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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:02 am 
I personally am no fan of "states' rights", but I do believe that governance should be local and limited. I think that if the so-called 'conservatives' were serious about states' rights, they would push for something more like this rather than endlessly expanding federal power (just in different directions from the so-called 'liberals'). These proposed amendments are lettered, as I don't want to guess in what order, if any, they would be adopted.

Note that I am speculating on what it would take to bring the current US government in line with original intentions of the Founding Fathers (as I understand them). I'm not saying that these are practical measures, or even desirable ones; my point is more about how things have changed in the US over the past 220 years. Make of it what you will fnord, and feel free to insult me, call me crazy (who am I to disagree on that score?) and rant and flame in any way you'd like.

Amendment A
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section 1: The articles of this Constitution, and any future amendments to it, apply only to the Federal goverment and its offices, save where specifically stated. Limits placed upon Federal authority shall not be construed as applying to the several States, nor any private person or institution.

section 2: Congress shall pass no law disbursing monies to any State, person or institution, save in exchange for goods or services rendered, or as decreed by due process of law following legal order, or in remedy of a state of war, insurrection or other crisis formally declared by the either the Legislature or the Chief Executive and lasting no longer than one year.

section 3: The Sixteenth Amendment of this Constitution is hereby repealed.

section 4: Congress shall pass no criminal statute save those with regard to commerce between the several States or other Nations, or with regard to Treason or Insurrection against the United States or any State therein, or to ensure the collection of Tax, or with regard to actions meant to compromise the integrity of agents or officers of the Federal government, or for the purpose of regulating the activities of the agents or officers of the Federal government.

Amendment B
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section 1: At an interval of no less than twenty years and no more than fifty, there shall be held a Constitutional Convention of the people, open to any voting citizen of several States, to amend this Constitution as is seen fit, above and beyond those amendments passed by Congress. The Convention shall be held for no less than two months, and no more than one year.

section 2: Each State legislature shall select two Delegates to this Convention, to act as a governing Delegation of the Convention. These Delegates shall be citizens of the State which they represent, not holding a position in the Congress of the legislature of any State, who is no less than twenty-five years of age and has been a citizen of the state they represent for a period of no less than seven years.

section 3: Proposals for the amendment of the Constitution shall be accepted by the Delegation for no less than thirty days, in such manner as the Delegation sees fit.

section 4: The Delegation shall select those proposals, in such manner as they see fit, which shall be put to popular vote of the Convention. Each selected proposal shall be given at least one day of public debate, as overseen by the Delegation. The proposals shall be placed to vote the day following the closing of this debate.

section 5: A proposed Amendment shall be passed by a margin of no less than three-quarters of the vote. A passed Amendment shall be made law if it has been ratified by three-quarters of the States within seven years of passage.

Amendment C
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Section 1: The Electoral College shall be an independent body, and may choose any citizen who fulfills the requirements of the office of President as they see fit, save a sitting member of their own body.

section 2: The position of Elector shall be a standing office of each of the several States, with a term of four years. No person shall be an Elector who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the state in which he shall be chosen. An Elector may hold no other civil office during their term as Elector, and no Elector may serve more than two terms as Elector.

section 3: Those Electors who are apportioned according to the Representatives shall be elected by popular vote one year following the first regular election of the corresponding Representative after a regular election of the President.

section 4: Those Electors who are apportioned according to the Senators shall be elected by the legislatures of the State they are to represent on the second year following the regular election of the President.

section 5: The Electoral College shall meet in closed session for the purpose of voting, and shall be free to debate the choice of President according to such rules that the Congress or the Electoral College should see fit to enact. The Electors shall vote upon the nominated candidates separately, with the first to receive a majority vote being declared the new President. The full minutes of the Electoral College shall be published for review by Congress and the people of the several States at the conclusion of the election.

Amendment D
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Section 1: The office of Vice-President shall be selected by the Electoral College, independent of the office of President, two years following each regular election of the President.

Section 2: No person may be selected for the office of Vice-President if they have previously held the office of President.

Section 3: If the president should be unable to fullfil the duties of office, the Vice-President or other next successor to the position shall be acting president, until such time as the Electoral College may reconvene to elect a new President, or until the next regular election, no more than six months after the acting president takes the office. The new president or acting president shall serve out the remainder existing term of office.


Amendment E

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section 1: The Judiciary shall have power to rule upon the legitimacy of a statute passed by Congress or the Executive, with regards to this Constitution, during the course of regular due process.

section 2: The Federal Judiciary shall have no authority upon the statutes of the several States, save where the interests of two or more States are directly involved, nor shall precedent held by the Federal court necessarily be applied to cases within a State.


Amendment F
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Section 1: The 17th Amendment of the Constitution is hereby repealed.

section 2: As representatives of the State government, the Senators for a given State shall be elected by a common vote of the state legislature, held every six years, wherein the seats shall be held by the recipients of the highest vote and the second highest vote.


Amendment G

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Section 1: No person may serve as President, or in any post which may lead to them becoming Acting President, who is the Parent, Child, Sibling, or Spouse of a former President, or related by marriage or adoption to any such person.

Section 2: Congress shall pass no law establishing a hereditary post within the Federal government.

Section 3: No position within the Federal government shall be exclusively dependent upon allegiance to or membership within a given party or affiliation, nor may ballots for popular votes either indicate or be sorted by affiliation.


Amendment H
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Section 1: In popular elections for Representatives, an election shall be considered invalid if less than one-half of the eligible voters within the district did cast a vote, or if no candidate has received a majority of the total votes cast.

Section 2: All popular elections shall have an option for a null vote, wherein the voter has deemed that no candidate currently seeking the office is worthy of the position.

Section 2: If a popular vote is invalidated, the position shall remain unfilled until a special election has been held which is not also invalidated, or until the next regular election of the district.

Amendment I
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Section 1: Any State may chose to sever its allegiance to the United States upon the decision of its Legislature, if this motion is then upheld by a three-fourths majority in a special popular election to be held within six months of the act of secession. A State which has seceded may at some future date entreat to Congress to be re-admitted in the same manner as a new Territory.

Section 2: Congress shall have the power to censure a State by suspending the privileges and protections of the Federal government, in whole or in part, on a vote of a three-fourths majority of both Houses of Congress not including the Senators and Representatives of the State, and with the assent of the President. The decision to make this Censure shall then be reviewed by the Supreme Court, which may revoke or limit the Censure as it sees fit, or compel both the State and the Congress to an accord which the Judiciary shall oversee. A motion of Censure must state in detail the malfeasance for which the legislature or people of the State are to be Censured, and those conditions upon which the Censure may be lifted.

Section 3: If a State has been placed under Censure, and has not met the conditions for its revocation within a period specified by the motion of Censure of not less than thirty days, then a motion of Expulsion may be made by the Congress, which shall remove the condemned State from the Union. The motion for Expulsion must be passed by a three-fourths majority of both Houses of Congress, not including the Senators and Representatives of the State, and with the assent of the President. After such a motion is passed, the State as a whole shall be tried before the Judiciary to determine if the Expulsion is justified. If a State is expelled, it may at some future date entreat to Congress to be re-admitted in the same manner as a new Territory.


Amendment J
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Section 1: To ensure the common defense by a general Militia, all able-bodied citizens of the several States who have reach the age of eighteen shall be required to maintain a state of readiness, and be subject to drill and training as their State of residence sees fit.

Section 2: Each native-born citizen, upon reaching the age of eighteen, shall be required to fulfill a period of militia service to their home State of no less than sixty days and no more than two years, unless unable to comply due to physical or mental infirmity, or incarceration for a criminal conviciton, or holding a creed which forbids violence, or enlistment into the service of the Federal government for a period equal to or greater than that required by the State.

Section 3: The Federal government shall not hold a standing army in times of peace within a State that is greater than one one-hundredth the size of the full militia of the State, save for the abatement of an imminent or ongoing crisis, or at the request of the State government.

Section 4: In times of peace, the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold no base of operation or supply outside of the States and Territories of the United States, or the coastal waters thereof as recognized by National law and treaty.

Section 5: The costs of upholding the State Militia shall be the responsibility of the State itself.

Amendment K

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Section 1: The Federal Government shall not issue Charters of Incorporation or Charters of Monopoly to any person or body for any purpose.

Section 2: Charters of Incorporation or Monopoly issued by a State or Municipality shall only apply to the issuing jurisdiction.

Section 3: No Chartered Corporation or Chartered Monopoly shall hold Charters in more than one State at a given time.

Section 4: No person or body may hold an interest of more than one-quarter ownership in two or more Chartered Corporations in different States at a given time.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:40 pm 
Is Alexander Hamilton not considered a Founding Father, then? The chartering of the Bank of the United States was his idea, after all, and it set a precedent for Clay's American System, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the New Deal, all of which were constitutional only by creative application of the "necessary and proper" clause.

The other side of the coin is how undemocratic the early republic was. Look at the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 (which is both the oldest state constitution still in force and the only one to format itself like the federal one, with the original on top and amendments afterward instead of changing the text in place) - it was vastly progressive compared to what had come before it, but still set property ownership requirements ("freeholds") on voters and holders of public office and required all citizens to pay church tithes. (I wonder, as a Jew who used to live in MA, whether synagogue membership fees would count.)

Taking into account that and the flaws in the political system exposed by the Civil War (which is a whole other thread) the libertarian ideal of the original constitution is an untenable myth. Those who would seek curtailment of federal power would do better to focus on the substantive benefits of local control rather than the intent-of-the-Framers argument.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:06 am 
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What would work the best is simply to enforce the first ten Amendments, starting with the repeal of all Federal laws that violate the First, Second and Tenth.

The second step should be to repeal all State laws in violation of Article 1, Section 8.

Federal violations of Amendment 10 and State violations of Article 1, Section 8 are how The Republic of The United States of America got where it is today.

From reading your post, you are absolutely a States Rights person. The Tenth Amendment placed hard and rigid limits on the powers of the Federal Government, while Article 1, Section 8 carved out a very specific and very limited set of rights and duties reserved exclusively to the Federal Government.

Another problem is that politicians take the word government in every case in the Constitution as a NOUN when in fact it's used as a VERB in almost every case.

Had the writers been just a bit more devious minded, with a thought towards how future politicians could twist the meanings of words to suit their effort to get around the Constitution, they'd have been both a bit more or less wordy and more precise in certain parts.

For example;

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This would be better stated;

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms is absolute. No Federal or State law nor judgement shall be allowed to restrict or remove this right. The word 'people' means exactly the same here as it does everywhere in this Constitution and Amendments."

"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."

I'd put it this way;

"The powers and duties of the Federal Government are enumerated in full in the Constitution. All other powers and duties are reserved for the States and people, except as described in Article 1, Section 8."

---
A project I've been wanting to do, but never find the time, is to take the Constitution and Amendments and edit the whole thing to remove/edit all the changes from the Amendments, with the updates linked to the relevant Amendments and the original text. One example would be the complete removal of the 18th and 21st Amendments. There's no need at all to have them in "The Active Constitution".

The section on who is eligible to be elected President and Vice President would be updated from the 12th and 22nd, leaving out the now pointless baggage of...

"But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress."

It would be much easier to read a version, with the exact same meaning, that doesn't have old bits one must refer to the 'footnotes' to find the current, in force, wording.

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