Constitutional Amendments

A classic repost from Brian’s Old Utah Weblog:

Here are some Constitutional Amendments I would like to suggest.

The United States Supreme Court ruled this spring in Kelo v. New London (04-108, 2005) that states may take private property not only for use by the public (for ports or roads) but also to give the property to private corporations the state prefers over current owners. In this case the preferred owner was Pfizer but Wal-Mart and other giant retailers are common recipients also.

We should reverse the opinion of the court with a constitutional amendment like this,

No person shall be deprived of property without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In the decision Gonzales v. Raich (03-1454, 2005), the court declared that Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce included the power to regulate every area of life, including intrastate noncommercial activity. Now Congress can overrule any state law or private freedom.

We should reverse the opinion of the court with a constitutional amendment like this,

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.

In McConnell v. FEC (02-1674, 2003) the Supreme Court ruled that spoken and written communication advocating the election of a political candidate or a position on an issue is not protected by the First Amendment and that citizens may be prohibited by Congress from running issue advocacy advertisements within 60 days of an election.

We should reverse the opinion of the court with a constitutional amendment like this,

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

In Eldred v. Ashcroft (01-618, 2003), the Supreme Court ruled that Congress may extend copyrights in perpetuity, with no limit on the amount of time copyright would persist. It has long been established that preserving our cultural history requires that works eventually pass into the public domain.

We should reverse the opinion of the court with a constitutional amendment like this,

The Congress shall have Power To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

We are often told that if we don’t like the way our Constitution is interpreted or a decision of the Supreme Court, we should amend the Constitution. If we just pass the amendments I propose here, the Supreme Court will have to change these bad decisions.

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