First and Foremost – The Constitution

As a young Marine, I took an Oath over 40 years ago to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and abroad. And again, over 30 years ago, I took the same Oath when commissioned as an officer in the Navy JAG Corps.

I firmly believe that the Constitution is the essential part of our government, our society and our way of life.

The Constitution of the United States has three important parts, as I like to call them: Part 1, The Preamble in all of its aspirations; Part 2, the Articles, the organization of government, and Part 3, the Amendments- beginning with the Bill of Rights. First among the individual rights in the Bill of Rights is (1) the Right of freedom of speech and Association, followed by (2) the Right to Bear Arms, (3) the quartering of soldiers, (4) the Right against unreasonable searches and seizures, (5) the Right of due process of law, (6) the Right to counsel, (7) the Right of trial by jury in civil cases, (8) the Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments, (9) Other rights of the people, and (10)- The right against Government overreach, limited federal powers.

But then there are the Eleventh and Twelfth Amendments: (11) Makes states immune from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders; lays the foundation for sovereign immunity, and (12) Revises presidential election procedures.

However, I like to believe that there are bills of protection attending the Bill of Rights, and so important as any is the Thirteenth Amendment- (13) the Right against Involuntary Servitude, Fourteenth Amendment- (14) the powerful Equal Protection of the Laws- (15) Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Yet, in all, there are but 27 Amendments to the Constitution, of which the remaining 12 are:

(16) Permits Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census- (17) Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote- (18) Prohibited the manufacturing or sale of alcohol within the United States- (19) Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex- (20) Changes the date on which the terms of the President and Vice President (January 20) and Senators and Representatives (January 3) end and begin- (21) Repeals the 18th Amendment and gives the States the power to prohibit or regulate the transportation or importation of alcohol for delivery or use- (22) Limits the number of times that a person can be elected president: a person cannot be elected president more than twice, and a person who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected cannot be elected more than once- (23) Grants the District of Columbia electors (the number of electors being equal to the least populous state) in the Electoral College- (24) Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax- (25) Addresses succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities- (26) Prohibits the denial of the right of US citizens, eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age- and (27) Delays laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next election of representatives.

It’s time to have our elected officials re-learn and follow the mandates of our Constitution of the United States, and then apply their knowledge and faith to upholding it and our Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

It is that important, for all of us.

American Sovereignty in United States Courts

“Subjecting American citizens to foreign laws is inimical to the spirit of the Constitution. It is one reason we oppose U.S. participation in the International Criminal Court. There must be no use of foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws. Nor should foreign sources of law be used in State courts’ adjudication of criminal or civil matters. The Lacey Act of 1900, designed to protect endangered wildlife in interstate commerce, is now applied worldwide, making it a crime to use, in our domestic industries, any product illegally obtained in the country of origin, whether or not the user had anything to do with its harvesting. This unreasonable extension of the Act not only hurts American businesses and American jobs, but also subordinates our own rule of law to the legal codes of 195 other governments. [And this is unacceptable and] It must be changed.”

Economy and Jobs

Virginia needs leadership of people working for the common good of our communities and families, believing in economic policies of fiscal responsibility coupled with a pro-growth agenda. We need to move away from the political correctness of our past, and be bold enough to say that Virginians should keep more of their income; bold enough even to believe in a 10% cut in the income tax for all individuals; and bond enough to support doubling the child tax credit for working families, to proposing a tax credit for capital investment that will encourage fortune 500 companies to build plants, factories, stores, etc. in many of the most economically depressed areas of our Commonwealth; bold enough to develop a plan to put people back to work, reduce unemployment and find jobs for Virginians, and work to make the economy prosper. I am committed to finding solutions to the answers, not hypocrisy to the questions. We need leadership that moves us forward into prosperity, not sideways into procrastination.

Education

I want to extol the values in the belief that our children deserve a better life, where they will know the value and meaning of responsibility, both fiscal and social; where they will understand the benefits of Limited Government, Lower Taxes, Faith in a Free-market and the Culture of Life. To leave them a Virginia better than when we found it, working constantly for better government that lowers their debt and raises their well-being, and their respect and faith in government, is the key to a successful life and a prosperous nation.

But not just that, I want to take the lead in an Education Policy that focuses on our children, our students, and on the future, not the past; believing that if there is to be strength for tomorrow it will be found in them- many of whom are trapped in failing schools. To this end, I want a rigorous school reform policy that will strengthen the public school system, where unfunded mandates will not continue to come from Washington, and I want to empower teachers and parents through direct control over curriculum and student performance.

Energy, the Environment and Healthcare Reform

I am committed to strive to an era of energy independence, and that Virginia, in so doing, might explore its options in alternative fuel, alternative fuel sources like off-shore drilling, wind technology, nuclear technology, and determining how we’re going to exploit that resource with appropriate restrictions to protect our communities, our families and our environment.  

I am also supportive and committed to strive to Healthcare reform, but health care reform that is accessible and affordable, and that is driven by the free market.

Public Safety / Supporting Crime Victims

The greatest responsibility we have is to ensure the Virginians are protected and to support our law enforcement to make Virginians safer at home and in their communities by first cracking down on crimes, repeat offenders, including drunk drivers and sex offenders, and then working to strengthen our laws against criminal activity. I am committed to finding solutions to answers, not just the questions. I further believe that when offenders pay their debt to society, they have paid their debt to society and should be released.

As a former military prosecutor, I understand the sensitivity and seriousness of the impact of crimes upon its victims. I will work with law enforcement to ensure that victims of crimes are protecting in reporting crimes and increase the penalty for those who prey on our children, the elderly and those under a disability.

Property Rights

Notwithstanding the Kelo v. New London decision where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against property owners in favor of eminent domain, I support protecting property rights, property owners and stand against any taking of property for pretense of public use. In many instances a hard working family’s land, home and grounds are their identity, and we must not erase that, or forsake our heritage in favor of enterprise or enterprising individuals in government, allowing for money and its greed to overshoot a homeowner’s rights and and his and her family.

 

The Second Amendment and Mental Health Reform

I am supportive of the 2nd Amendment and I am supportive of mental health reform. What we have recently seen with two refugees arrested on terror-related charges in Sacramento and Houston- clearly not gun rights issues; nor were the innocent deaths in San Bernardino and elsewhere. Although I will be firm in holding those responsible in our Commonwealth, we simply cannot work to undo the rights given to the people by Constitutional Convention as if every weapon use is a gun rights issue. By the same token, we must work together to strengthen those cases where clearly the issues of mental health reform are the root and cause of the violence.  And we must stop looking to see mental illness and circumstance as a vehicle for independently and unilaterally changing the right of a nation to bear arms. To allow these things to happen is to allow our democracy to fail.

Paid for and authorized by Chuck Smith for Attorney General
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