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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Discussion About the Fourteenth and Seventeenth.

Yesterday's post was cross posted at http://www.hammeroftruth.com/.  First off, thank you to the folks at Hammer of Truth for allowing me to cross post to you site.  I should also like to thank P, for commenting on that post.  He brought up a point, which I believe merits some discussion.  His belief, is that Joe Biden wishes to dispense with troublesome debate about the fourteenth and Seventeenth amendments due to their vital roles in today's American fabric.  P posits that these two additions to our Constitution are so important than Biden is correct in dismissing out of hand the crazy talk of having them repealed.  Fair enough.  I shall now destroy this notion.

First the Fourteenth, which follows here:

Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratifi ed July 9, 1868.
(Note: Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution was modifi ed by
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment.)
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.
SECTION 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several
States according to their respective numbers, counting the
whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians
not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for
the choice of electors for President and Vice President of
the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive
and Judicial offi cers of a State, or the members of the
Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants
of such State, [being twenty-one years of age,]* and
citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except
for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion
which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the
whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in
such State.
SECTION 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,
or elector of President and Vice President, or hold
any offi ce, civil or military, under the United States, or
under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a
member of Congress, or as an offi cer of the United States,
or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive
or judicial offi cer of any State, to support the Constitution
of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or
rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the
enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds
of each House, remove such disability.
SECTION 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized
by law, including debts incurred for payment of
pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection
or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the
United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt
or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion
against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation
of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and
claims shall be held illegal and void.
SECTION 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate
legislation, the provisions of this article.
*Changed by Section 1 of the 26th Amendment.
13


This amendment was added to the Constitution immediately after the Civil War as a direct remedy to what the southern states were trying to do to abridge the rights of former slaves.  The amendment has 5 sections.  Section 1 states that anyone born in the territory of the United States was henceforth a U.S. citizen.  The sole purpose of this was to keep former slave owners from denying former slaves citizenship, and all of the rights and protections therein.  This is also the section which gave us the concept of anchor babies about a hundred years later.  This is the reason that a lot of conservative groups are for repealing this amendment.  The practice of illegal aliens crossing the border illegally during the 39th week of pregnancy in order to have their children be able to claim citizenship is well beyond what the authors of this amendment had in mind for us, 150 years later.  whether or not a person agrees or disagrees with repealing this amendment, there are two things any thinking person would have to agree to.  One, discussion of the amendment is at least not just a crazy waste of time.  Two, an amendment added specifically for the purposes of post Civil War reconstruction, has lost some of its usefulness, just because we are 150 years past the Civil War.  There are no longer any former slaves living today, there are no longer former officers in the Confederate Army who could possibly run for public office, There are no longer any Confederate Bonds which have been sold to foreign governments for the United States to deny payment on.  P's assertion that this amendment was vital to the continuation of the USA is just plain silly.


On to the Seventeenth, which is more complicated of an issue.  It requires a serious discussion of the direction we want to take our country.  That discussion is necessary, but I am angered by a Vice President of the United States who considers people who want to hold that discussion as being ignorant cranks. 

Read the Seventeenth here:

AmendmentXVII.
Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratifi ed April 8, 1913.
(Note: Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution was modifi ed by
the 17th Amendment.)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two
Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for
six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors
in each State shall have the qualifi cations requisite for electors
of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State
in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall
issue writs of election to fi ll such vacancies: Provided, That
the legislature of any State may empower the executive
thereof to make temporary appointments until the people
fi ll the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the
election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes
valid as part of the Constitution.


It is important to note that the original mandate for how Senators were picked.  Senators were originally chosen by how each individual State Constitution provided.  Most State Legislatures and or Governors chose the Senators without holding direct State elections.  The reasoning for this was as follows.  The Senator's mandate was to be the voices of individual States in the business of Federal Governance.  The direct representatives of the people was with the House of Representatives.  The Federal Government was checked in its power by the formation of the Senate.  Ohio, for example, had a voice in the formation of Federal Legislation which the State of Ohio might find infringed on Ohio's rights as a State.  By removing the voice of individual States, we have effectively removed the ability of individual States to be a check on the size, power, and scope of the Federal Government.  As evidence of this, you need look no further than the last 90 years.  As for me, I actually agree with repeal of the Seventeenth.  I believe that a check on the Federal Government's ability to mandate itself more authority, size, scope is sorely needed.  This amendment, more than anything ever legislated in this country has done more damage to our rights and protections guaranteed by our Founding Fathers.  Calling me crazy for believing this is avoiding the debate, which I believe Joe Biden is probably afraid of losing.

UPDATE:  I have heard some pushback that the 14th Amendment extends the Bill of Rights to the States.  That somehow, the rights guaranteed under these Amendments only applied to the Federal Government prior to the 14th.  This is of courst preposterous.  Putting asside the fact that there is not one single case of these Amendments being ignored by any court in the land prior to the Civil War Reconstruction, Article VI also addresses this argument.  Article VI follows:

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before
the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against
the United States under this Constitution, as under the
Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties
made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the
United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and
the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing
in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and
the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive
and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of
the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation,
to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever
be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust
under the United States.

Article. VI.

AmendmentXIV.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about the 17th needing to be repealed, and I'd add the 16th to the list. Repealing the 16th is a requisite of the Fair Tax bill which I strongly support.
    I agree with repealing the 14th too, but not for the reasons you give. Before I tell you my reasons I want to establish three facts.
    1. The Declaration of Independence was written under the authority of the People of the united States established by the Articles of Confederation. It was the People who declared independence from the King of Britain.
    2. It was the People who fought and won the war for independence.
    3. It was "We the People" who ordained (created) and established the Constitution FOR the united States of America. At no time was there any one person who exercised authority over the united States so there was no one to whom the sovereignty of the King of Britain could devolve. That sovereignty did not just disappear, it devolved to "We the People". So sayeth the Supreme Court of the United States. When We the People grant authority (in the Constitution) to the United States we do not lose any of our authority, we are simply giving the United States permission to exercise the granted authority IN OUR NAME.
    I figure that if you haven't already stopped reading this that you will stop here... but this is no conspiracy theory.
    My problem with the 14th Amendment is that it makes People citizens of the (or The) United States. The United States is a corporation! Citizenship in the United States is a contract! The provisions of a contract are enforceable by (equity/Maritime/Admiralty) law. I'm going to have to get into a lot of details here that it would take me a week to write so it's probably better if I refer you to the National Liberty Alliance (not a Ron Paul site) at http://nationallibertyalliance.org where you can learn about Common Law, the Common Law Grand Jury, and the real rights and authority of We the People. Liberals (Progressive Communists) can't go there, it will make their heads explode, so it's safe for you and me.
    I'm not an activist. I support the Tea Party but I've never been to a Tea Party rally. I support the Constitution but I don't fly the flag in my front yard. I'm an OathKeeper but I'm quiet about that. It is amazing TO ME that I have signed up to be a County Organizer to establish a Common Law Grand Jury in Walton County Florida. I'm not suggesting that you do the same, that's up to you. You can learn a lot there and you MIGHT get excited about it.
    Rickey Braddam rbraddam@rixgroup.com

    ReplyDelete

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