Origins of the National Council of Censors 

During 1776, the Pennsylvania Legislature created a citizen watch group called the "Council of Censors. " The duty of this group was to ascertain if the Pennsylvania constitution had been preserved; and whether the Legislative and Executive branches of government had performed their duty as guardians of the people.

James Madison referenced this group in Federalist Paper #48 with following remarks: "The other State which I shall take for an example, is Pennsylvania; and the other authority the council of censors which assembled in the years 1783 and 1784. A part of the duty of this body, as marked out by the Constitution was, "to enquire whether the Constitution had been preserved inviolate in every part; and whether the legislative and executive branches of government had performed their duty as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves, or exercised other or greater powers that they are entitled by the Constitution."

In the execution of this trust, the council were necessarily led to a comparison, of both the legislative and executive proceedings, with the constitutional powers of these departments; and from the facts enumerated I and to the truth of most of which, both sides in the council subscribed, it appears that the Constitution had been flagrantly violated by the Legislature in a variety of important instances.

A great number of laws had been passed violating without any apparent necessity, the rule requiring that all bills of a public nature, shall be previously printed for the consideration of the people; although this is one of the precautions chiefly relied on by the Constitution, against improper acts of the Legislature."

General Provisions............
The National Council of Censors believes the Framers established three branches of Government to represent the people as follows: (1) the House of Representative of the Legislative Branch would represent the people's local interest and the Senate would protect the people's state interest, (2) the Executive Branch would protect the people's national interest, and (3) the Judicial Branch would protect the people's fundamental interests.

The Federalist Papers expressed concerns regarding the dangers of "factions". Factions were defined as a group of citizens that pursues its own agenda and interest at the expense of the common good. Regrettably, the National Council of Censors believes national political parties are the primary origin of infractions of the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the Constitution is routinely usurped.

The Republic..............
The Council believes the U.S. Constitution is an enduring document and therefore should not be changed or amended for transient or theoretical causes. It is our belief that a government established with the purpose of serving the public good can only survive unless each generation is reminded of the principles upon which that government was founded.

(1) To educate and inspire citizen awareness of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

(2) To preserve, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution as the Framers originally envisioned

The Council firmly believes that when followed, the Constitution will constrain the government. However, when infractions of the Constitution occur, the Council believes "the people", through their elected representatives, must redress unwise public policy or unconstitutional acts through public debate and the ballot box.

Volunteer Chapters...........
The National Council of Censors encourages the establishment of local chapters. Local chapters that will work to preserve, protect, and defend the fundamental principles of the
U.S. Constitution.

General Information............
Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of the United States

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