures aggressively pursued by Mr. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, to bring about the nation's very first presidential impeachment. Famously, of course, your predecessors in this high court of impeachment acquitted the unpopular and controversial Johnson, but only by virtue of senators from the party of Lincoln breaking ranks. It was over a century later that the nation returned to the tumultuous world of presidential impeachment necessitated by the rank criminality of the Nixon administration.
In light of the rapidly unfolding facts, including uncovered by the Senate Select Committee and an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of four hundred and ten to four, the House of Representatives authorized an impeachment inquiry. And in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee, after lengthy hearings, voted again in a bipartisan manner to impeach the president of the United States.
Importantly, President Nixon's on party was slowly but in Exar, Billy moving toward favoring the removal of their chosen leader from the nation's highest office, who had just won re-election by a landslide.
It bears emphasis before this high court. This was the first presidential impeachment in over 100 years. It also bears emphasis. It was powerfully bipartisan. And it wasn't just the vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry. Indeed, the House Judiciary chair, Peter Rodino of New Jersey, was insistent that to be accepted by the American people, the process had to be bipartisan. Like war, impeachment is hell. Or at least presidential impeachment is how those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment, including members of this body full well, understand that a presidential impeachment is tantamount to domestic war.
Thankfully, protected by our beloved First Amendment, a war of words and a war of ideas.
But it's filled with acrimony and it divides the country like nothing else. Those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment understand that in a deep and personal way.
Now, in contrast, wisely and judiciously conducted, unlike the United Kingdom, impeachment remains a vital and appropriate tool in our country to serve as a check with respect to the federal judiciary.
After all, and the Constitution's brilliant structural design, federal judges know as this body Fallwell knows from its daily work, a previously important feature independence from politics. Exactly what Alexander Hamilton was talking about in Federalist 78 during the Constitution's term. Good behavior and practical effect life tenure.
Impeachment is thus a very important protection for we the people against what could be serious. Article 3 wrongdoing within that branch.
And so it is that when you count of the sixty three impeachment inquiries authorized by the House of Representatives over our history, only eight have actually been convicted.
In this high court and removed from office and each and every one has been a federal judge.
This history leads me to reflect on the nature of your weighty responsibilities here in this high court as judges in the context of presidential impeachment.
The fourth presidential impeachment. I'm counting the Nixon proceedings and our nation's history. But the third over the past half century.
And I respectfully submit that the Senate, in its wisdom, would do well in its deliberations to guide the nation in this world's greatest deliberative body.
To return to our country's traditions when prejudice. Presidential impeachment was truly a measure of last resort. Members of this body can help. And in this very proceeding, restore our constitutional and historical traditions above all, by returning to the text of the constitution itself. It can do so by its example here in these proceedings.
In weaving the tapestry of what can rightly be called the common law of presidential impeachment. That's what courts do. They weave the common law.
There are indications within the constitutional text. Come to our history. But this fundamental question is appropriate to be asked. You're familiar with the arguments. Was there a crime or other violation of established law?
Alleged. So let's turn to the text. Throughout the Constitution's description of impeachment, the text speaks always, always without exception in terms of crimes. It begins, of course, with treason.
The greatest of crimes against the state and against we the people, but so misused as a bludgeon in parliamentary experiences to lead the founders to actually define the term. And the constitution itself.
Bribery and iniquitous form of moral and legal corruption and the basis of so many of the three impeachment proceedings over the course of our history.
Again, almost all of them against judges and then the mysterious terms, other high crimes and misdemeanors. Once again, the language is employing the language of crimes. The Constitution is speaking to us in terms of crimes.
Each of those references, when you count them, count seven, count eight supports the conclusion that impeachments should be evaluated in terms of offenses against established law.
But especially with respect to the presidency, where the Constitution requires the chief justice of the United States and not a political officer, no matter how honest, no matter how impartial to preside a trial guided by history, the framers made a deliberate and wise choice to cabin, to constrain, to limit the power of impeachment.
And so it was on the very eve of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, the eminent scholar and dean of the Columbia Law School. Theodore Dwyte wrote this. The weight of authority is that no impeachment will lie except for a true crime, a breach of the law, which would be the subject of indictment.
I'm not making that argument. I'm noting what he is saying he didn't over argue the case. He said the weight of authority. The weight of authority. And so this issue is a weighty one. Has the House of Representatives, with all due respect, in these two articles of impeachment, charged a crime or violation of established law or not?
I do want to over argue an appropriate and weighty consideration for the Senate, but especially as I'm trying to emphasize in the case, not a federal judge, but of the president.
Courts consider prudential factors and there is a huge prudential factor that this trial is occurring in an election year when we, the people and a matter of months will go to the polls and developing the common law of presidential impeachment.
This threshold factor. Consistent with the constitutional text, consistent with the nation's history and presidential impeachments, as others seek to demonstrate serves as a clarifying and stabilizing element, it increases predictability.
To do what?
To reduce the profound danger that a presidential impeachment will be dominated by partisan considerations. Precisely the evil that the framers warned about. And so a history. History bears out the point.
The nation's most recent experience, the Clinton impeachment, even though severely and roundly criticized charged crimes.
These are crimes proven in the crucible of the House of Representatives debate beyond any reasonable observers doubt.
So to the Nixon impeachment, the articles charged crimes.
What about Article 2 in Nixon, which is sometimes referred to as abuse of power? Was that the abuse of power? Article the precursor to Article 1, that is before this court?
Not at all. When one returns to Article 2 and Nixon approved by a bipartisan House Judiciary Committee.
Article 2 of Nixon sets forth a deeply troubling story of numerous crimes.
Not one, not too numerous crimes carried out at the direction of the president himself.
And so the appropriate question. Were crimes alleged in the articles in the common law of presidential impeachment and Nixon, yes. And Clinton. Yes.
Here. No, a factor to be considered as the judges in the high court.
Come as you will individually to your judgment, even in the political cauldron of the Andrew Johnson impeachment, article Eleven charged a violation of the controversial Tenure of Office Act. You're familiar with it.
And that act warrant expressly the Oval Office that its violation would constitute a high misdemeanor, employing the very language of constitutionally cognizable crimes.
This history represents and I believe made please the court.
It embodies the common law of presidential impeachment.
These are facts gleaned from the constitutional text and from the gloss of the nation's history.
And under this view, the commission of an alleged crime or violation of established law can appropriately be considered again, a weighty and an important consideration, an element of an historically supportable presidential impeachment.
Well, law professors agree with this. No, but with all due respect to the Academy, this is not an academic gathering. We are in court. We're not just in court. With all due respect to the chief justice and the Supreme Court of the United States, we're in democracies ultimate court.
And the better constitutional answer to the question is provided by a rigorous and faithful examination of the constitutional text and then looking faithfully and respectfully to our history, the very divisive Clinton impeachment demonstrates that while highly relevant, the commission of a crime is by no means sufficient to warrant the removal of our duly elected president.
Why? This body knows we appoint judges and you confirm them and they're there for life.
Not presidents. And the presidency is unique.
The presidency stands alone in our constitutional framework. Before he became the chief justice of the United States, John Marshall, then sitting as a member of the people's house, made a speech on the floor of the House. And there he said this The president is the sole organ of the nation and its external relations and its sole representative with foreign nations. If that sounds like hyperbole, it has been embraced over decades by the Supreme Court of the United States, by justices appointed by many different presidents.
The presidency is unique. There's no other system quite like ours and it has served us well. And so as to the presidency, impeachment and removal not only overturns a national election and perhaps profoundly affects an upcoming election.
In the words of Yale's Akhil Amar, it entails a risk.
And these are a Keel's words, Professor Moi's words, grave disruption of the government.
Professor Amar penned those words in connection with the Clinton impeachment. Grave disruption of the government, regardless of what the president has done. Grave disruption. We will all agree that the president's under the text of the Constitution and its amendments are to serve out their term. Absent a genuine national consensus reflected by the two thirds majority requirement of this court that the president must go away. Two thirds in politics and then impeachment. That's called a landslide. Here, I respectfully submit to the court that all fair minded persons will surely agree there is no national consensus.
We might wish for one, but there isn't. To the contrary, for the first time in America's modern history, not a single House member of the president's party supported either of the two articles of impeachment. Not one. Not in committee, not on the House floor.
And that pivotal fact puts in bold relief that Peter Rodino, principal. Call it the Rodino rule. Impeachment must be bipartisan in nature. Again, sitting as a court, this body should signal to the nation to return to our traditions.
Bipartisan impeachment's. What's the alternative? Will the president be king? Do oversight? The tradition of oversight. An enormous check on presidential power throughout our history. And it continues. Available today in Iran-Contra, no impeachment was undertaken. The speaker of the House, a Democrat, Jim Wright from Texas, from Fort Worth, where the West begins, knew better. He said no, but as befits the age of impeachment. A House resolution to impeach President Ronald Reagan was introduced.
It was filed. And the effort to impeach President Reagan was supported by leading law professor whose name you would well recognize, and you will hear it again this evening from Professor Dershowitz. I'll leave it to him to identify the learned professor. But the speaker of the people's house, echoing Peter Rodino, said no. So I respectfully submit that the Senate should close this chapter, this idiosyncratic chapter on this increasingly disruptive act, this era. This age of resort to the Constitution's ultimate Democratic weapon for the presidency.
Let the people decide. There was a great justice who sat for 30 years. Justice John Harlan in this mid century of the 20th century and in a law suit involving a very basic question, can citizens whose rights have clearly been violated by federal law enforcement agencies and agents bring an action for damages?
When Congress has not so provided no law that gave the wounded citizen a right to redress through damages, and Justice Harlan, in a magnificent concurring opinion in Bivins vs. six unnamed federal agents, suggested that courts here you are. Should take into consideration in reaching its judgment, their judgment, what he called factors, counseling, restraint.
He was somewhat reluctant to say that we, the Supreme Court should grant this right, that we should create it when Congress hasn't acted and Congress could have acted, but it had. But he reluctantly came to the conclusion that the constitution itself empowered the federal courts to create this right for our injured citizens, to give them redress, not just an injunctive relief, but damages money, recovery for violations of their constitutional rights factors, counseling, restraint and to address them.
And he came to the view he was so honest and said, I came to the case with a different view, but I changed my mind and voted in favor of the Bivins family having redress against the federal agents who had violated their rights. Judging in its most impartial and elegant sense, I'm going to draw from Justice Harlan's matrix of factors, counselling, restraint and simply identify these.
I think there may be others. The articles do not charge a crime or violation of established law. I'm suggesting it's a relevant factor. I think it's a weighty factor when we come to presidential impeachment, not judicial impeachment. Secondly, the articles come to you with no bipartisan support. They come to you as a violation of what I'm dubbing the Rodino rule. And third is I will now discuss. The heavily important issue of process. The second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.
This court is very familiar with the United States vs. Nixon. It's unanimity in recognizing the president's profound interest in confidentiality regardless of the world view or philosophy of the justice.
The justices were unanimous.
This isn't just a contrivance. It's built into the very nature of our constitutional order.
So let me comment briefly, this constitutionally based recognition of executive privilege and then companion privileges. The deliberative process privilege, the immunity of close presidential and visors from being summoned to testify. These are all firmly established in our law.
If there is a dispute between the people's house and the president of the United States over the availability of documents or witnesses, and there is in each and every administration then go to court.
It really is as simple as that.
I don't need to belabor the point, but here's the point I would like to emphasize frequently. The Justice Department advises the president of the United States that the protection of the presidency calls whatever the president might want to do as a political matter.
It's a combination of spirit of comedy to protect privileged conversations and communications. I've heard it in my two tours of duty at the Justice Department. Don't release the documents. Mr. President, if you do, you're injuring the presidency. Go to court. We've heard concerns about the length of time that the litigation might take. Those of us who have litigated know that sometimes litigation does take longer than we would like. Justice delayed is justice denied. We would all agree with that.
But our history, Churchill's maxim, study history, our history tells us. That's not necessarily so, take by way of example, the Pentagon Papers case. Orders issued. Preventing and sanctioning a gross violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press.
An order issued out of the district court.
June the 15th, 1971. That order was reversed in an opinion by the Supreme Court of the United States. Two weeks later. June the 15th. The House of Representatives could have followed that well-trodden path, it could have sought expedition. The Ebery caught him in Prettyman courthouse is six blocks down. The judges are there. They're all very able. They're hardworking people of integrity. Follow the path, follow the path of the law. Go to court. There would have been at least one problem had the House seen fit to go to court and remain in court.
The issue is before you, but among other floors, the Office of Legal Counsel determined and I've read the opinion and I believe it's correct that with all respect, all house subpoenaed, issued prior to the adoption of House Resolution 660, which for the first time authorized the impeachment inquiry as a House.
All the subpoenas were invalid, were void. With all due respect to the speaker of the House of Representatives and all of her abilities and her vast experience under our Constitution, she was powerless to do what she purported to do. As has been said now time and again, especially throughout the fall. The Constitution doesn't trust the sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives.
But that's the House. It's 435 members elected from across the constitutional republic, not one.
No matter how able she may be in the people's house, every congressperson gets a vote. We know the concept. One person, one vote. More generally. The president, as I've reviewed the record. Has consistently and scrupulously followed the advice and counsel of the Justice Department and in particular the Office of Legal Counsel. He's been obedient, as you know, that important office.
Many of you have had your own experiences professionally with that office is staffed with lawyers of great ability. It has a reputation for superb work.
It has done such thoughtful work in both Democratic and Republican administrations. And the office is now headed by a brilliant lawyer who served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The House may disagree with the guidance provided to the president by that office.
The House frequently does disagree.
But for the president to follow the guidance of the Department of Justice with respect to an inter branch, legal and constitutional dispute cannot reasonably be viewed as an obstruction and most emphatically not as an impeachable offense. History, once again is a great teacher. And the Clinton impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee rejected a draft article asserting that President Clinton and here are the words of the draft article. Fraudulently and corruptly asserted executive privilege. Strong words fraudulently and corruptly. That was the draft article.
In my view, having lived through the facts and with all due respect to the former president, he did. He did it. Time and again, month after month. We would go to court. We would win. And many members, not everybody on the House Judiciary Committee agreed that the president had indeed improperly claimed executive privilege. Rebuffed time and again by the judiciary.
But at the end of the day, that committee chaired the Judiciary Committee of the House, chaired by Henry Hyde, wisely concluded that President Clinton's doing so should not be considered an impeachable offense. Here's the idea. It is not an impeachable offense for the president of the United States to defend the asserted legal and constitutional prerogatives of the presidency.
This is and I'm quoting here from page 55 of the president's trial brief, a function of his constitutional and policy judgments, not just a policy judgment, but a constitutional judgment. I would guide this court as it's coming through the deliberation process to read the president's trial brief with respect to process.
It was Justice Felix Frankfurter. Confidant of FDR, brilliant jurist who reminded America that the history of liberty is in large measure the history of process of procedure.
In particular, I would guide the high court to the discussion of the long history of the House of Representatives over two centuries in providing due process protections in its impeachment investigations. It's originally historical discussion. The good news is you can read the core of it in four pages pages. Sixty two to sixty six of the trial brief puts in bold relief.
I believe in irrefutable fact this House of Representatives with all respect, soffit to turn its back on its on established procedures. Procedures that had been followed faithfully decade after decade. Regardless of who is in control, regardless of political party, all those procedures were torn asunder. And all over the vigorous objections from the unanimous and vocal minority, I need not remind this high court that in this country minority rights are important, minority rights should be protected. Equal justice.
But then again, the House members took no oath to be impartial. The Constitution didn't require them to say by oath or affirmation that we'll do impartial judges justice. When they chose to tear asunder their procedures, they were oath less. They could toss out their own rulebook. Raw power. And here we have tragically for the country.
And I believe tragically for the House of Representatives in Article 2 of these impeachment articles, a runaway house, it has run away not only from its long standing procedures, it has run away from the Constitution's demand of fundamental fairness captured in those hallowed terms, due process of law.
We've cared about this as an English speaking people since Magna Carta.
By doing so, however, the House has inadvertently pointed this court to an exit ramp. It's an exit ramp provided by the constitution itself. It's an exit ramp built by the most noble of builders, the founding generation.
Despite the clearest precedent requiring due process for the accused in an impeachment inquiry. But surely all the more so in a presidential impeachment. House Democrats chose to conduct a wholly unprecedented process in this case, and they did so knowingly and deliberately because they were warned at every turn. Don't do it. Don't do it that way. And process. The president being denied the basic rights that have been afforded to every single accused president in the history of the Republic. Even to the racist Andrew Johnson seeking to undo Mr.
Lincoln's great legacy. He got those rights. But not here. Due process could have been honored, basic rights have been honored. The House rules, the houses traditions could have been honored, but what's done is done.
These two articles come before this court. This high court of impeachment dripping with fundamental process violations.
When courts in New York or the court are confronted with this kind of phenomenon. A train of fairness violations. Courts in this country do the right thing. They do impartial justice. They invoke. Figuratively or literally, the words of the preamble to America's Constitution. The very first order of our government after to form a more perfect union. It's to establish justice, to establish justice even before getting to the words to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, to insure domestic tranquility.
The Constitution speaks in terms of justice, establishing justice. Courts would not allow this. They would not allow this because why they knew. And they know that the purpose of our founding instrument. Is to protect our liberties. To safeguard us, but to safeguard us as individuals against the powers of government. And why?
And there's been a dictionary words of the preamble.
To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Liberty under law. I thank the court.