Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Right Way to Amend the Constitution, part 10

This article was modified on 3/6/10.

This is part ten of an ongoing series of articles containing proposals for amendments to the Constitution. For someone who claims so fervently to be a “Constitutionalist”, how is it that I can be so eager to change the Constitution? Well, there are several reasons. For one thing, I believe that after the Bill of Rights, much damage was done by some of the amendments that were added and the legitimacy of some of their ratifications are questionable. Secondly, the Constitution has been violated so much that the necessity of further amendments is needed to resolve the resulting problems. But this should be done extremely cautiously. These amendments are extremely unlikely to ever be introduced, much less ratified, but hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Here is this week’s proposed amendment (subject to revision):

Section 1: A “human life” or “human being” shall be deemed to include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, beginning with the earliest stage of development, created by the process of fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent and without regard to race, sex, age, health, defect, or condition of dependency.

Section 2: For purposes of this article, the term “fertilization” means the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.

Section 3: For purposes of this article, the term “cloning” means the process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which combines an enucleated egg and the nucleus of a somatic cell to make a human embryo.

Section 4: All uses of the term “person” in any law of the United States, including this Constitution, shall be construed as inclusive of all human life as defined in sections 1, 2, and 3 of this article.

Section 5: All human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable Right to Life. Neither the United States nor any State shall deny any person within its jurisdiction this Right without due process.

Section 6: Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states according to the number of born persons in each state excluding Indians not taxed.

Commentary on this proposed amendment:

The first three sections are based on Paul Broun’s Sanctity of Human Life Act. Section 5 comes from the Declaration of Independence with the phrase “All men” replaced with “All human beings” and only the Right to Life is included.

I never thought that it would be so difficult to write an effective Human Life Amendment. What I am trying to accomplish is to make all laws against murder to apply equally to all people (including the unborn), without denying someone’s right to self-defense, while still allowing the States to set their own punishments for murder and to be chiefly responsible for enforcing these laws. “Without due process” allows the death penalty, self defense laws, and legal wars to remain.

I added section 6 because it is not reasonable that unborn babies should be included in census enumerations. Historically, they were not included and it wouldn't be right to include some while others are not included because the mother is not yet aware of the pregnancy. Forcing women to take a pregnancy test would be excessively intrusive.

Click here to read the next article in the series.

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