Monday, May 19, 2008

When Did the Amendment Process Become Extinct

Not since 1992 have we had an amendment to the constitution, and that had to do with the grandiose topic of congressional pay. Why don't we amend the constitution anymore for things like a flat tax, defining a language, resolving citizenship, or protecting marriage. So many of these issues receive and overwhelming support from over two thirds of the people needed to ratify the amendment. There are two main reasons amendments are not pushed, but truly, they are only a result of the dilution of the supremacy of the constitution over the past 100 years.

First is the introduction of the ballot initiative. While the concept is good, enabling the citizenry to step around their elected representatives to enact legislation that serves the will of the people, it has given people a false sense of power and allowed them to forget the amendment process. The problem with ballot initiatives is that they are easily undone by the second main reason for no new amendments, the activist court. Activists courts are very quick to strike down initiatives as they did in California when they ruled in favor of Gay marriage. Once the ballot initiative is striken down, the once passionate electorate turn into a herd of sheople, as they go along with the ruling of their judicial shepards. "Those Judges know better than the rest of us. I'm glad they're here to decide on things for us little brains."

Second, as previously mentioned is the Activist Court. The sheople look at judicial decisions as pseudo ballot initiatives. Well meaning people try to force the Judiciary to take on cases that will put clarity on things otherwise thought to be open ended, like gun control. "if only the Supreme Court could have a good case before them to discuss handguns, we would finally know if the right to keep and bear arms meant something other than wearing short sleeve shirts." To the sheople, even the constitution itself is no more than something that can be swept aside by a judge.

These topics inflame so many people that feel that we are just out of luck. If the initiative fails and the court decides, then we are just screwed. Our Forefathers were much smarter than us. They gave us amendments. Amendments are what ballot initiatives want to be. Amendments are our way to shove it in the judiciaries face. "What, you think Bill and Ted should be married? Didn't you see the 28th amendment: The government shall recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman as created from birth. So you don't think I can carry my .357 magnum around. Didn't you see the 29th amendment: No seriously, you really do have the right to keep and bear arms (as in guns), and you don't have to register them. What's that you are saying, I'm sorry I don't speak Spanish. Didn't you see the 30th Amendment: The government recognizes English as the official language of the United States. All business and documents, including ballots and voter registration, shall be provided only in English. It could go on and on. We were given the power, we have just forgotten how to use it.

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