The Constitution Party stands squarely on a guiding philosophy of "Principle over Politics." We are strict constructionists who believe in governance based upon the original intent of the Framers of our nation.
On Original Intent
The Constitution Party does not engage in revisionist history - we do not ignorantly nor arrogantly view language, usage and cultural perspective as if of modern origination. We look to the Original Intent of our Framers to understand who we are today in light of the historical perspective. We look to additional writings and contemporary historical debate of the Framers to gain a deeper understanding of what is intended within the brevity of the body of the Constitution, and to the political philosophers of antiquity and the Enlightenment whose writings profoundly influenced the grounding principles and structural basis of our government.
We attach no mystical or infallible character traits to the men we affectionately honor as our Founding Fathers, nor do we claim our founding documents as Biblically-equivalent or divinely-inspired. These men recognized we are not of our own creation, but rather are creatures of a perfect Creator. And that Creator has, for His perfect will, chosen to give to mankind the breath of life (Life), self-determination (Liberty) and a free will to chose how to use his life and liberty to Pursue Happiness - all three being inexorably intertwined.
That being said, the Framers of our government envisioned and set forth a system of government that provided a structure of civil government that would, if preserved, provide for the protection and security of our aforementioned God-given rights. Furthermore, that civil government derives its authority by and through consent of the governed - the People.
On States' Rights
One debate being waged today is that of States' Rights. Within the text of the Constitution, there is little mention of the nature of the several states, save Article IV, Section 4, which reads, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government..." The Bill of Rights expands upon the purpose and function of the several States relative to the federal government in both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which read, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." and "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
However, the true intention regarding the inherent nature of the several States individually remains unclear. Therefore, we look to other writings of the time to better grasp the intent of our Founders for the States.
The Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the American Revolutionary War between the British Crown and the United States of America, was signed by founders John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay. In it, the first article of the treaty recognizes and acknowledges "... the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states ..."
Additionally, we look to two state resolutions drafted in 1798 in response to the federal Alien and Sedition Acts. The Kentucky Resolution, shadow-written by Thomas Jefferson, and the Virginia Resolution, shadow-written by James Madison, opens the door wide to the original intent for the states and the intended relationship between the United States and that of the several States. Jefferson writes in the Kentucky Resolution,"... the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government..."
Therefore we, as the Constitution Party of Maryland, declare and affirm the basis for governance in Maryland in Articles I and IV of Maryland's Declaration of Rights:
That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient.
That the People of this State have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, as a free, sovereign and independent State.