Preface to The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed: A Coroner’s Inquest & Report (Vol. 1)

This work is the first of a multi-volume treatise. In addition to a Prologue, this volume covers the Constitution’s Natural Rights Pedigree, its Preamble, and the (very-limited) Federal Legislative Powers and Federal Executive Powers it grants.

To get the most out of this work and the best perspective, one ought to study first the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution immediately following. The parts of each covered in the volume are marked in bold for continuing ease of reference, though the author certainly doesn’t wish to discourage a full reading of each. Following those founding documents, is the Prècis and Table of Contents which also deserves close study, before turning to the text of the work.

The volume is styled, The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed—A Coroner’s Inquest  and Report. “Judice”, a pun, Latin, means “pertaining to judges”; thus denoting the judicial, Judas-like betrayal of the Constitution. “Coroner’s Inquest” denotes that the work is a study into the death of the Constitution. Your author is the Coroner. He proceeds in the Inquest with the aid of his Coroner’s Jury: Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Story, Locke, and Blackstone.

The work, at least in this volume, is a dialogue between the Coroner and his jury on the various parts of the Constitution covered. The jury members answer the Coroner’s questions, for the most part in their own words, drawn from a variety of their written works. Occasionally the Coroner puts words in their mouths; those “inventions” are shown in brackets in the jurors’ answers.

The work is novel, because, to the author’s knowledge, it is the only “Constitutional Law” textbook that collects the wisdom of the framers as the Constitution’s only authoritative sources; it does not, as most Constitutional Law texts do, emphasize court cases as constitutional authority, for more often than not, the courts have only warped the Constitution.

In a broader sense, though, the work is not novel, for it’s only an arrangement of the work already done by the jurors. The author is pleased to say that the work, by and large, is not original thought. Its beauty is that it only revives long-forgotten constitutional “discoveries” as set in the words of the main jurors and some others within “interviewed”.

A few other matters. There are some 1200 Endnotes for those who want to see for themselves the sources of the material. Many of the Endnotes contain hyperlinks to on-line sources. Others cite both on-line and print sources. Some cite only print sources. The Endnotes are posted on the author’s blog @ Endnotes to The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed (“Pastoral Republican”). The work also contains a Bibliography presented in the same manner of sources as in the Endnotes. At the beginning of the Bibliography is a list of some of the very good websites that feature the authorities cited in this volume.

There is also an Index, mediocre at best, some parts over- and some parts under-inclusive. It is organized around the 15 main topics shown on its first page. Readers will note that many of the main topics contain subtitles such as “Abuse of” and “Limits on”. The author could not bring himself to suggest, even in the Index, that the actual exercise of a particular power, say the Commerce Power, was a legitimate use of that power, so he attempted to segregate the abuses from the proper uses of the power.

The Index at its beginning also lists a number of paintings in the book which in the text are identified as P:1, P:2, and so on.

Occasionally the reader will run across foreign words, usually Latin. We have in most cases found translations from seemingly reliable sources, but with some we were on our own. Beware, especially of those where no citation is given.

The reader will notice that in each separate discussion of the parts of the Constitution covered, the related key words and their synonyms are highlighted in bold. We think the bolding is helpful, but it’s possible it also might be distracting.

Along the same lines, we have included text boxes with what we think are the most important or pithiest quotes our authors have given on the subjects immediately at hand in the text.

Also the reader may find that the punctuation shown in the quotes from our main authors and some others may not coincide exactly with the original work we have cited for the quotes. The discrepancies, the author believes, are not substantive. The changes were mainly to convert colons into semi-colons, commas, or periods, as the author thought appropriate. He confesses that no such changes would have been made had not a “computer accident” occurred during the indexing of the book, an accident which replaced, frequently, the original punctuation with colons. Rather than rereading the hundreds of quotations herein published, the author reviewed them and made the punctuation substitutions he thought appropriate.

A problem with publishing one volume at a time is that there are references in it which cite to other parts in volumes not yet published. We hope that the problem is not more than a minor inconvenience. This first volume includes the Prologue and the first four sections of some 27 planned and mainly finished for the entire treatise. The author begs the reader to pray that God grant the author the time required to finish all the volumes—two or three more of the size of this one.

Please, Dear Reader, if errors be found, notify the author (pictured below with wife and co-conspirator, Suzanne) @ (“Pastoral Republican”) in the space there provided. The author hastens to add that although he appears in the work as “Coroner”, the picture of him near a graveyard is purely coincidental: the occasion was his son’s wedding at a Catholic Church immediately adjacent.


Suzanne and Doug Bartley





Suzanne and Doug reside near Ely, Minnesota. They are also the authors of six children.

Doug’s articles have appeared in The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (op-ed), Chronicles, and Human Events. And his verses, Epistle 1, “Proofs of the Existence of God” (January 2010), Epistle 2, “The Realm of Reason” (May 2010), Epistle 3, “The Realm of Faith” (September 2010), and Epistle 5, “The Realm of Faith (continued) were published in the inimitable, New Oxford Review @ and (subscription required to view the poems in their entirety). Other Epistles will be published there in the months coming.

Doug was born in Milwaukee in 1947, graduated from Milwaukee Country Day School in 1965, and took his BS and JD from the University of Arizona, afterward practicing law and serving as a judge for seven years on Wisconsin’s tax court, “The Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission”, where he wrote many opinions, both for the majority and in dissent. Now “retired”, and along with the poems, he is at work on the remainder of the treatise with Saint Suzanne’s help.

Suzanne was born in Detroit in 1947 and graduated from St. Anthony’s there in 1965. Since then she has had many secretarial and accounting jobs, but her main work has always been taking care of her family. In the Prologue, readers will find some of her most amusing illustrations.

Readers who don’t like the volume’s content can still enjoy her illustrations, as well as the work of other artists in portraits, pictures, and paintings. I should enjoy hearing even from you, as well as from those who have compliments to offer.

I close with this prayer:

Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,

Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”

The aim below, tis’ my wish and my hope:

Comply with the decree of Master Pope,

And squander not words, nor waste precious time,

And blight not Law, nor Liberty begrime

For Canons ought not the foolish to bear;

So, please God, as I write this fare,

Give content, balance, junction to each part,

And let Law be enhanc’d by reason’s art.

† Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Part Third, Lines 309-310.

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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