THESE RAIDS WERE going on across the nation. But now that I do, several things occur to me.
First: these are an infringement upon liberty.
The Ninth Amendment insures that unenumerated rights are not to be disparaged. In the Declaration of Independence, the writers (some of whom also participated in the framing of the Constitution) affirmed that among our (including but not limited to…) inalienable rights are those of life and liberty. Therefore, it can / may /should be argued that the Ninth Amendment specifically affirms and protects a right to liberty.
Liberty: autonomy: immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence
freedom of choice; “liberty of opinion”; “liberty of worship”; “liberty–perfect liberty–to think or feel or do just as one pleases”; “at liberty to choose whatever occupation one wishes”
personal freedom from servitude or confinement or oppression
We may, therfore, take it as given that the right to liberty is a part of our Original Intent. So definitely a part that the Framers held it to be Self-Evident.
Included in liberty must surely be the right to engage in free commerce with all and sundry, in any object and at any price the market may allow, without hesitation, delay, or let on the part of the state. Yes, this does imply that laws against markets in drugs are unconstitutional. It also means that the state has no lawful authority to limit the citizens’ access to arms. Suck it up.
Second: in the article, it is alleged that officials from several states (Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois) colluded to institute a strategy of raiding private associations for the distribution of farm products. This is a conspiracy in restraint of trade. If the Congress can claim to be legally permitted to force a farmer to destroy crops raised for his personal consumption because his consumption of it denies his custom to interstate commerce, certainly we can claim that the states have no authority to regulate agriculture, since it impinges on interstate commerce, which is the exclusive purview of Congress.
And, yes, I will quite easily turn right around and argue that Congress does not have the lawful authority to regulate private exchanges wholly contained within one state. Arguing different theories in the same case in different venues is a long-established legal practice on which no shame should attend, especially not in the defense of liberty. The purpose of governments, (this, too, is a part of our founding intent), is the preservation and defense of liberty, and all activities which neither defend or protect liberty are perversions, not to be tolerated under any circumstances. All tactics toward these ends are appropriate.
So let’s hear no more about “compelling state interests.”
However. There is in the United States Code a law requiring that those who conspire to deny the free exercise of civil rights are subject to fines and/or imprisonment. There is even a provision for doing so under color of law, which disposes of the idea of sovereign immunity. These are the sections in code so famous in these parts: 18USC241-242.
Third: the assumption that governments have the legitimate power to regulate what a free people may choose to exchange among themselvs is specious and a gross perversion of the purposes of government (see liberty above). Yes, this does mean the FDA, the USDA, the DEA, and the rest of those regulatory edifices that so eat up our sustenance and trammel our liberty.
So what do you do about it? How do you struggle against a program of subversion going back over 100 years? How do you respond?
The Chicago Way.
When they pul a knife, you pull a gun. When they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue. When they infringe upon your liberty and trammel your rights of association and commerce, you attack their right to exist.
Works for me.