Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Right Way to Amend the Constitution, part 18


This is part eighteen of an ongoing series of articles containing my 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. My amendments are extremely unlikely to ever be introduced, much less ratified, but hey, I can dream, can’t I?
Here is my eighteenth proposed amendment (subject to revision):
The President may not enter into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States.
Commentary on this proposed amendment:
This amendment was actually introduced by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. It is cosponsored by Ron Paul, but I am wondering if it is really necessary. Article I section 8 says, “The Congress shall have Power…To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin…” But the word “tender” is not used in association with any power of the federal government. If we assume that the power to make something tender is included in the definition of “regulate the value thereof” then I think the amendment would be meaningful. But the word “regulate” means to make regular or uniform, not to determine. It seems incomprehensible that the Founding Fathers would have meant for Congress to have the right to make a foreign coin legal tender, much less the President. "No State shall ... coin Money,...make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts..." If the federal gov't has all power over the issue, then giving the states the power to make gold and silver Coin a Tender means nothing.

Click here to read the next article in the series.

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