Preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Preamble is referred to in countless speeches, judicial opinions since the US Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788.
Since ratification the US Courts will not interpret the Preamble to confer any rights or powers not granted specifically in the Constitution. Our forefathers did not specifically define the term “people”.
288 years after ratification, “we the people” have grown to include pieces of paper called Company Formation documents or Articles of Incorporation. Backed with enormous sums of money, and politicians secured in corporate pockets, the paper people’s rights (corporations) now trump the rights of real people.
The Holleran family, New Milford, PA lost a battle against a corporation plan to build a pipeline through their property when the court ruled at last year’s hearing to condemn the land under Pennsylvania’s eminent domain law.
The tree-clearance would make way for part of the 124-mile pipeline that is planned to pump natural gas from the Marcellus Shale of northeastern Pennsylvania into New York State. The land is being taken by eminent domain to be turned into a 120ft wide passageway for the pipeline. The $875 million proposed project would carry gas from fracking sites in the northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Montrose into the capital of New York State, Albany.
The land taken by the paper people runs through the Holleran family’s North Harford Maple Syrup farm and construction of the pipeline would destroy prime maple trees which form the bulk of the Holleran’s business. The cutting of these trees would also come at a prime time for collection of maple sap used to make the syrup we all love to pour over pancakes.
Tree cutting was delayed for a couple of weeks, but on February 22, 2016, Judge Malachy Mannion of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, reaffirmed the paper people rights and would allow the Holleran’s maple trees to be cut down.
In an effort to save the trees at a New Milford family’s maple stand from felling for a gas pipeline, the trees were painted with the US flag.
The right-of-way was seized for the paper people’s profit under eminent domain, defined in the Constitution as being for public use. Most of the trees were destroyed on March 1, 2016.
The pipeline is ironically named the “Constitution Pipeline.”
© 2016 by Dory Hippauf