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Thread: Constitutional Amendments and the revocation of rights

  1. #1
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    Constitutional Amendments and the revocation of rights

    So FB brought up an interesting discussion today. One of my normally moderate friends brought up the point that he agrees the constitution would have to be changed to implement the types of gun laws he would like. Not a full out ban but Mental health checks, etc.

    This developed into an interesting discussion about whether Amendments can be used to remove rights.

    The Constitution is the laws of the land. And is an amazing document, especially considering the time period in which it was produced. But it isn't perfect. Which is why we have a system in place to make changes to it. And overall the Amendment process has been used to either add rights or make changes that don't infringe on others rights. The 18th Amendment could be argued but I don't see alcohol as a right, and even then we saw how badly that turned out.


    So could an Amendment take away enumerated rights and still be "Constitutional"? Yes it removed a right that we were otherwise guaranteed. But it goes through the process the constitution lays out.


    My personal thought? Will Honestly I have no idea on the legality of it. But I know for sure I would not see such a thing as moral. If the 2nd amendment was revoked. Or and Amendment passed that Barred all religion or forced a particular one. In no way would this be moral or ethical. But legal? Anyone here a constitutional scholar or attorney?
    Last edited by kwelz; 11-08-18 at 21:05.
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    There is a process to amend the constitution. None of the constitution is theoretically safe from amendment.

    The stickler is the fact that parts of the Bill of Rights were intended to affirm what the framers saw as "god" given rights.

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    I think the answer to your question is that, yes, the Amendment process could be used to remove rights guaranteed by other Amendments.

    An example is the 21st Amendment which repealed the 18th Amendment (prohibition), Section 1 of the 21st Simply says: The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. (Maybe not the best example because prohibition didn't give any rights LOL)

    The process of Constitutional Amendments is an arduous one, intentionally so in my opinion. But the bottom line is that someday, enough folks may feel strongly enough about any Amendment to repeal that Amendment.

    As long as it is done according to the process set out in Article 5 of the Constitution, I think we would be, as citizens, required to accept it and, if we cant accept it, move on to another locale. I mean who would want to live in a Nation where you couldn't bear arms or be free from unreasonable searches and seizures?

    I found this short article on the Amendment process, informative, it provided some information that I'd either forgotten, or never knew:

    The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

    The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval.

    The Archivist of the United States submits the proposed amendment to the States for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each Governor. The Governors then formally submit the amendment to their State legislatures or the state calls for a convention, depending on what Congress has specified.

    When a State ratifies a proposed amendment, it sends the Archivist an original or certified copy of the State action, which is immediately conveyed to the Director of the Federal Register.

    A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States). When the OFR verifies that it has received the required number of authenticated ratification documents, it drafts a formal proclamation for the Archivist to certify that the amendment is valid and has become part of the Constitution. This certification is published in the Federal Register and U.S. Statutes at Large and serves as official notice to the Congress and to the Nation that the amendment process has been completed.

    In recent history, the signing of the certification has become a ceremonial function attended by various dignitaries, which may include the President. President Johnson signed the certifications for the 24th and 25th Amendments as a witness, and President Nixon similarly witnessed the certification of the 26th Amendment along with three young scholars. On May 18, 1992, the Archivist performed the duties of the certifying official for the first time to recognize the ratification of the 27th Amendment, and the Director of the Federal Register signed the certification as a witness.

    https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution
    Last edited by 26 Inf; 11-08-18 at 22:06.
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    OP, this is the role of local, State and Federal law enforcement.
    There are plenty of"Laws" to fix the issue, however time and time again we have seen it just doesn't happen.
    So the real question might be "How do we hold people accountable?"

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    As AK doug said, it depends on whether you believe rights are granted by government or inherent to being human, that is, God given or "natural rights."

    The idea that Government can grant or remove fundamental rights as it pleases (even through a democratic process) is about as opposed to the concept of Liberty as you can get.
    Last edited by Tx_Aggie; 11-08-18 at 23:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tx_Aggie View Post
    As AK doug said, it depends on whether you believe rights are granted by government or inherent to being human, that is, God given or "natural rights."

    The idea that Government can grant or remove fundamental rights as it pleases (even through a democratic process) is about as opposed to the concept of Liberty as you can get.
    The Bill or Rights are not rights granted by the Constitution from government, they are restrictions on government regarding what rights are "off limits." Any amendment regarding any of the 10 is a violation of government limitations and should be grounds for war.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    The Bill or Rights are not rights granted by the Constitution from government, they are restrictions on government regarding what rights are "off limits." Any amendment regarding any of the 10 is a violation of government limitations and should be grounds for war.
    Agreed 100%.

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    The Constitution is but ink and parchment. The ideals Embodied and codified in the Constitution rely upon the virtue, grace and will of human beings.

    The actions of each and every one of us are what really matter. Words and ideas are powerful in and of themselves, but mean nothing and brilliantly fail without the actions of men to believe in and protect them.

    Think about what you will or won't do as an individual when actions are necessary to secure what is Right and just.

    For ideas mean nothing without the will, fortitude and sacrifice to do what is right by each and every one of us to secure them.

    It's rather simple. NO, you cannot amend away that which is Just and virtuous, that which is your natural born Right. It either is or is not, Rights are absolute, even when infringed upon and completely taken away by force- that which is true, just and a Right cannot be broken or undone; there can only be injustice and inaction that allows such transgressions to occur.
    Last edited by THCDDM4; 11-09-18 at 00:15.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tx_Aggie View Post
    As AK doug said, it depends on whether you believe rights are granted by government or inherent to being human, that is, God given or "natural rights."

    The idea that Government can grant or remove fundamental rights as it pleases (even through a democratic process) is about as opposed to the concept of Liberty as you can get.
    Well put.
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    Yet we're all to happy to abide by the 20K firearms laws in this country.

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