Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Right Way to Amend the Constitution, part 19

This is part nineteen 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?

In this post I am writing about a modification I have made to a previous proposed amendment and a withdrawal of another.

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.

I added the above new section to my pro-life constitutional amendment proposal. The original wording contained language requiring that all laws containing the word “person” would be interpreted as inclusive of the unborn. But 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 and not necessarily reliable.

I am also being kind of sneaky with this because this would also nullify the 16th amendment (if had ever been properly ratified in the first place). No more direct, unapportioned taxes.

Secondly, I am withdrawing my proposal to amend the constitution to remove Barack Obama from office as this would be a Bill of Attainder. I still agree that he should be removed, but the method I had proposed is unacceptable. Article I section 9 forbids Bills of Attainder which I can now see should even include constitutional amendments. This must be done through the courts. But future crises such as this could be avoided with a clarifying amendment.

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