A small group of dedicated constitutionalists in Vermont met at the Statehouse on Tuesday to speak up for the Fifth Amendment and speak out against what they see as an increasingly oppressive state government.
Surrounded by about 40 fellow citizens, a few individuals stepped up and gave speeches about the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that secures life, liberty and property, and seeks to protect the rights of the criminally accused.
The Fifth Amendment reads as follows:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The speakers included Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, Charles Wilson, who ran for Vermont Senate for the Caledonia District last year, and John Klar, a 2020 Republican gubernatorial candidate.
All three mentioned the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation passed last year that turns green energy goals into mandates and gives ordinary citizens the right to sue the state if those targets aren’t met.
Klar said green mandates and subsidies for new green technologies hurt the people with lower wages.
“It’s still regressive,” he said. “You file the lawsuit — you show that those [lawmakers] who are pretending to take money from the rich and give it to the poor are giving it to themselves, and they are hurting us. And guess what — all Vermonters know this.”
On the Fifth Amendment, Klar emphasized that rights must never be taken away without due process.
“When they take away your right to even question a BLM flag on your property, at your school, they’ve denied your due process rights, to take away your First Amendment right. And in H.610 [an act relating to firearms and domestic violence] they deny your due process rights to take away your Second Amendment rights.”
Roper also spoke about the importance of protecting constitutional rights.
“I want to talk about the part that says no person shall ‘be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor should private property be taken for public use without just compensation,'” he said.
Roper said those rights are now under attack.
“There are so many areas in which they are trying to encroach on our ability to own and control property and do with it what we see fit as individuals working in concert with other individuals,” he said.
On the Global Warming Solutions Act, Roper said that the law will push unrealistic goals for adopting new and more expensive transportation technologies.
“How in the hell are they going to go from 2,300 to 50,000 electric vehicles on the road in a five-year period, when it’s been 15 years and they’ve got 2,300 on the road, without a massive intrusion? … Either they are going to have to subsidize the electric vehicles to such an extent that they are robbing us of our tax money in order to pay for somebody else’s car, or they are going to have to put mandates on what we are able to purchase at the store.”
Wilson talked about how the government does not have a right to confiscate private property without due process.
He also noted the sharp divisions in the country. “A house divided against itself will fall,” he said.
Carol Appleton, a member of the crowed gathered at the event, said she was happy to see freedom-minded Vermonters get together.
“It’s just good for people to be organized,” she said.
She said she wishes the media would be more attentive to such gatherings.
“I do feel that there isn’t really good journalism out there,” she said.