By Colonel Mike Angley
I consider myself to be a Constitutional Originalist. I believe our Constitution must be interpreted according to the original meaning and intent of our Founding Fathers. One chief and overarching belief I hold, as did our Founders, is that our rights come from God, that they are inalienable, and that government has the sacred duty to protect those rights at any cost.
We’ve had many Originalists of prominence throughout history, one of my most-respected being the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Originalism is important for ALL branches of government, not just the judicial branch where laws are interpreted.
The judiciary – the courts – play a key judicial review role in checking and balancing the other two branches. Courts interpret laws to determine if they are constitutional. That’s how it should work in theory, but it’s not always so clean cut. I’ll discuss a differing philosophy about how the Constitution is interpreted later in this article.
The legislative branch – the lawmakers – must take care to craft bills that are constitutionally-sound. Not only will this prevent bad laws from being overturned by a court, but on a more fundamental level, it’s the RIGHT thing to do to protect liberty and our natural rights.
The executive must always be keen to enforce laws that are constitutional. Whether it’s the President, a Governor, a Mayor, or a County Sheriff, each executive has a duty to refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws as a check and balance on the other two branches.
I served in the United States Air Force for 25 years, and I had a duty to obey the orders from my superiors, so long as those orders were lawful. I actually had a duty to NOT obey unlawful orders. I see it much the same way for the executive branch when it comes to unconstitutional law.
Every American has an obligation as part of our blessings of liberty to read and know the U.S. Constitution. I also believe every American also should take the time to read the Federalist Papers. These are like the diaries of our Founding Fathers. They give essential insight into what our Founders thought about, understood, believed, loved, feared and cared about when it came to liberty.
The Federalist Papers are the footnotes to freedom that serve to explain original intent and meaning when it comes to what ultimately ended up in that precious piece of parchment that founded the greatest experiment in republicanism our world has ever seen.
Not everyone sees it the same way. There are some – chiefly on the left side of the political spectrum –who believe the Constitution is a ‘living document’ meant to be interpreted against the template of modern culture. They twist the meaning of the Founders to distort it to satisfy some new age social justice cause or to virtue signal different meaning through the tortured logic that is the left. This is as dangerous and as bankrupt as moral relativism.
As a result, we have seen legislatures at varying levels pass laws, ordinances, resolutions, proclamations, and the like that have all the virtue of feel good gibberish, but which suck the life blood of natural rights away with them.
Likewise, activist courts and judges wish away original meaning to accommodate a left-wing world view by striking down good law and replacing it with garbage meant to appease the social justice warrior class. Our Founders are undoubtedly rolling in their graves, and rightly so.
Of course, who can forget what happens when the executive branch disrespects the rule of law and the Constitution? We had eight years of Barack Obama running roughshod over the Constitution, ignoring good law and ‘penning and phoning’ his way around a Congress that wouldn’t pass bad laws.
Let me digress for a moment and note that despite not having a Democrat majority in the Congress. Obama was still successful in bullying the limp-wristed Republicans-in-Name-Only (RINOs, AKA ‘establishment’) into supporting a large part of his agenda.
But on those things even Lindsey Graham found too extreme (and that was scant), Obama just circumvented the legislature, flicked his Bic, and flipped a giant middle finger to James Madison. The nice thing about living by pen and phone is that one (legacy included) can also die by pen and phone. And President Trump is undoing the dark ages of American history known as the Obama era with the stroke of a pen.
Our Founders were genius. They designed a form of government unlike anything the world has ever seen. It’s not perfect, but it’s damn near close. As a Constitutional Originalist, I feel there are times when one must fall on one’s sword for liberty and for our God-given rights.
I am running for Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado, and I often give speeches about this concept. It is near and dear to my heart. As a future executive – as a Sheriff – I will only enforce constitutional laws and ignore those that violate what those 39 men who signed the Constitution pledged to defend.
Colonel Michael (“Mike”) Angley is retired from the United States Air Force, a published thriller author, and a conservative writer who fashions himself as Attila the Hun with a laptop. Mike wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Peace blogs before the Breitbart consolidation, receiving superb feedback and kudos for typically weaving in pop culture references with his far right perspectives. He enjoys writing about military affairs, national security issues, and politics and is an avid Second Amendment advocate. When he’s not writing, he’s busy annoying liberals with FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets that point out the obvious flaws and fallacies of the left.
During his 26-year USAF career, the Colonel was a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The OSI is a sister agency to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and has an identical mission that includes felony-level criminal, fraud, and narcotics investigations as well as counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. His USAF experiences spanned multiple regions around the globe with five command assignments and duties at foreign, regional, theater and national levels.
He is a seasoned counterintelligence and counterespionage officer from the Cold War era, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the spy-vs-spy days were indeed the heady, glory era of espionage. During the latter half of his career he focused on counterterrorism missions in the Middle East and the Far East and operationalized many of today’s concepts for this unique arena while working the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a few other “choice” locations. When Colonel Angley retired in 2007, he was a Senior Supervisory Special Agent and was in command of all worldwide OSI matters at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, CO.
Mike Angley is also a published, award-winning author of three thriller novels in the “Child Finder” trilogy. His debut novel, “Child Finder,” received a glowing review from the Library Journal which placed it on its Summer Reading list in 2009. “Child Finder” and its companion sequel novels all won various awards from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and the Public Safety Writers Association. In 2012, Mike was named MWSA’s “Author of the Year,” largely for work on his third novel, “Child Finder: Revelation.”
As an avid user of social media, Mike can be found and friended on Facebook (mike.angley) and followed on Twitter (@MikeAngley). His website is www.mikeangley.com. Following his USAF retirement, Mike and his family stayed in Colorado Springs, CO where they enjoy daily, majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.