Representative Brodie Deshaies from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire testified in front of the State-Federal Relations and Veteran Affairs Committee on January 20, 2022 concerning CACR 32. The legislation seeks to let the people of New Hampshire vote to amend the Constitution and become an independent nation, breaking ties with DC. He was the legislator asked by the committee chairman to do the bulk of the research before the hearing.
Looking closely at all the claims Deshaies made about the legality of this bill and the implications concerning lawmakers voting to recommend that the House pass it, it is hard to decide if he is ignorant and easily swayed by empire-loving “constitutional scholars” from DC or if he gave a speech full of lies to sway the vote. He used fear-mongering language directed at the committee, implying that they may be charged by Washington DC if they vote ‘Ought To Pass’ and supported the bill through the legal process. This article is a close-up look at his claims and will look at all the material he references to see if he is really making a constitutional argument against CACR 32.
Deshaies starts off with an acknowledgment of how the public perceives him. “There are some people who are pretty upset with me in the room,” he says. This is already very indicative of his character. He sent Elliot “Alu” Axelman (the editor-in-chief of LibertyBlock.com and the author of multiple books on secession) an email full of misinterpretations of the US and New Hampshire Constitutions a few weeks ago. When Alxelman politely asked if he wished to engage in a public debate on the topic, Deshaies cowered and declined. Without the opportunity to debate Deshaies, and with no legislator agreeing to debate him, Alu published his rebuttal to Deshaies’ anti-independence letter on his website. The article destroys the few arguments that the anti-freedom legislator sought to make in his letter. Instead, Deshaies went on to publish the exact same letter in an op-ed article on NHJournal.com. So, now we know he knows how people feel about his twisting of the facts, but he just goes on to ignore the people and doubles down on his way of thinking. We see from this very first sentence that he isn’t the sort of person who feels he should be in office doing what the people of New Hampshire want. He feels he’s in office to rule over the citizens of New Hampshire with an iron fist.
He goes on to say that after speaking to many “constitutional scholars” such as David Williams, author of “The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment”, that he believes this committee was engaged in a “constitutional process” by voting Ought to Pass or Inexpedient to Legislate. Which means every vote cast is “aiding in the constitutional process,” and “approving it at each time along the way”.
Deshaies claims, “Every vote cast has a constitutional ramification judging by amendment fourteen of the US Constitution, section three. Some scholars would argue that this is rebelling, even if it’s peaceful. This very well could be an argument where voting for this, aiding and abetting in that process could very well be unconstitutional.”
So, there it is, folks. Deshaies spoke to a man who wrote a book arguing that the second amendment doesn’t really give all Americans the right to bear arms for advice on what the Constitution says. Then, he came up with a clever way to subtly scare the other members of the committee out of voting Ought to Pass on this bill. He used a mildly veiled threat of ‘insurrection’ and ‘rebellion’ to convince everyone on the committee to vote 21-0 against recommending the bill to be passed. Even the two committee members who told Axelman that they would support the legislation ultimately caved to the fear and voted to kill it.
Amendment Fourteen Section Three of the US Constitution is written in legalese, so here is an explanation of it from AnnenbergClassroom.org;
“Amendment XIV, Section 3 prohibits any person who had gone to war against the union or given aid and comfort to the nation’s enemies from running for federal or state office, unless Congress by a two-thirds vote specifically permitted it”.
This has nothing to do with a committee in New Hampshire voting ‘Ought to Pass’ on a bill that would allow the citizens of New Hampshire to vote to become an independent nation. The representatives already took their oaths. Hopefully, if they had gone to war against the federal government, that would have been looked into before they were sworn in. That is what the fourteenth amendment, section three is discussing. It’s a far cry from allowing the people the chance to possibly vote on peacefully separating from their abusive rulers in DC.
Even if the part of the US Constitution Deshaies cited was relevant, voting Ought to Pass on CACR 32 would not constitute rebellion. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, rebellion is defined as “Deliberate, organized resistance, by force and arms, to the laws or operations of the government, committed by a subject”. It is ridiculous to assert that by allowing an amendment of the New Hampshire Constitution to appear on the ballot by proper peaceful and lawful procedure, his fellow committee members would be engaging in violent resistance against the federal government. If Granite Staters voted and it became law, we would immediately no longer be a part of the federal government. That would not be rebelling, that would be peaceful separation.
Deshaies goes on to say that part one, article ten of the New Hampshire constitution does not apply to the federal government. The referenced article reads, “Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” It does not specify “The New Hampshire government can be reformed or a new state government established.” It simply uses the word “government.” The authors of the NH Constitution were smart enough to know the difference. If they intended for the article to apply only to the state government, they would have said so. Brodie Deshaies gives no explanation for why he thinks article ten only applies to the state government. The right of revolution isn’t specifically granted to the federal government in the US Constitution, and according to the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution, that means that right is delegated to the states. Thankfully, the New Hampshire Constitution has this right clearly and articulately established. Granite Staters have the right to reform any government that has become perverse and/or establish a new one. CACR 32 would seek to reform the state government we have by striking all references to the United States in the New Hampshire Constitution, state statutes, and regulations.
Deshaies does acknowledge that people in New Hampshire today are upset about the amount of powers the federal government claims to have over them. He says “New Hampshire lost some of that sovereignty because we accepted federal dollars and we ceded a number of responsibilities. Now, we’re still sovereign, technically, over this. We can, through the constitutional process, freely take back those powers. It just means we’re going to have to be giving up the carrots. We took the carrot, we get the stick.” I’m not sure what carrot he’s referring to, because the federal government does nothing but leech off of New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a donor state, meaning Granite Staters pay hundreds of millions per year more in taxes to the federal government than the state government receives back in funding. Also, I’m pretty sure that the saying has to do with getting the carrot OR the stick. Brodie Deshaies would be free to move to another state if Granite Staters voted to leave the union and keep their wealth. Massachusetts is less than 100 miles from his house, and there he can take all the carrots and sticks he wants from the federal government.
Continuing to speak about the constitutional process, Deshaies says, “I think people are misguided and they’re providing an answer that isn’t the right answer, that isn’t the constitutional answer. They’re trying to work outside of the constitutional government to get this done.” That just isn’t true. CACR 32 went through all the proper channels and is a valid constitutional amendment. Just because Deshaies doesn’t think it is the right answer doesn’t mean Granite Staters should not be allowed to vote on the issue. He would be allowed to vote on the ballot like everyone else. The people deserve to have their say. As far as secession movements go, this is literally the most legal, peaceful method of seceding that any state has ever attempted in human history.
After the meeting, Joa of Breaking the Flaw confronted Deshaies publicly in the hallway of the Legislative Office Building and asked him why he would oppose this legislation so heavily and asked if he believed he was really representing the people. Deshaies stated, “I’ve had more constituents contact me to oppose it than I’ve had, you know I had two contact me to oppose it and I haven’t had any contact me to support it.” Deshaies didn’t represent his constituents that day if he believes two people contacting him to oppose CACR 32 is good enough for him to get in front of the committee and misrepresent what the US and New Hampshire Constitutions say to scare the committee into voting Inexpedient to Legislate for fear of being prosecuted by the federal government for rebellion.
Next, CACR 32 will go in front of the full House for a roll call vote, possibly on February 15th. Contact your representative and tell them you want them to defend democracy by supporting this bill, so that the people of New Hampshire can vote on it in November of 2022.