Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The first, known as the Repeal Amendment, has been introduced in Congress and reads as follows:
Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.
This proposed amendment would go a long way toward restoring the balance between the federal government and the state governments, which was thrown out of kilter by the Seventeenth Amendment, which provided for the popular election of US Senators. Under the original design of the Constitution, the House of Representatives, whose members were elected directly by the people, represented the people of the United States as a whole, while the Senate, whose members were chosen by the legislatures of the several states, represented the states as political entities in their own right. The effect of the Seventeenth Amendment was to make the Senate a smaller version of the House, with longer terms so that bad decisions by the voters would be around longer to cause more mischief. One positive effect of adopting the Repeal Amendment might be that unfunded federal mandates on the states would become a thing of the past.
The other proposed amendment has been bouncing around the Internet for a while, and as far as I can tell has no formal title. I'll call it the "Sauce For The Goose Amendment," and it reads:
Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.
The purpose and effect of the Sauce For The Goose Amendment are self-evident; Congress has developed a penchant for adopting one set of laws for the citizens generally and a different (and invariably more favorable to the Members and Senators) set for themselves and their staffs. As a result, they don't have to live with the havoc they've created in such areas as, for example, employment law, and have given themselves a gold-plated health plan that is exempt from the Obamacare provisions. Nothing could better guarantee a legislature that is out of touch with the citizens they purportedly represent.
I believe that adoption of these two amendments would go a long way to righting the Ship of State, which has developed an alarming list to port in recent decades.