Wrapping Up the Constitution

Today, we’re looking at the Twenty-seventh (and final) Amendment as we work our way through the Constitution and its amendments.

This post is the last of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXVII.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

This is a straight-forward and non-controversial amendment to prevent Congress from dipping into the federal till. They can increase their compensation, but no such increase can take effect during their current terms. A somewhat similar Constitutional provision prevents any change in a President’s compensation while he is in office.

It has been my hope this series on the U. S. Constitution would stimulate readers to see and appreciate the importance of this document and of protecting its integrity against the onslaught of attacks from judges and politicians who would pervert the meaning of its words to suit their own purposes. For most of the last century we have had one Supreme Court case after another, one President after another, and all sorts of lesser politicians and pundits trying to change the clear meaning of the document.

Within the next week we will elect a new President. Regardless of whose public face and personality you like, it’s imperative that we deny the Presidency to a candidate who would fill Supreme Court vacancies with hacks who would further dilute and pervert this precious document on which the foundation of our nation rests. I hope every reader will bear that in mind in casting his or her vote.

I would appreciate honest feedback from those who have read all or most of this series. How has it affected your view of our government and political process?

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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Twenty-sixth Amendment

Today, we’re looking at the Twenty-sixth Amendment as we work our way through the Constitution and its amendments.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXVI.

SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This amendment was conceived, passed by Congress, and ratified during the Vietnam War. A bandwagon effect was created by the argument that 18 year-olds were being drafted and forced to serve in a war zone and they should have the right to have a say in our government, which was a complete non sequitur.

To serve as a soldier in the military does not require a lot of independent thinking or wisdom. It requires following orders. To cast an intelligent vote requires both wisdom and independent thinking, tempered by a level of maturity few 18 year-olds have.

As with several other 20th century amendments, this was passed at a time when the Democrat Party pretty much had a stranglehold on government. They controlled the House and the Senate and a majority of state governments, which gave them the power to ram this amendment through. They were upset by the fact that Richard Nixon had been elected President, and they figured they could sway the votes of a bunch of impressionable teenagers, so they rushed this amendment to passage before anyone really thought it through.

What do you think about entrusting the future of our nation and its government to a bunch of teenagers who are barely out of high school and have no life experience to guide them in their decisions?

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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Replacing a President

Today, we’re looking at the Twenty-fifth Amendment as we work our way through the Constitution and its amendments.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXV.

SECTION 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

SECTION 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

SECTION 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

SECTION 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

This amendment was ratified in 1967 in reaction to the vacancy in the office of Vice-President created when Lyndon Johnson became President upon the death of John Kennedy. Prior to this amendment, there was no provision made for filling the office of Vice-President when a vacancy occurred there.

If a vacancy had occurred in the Presidency prior to this amendment, it would have been filled by the Speaker of the House. Behind him, it would have been the President Pro Tem of the Senate, and then a specified order of cabinet secretaries.

The primary purpose of this amendment was to establish procedure for filling a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency. It came into play almost immediately as Nixon made Spiro T. Agnew a fall guy to try to take heat off the Watergate investigations. Upon his resignation as Vice-President, Nixon nominated Gerald Ford as his replacement. Ford subsequently became the only man ever to serve as President without being elected as either President or Vice-President.

If memory serves, Carl Albert, a Democrat from Oklahoma, was Speaker of the House at the time. If not for this amendment, we would have had a Democrat serving out the term of a Republican elected to be President, a weird situation at best.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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Twenty-fourth Amendment

Today, we’re looking at the Twenty-fourth Amendment as we work our way through the Constitution and its amendments.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXIV.

SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This amendment was ratified in 1964 under the pretense that a $1.75 to $2.00 tax was so onerous it kept black people from being able to vote. The voices supporting this pretense made a racial issue out of it, since racial equality was a popular subject at the time. Never mind that there were more poor white people than poor blacks.

All pretense aside, this was another power grab by the left, using the racial issue as a guise to obscure their real objective. Bulk registration of dead people and people who didn’t care enough to register themselves costs a lot of money when you have to pay a couple of bucks a head to do it. It’s a lot cheaper when there’s no tax.

This amendment is just one more example of the fact that we need to look beyond the rhetoric when politicians speak. What are they really trying to hide behind their overt talk and actions? What significance will this action have over and beyond the obvious result publicized as the intent of those behind it?

It is said that you can tell when a politician is lying because his (or her) mouth is moving. It’s a little more difficult sometimes to see the real purpose and effect of the actions a politician espouses. We, as citizens, need to be more aware of the need to dig beyond the obvious and see what these people are really trying to accomplish.

What legitimate reasons can you think of for constantly trying to make it easier and easier to register people to vote who are not interested or informed enough to do so themselves?

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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Power Politics

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Twenty-third Amendment.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXIII.

SECTION 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

When the nation was founded, the District of Columbia was set up as an entity of its own, separate from any state. As such, it had no Congressional representation and no voice in Presidential elections. In fact, it’s not really even self-governing, but is ruled directly by Congress.

In 1960 the Democrats won the White House back after 8 years of Republican occupancy, and they sought to strengthen their chances of holding it. Knowing that a huge percentage of the population of the District of Columbia consisted of federal employees, who were overwhelmingly Democrat, they put forth this amendment to give themselves three fairly safe electoral votes.

They also controlled most state governments at that time, so ratification was a simple matter for them. Politics has always been a dirty business, and this was power politics at its dirtiest.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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How Long Is Too Long?

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Twenty-second Amendment.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXII.

SECTION 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term of which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. 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.

This amendment was passed in reaction to the four-term Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Prevailing wisdom was that eight years was a long enough time for any one man to hold that office; thus the amendment.

Although Ronald Reagan, arguably the greatest of our Presidents, undoubtedly could have won had he been eligible to run again, history proved the efficacy of this limitation when he later developed Alzheimer’s. He might have developed it while he held the reins if not for this amendment.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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Repeal of Prohibition

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Twenty-First Amendment.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE XXI.

SECTION 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

SECTION 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Another short amendment that requires no particular explanation. We made a mistake with Prohibition, and this amendment corrected that mistake.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

——————————————

For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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