From a popular tutorial on contract management, we may learn the following:
“A contract is…a formal written agreement between two individuals or organizations for the procurement of commodities and services.
Every contract consists of the following five elements:
- Mutual agreement – a meeting of the minds where both sides agree to an offer and an acceptance of that offer.
- Consideration – each party to a contract receives something of value that it wants, and, in turn, gives something of value in exchange for it.
- Capacity – both parties must be legally competent, at least 18 years of age and acting within the law. They not only need to be legally of age but they must have the mental capacity to contract. They must be authorized to commit their organization.
- Legal Purpose – for a contract to be enforceable by law, it must be concerned with a legal purpose or objective. A purpose or objective must be considered a lawful, rather than an unlawful, pursuit.
- Certainty of Terms – the terms of the contract must be sufficiently clear to permit the court to conclude that a contractual agreement was intended and to determine from the document what the terms of the agreement were. It must be written very clearly and specifically. In a court of law, a contract is construed against the preparer.”
We must insist that our United States Constitution be viewed in the same manner. It is nothing more and nothing less than a simple contract between the People and their government. Our mutual agreement is such that we promise to give our allegiance and support to the government and they agree to protect our rights and safety and conduct the government in accordance with the specifics of the contract, the Constitution. In consideration, the government receives delegated powers and authority from the people, and money in the form of taxes, and the people are supposed to receive a good measure of safety, security, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness as they otherwise conceive it. Mature, sovereign, powerful, intelligent, honorable beings that have the capacity and the will to enter into and dissolve such contracts make them for the legal purpose of living in freedom and peace.
When considering the certainty of terms we do so to ensure that the provider, (in the case of our Constitution this means the government) is properly bound by the terms of the contract. When we say that the contract is construed against the preparer, we understand this to mean that the preparer has the responsibility to ensure that the terms are specific and well defined. When this is not the case, the benefit of the doubt goes to the other party involved, (in the case of our Constitution this means the People). The founders of our government and our Constitution added the tenth amendment, which is provided as a further protection against misinterpretation saying, “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.”
Finally, when one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.
When one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.
That is right. It is for this reason governments take punitive action against criminals, because they have failed to fulfill their duties as citizens.
It is for this reason that we originally separated ourselves from the government of King George, who had in onerous and numerous ways failed to meet his contractual responsibilities to his people by “taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.”
As we consider and celebrate our United States Constitution this week, I exhort you by saying that when considering contracts it is not necessary to read between the lines, but to read the lines themselves and understand what they say. Our Constitution is not a living document, it is a legal document and should always held and enforced as such, and whatever is necessary to be done to uphold it must be done and sooner, much sooner, rather than later.
Louis William Rose