Charlotte, NC – “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
The 3A addressed very specific problems the colonials experienced under the British government. The Royal army had remained stationed on American soil following the French-Indian War and, even worse, demanded housing and food from the colonial citizens. The problem was crystallized by The Quartering Act of 1774 and the subsequent Intolerable Acts. These acts violated the principles of ‘taxation without representation’, ‘private property’, and ‘popular sovereignty” and became the fuel that flamed the Revolution. The root of each of these problems was the government’s overreach and intrusion into the personal lives of its constituents.
The animosity created by these acts of overreach led Jefferson to specifically mention the problem of quartering in his list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence. He said: “He (King George III) has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.” Although quartering was not addressed in the original 1788 Constitution, Madison ensured the issue was clarified in the 1791 Bill of Rights.
The most striking characteristic of the 3A is that it is so rarely cited, recognized, or even mentioned in legal literature. The unambiguous language of the text has never been litigated in the Supreme Court and has only been litigated in federal court a handful of times. In the most recent news, the 3A was last cited in US District Court in 2015 in Mitchell vs City of Henderson in which it was decided that the 3A does not apply to police or municipal officers. Because of its clear and concise language, the 3A has not lent itself to liberal interpretation.
Although the 1A and 2A have seen overt and dramatic attacks in recent years, the 3A has largely been unadulterated in text, however, degraded in spirit. The FISA Act of 1978 and the US Patriot Act of 2001 provided the federal government the unlimited ability to intrude on the privacy of US citizens without their knowledge or consent. Just as the British Army of the 1770s maintained a “big brother” presence in the colonies, the feds granted themselves in 2001 the power to surveil most any form of communication and financial transaction of their choosing without a warrant. The Patriot Act served its purpose during a time of war but also caused irreparable damage to American civilians – just ask Carter Page. Thankfully, President Trump allowed the Patriot Act to expire earlier this year.
The most conservative position on the 3A is to interpret the text just as it is written. It does not apply to LEOs. It does not apply in times of peace. However, progressive politics, like a cancerous infection, has a unique ability to necrose even the most clear restrictions on government. It is not so far-fetched to imagine a scenario in which a democratic-controlled Congress and White House could theoretically declare a war on “white supremacists” or “fascists” or “radical Christians” and commandant private corporations – including their property and computer systems – to weed out the “terrorists”.
Think it sounds like 1984? Is it not possible in 2021? Frankly, the government no longer needs to quarter soldiers in private homes because we have allowed the NSA, CIA, and FBI to enter our homes, without a warrant, through our virtual front doors.
We have nearly come full-circle in the fight for freedom as it concerns private property, government overreach, and individual liberty. The liberal mob, drunk on Marxism and high on socialism, wants to see you silent, disarmed, and obedient to the whims of the government. This coming election is not about Trump versus Biden, or Democrat versus Republican, it is about the swamp versus you.
No, President Trump is not perfect but he is making a concerted effort to drain the DC swamp of the rats who would rule you. It is quite possible if the socialist revolution promised by Joe Biden and the DNC comes to fruition that we may find ourselves in a position in which we can no longer tolerate such usurpations and abuses, and we may find it necessary to “throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for (our) future security.”
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