Time for Another Half-Dozen Amendments to the Constitution
Sorry for being away from Wake-Up Call for a while, but Covid bit me in the ankle when I was looking the other way. Yes, I’ve had all three vaccinations and yes, the booster as well. It was horrible for two days, then easier, now gone. Weariness persists, but I’m old, so there’s that.
The Supreme Court went nuts while I was distracted
Which it’s done many times before in America’s history, but precedent used to mean something on the court and apparently no longer does.
In the blink of an eye, Barack Obama was denied a nominee because it was “too close to an election” and Donald Trump was given two nominations in the same circumstances. Go figure. When the smoke settled, Chief Justice John Roberts had lost control of his court, and here we are.
Just for starters, the Voting Rights section of the Civil Rights Act has been torn up, court oversight of derelict southern state voting irregularities lifted, nationwide access to guns encouraged and a half-century of abortion rights for women overturned. Further, the court ruled against the EPA (a Congressionally created agency) and hobbled government power to guarantee Americans clean air and water.
To no one’s surprise, “out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public until further notice.”
The song-and-dance-team I like to call “The Supremes” has now ended its session and, Wizard-of-Oz like, retreated into their robes and left the premises in recess.
The Court has always been a political entity and it’s only when it swings too far from public opinion that we ordinary folk panic. In a poll released just prior to the Roe decision, confidence in the Supreme Court was down by double digits among both Democrats (30% to 13%) and independents (40% to 25%) this year. No surprise there, but it is essentially unchanged among Republicans at 37% to 39% and that caught my liberal self unaware.
Even Republicans, who I thought would be popping the champagne, can’t stand the court. We are stuck with this court for a very long time, so, if we can’t change the court we have to change the Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, the last 12 of those in the 20th Century
The 19th of those amendments occurred just 102 years ago and gave American women the right to vote. Really?
So, it’s significant (at least to me) that for nearly half of the time women have had the vote, they also had the right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Question: why are men even included in this argument?
Amending the Constitution is really quite a simple process
Article V of the Constitution provides two ways to propose amendments to the document. Amendments may be proposed either by the Congress, through a joint resolution passed by a two-thirds vote, or by a convention called by Congress in response to applications from two-thirds of the state legislatures.
How’s that worked out so far? To date, the numbers stand at 11,000 proposed and 27 passed, not exactly a game-winning batting average. But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
In the face of that, amendments have been passed and the national interest is currently at a peak
Good god, if a few intemperate intemperance ladies could get Prohibition through 102 years ago, the 50.5% of Americans who are women ought to be able to get an abortion amendment though Congress. By simply being women, they have a very strong bargaining tool at their disposal.
Then gun control, then a roll-back of voters’ rights and re-affirmation of the EPA. Then we can look around and see what else needs doing. States Rights? The Electoral College?
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