Commentary by Kirby Harris
Former Justice Stevens explains how If he had his way he would amend the First, Second and Eighth Amendments alongside other changes.
Is this good bad or just ugly to our freedoms as Americans?
I would wager UGLY! Very ugly to our cherished freedoms and individual liberty.
Just a few things he would do would fundamentally change our society.
He says he would add these words “when serving in the militia“ to the current phrasing to the 2nd Amendment so it would read:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.
This would effectively get rid of individual gun ownership.
USA TODAY summed up his desires to change the Constitution this way:
•Changing the Second Amendment to make clear that only a state's militia, not its citizens, has a constitutional right to bear arms.
•Changing the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishments" by specifically including the death penalty.
•Removing from First Amendment protection any "reasonable limits" on campaign spending enacted by Congress or the states.
•Requiring that congressional and state legislative districts be "compact and composed of contiguous territory" to stop both parties from carving out safe seats.
•Eliminating states' sovereign immunity from liability for violating the Constitution or an act of Congress, which he calls a "manifest injustice."
•Allowing Congress to require states to perform federal duties in emergencies, in order to reduce "the risk of a national catastrophe."
This type of thinking is gaining momentum, and more and more people in influential circles are wishing to change the Constitution to get rid of what they see as Constitutional mistakes or oversights that are causing ALL the ills of our society.
They are blind that these protections are timeless and protect us, IF obeyed from tyranny.
The reason for the ills are we have drifted from the intent and practice of the Constitution and its particular ideals that outline how to prevent tyranny. The reason we have stayed free this long is because our politicians used to be scared to be seen as violating the Constitution and/or the founding principles that kept us free.
Years and years of politicians testing the waters of disobeying the Constitution, while pretending to obey or honor it and getting away with it are over. The politicians have realized with enough political theatre and lies they can fool the American People into thinking it’s the other guy and his politician who is destroying, misinterpreting or violating the constitution.
And a growing number of people consider the Constitution outdated, and politicians like John Paul Stevens, yes I said politicians like John Paul Stevens (not all politicians are elected), see that the tide is growing to alter the principles (our protections from tyranny) in the Constitution.
Now, I am not saying that Stevens wants to destroy America and enslave us, though there are those who do wish to to do that (to enrich themselves and their bosses). I am saying that many are fooled into thinking removing the outdated precepts in the Constitution will help our society, not realizing that it actually removes the protections that keep us free. They are lied to by those who do wish to change public perception of the Constitution and that its principles when followed protect our freedoms.
More and more politicians in both parties are either outright ignoring the Constitution, and either are saying its outdated or that’s not what it really so I did didn’t violate it.
With influential people like former Supreme Court Justice Stevens and our crop of current elected politicians at the local, State and Federal level do you understand why many of us who love Liberty and Freedom don’t want a Constitutional Convention or a Convention of the States to “FIX” our problems.
The defender’s of such Conventions say what Stevens wants could NOT happen, because of safeguards, but I bet that’s what they said in 1776 when the Founders went to Philadelphia to only slightly alter the Articles of Confederation, and instead scrapped it and created our current US Constitution.
Commentary based on this article:
Justice Stevens: Make 6 changes to Constitution
BY MARK SHERMAN - ASSOCIATED PRESS – April 22nd, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens began thinking about ways to prevent a repeat.
The result is Stevens' new book — his second since retiring from the court at age 90 — in which he calls for no fewer than six changes to the Constitution, of which two are directly related to guns. Others would abolish the death penalty, make it easier to limit spending on elections and rein in partisan drawing of electoral districts.
His proposed amendments generally would overrule major Supreme Court decisions with which he disagrees, including ones on guns and campaign finance in which he dissented.
The book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution," is being published Tuesday by Little, Brown and Co., two days after Stevens' 94th birthday.
Stevens said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Newtown, Conn., shootings in December 2012 made him think about doing "whatever we could to prevent such a thing from happening again."
He said he was bothered by press reports about gaps in the federal government database for checking the background of prospective gun buyers. Those gaps exist because the Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that states could not be forced to participate in the background check system. Stevens dissented from the court's 5-4 ruling in Printz v. United States.
One amendment would allow Congress to force state participation in gun checks, while a second would change the Second Amendment to permit gun control. Stevens was on the losing end of another 5-4 decision in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court declared for the first time that Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense.
He acknowledged that his proposed change would allow Congress to do something unthinkable in today's environment: ban gun ownership altogether.
"I'd think the chance of changing the Second Amendment is pretty remote," Stevens said. "The purpose is to cause further reflection over a period of time because it seems to me with ample time and ample reflection, people in the United States would come to the same conclusion that people in other countries have."
Justices often say that their dissenting opinions are written with the hope that today's dissent might attract a majority on some future court.
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