Most politically active people are aware of what we call a people’s initiative happening at the State level. They are also aware that not all States have passed laws regarding how direct and indirect initiatives are to be conducted, thereby leaving this kind of political power and action of the people to take whatever form customs and common sense dictates.
People’s initiatives are one of several valid method regarding the exercise of the unalienable right of the people to alter government. This unalienable right was formally recognized in the Declaration of Independence, and is found published on page 1 of the United States Statutes at Large by the 1st Congress.
This unalienable right to directly alter our government is secured to the people by the 9th Amendment:
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
And further, by the 10th Amendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.“
Also keep in mind, that delegation is not relinquishment, and that no where in the Constitution(s) will you find, that in delegating a power to government, was all of that power delegated in any instance.
Congressional Order 101 is an indirect initiative happening at the Federal level, it is not a petition for a redress of grievances, but rather an Order, from the People, to our public servants, commanding them to write and enact legislation in order to alter government as stipulated in the Order.
Further, since Congress was already delegated the powers to do what we are ordering them to do, there is a stipulation in the Order that Congress can act upon upon the Order before a Majority has signed it and mailed it in.
While there is no required form established by law at this time regarding how an indirect people’s initiative must be conducted or implemented at the Federal level, this people’s initiative observes these general requirements that are typical in States that have passed such laws (published by NCSL), and also how this federal indirect initiative meets the common sense elements of each:
(1) preliminary filing of a proposed initiative with a designated state official;
The filing with an official occurred when the first Order was mailed in to Congress, via Arizona’s Senator Jeff FLAKE.
(2) review of the initiative for conformance with statutory requirements and, in several states, a review of the language of the proposal;
As an indirect people’s initiative at the Federal level, the people are standing outside of and above statutes, as the very purpose of this initiative is ordering statutes to be enacted. That said, the law of Nature, the Law of Nations and the Constitution, are implied as the governing law of this initiative.
Further, as an indirect initiative, the language of the Order itself is not intended to become law. This element is a requirement for direct initiatives, where the text of the initiative is to become law.
(3) preparation of a ballot title and summary;
Since it will be Congress drafting the legislation and voting on the Act they create, these elements are left to Congress during their legislative process. That said, the Title of the indirect initiative is: Congressional Order 101, the Summary is: An indirect people’s initiative ordering Congress to apply the tax free & tuition free solution to all educational funding. Do note however, that there is no stipulation in the Order for Congress to use the title of the initiative as the title of the Act.
(4) circulation of the initiative to obtain the required number of signatures of registered voters, usually a percentage of the votes cast for a statewide office in the preceding general election; and
As of 2015 the voting age population estimate is: 227,019,486, and so a 50% Majority would require 113,509,744 signatures. At that point, the Order would constitute a de jure and de facto command from the Sovereign of the United States, to Congress.
Again, since Congress was already delegated the powers to do what we are ordering them to do and the number of required signatures is so large, there is a stipulation in the Order that Congress can act upon upon the Order before a Majority has signed it and mailed it in. In fact, they could act upon it with nothing more than 1 signed Order.
Likely, this solution to all educational funding will be applied long before this Majority requirement occurs.
(5) submission of the initiative to the state elections official, who must verify the number of signatures.
This is Congress, and mailing in your signed Order is the submission. Granted, Congress people will likely delegate this to subordinates.
As people can see, not only is an indirect people’s initiative valid on the Federal level, this particular indirect initiative (while there is no established method for how an indirect initiative must be be conducted or implemented at the Federal level at this time), is not being conducted or implemented in ignorance of the requirements of common sense and customs.
On a closing note, since it is a formally and officially recognized unalienable right of the people to alter government secured by the Constitution of the United States, and the use of a people’s initiative is a long established custom where it is not also a well established lawful method to do this, any attempt to deprive the people of this right under color of law is a felony:
Perhaps some day a formal method for indirect people’s initiatives at the Federal level will be established (something like what is being proposed here), but until that time, the right to alter government may be exercised in whatever lawful form it happens to take.
Christopher Theodore of the family of RHODES