by Bob Schneider, April 17, 2011
Article VI of the US Constitution is perhaps one of the most under-read, and misunderstood articles of the entire document, yet is one of the most important. Called “The Supremacy Claus”, the article makes no mistake about who, and what is in charge. This isn’t just words from 1789, with no meaning today, other than historical perspective, this article puts to rest fears many people have, such as “creeping Sharia”, and is why the military actions in Libya are not unconstitutional. First, the text of Article VI:
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Obviously the first clause relates to debts incurred under the Articles of Confederation, which governed us during our Revolutionary period. The real meat of the document starts the real meat of the article. This is the Supremacy Clause, and it lets the states know Federalism is a two way street. Under this clause, no state may engage in their own foreign policy, nor may their state constitutions usurp The US Constitution, nor may any laws usurp the Constitution or be made higher than the US Constitution.
The US Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of the Land. This clause is also why “creeping Sharia” is a myth, a conspiracy theory, and as long as there is a Constitution, impossible to usurp our Constitution, or laws.
This clause is also why Oklahoma’s vote in their election to dismiss Sharia in Oklahoma courts unnecessary, and in fact maybe even unconstitutional. A smart lawyer could argue that law violates Article VI at the worst, and at the best, is a solution in search of a problem. In any case, that law is toxic to any company in Oklahoma engaged in international business.
It also empowers treaties entered into, and ratified by the Senate, to be part of the law of the land. In our ratification of the UN Charter in 1947, this clause is what makes the USA’s role in Libya not unconstitutional.
Under the charter, we agreed if the vote of the Security Council was called, and force was called for, the USA could participate forthwith. I say could, because it is still our option to participate, or not participate. The Senate ratified that treaty with the UN, so that provision is now part of the law of the land, and therefore no vote on whether to send our military is needed, since it occurred in 1947.
Last clause is of particular interest, and especially if you support Herman Cain. This clause shows he is unqualified to be President, because he has already violated the last sentence of the last clause. He said he would not appoint any Muslim to an executive office in his Administration. That is a violation of this clause, and a not even a debatable violation of the clause. It is an impeachable offense, and he did it even before being sworn into office. For those who say they love the constitution, and want candidates who won’t violate The Constitution, that rules out Herman Cain, by his own words. This clause is also why Keith Ellison, the first Muslim Member of Congress, could use a Qu’ran owned by Thomas Jefferson to take his oath of office. The Constitution is not a document which you can selectively abide by the parts you like, and discard the parts you don’t, like some law-smorgasbord. You have to take it all.
Reprinted with Permission
For over 3 Decades, Bob has worked in American Politics. Having served 3 Presidents, and working with numerous Senators and Congressmen on Contentious public policy issues, has given Bob an insider’s perspective on current events. He gives his opinions freely, and often wrapped in humor.
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