The So-Called Right to Vote Is Not the “Most Fundamental Right in America”
Biden’s SOTU address claim is false–there is no such right in the U.S. Constitution. Fundamentally, there can’t be a right to vote at all–impossible, ludicrous.
The March 1st, 2022, State of the Union address (SOTU) read by President Joe Biden to Congress claimed that the “most fundamental right in America is the right to vote.”
This is false. Ludicrous, actually—a bastardization of the concept of rights.
To say voting is a right indicates one doesn’t understand what a right is. To claim it is the most fundamental right indicates one doesn’t understand or agree with the actual fundamental rights recognized in the Bill of Rights.
I conclude the speechwriters, politicians, propagandists, and handlers involved in the SOTU that Biden read don’t know what a right is, let alone which rights are “most fundamental.”
I already know Joe Biden doesn’t have a clue what fundamental rights are by his actions in office. His career proves it. Biden has actively violated and/or called for violating many fundamental rights. He did so in the March 2022 SOTU address.
The view is common, perhaps understandable. Presumably, many of Biden’s speech writers and staff went to government schools, where the number one objective is indoctrination into loving the government. And they work in Washington, D.C., where there is almost no one to ask about what a right is or what the Constitution means. Their coworkers can’t help them on these questions. So how would they know?
Constitutional Right to Vote?
Consider the claim of a “right to vote” in the Constitution. This requires an expressly delegated power that the federal government has jurisdiction over.
It’s not there.
The only relevant requirement in the original Constitution is that the “People of several States” choose members for the House of Representatives, and that the “Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature” (Article 1, Section 2). This is a requirement that the people each state has voting for one part of the state legislature also be the people who vote for the U.S. House of Representatives.
This is not a “right to vote” requirement. It is not referred to as a right in the 1788 Constitution. The word “vote” for an action of the people isn’t there at all. There is no definition of which people do the choosing. It is up to the individual states—not the jurisdiction of the general government.
Jump Ahead One Century
The “right to vote” is mentioned in the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These say the “right to vote” shall not be denied for various discriminatory reasons—status as a former slave, race, color, sex, lack of payment of taxes, and age for those over 18. These changes, starting in 1870, represent restrictions on the individual states from discrimination in voting, for whatever voting they may or may not have.
The “right to vote” itself isn’t defined; it is taken as a given in all four Amendments.
Originally, Supreme Court majority opinion on the 15th Amendment, where this “right” first appeared in the U.S. Constitution, only said that where voting existed it couldn’t be denied based on race. In other words, the court opinion is that states are not allowed to discriminate in whom they chose to allow to vote, in whatever voting they choose to do.
In the first SCOTUS case under the 15th Amendment, United States v. Reese et al., 1876, the Court majority opinion is “the Fifteenth Amendment does not confer the right of suffrage.” The jurisdiction of the U.S. at the time was only to deny the states discrimination based on race should they have an election.
SCOTUS said in United States v. Cruikshank et al. in 1876, “The right to vote in the States comes from the States; but the right of exemption from the prohibited discrimination comes from the United States” (pg. 556).
A “right to vote” is NOT in the Bill of Rights. It isn’t mentioned in the first 10 Amendments. So the Founders saw no need to remind the general government that such a right existed, that it is a critical one, and it can’t be infringed upon. Note that the Bill of Rights is almost entirely reminders that the federal government is not allowed to infringe on the rights mentioned—it is not a list of rights that the people hold.
The Constitution’s Article 1 says, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.” The manner of the choosing for the House is left up to the states, including what “the People” means and how they express their choice to their states. This is not a “right to vote.”
The U.S. Senate as originally defined is chosen by the legislature of each state. The president and VP are chosen by the Electoral College, which is made up of members chosen by the legislature of each state. Neither the senate nor the president are supposed to be chosen by a popular vote of the people.
This is on purpose—the Senate and the president are supposed to represent the states. Only one half of one of three branches of the general government is supposed to represent the people—the House of Representatives.
The Founders were adamantly against forming a democracy.
Choosing both parts of the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the federal court judges by popular vote is a setup for mob rule (e.g., democracy)—a situation the Founders worked hard to protect against.
The word “democracy” appears nowhere in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, for a good reason. The general government arrangement of the Constitution is intended to prevent mob rule.
Inherent Right to Vote?
What the Constitution says is far from recognizing a “right to vote.”
Regardless of how the Constitution is interpreted and what SCOTUS says, it is impossible to have a right to vote. It would mean there is an inherent right to a representative form of government that exists as part of being human, along with the right to choose representatives by popular election.
By “right” here, I refer to a natural right. This is often considered a right granted by a god, or more broadly comes from a “Creator” (a term that covers both). However you wish to think of the source, by “right” I refer to a fundamental right held based on being human.
One problem with this claim is that there is no right to have any government at all. Nor is there is any right to have a particular form of government, where the right includes representatives elected by a popular vote of a particular set of people.
There can’t be a right to vote, as there is no right to have a government, let alone a particular form of government. It is a ludicrous concept. It is a bastardization of the term “right.”
As far as actual fundamental rights go, Joe Biden’s speechwriters (and Joe) are adamantly against many of them.
Joe Biden read a section on the “constitutional right affirmed in Roe v. Wade.” This is a claim that there is a constitutional right to have an abortion. This is false for several reasons. And fundamentally, the opinion is mute. The U.S. Constitution delegates no power on this matter to the general government, so SCOTUS has zero jurisdiction to weigh in. Regardless of one’s position on the issue, Roe v. Wade should be ignored by the states, and overturned. It is outside the authority of the federal government, and we have no reason to care what they say. It is up to the individual states.
Joe Biden read “for our LGBTQ+ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk [. . .]. To our younger transgender Americans, I will always have your back as your president.” Same argument—there is no jurisdiction here, no delegated power, no right. It isn’t Biden’s business, nor a matter authorized for Congressional legislation.
Joe Biden read, “Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” This statement demonstrates Biden and Biden’s speechwriters are adamantly against the right to keep and bear arms. It shows he opposes the 2nd Amendment, which is a violation of his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The federal government has no delegated authority to ban scary black rifles or particular sized magazines, and the 2nd Amendment specifically denies such authority. If he really wants to talk about the most important fundamental rights, this right is in the top category.
Joe Biden read, “Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.” This is a violation of the fundamental right of assembly—the right to interact with others as one sees fit. And again, there is no Constitutional authority to dictate a salary between an employer and employee.
In the past year as president, Joe Biden was a strong supporter of lockdowns, mask mandates, restrictions on travel, closure of schools and businesses, and drug mandates in the workplace. None of this is constitutional, and all of it is denial of the existence of important fundamental rights.
Joe Biden Is Wrong
Joe Biden’s speech writers (and hence Joe) are dead nuts wrong. They don’t know what a right is. Their claim that the most important right is voting is ludicrous. They are adamantly against several actually important fundament rights. And they are clueless about the restrictions the Constitution places upon them.
I call bullshit, Joe.