If you were to create a 28th amendment.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by T'Girl, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Technically an amendment can be anything, including something in complete opposition to original intent-- like Prohibition. But, of course, it is preferable for amendments to expand upon the basic philosophy of the values outlined in the Preamble in ways that weren't possible in the 18th Century-- like banning slavery and acknowledging women's right to vote.
     
  2. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Well, no. It would be a good idea to remain beholden to the philosophies that still ring true today, but it makes no sense to be stuck with something we don't agree with if we want to change it through the amendment process. Otherwise, there's no point of an amendment process.

    You mentioned banning slavery. I would argue that it is inconsistent with the principles of the original Constitution. Not because the founders weren't democratic and wouldn't have supported ending slavery (even slaveholding framers, for the most part, thought the institution was embarrassing and wished it would end), but because the amendment dramatically shifted the balance of federal and state power. Section 2 of the 13th Amendment, along with Section 5 of the 14th Amendment (and one of the sections of the 15th Amendment I'd have to look up) say "Congress shall have the power to enforce this." The amendment was designed to dramatically expand federal power in a way the founders wouldn't have supported. And this makes sense. If they supported it, they would have put it in the damn constitution.

    In short, we have a written constitution to constrain our actions in order to ensure conformity to the rule of law in a way that the founders intended and we have an amendment process so a consensus of America can change parts that we feel should no longer be applicable to us.
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, that may be true. We can't know how all of the Founders would have responded to the strengthening of Federal power if they had lived in the reality of the 19th century. But these were mostly liberal men, which is why they created a liberal government that could not only improve itself but respond to new information and changing circumstances. The point is to remain true to the core values of a more perfect union, the blessings of liberty and so on. The Founders wanted us to be able to evolve and refine those values in the unguessable future. But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The power to amend the Constitution has already been used to undermine those values at least once and there's no reason to suppose it can't happen again.
     
  4. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    The power of the constitution has been used to support those values you champion in ways the founders would not have voted for (certainly, it would not have commanded a majority vote of delegates and would not have commanded a majority, let alone 9 states). But you misperceive the point of a written constitution if you think it is to confine the people of today to the dead hand of the past. Instead, its to ensure the rule of law, to prevent arbitrary action, and to temper the passions of democracy. All of those things are just as relevant today as they were back then. However, they are solved by requiring consensus for change, not by removing change.

    There are two (possibly three) provisions in the Constitution that cannot be changed. Even then, there's a good argument that even that can't limit the consensus of the people to choose their own government. After all, that's the only point of government, is to benefit the people who create it.

    To quote Jefferson (at least, apparently Jefferson, I haven't verified the quote):

     
  5. Captain Kathryn

    Captain Kathryn Commodore Commodore

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    Was a private loan. The govt loans are way easier to get out of. If I stop paying them, they will deduct the entire owed amount from my mothers estate which would leave us with no savings. Paying them as I am seems better than that. I paid the loan while she was alive anyway. She agreed to sign for the loan but we agreed I would pay it back.
     
  6. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    You might be able to consolidate them into government loans. It seems paying them plus interest will cost you more in the long run than having it taken from the estate, but I certainly can't speak for your situation, so you have to do what you think is best for you.
     
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    That's what I said. :D

    No, I understand that completely. The point is that the amendment process can be used to strengthen and evolve the core values of the Founders, which will always be valid-- such as was done by acknowledging women's right to vote-- or it can be used to undermine and compromise those values-- such as was done by establishing Prohibition. Not being confined to the dead hand of the past is a double-edged sword.