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If I Had Written the Bill of Rights



   I will confess to a degree of hypocrisy in writing this page.  If there's one thing I really detest about Congress in general, and Republicans in particular, it's their constant attempts to meddle with and even circumvent our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The Republicans (with the notable exception of Texan Ron Paul) have shown repeatedly that they view our precious rights as an annoying interference to their proposed rules of morality and personal conduct.  While the Democrats are certainly no friend of the Second Amendment, conservatives have led an all-out assault on the First:  seeking time and again to obliterate church-state separation, and legislating to "exempt" any form of expression they don't agree with.  (E.g. flag-burning, and many forms of expression not just obscene but "harmful to minors" [whatever the heck that means!] and just plain offensive.)  They have also seriously eroded our Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments in the name of our counter-productive War on Drugs.
   That said, I too find fault with our Bill of Rights--not that it interferes with crime fighting or allows "immoral" behavior, but that it is too full of loopholes and doesn't go far enough in protecting our rights and freedoms from an overzealous government.  I would love nothing better than to see our Bill of Rights clarified and strengthened so that it is better able to withstand erosion against an organization (Congress) that believes it is its full-time job to legislate away our problems no matter the cost.  And so I present to you, for your inspection and even criticism....

Andrew Trapp's New Bill of Rights


Contents:
 
Article I Article VIII Article XV Article XXII
Article II Article IX Article XVI Article XXIII
Article III Article X Article XVII Article XXIV
Article IV Article XI Article XVIII Article XXV
Article V Article XII Article XIX Article XXVI
Article VI Article XIII Article XX Article XXVII
Article VII Article XIV Article XXI Other new amendments
   And for an excellent total rewrite of the Constitution from a libertarian, pro-freedom, pro-individual rights perspective, read the Oceania Constitution and the Laws of Oceania from the Oceania web site.


Article I (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
Section 1. Congress shall make or allow no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  In no public school or other government property shall a person, regardless of age, be required or coerced into religious participation; nor shall peaceful, voluntary participation be denied.
Section 2. Congress shall make or allow no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of peaceful expression, or of the press, or of truthful advertisement, or of electronic media, or of cryptography; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, without fine, curfew, or permit, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



Article II (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the common people to keep and bear Arms in any form, shall not be infringed at any level of government, with two exceptions:
1. Use and possession of weapons of mass destruction, including but not limited to chemical or biological weapons, atomic or nuclear explosive devices; shall be limited to the federal government, or entities authorized by it, for purposes of research or national defense only, and shall not be used on United States citizens within the United States, its territories or possessions.
2. The right to keep and bear Arms shall be revoked for a period of ten years for any citizen who uses Arms in the commission of a violent crime not resulting in death.  The right to keep and bear Arms shall be revoked for the lifetime of any citizen who uses Arms in the commission of a violent crime resulting in death.



Article III (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

New Amendment:
In recognition of the fundamental rights of privacy and property, no Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.



Article IV (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

New Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, communications, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon precise probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  No exceptions shall be made for civil forfeiture, implied consent, or emminent domain.  No crimes shall be charged except against living human beings.  Any property seized shall be returned to its owner in seized condition if said person or entity is not charged with a crime within 90 days of seizure, or immediately upon determination by a Court or the seizers that the seized property is not evidence in the crime upon which the Warrant to seize it was issued.



Article V (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

New Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life, property, or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal or civil case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use.  No exceptions shall be made for civil law, implied consent, or emminent domain.



Article VI (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense.

New Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, within 90 days of indictment, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense.



Article VII (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

New Amendment:
Section 1. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed 100 dollars as of January 1, 2000, the right of trial by jury within 90 days of indictment shall absolutely be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Section 2. In suits at common law, the value in controversy in order for Section (1) to apply shall equal 100 dollars as of January 1, 2000.  This amount shall be adjusted once annually to compensate for the effects of inflation or deflation only.



Article VIII (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

New Amendment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.  No crime in which the accused is seized prior to trial shall be without bail.  No exceptions shall be made for civil law, implied consent, or emminent domain.



Article IX (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

New Amendment:
In recognition of strict limits on government power, the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, regardless of race, creed, gender, age, religious or political beliefs.



Article X (December 15, 1791)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
Section 1. 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.
Section 2. No federal agency excepting Congress shall have power to pass legislation regulating or prohibiting acts by the people, including but not limited to commerce, manufacturing, and peaceful, consentual behavior.
Section 3a. All legislation passed and enforceable, which is not included in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, shall be null and void after a period of three years after its passage, unless a majority of Congress votes to renew it for another three years.
Section 3b. Congress must hold a separate and distinct vote for each piece of legislation to be renewed, and no legislation to be renewed may be altered from the form in which it was originally passed.
Section 3c. Upon presentation of a bill to Congress for passage or renewal, the contents of said bill shall be read in its entirety to Congress before voting, and no member of Congress absent during any part of its reading may vote for its passage or renewal.
No legislation may be worded to circumvent any provision of this Article.



Article XI (1798)
Current Amendment:
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

New Amendment:
[No changes needed.]



Article XII (1804)
Current Amendment:
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.  The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such a number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.  But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.  And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall acts as President, as in the case of death or other constitutional disability of the President.  The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.  But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

New Amendment:
[No real changes needed.  However, I would replace the Electoral College with a direct vote of the citizenry.]



Article XIII (1865)
Current Amendment:
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 the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

New Amendment:
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. No products or services produced in part or entirety from slavery or involuntary servitude, shall be sold or bartered within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 3. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.



Article XIV (1868)
Current Amendment:
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.
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 Legislatures 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 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 two-thirds vote of each House, remove such disability.
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 of emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

New Amendment:
Section 1a. 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, including those born to non-citizens.  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.
Section 1b. Any citizen at least 18 years of age may renounce his/her United States citizenship, provided he/she is able to obtain citizenship from a Foreign country.  Said person will then lose United States citizenship, and all status and rights accorded exclusively to United States citizens, upon attaining alternate citizenship or renouncing United States citizenship, whichever comes later.
Section 1c. A non-citizen mother may declare a child of hers, if born into United States citizenry, to be a non-citizen of the United States and of her same citizenry, provided:  That such a declaration is made withing one year of her child's birth; and that no laws of her Foreign country prohibit her from doing so.
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 non-citizens, and citizens incarcerated for State or federal crimes.  The right to vote at any election for the choice of President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislatures thereof, shall not be denied to any of the inhabitants of such State, being 18 years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or President, or 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 a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution and Bill of Rights 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 two-thirds vote of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions, 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; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.



Article XV (1870)
Current Amendment:
Section 1. The right of the 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.

New Amendment:
Section 1. The right of the 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 any account except incarceration for a federal or State crime at the time of the vote.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.



Article XVI (1913)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
The Congress shall have no power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from any source derived.



Article XVII (1913)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, and one from each territory, and one from Washington, D.C., 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.



Article XVIII (1919)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
[This Article should never have been ratified in the first place!  At least we got around to repealing it.]



Article XIX (1920)
Current Amendment:
The right of the 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.

New Amendment:
[See my new Article XV, which gives the vote to all adult U.S. non-incarcerated citizens.]



Article XX (1933)
Current Amendment:
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 3rd day of January, of the year in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3rd day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
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 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.

New Amendment:
[Nothing new needed, really.]



Article XXI (1933)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
Section 1. In recognition that suppression of free trade encourages crime, and endangers and impoverishes the people, the eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The manufacture, sale, importation, exportation, or transportation of any substance not intended for use in weaponry of mass destruction within, into, or from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof shall not be prohibited.



Article XXII (1951)
Current Amendment:
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 to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more that 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 the President, or acting as President, during the term within 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.

New Amendment:
[Again, nothing really critical is needed here.  I'm personally undecided on term limits for Congress, so I won't add that here.]



Article XXIII (1961)
Current Amendment:
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.

New Amendment:
[Do away with the electoral college.  Elect the President and Vice President by a direct vote of the citizenry.  Isn't that what democracy is all about?]



Article XXIV (1964)
Current Amendment:
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 or other tax.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

New Amendment:
[See my new Article XV, which gives the vote to all adult U.S. non-incarcerated citizens.  Failure to pay a "poll tax", pass a reading test, etc. would be included under the "on any account" provision.]



Article XXV (1967)
Current Amendment:
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 the 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 other such 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 the Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both houses that the President is unable to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

New Amendment:
[No changes needed.  A bit confusing, but otherwise worded precisely enough.]



Article XXVI (1971)
Current Amendment:
Section 1. The right of the 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.

New Amendment:
[See my new Article XV, which gives the vote to all adult U.S. non-incarcerated citizens.]



Article XXVII (1992)
Current Amendment:
No Law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

New Amendment:
Upon ratification of this Article:
The compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall be adjusted once annually to compensate for inflation or deflation.
No new Law, increasing the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect.


Some Good New Amendments

   There have been some other good amendments proposed by others, ones that are not simply variations or rewrites of our present ones but completely new and for the purpose of further protecting and solidifying our freedoms.  Below are some I would agree with enough to vote for.
   And for an excellent total rewrite of the Constitution from a libertarian, pro-freedom, pro-individual rights perspective, read the Oceania Constitution and the Laws of Oceania from the Oceania web site.


   The possession or peaceful noncoercive use of any substance, object, image, or information by any person 18 years of age or older shall not be a crime under the laws of the United States or any State.
-- David Nolan, Mission Viejo, California
[Comments:  I would also add "non-stolen" between "any" and "substance," and would also include territories & possessions of the U.S.]


   "Neither Congress nor any State shall make or enforce any law proscribing consensual acts among adult citizens."  With one sentence we could abolish laws banning gambling, prostitution, drug use, birth control, pornography, sodomy, ticket-scalping, and working for less than the minimum wage.  Let cops fight real criminals!
-- Jim Klann, Glendale Heights, Illinois


   No Congressman may vote on a bill supported by a lobbyist from whom he has received a campaign contribution.
-- Richard D. Fuerle, Grand Island, New York
[Comments:  Getting lobbyists to say that they specifically support a bill could be tricky.  Also, there's not much to simply prevent somone other than the lobbyist himself from making the campaign contribution.  Besides, if this law worked, Congress might be passing bills with total votes of 2 to 1!]


   Every new law enacted by Congress and signed by the President shall remain in force for a period not to exceed seven years from the time the President signs it into law, following which the law is null and void.  This provision applies also to all regulations promulgated by Federal agencies as part of any law's implementation.
-- Ed Macke, St. Louis, Missouri
[Comments:  I really like this one.  I'd already written a more stringent version of it.  See my new Article X, above.]


   "The IRS cannot seize assets, and the government cannot seize property under the War on Drugs."  Our government has forgotten that "innocent until proven guilty" was a basic premise in founding our country.
-- Kathleen A. McNelis, Landrum, South Carolina
[Comments:  I would word this a bit more concisely, and replace "the War on Drugs" with "civil forfeiture."  Such an amendment would be popular with a lot of people, who like me, are horrified to see the bald-faced greed, corruption, and malice caused by our government's overzealous and extremely abusive use of civil forfeiture laws, which in themselves are very communistic and un-American in nature.  I expect that most politicians and law enforcement would be very much against such an amendment, which is why it will likely never see the light of day.]


   All non-defense spending bills, and bills which increase revenue, shall require a two-thirds vote of Congress before they are presented to the President.
-- Charles Maloney, Apple Valley, Minnesota
[Comments:  This bill is good in intention but would require more specific language to avoid the inevitable loopholes.  Otherwise you'll have all sorts of pork projects added to defense spending, and all sorts of accounting tricks used to skirt either requirement.]


   No regulation promulgated by an agency of the executive department shall take effect until approved by both houses of Congress.
-- Steve Evans, Huntsville, Alabama
[Comments:  Another good diamond in the rough.  See my new Article X, Section 2.]


   I would specifically require that any Congressman voting on any Bill or Amendments would have to personally read the Bill or Amendments that he or she is voting on.
-- Mark Cross, Kissimmee, Florida
[Comments:  I got yer amendment right here.  Article X, Section 3c.]


   "The government shall make no law abridging the commerce of the people."  I don't think there needs to be much explanation.  It explains itself.
-- Michael H. Wilson, Portland, Oregon
[Comments:  I would make an exception for weapons of mass destruction, and would clarify that littering and environmental dumping are forms of tresspass.  Other than that, I like it.]


   The right of all individuals to do as they wish with their bodies, money, and property, to the extent that they do not engage in acts of force or fraud, nor interfere with the equal rights of others to do the same, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States nor by and State.
-- Nancy O'Brien, Allen Park, Michigan
[Comments:  This is an agreeable amendment, albeit perhaps a bit too libertarian for mainstream America at this time.  I wouldn't want to water it down too much, though.]


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