Yes, I know, I’m probably a bit prejudiced when it comes to some part of the political landscape. Having a degree in political science does not make me a constitutional expert. It does however, make me interested in looking at the words of the constitution when people begin to quote from it.
Very recently during the presidential campaign, some have declared that if so and so becomes president he/she will do thus and so. I guess that sounds wonderful to certain segments of our population. However, doesn’t it give pause to those people who actually have a constitution in their home, or have access to the internet.
That’s not the way our country has worked since the beginning. I am sure you recognize that we have had amendments to the constitution of the United States. Actually, there are 27 of them, or should I say XXVII of them. There has only been one constitutional amendment removed in the history of our country. That was the 18th amendment replaced by the 21st amendment eliminating Prohibition against alcoholic beverages. That’s only one amendment since 1789.
How does one amend or abolish an amendment?
The first act is to have the amendment brought up to the house or senate of the U.S. It has to be passed by 2/3 of each house. It then goes to the state legislatures where ¾ of the legislatures.shall pass it. There is a 7 year time limit. There is another way of bringing up an amendment and that is if 2/3 of the legislatures vote to amend the constitution.
Somehow the founders of our union understood that changing the constitution too easily would lead to instability in our country. Actually, they did not put a time limit on the bill of rights. I did not know that there were actually 12 proposed amendments. The two that did not go through were pay for legislators and congressional representation.
Insurrectionists and gun fanatics quote one of our original founders as saying:
When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
The problem with him saying that is that he never said it. Serious constitutional scholars do not view the second amendment as a right to overthrow a government or assassinate a president or presidential nominee. However, those that espouse these things are never serious constitutional scholars.