Amending amendments

I am curious about the process and authority of altering amendments.

The process of making an amendment is pretty well known and not the easiest of tasks.

We have seen them get pretty well gutted, by legislation and the court, but I am wondering more of HOW they get screwed with.

The First Amendment is pretty clear, but yet we have thrashed over the years.

 

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

We know that religion is not is not really free in this country, nor is speech, the press has quit being an investigative tool. People’s rights to peaceably assemble has been nipped, and what is the federal petition process?

 

Some of this is cultural, but most of it has been the government just fucking us over, left and right.

BTW: for today we are containing this to the First Amendment.

5 thoughts on “Amending amendments

  1. I was out for the weekend…. B)

    The government has trashed our rights because the majority of the people have allowed it, plain and simple.

    Examples:
    The establishment clause forbids the government from placing one religion in a prominent position over any other. But there was so much Christian outcry for a religious statement by the government during the Civil War that "In God We Trust" was added to the coins. It helped that the secretary of the treasury was a very religious man himself. But it was 1908 before it was made mandatory that all coins had it. And 1956 before paper money was printed with it. (as a way of distancing us from the "godless" commies)

    Speech has been fairly well protected until the last 5 years. There has been an assault on that freedom that the press has refused to fight against.

    Which brings us to the press. All the news media have become publicly traded corporations, which require that profits be the most important thing because of shareholders. This has obviously eclipsed the concepts of objectivity and investigative reporting in lieu of big publicity and political favor.

    Which leaves us with redress of grievance. This goes hand in hand with free speech. Though it has been sharply curtailed before, with requirements for permits to hold a protest or other demonstration before a government building or event. But now, thanks to HR 347, you can't even protest within ear shot of the official that NEEDS to hear what it is you're protesting about!

    These things can all be blamed on the government wanting a nanny state, or allowing their own agendas to reign over the agendas of the people, but the people still are willing to keep them in power. Trading rights for a perceived amount of security. “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security” – Benjamin Franklin

    1. I was actually seeking insight in the actual process.
      We know that the 1st amendment itself has not been changed as that would be a very difficult task and would raise many eyebrows (even for those who have their Eyes_Open).

      How is it that HR 347 (or any bill) could pass Constitutional muster is the crux of this post.

      We see all of these bill pass and become signed into law and their effect is to alter the Amendments… how?

      That quote from Ben is one of my all time favorites.

      1. I believe it is a combination of the hubris of current politicians from both sides of the aisle, the remnants of the generation of apathy, and the new generation of entitlement.

        Any bill can be passed by legislator in the normal manner, whether it is constitutional or not, if it gets enough support from the lawmakers, this is where the hubris of the law makers comes in, and the apathy of the public not to take them to task for proposing such nonsense. But let's face it, laws that are and were unconstitutional are not a new thing, they have existed since the beginning of our country. Slave laws were obviously unconstitutional, but were kept in place for many years, Jim Crow Laws and Blue Laws were and still are unconstitutional but some still exist today (though on a local level instead of a federal level now), denying women the right to vote was unconstitutional, but required an amendment to make it obvious. Many unconstitutional laws are left in place depending on the sentiment of the general public (actually the public in charge) at the time.

        The legislative branch can make ANY law, it is the judicial branch that must decide if the law is constitutional. And they will only pass judgement on a law if it is brought before them in a trial, or an appeal of a trial.

        My question, which is an extension of your question perhaps, is "Why can't the judicial branch declare a law unconstitutional based on it's own observation of the law? Why must they wait till someone brings it to then in the form of a legitimate case trail?". Of late it appears that the SCOTUS actually looks for reasons to not pass judgement on a laws constitutionality, or give any opinion at all. It's not like they can be fired if the piss the wrong person off, so why refrain from making the judgements they were appointed to make?

        1. I have LONG wondered why why the judicial branch was so reactive…
          I know that they are busy, but it seems like it would not take THAT long to issue a statement letting the jurisdiction know that law/ordinance number xyz is not legal and was void as of the publication of their decision.

          Make the legislative branch clean up its messes.

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