Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Right Way to Amend the Constitution, part 13

This is part thirteen 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 Peace and Tranquility Amendment, the text of which follows:

Section 1: The United States shall not invade, station standing armies in, or establish forts in another nation without a Congressional declaration of war.

Section 2: Any Congressional declaration of war must contain clear instructions as to the objectives of the war and an exit strategy.

Section 3: Any Congressional declaration of war must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the whole number of members of each House of Congress.

Section 4: Congress shall make no law appropriating funds for war except funds obtained by the voluntary purchase of war bonds. This section shall not be construed to apply to the peacetime maintenance of the Navy and of the Militia.

Section 5: The Marines and the Coast Guard shall be reintegrated into the Navy for all purposes. All power over the National Guard shall be given to the States, except in times of war, and it shall serve as the Militia. All other branches of the armed services shall be abolished and none shall be established except in times of war. The Posse Comitatus Act shall not be violated.

Section 6: This article shall not be construed as modifying, limiting or abolishing the Power of Congress to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, to define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations, or to make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.

Section 7: Henceforth, no citizen of the United States shall be liable for the payment of taxes, fees, or other moneys to be received by the United States and no such moneys shall be collected or withheld from a citizen whenever the United States is in violation of the terms of this article of amendment and for one year following any such violation.

Commentary on this proposed amendment:

The third and fourth sections are the meat of the amendment. The rest are really redundant, given the 10th amendment and the fact that no authority to do these things exists in the Constitution. Over and over again, the United States has unnecessarily plunged itself into war at the cost of our own lives and well as the lives of law-abiding citizens of other nations. The demagoguery of our leadership has suckered our populace into the belief that it is necessary for the freedom our nation to kill innocent civilians who committed no crime against the United States, its allies, or its citizens. If we don’t establish a better check on war making powers we are doomed to become a nation permanently at war.

Section 7 is necessary to put some teeth into it. Without it, if the amendment were violated, then any case brought by the People against the government would be dismissed on some basis like “lack of standing”. Section 7 would force the courts to either make things right or do a lot more mental gymnastics than usual.

Click here to go on to my next proposed amendment.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Seeing is believing...