Oakland judge's Patriot Week showcases first principles

 by Cynthia Price

Legal News
Judge Michael Warren disclaims full responsibility for developing Patriot Week, which debuted last year. He says his daughter Leah has been his partner all the way.
When the Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters (MASAL) held its 114th annual conference on Calvin College March 26, they invited both the judge and his daughter to tell participants what Patriot Week is all about, and to detail what he sees as the First Principles that shape our country.
MASAL’s mission is to “disseminate research and diffuse knowledge,” and the conference location rotates among universities and colleges statewide. The 2010 conference featured hundreds of brief papers on academic subjects.
Judge Michael and 11-year-old Leah Warren gave presentations in each of four discipline-based sessions: history, law, political science and education. Warren said in his MASAL presentation that he would love to see Patriot Week adopted far and wide to “Reinvigorate the American Spirit and Constitution.,” the title of their talk. 
And what are the First Principles that the Warren team holds so dear?
First: Revolution. The people have the right to alter or abolish an oppressive government. The Declaration of Independence recognized this right, embodied by the actions of the founders of our country. It states that if any government destroys the protection of the “unalienable rights” promised to all people, the “people” have the right to “institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The Rule of Law. The framers of the constitution rejected the reigning global model, where those in power ruled by whim and inconsistency. Laws must be enacted, published, and followed in the treatment of every citizen. As Samuel Adams said, “There shall be one rule of Justice for the rich and the poor; for the favorite in Court, and the Countryman at the Plough.” 
The Social Compact. Governments are of the people, by the people and for the people, and the powers granted to leaders are limited by the consent of the governed.
Equality (Gender) recognizes that all persons are created equal, reacting against the inherent inequality of the system of royal leaders and privileged classes. The writers of the constitution relied on the rule of law and the separation of powers to ensure that such inequalities would never be at the heart of the United States government, and would be found unacceptable going forward — as Nazi Germany was in elevating the Aryan “race.” 
The Declaration’s statement “all men are created equal” was challenged by such patriots as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as being incomplete without the inclusion of the female gender. Society agreed, and that has become a First Principle of our nation, along with:
Equality (Race). The framers of the Constitution were also challenged by those who thought that as long as African-Americans and other minorities were not under the umbrella of equal treatment, the First Principle of Equality was a sham. To quote the official web site, www.
patriotweek.org, “slavery and racial discrimination made a mockery of the First Principles of equality, unalienable rights, and the Social Compact.”
Abolition and the Civil War yielded the first steps in reaching that equality, and although the struggle continues, civil rightists of the 1960s such as Martin Luther King continued it.
Unalienable Rights. This principle recognizes that everyone is “endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson, for example, believed that these rights came from “the laws of nature,” and could neither be given nor taken away by the government. This again ran directly counter to most nations of the time, ruled arbitrarily by monarchs or their representatives.
Limited Government.  The protection of citizens’ unalienable rights is the purpose of the U.S. government, and government must be limited to fulfilling that purpose, as enumerated in the Constitution as a whole.
Michael Warren was appointed to the Oakland County Circuit Court in 2002, and has a long history of working to educate the public, particularly students, about these first principles and those who developed and upheld them. He is an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School, teaching Constitutional Law. He wrote America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles (Mill City Press; 2002)
Patriot Week 2009 was inaugurated in Oakland County, beginning on Sept. 11 and ended Constitution Day Sept. 17, the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.