A Word on Constitutional Amendments


iconShould a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage be a priority? Some people seem to think so. Personally, I agree with this guy that there are much better Amendments we should be pushing. I don't want to quote the whole thing, so I'll paraphrase:

Repeal the Seventeenth
Amen to that. The Seventeenth allows for the popular election of Senators, and shifted political power away from the states to the all knowing federal government. Repealing it would not only restore some of the power to the states, but would also help limit ths size and scope of the fed.

Enact the Bricker Amendment
This Amendment basically states that our Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that no foreign treaty can override it. It sounds like common sense, but this Amendment was actually defeated in the Senate along party lines, 42-50; with Republicans voting for it, and Democrats voting against it.

Limit the government's power to seize private property
Many people don't realize it, but if a policeman stops you and discovers that you are carrying a large sum of money (with no real definition of large) he can seize it without due process. How would you like it if you just sold your car for $3000 cash and got stopped on the way to the bank. The officer could take your money and send you on your way, and according to the Supreme Court, it's all perfectly 'legal'.

Limit the government's power to seize real property
Eminent domain abuses are on the rise. Let's say Wal-Mart wants to tear down a few houses in your neighborhood to build a new store. They make an offer to buy your property, but you refuse. Rather than look for a different location, they head over to city hall and strike a deal with your local government. The town council decides to condemn your property and force you to sell to Wal-Mart. Their justification is that they can seize your property under 'eminent domain' because the town is better served by the tax revenue and jobs created by Wal-Mart, than with the paltry property taxes they collect from you each year. Not only is this happening, but our Supreme Court has said that it's okay.

Neal has some good ideas, but why stop there. I would add several more proposed Constitutional Amedments, all of which are more important than the "defense of marriage".

Limit the government's power to usurp private property rights
Right now there are numerous state and local governments telling people what they cannot do on their own property. New York, California, Florida, and other state and local governments have passed laws telling people they cannot smoke on their own property. Some government employees have been told they cannot smoke at all, and if they do they'll be fired. Smoking may be a disgusting habit, but it's legal, and telling someone that they cannot allow people to smoke on their property or on their own spare time is no business of the government. I would wholeheartedly support an Amendment that tells the Pleasure Police nannies that they cannot usurp the rights of property owners and individual citizens. I could call it the "If you don't like it, carry your ass" Amendment.

Re-affirm the Bill of Rights
How about we re-affirm the Bill of Rights, and put some of these arguments to bed forever. Wouldn't it be nice if you could speak out against a politician within 60 days of a general election? How about if in spite of the fact you live in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, or California, you could buy a gun and use it to defend your life, liberty, and property? How about we restore the States Rights Amendment (Amendment Ten)? Over the past several years the Bill of Rights has been just about gutted, and it's time we restored the enumeration of our rights to their former glory. Wouldn't it be nice if the phrase "Congress shall make no law" actually meant that Congress shall make no law. Would that be so bad?

Whether you support gay marriage, or are vehemently opposed to it, can you honestly say that an Amendment on the subject is more important than any one of these?


Category:  Amendment of the Day
Comments (5)      top   link me

Comments

What's really sad is that we feel we have to do these things.

I'm planning on getting Randy Barnette's new book Restoring the Lost Constitution. Maybe he has a plan.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at February 25, 2004 10:36 AM

Here's my preferred Constitutional amendment:

"No person nor organization shall be held penalizable under any enactment, unless Congress has passed it in all particulars, and has specified all penalties for its violation."

My target is the unelected lawmakers in the alphabet agencies. Congress was never given the privilege of delegating its lawmaking power -- yet it has. The above amendment would make it clear that this is forbidden, and that no regulatory agency has the power to make law (or regulations with the force of law).

Legislators love to let the alphabet agncies be the bad guys. That way the Congressmen can skip the job they were elected to do, and instead do "constituent service": helping their constituents cope with the regulatory bureaucracies! Is it not superb?

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at February 25, 2004 8:54 PM

Next amendment:

For every new addition to the U.S. Code, two obsolete ones must be removed.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at February 25, 2004 9:04 PM

It all started going downhill when they let women vote.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 26, 2004 4:39 AM

How about enforcing the Nineth Amendment?
"The enumeration in this Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

This amendment renders most legislation unconstitutional, a fancy word for illegal.

Posted by: Brett at February 28, 2004 3:34 PM

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