In my ongoing discussion with author William Hogeland over at Broadside Books' "Line of Fire", he asks “[i]s “covenant” a reference to the incontrovertible fact that the document was written via delegation and ratified via representation?”
I use the term “secular covenant” to describe the binding nature of the Constitution. It represents an agreement between the citizens, the state governments, and the federal government as to how we consent to be governed. The terms of this secular covenant are contained in the words of the Constitution and its subsequent amendments, and their meaning is the plain meaning of those words. The method of changing the terms of the secular covenant is found in the amendment process of the document itself. No other means of changing the terms–either expansive judicial interpretrations or executive usurpations–are authentic.
I elaborate on this theme in greater detail in my upcoming book, which will be released by Broadside Books in spring 2012, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement. In the limited space of this blog, here’s the thumbnail sketch of the definitions of different concepts relevant to my argument:
You can read the rest of the article here.