Dear Attorney Lyons,
I have contacted the Lt. Governor of the State of North Carolina about Article VI 6, section 7 & 8 of our State Constitution and the violation of it's charge by the City Council of Asheville, North Carolina in the seating of and doing business of the city with a professed atheist while knowing it is a declared breach of Constitutional law. The Lt. Governor would only vacillate in his response and move the subject to a course of legal opinion.
I would then contact the North Carolina Department of Justice and it's head , the State Attorney General, who would not even respond to my inquiry as to why the City would be allowed to continue on it's apparent unlawful conduct of the peoples business.
I have been slandered, and misquoted by some members of the media nationally and internationally on this matter while seeking an answer as to why this municipality can be allowed to place itself in operation above the law.
I have sought the aid of the Rutherford Institute, and the Southern Legal Resource Center in hopes to bring both criminal and civil action against this body and the Board of Elections who should have sought clarification on the eligibility of the candidate before he was allowed to run or be seated as a member of this body.
It is my belief that any and all business conducted by this Council with a vote by the disqualified member is null and void , and any grants, loans or actions, or policy decisions should not be binding.
I shall confer with the Sheriff and Chief of Police about making a citizens arrest of the entire body if they continue on this course without the matter being resolved in an Amendment of the State Constitution as prescribed by law, or a clarification by the State Attorney General as to the effect that what they do is legal.
Southern Heritage 411
I'll wager less than one in a hundred "Republicans" have read the US Constitution and the documents that supported it, The Federalist...also known as The Federalist Papers. Or, for that matter, the Anti-Federalist Papers written by people who opposed the Constitution, and were in favor of religious tests of office.
Here is the 3d clause of Article VI:The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
That is very simple language, and should be easy to understand. The US Constitution trumps the state constitutions in this case.
Further, requiring a religious test for office violates the 1st and 14th Amendment rights of the person in question, as Torcaso v. Watkins has decided in a very similar case.
The Supreme Court ruled on this case, so it is the law of the land unless you are willing to take this all the way to the Supreme Court and get it over turned. That will not happen.
I dislike Cecil Bothwell being in the Asheville City Council. However, the voters have spoken.
If you want anyone to blame, you have no need to look past what John Jay, an author of The Federalist Papers, the first Chief Justice of the United States and the second president of the American Bible Society, said when he declared, "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." If you wanted a religious test, the time to apply it would have been during the election campaign...not afterward.So blame the conservative candidates running, blame the 80% of Republicans who did not go to the polls that day, blame the party leadership in that county for not having an organized GOTV plan for Election Day that could have been adapted by the candidates running for City Council.
Maybe next time there is an election campaign going on, these people will be involved in walking the precincts, seeking voters and donations to help get someone who shares their values elected to office. If they are not doing that, then they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.