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 The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.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

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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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Twentieth Amendment

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 Twentieth 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 XX.

SECTION 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

This section changed the date a President-elect became President. Previously, that took place in March, but under this provision the date was moved up to January 20 following the election. The reasoning behind this change was that four months was too long a time of limbo between the election and the inauguration.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

The only provision for meetings in the original Constitution was that Congress should meet at least once a year on the first Monday in December unless Congress itself should provide otherwise by law. This section changed that and mandated that the Congress begin its annual sessions on January 3rd.

The effect of this change has been to keep these politicians at work year-round coming up with schemes to pass more and more federal programs. In the first century-plus of our history, the government stayed pretty much out of the way of the people, with the exception of when northern politicians decided to shove their will down the throats of the South. Since the ratification of this amendment, our history has been a steady march of bigger and bigger government taking over one thing after another that had previously been the right and responsibility of individuals.

SECTION 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

SECTION 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

SECTION 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

SECTION 6. 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.

The last four sections of this amendment were merely a matter of housekeeping.

How do you feel about the wisdom of keeping a bunch of politicians in session year-round dreaming up new ways to extend the power of the federal government?

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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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Nineteenth Amendment

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 Nineteenth 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 XIX.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

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

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Up until this time, only men voted, but this extended that right to women also.

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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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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 Eighteenth 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 XVIII.

SECTION 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

SECTION 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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

This was probably the second worst amendment, next to the income tax. Regardless of whether or not you approve of the consumption of alcohol, Prohibition did not accomplish its purpose. It merely gave rise to a new class of criminals such as Al Capone and Joe Kennedy who made millions and millions of dollars importing whiskey illegally. It was rescinded a few years later.

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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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Seventeenth Amendment

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 Seventeenth 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 XVII.

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 qualifications 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 fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill 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.

This amendment changes the method of choosing members of the U. S. Senate. Prior to the ratification of this amendment, senators were chosen under Article I, Section 3, which reads: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years . . .

Although we tended to have real statesmen under the old system rather than politicians more intent on re-election than serving the nation well, for some reason the populism movement caused us to make this change.

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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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The Worst Amendment

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 Sixteenth 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 XVI.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

This simple little statement has caused immeasurable damage to our nation’s economy since it was ratified. I cannot fathom what was going on in the minds of our leaders in Washington at the time. William Howard Taft was President, and Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

As so frequently happens, no one thought about the door that was opened for the future. The maximum rate of the first income tax was only seven per cent. Sounds harmless enough. Unfortunately, though, the rates went from one per cent up to seven per cent, setting up the precedent for graduated taxation.

Fast forward a century, and we have a situation in which around half of the adult population pays no income taxes at all. Of those who do, some pay fifteen per cent, and some pay nearly forty per cent. Is there really anything fair about taxing this guy one rate and that guy another and these people not at all?

By its very nature, a graduated income tax takes the most money from the hands of the people who would use it to build the economy—the entrepreneurs and other achievers. Every dollar taken from these people is a dollar that cannot be used to build a better mousetrap or discover a new medical procedure. Those dollars are then spent to support people who produce nothing to build our economy—welfare recipients, government bureaucrats, and the ruling elite. This is folly of an unbelievable magnitude.

If they were going to authorize an income tax, they should have made it a part of the Constitutional amendment that EVERYONE would pay the same percentage of his or her total income. That’s the only way it could ever be fair.

Better still would have been to pass a national sales tax. Everyone would pay the same rate and only on money spent. Money saved and invested would avoid taxation, building the nation’s money supply, which generates growth in jobs, dividends, and every other part of our economy.

Isn’t it time to repeal this amendment and replace it with something that would be both fair to all citizens and good for our national economy?

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

Today, we’ll consider three amendments which were never legally ratified. Didn’t know that fact, did you? This post will necessarily be longer than my others because of the subject matter being covered.

Let’s take a look at what happened, but first, a disclaimer. This post is not a commentary on whether the content of these amendments is good or bad. It is simply an expose’ of the illegal shenanigans that got them included in our Constitution.

The entire justification for the North’s aggression against the South was that no state had the right to secede from the union. Under that doctrine, the Southern states were always a part of the union, even during the war.

Once the union forces won the war, however, they switched theories and, using the theory that the former Confederate states had, in fact, left the union, began systematically destroying those states and depriving their citizens of their Constitutional rights such as voting. They also required each state to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments as a condition of “readmission” to the union.

Like present-day liberals, the union politicians were not constrained by logic or a desire for consistency. They had no trouble saying out of one side of their mouths that no state could secede while saying out of the other side of their mouths that states that seceded had to jump through hoops in order to be readmitted.

The Southern states only ratified these amendments under duress and at a time when a large percentage of their citizens were barred from voting by these same union politicians, using as their legal justification one of the very amendments they were forcing the southern states to ratify. Somehow historians have ignored these facts and accepted these three amendments as legitimate parts of the Constitution.

ARTICLE XIII.

SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

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

This is pretty straight-forward and requires no explanation.

ARTICLE XIV.

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.

This ill-thought-out provision allows anyone to enter our country, whether legally or illegally, and have a baby while here who will automatically become a citizen. In our present-day situation, this has become a major problem as illegal aliens take advantage of this provision and put our government in the position of either having to deport the parents of U.S. citizens or else overlook their illegal entry and allow them to stay here.

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 officers 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 office, 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 officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer 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.

These two sections were specifically designed to legitimize the persecution of the South after the war. It allowed them to bar a huge percentage of southern citizens from voting so they could bring about the results they wanted in elections in these states.

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.

This was another way of persecuting the South and taking huge amounts of wealth from those to whom it belonged since they had invested large sums in the bonds of the Confederate States of America and the individual southern states.

SECTION 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

ARTICLE XV.

SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

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

This amendment extended the right to vote to former slaves, while the preceding amendment took that right away from many, many other citizens.

Without turning this into a discussion of whether or not former slaves (and their descendants) should be citizens or have the right to vote, how do you feel about the deceitful, underhanded manner in which these amendments were appended to our Constitution?

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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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