Friday, February 23, 2018

Trying to Figure out Amendments to the U.S. Constitution



Civics refresher: People seem to know what the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are (basically, anyway). Does anyone know the other 25 are? Of the 27 Amendments to the United States Constitution, only one has been repealed, so far. That was the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacturing or sale of alcohol within the United States.(Repealed December 5, 1933, via 21st Amendment.)
The 25th Amendment makes provisions for replacement if the president becomes disabled. Does this include mental instability?
Here is a complete list of the 27 Amendments to the United States Constitution - I have commented on a few, as I have questions:
1st Prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (Was adding "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 an exercise of that right, or a violation?)
2nd A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Question: Where is this "militia"? Is that our military? Or a citizen's militia? Were the Black Panthers a "militia"? Or does this mean a possible militia in future? Who decides when we bring arms to the collective table? Who will we be fighting? Ourselves (again?!?!?) And will it indeed be "well-regulated?") Youth wants to know. 
3rd Places restrictions on the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent, prohibiting it during peacetime.
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause as determined by a neutral judge or magistrate.
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
9th Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution. 


  (This is the most confusing Amendment - it means that the rights of citizens are not limited by those listed in the Constitution. Still appears to be a matter of opinion of what a "right" is).

10th Reinforces the principle of federalism by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people through the Constitution.
11th Makes states immune from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders; lays the foundation for sovereign immunity.
12th Revises presidential election procedures by having the President and Vice President elected together as opposed to the Vice President being the runner up.
13th Abolishes slavery, and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
14th Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post–Civil War issues.
15th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.
16th Permits Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census.
17th Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote.
18th Prohibited the manufacturing or sale of alcohol within the United States.(Repealed December 5, 1933, via 21st Amendment.)
19th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex.
20th Changes the date on which the terms of the President and Vice President (January 20) and Senators and Representatives (January 3) end and begin.
21st Repeals the 18th Amendment and makes it a federal offense to transport or import intoxicating liquors into US states and territories where such transport or importation is prohibited by the laws of those states and territories.
22nd Limits the number of times that a person can be elected president: a person cannot be elected president more than twice, and a person who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected cannot be elected more than once.
23rd Grants the District of Columbia electors (the number of electors being equal to the least populous state) in the Electoral College.
24th Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax.
25th Addresses succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities.
26th Prohibits the denial of the right of US citizens, eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age.
27th Delays laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next election of representatives.

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