Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Right Way to Amend the Constitution, part 8

This is part eight 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?

The title for this week’s proposed article of amendment (subject to revision) is The Legal Racial Distinctions Abolishment Amendment, the text of which follows:

Section 1: All uses of the term “person” in any law of any State or of the United States, including this Constitution, shall be construed as inclusive of all races of human beings.

Section 2: No law of any State or of the United States, except this article of amendment, shall make reference to a distinction between races or skin colors.

Section 3: All references to a distinction between races contained in any law of any State or of the United States, including this Constitution, shall become inoperable when this amendment is ratified.

Section 4: This amendment shall not be construed to affect the sovereignty of Indian tribes.

Commentary on this proposed amendment:

My motivation for this amendment is the belief that laws which require people to be classified by race are the major cause of racism. The fact or perception that one race is more protected under the law than another is the reason for this. This would tend to go away with this amendment. Private entities could still have affirmative action programs if they chose to do so, but I think that this would go away with time. The courts might have to make a ruling on whether or not policies of public institutions are considered “law” for purposes of this amendment. That would be interesting indeed.

Click here to read the next article in this series.

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