Amending prior amendments (Amended)

As expected, President Bush (decked out in full white-male, closed-minded power-broking asshole regalia) came out in support of a constitutional amendment today which would aim to specifically ban same-sex marriages, ostensibly in an attempt to “prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever” after the occurrence of events in California, Massachusetts and New Mexico which have indicated that “a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.”
That fundamental institution, of course, is the ability of one man and one woman to marry. Historians familiar with the establishment of religion, the writing of the Magna Carta, the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, and the onset of the American Revolution know this firsthand: these events were each based primarily upon the ability of men and women to wed, and were in no way grounded upon issues of individuality or self-respect or self-governance or human and civil rights. Right? Oh, I’m sorry, I was reading from the rightwing playbook there for a moment.
Back to that most fundamental of institutions, marriage
Bush went on to explain, “Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of marriage. There is not a contradiction between these responsibilities.”
Hmmm…let’s take a look at the current Bill of Rights and the other extant amendments to the current United States Constitution. I think I see some of these potential “contradictions,” to say the least, despite President Bush’s reassuring words to the contrary…

Article IX.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Article XIV. Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If, in some burst of mass hysteria and irrationality on the part of our legislative body, this proposed 28th Amendment is passed, we can hopefully look forward to the eventual and subsequent passage of Article XXIX, which, in the tradition of Article XXI, would state, “Section 1. The twenty-eighth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.”
At which point the U.S. Constitution will be nothing more than a cheapened document, comprised of little more than the expression of a series of conflicting values, borne of an “issues of the moment” ideology.
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7 replies on “Amending prior amendments (Amended)”

There’s also an amendment under consideration to rename the “Bill of Rights” to the “Bill O(f) Reilly”. I hear they will dump all Arabic numbers in favor of Roman numerals.

“decked out in full white-male, closed-minded power-broking asshole regalia”
what’d you guys do to JP, this doesn’t sound like him….?

George exploits the fact that we are (half-) surrounded with people who want to see their puny values enshrined in the law out of a pathetic need for validation.
Does he actually believe in the sanctity of marr…..anything?

Thank you for the link for information to immigrating to Canada. I ‘ve been looking into that for a while.

If preserving the sanctity of marriage is the goal, then it seems like amendments XXVIII-XXXIII, outlawing strippers, ESPN, booze (holla back XXI), the Oscars, Sex & the City DVDs, gambling, nannies, and pool boys, all of which are graver threats to marriage than the possibility that the proverbial Adam might be able to get onto the dental plan of the proverbial Steve. Before we get all freaky on the constitution, how about a test? We will see how the joint-checking, power of attorney-having, baby-adopting married gay couples affect us for a year, and then see where we are in a year. Bring it on, homos!

..when they put on their jubilantly diverse convention, it’s going to be a trick to find the gay republicans (minorities, if possible) who’ll cheer this.

Interesting thoughts, all of them. I agree with your stance and your critique of the Administration. The problem is that you’ve been a bit (forgive me) sloppy.
You confuse, “articles” with, “amendments”.
Also, the 9th Amendment simply is a precautionary measure and a nod to a cannon of construction (something they teach you about in law school that you forget after passing the bar). All it says is that, “if something’s not mentioned here, its not dealt with here.”
The 10th reserves all governmental powers not granted to the Federal Government to the States.
Neither have much to do with the issue at hand other than the obvious point that if Marriage is not regulated by the Fed, it may be so by the States. That is no longer the case since the Defense of Marriage Act passed last year. That Act has yet to be tested by a court as to its Constitutionality.
The 14th serves to apply the 5th Amendment to the States. The 5th is the Due Process guarantee as applied to the Fed. The 14th states that the guarantee of the 5th shall apply to State law as well.
It is the subject of lots of caselaw (too much for anything I write to be fully accurate). Essentially it guarantees due process to all people in the US. That guarantees a fair an impartial trial, the right to be heard in one’s own defense and that the laws will be written and applied fairly.
It is possible that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the 14th Amendment (I’d certainly argue that), but a more interesting argument is the Interstate Commerce Clause argument. That will go along the lines that the Federal Government’s powers are enumerated in the Constitution. those that are not given to the Fed, are reserved to the States (there’s your Amendment 10). Where is the power to regulate marriage?
Article 1 Section 8 is a favorite place for the Fed to look for powers that it is not actually given. That’s the famous, “Commerce Clause”.
I’m not trying to be a prick, I just think that the more those of us know about the process and the forces at hand, the better equipped we are to argue with those that would use the Constitution to further Personal Ideology rather than Public Policy.
Remember, the rights of the majority NEVER need protecting in a Democracy. The Constitution exists to protect those who cannot vote in numbers for what they need.

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