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On Amending our US Constitution

On Amending our US Constitution
By Curt Wikstrom

     The US Supreme Court and a number of State high courts have usurped power that is rightly the province of state legislatures or the people, and they have failed to protect freedom of thought and association, the free exercise of religion, and our right to a decent and civil society.  So a number of people have considered constitutional amendments to reign in the courts.  We should not support any amendments, however, unless they follow the example and wisdom of the first ten amendments to our constitution.

     The first 10 amendments do not grant any rights.  Our forefathers did not believe that our rights came from the government.  Our rights come from God.  The purpose of the first 10 amendments is to limit the power and scope of the federal government so that it would not infringe on rights that we already have.  The only way to assure that the true meaning of these amendments is adhered to and honored by the Supreme Court is to add explanatory language so crystal clear that the Supreme Court cannot misinterpret or misrepresent them.

     It will do no good to have the House of Representatives try to remove justices if they stray from the true meaning of the words in our Bill of Rights as they exist now.  The House of Representatives is itself a very imperfect institution. There is no reason to believe that a majority of its members could ever agree as to the true meaning or interpretation of our Bill of Rights.  Many of them want to read things into the Constitution to get their way.  It is just as likely that the Representatives would remove our best justices as it is that they would remove our worst ones.

     It is true that human progress in these United States has come about largely as a consequence of the fact that it has been a Christian nation, and that Christian principles were taught in our public schools and Sunday schools until the past few decades.  However, it would be inappropriate to either establish or recognize Christianity as either the official or preferred faith as a matter of law in this country.  The Christian founders of this country did not want to do that for very good reasons.  They understood that a free society is primarily a voluntary society.  Education and faith are, or should be, part of the voluntary sector of our society, and government should not interfere with them or try to control them.  It is true that our faith and training provide us with the principles that we need to address the issues of justice and order.  But the institutions of faith and learning must not be controlled or prevented by governments, but must be independent from the government.  Any words put into our Constitution should be to advance that freedom and independence. 

     Government is the agent of force in our society.  It is necessary for us to use force in a number of situations, from national defense to traffic control.  The purpose of a constitution is not only to define the government and set out how it should operate, but also to limit the use of force to those instances where it is appropriate to do so, to limit the power and scope of government, and to provide for checks and balances.  The use of force must be justifiable.  Our faith and learning provide us with the knowledge and insight to decide and judge what is justifiable.  Those who make these decisions cannot separate their faith and learning from the decision making process.  They could not be just and wise without them.  But it is that faith and learning that we bring to bear on the institution of government, not the other way around.  In fact it is precisely because the agent of force in our society has come to interfere with, dominate, and prevail over the institutions of faith and learning that we have begun to lose our freedoms, our decent and civil society, and our moral compass. 

     To prevent the courts, and the legislatures, and executive powers, from misinterpreting and misusing our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we need to add a few words to make things very clear.  That is the only effective way to restrain the courts.  If they ignore what is very clear, they would also violate the rule of good behavior which already exists.  What we need in effect is a second bill of rights, which protects us from abuse by the courts, as well as from legislatures and executive powers.

     It is very likely that there will be violent opposition to almost every provision of this second bill of rights.  However, the effect of these provisions would be to restore the constitution to a place that the writers intended it to be.  For example, those who wrote and approved our constitution and bill of rights intended it to preclude a national church, but did not intend for faith to be thrown out of the public square.  Nor did they ever imagined that the institution of marriage would be invaded by those who commit unseemly acts, or that the truth would be excluded from criminal trials because law enforcement officers erred, and so forth.  The sad fact is that our original bill of rights, plus the 13th, 14th, 15th would also meet violent opposition today.

A second bill of rights:

      Amendment XXVII.  This amendment further enumerates the rights of the people to a free, just, decent, and civil society. This further enumeration of our God given rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      The right of the people to decent and civil behavior in the public square and on the public airwaves shall not be abridged by the courts. The liberty of individuals is not infringed when they are held to standards of decency and civility in the public square or over the public airwaves.  Pornography, profane language, or indecent behavior, whether in the public view or over the public airwaves, is not protected by this Constitution.  Laws intended to permit transfer of such material over publicly interceptable media shall not expect or require persons to protect themselves, but shall expect and require those persons who intercept such material to purchase the tools necessary to un-encrypt the material.

     In conjunction with our freedom of expression, we have a right not to listen, a right not to participate, a right not to be assaulted or deluged with unwanted expression, and a right to associate with those of our own choosing.

     Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and the institution of marriage shall not be denigrated or abridged by the courts, nor by rule or law.  Nor shall the traditional legal privileges or immunities of married couples be assigned to persons who are not married.  However, this shall not be interpreted to abridge the freedom of association between individuals who are not husband and wife, nor to abridge the freedom of contract between individuals, nor to affect the assignment of powers that are otherwise unrelated to the sexual behavior of a person. 

     The freedom of association and freedom of thought enjoyed by the people at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and extended by the XIII, XIV, and XV amendments, shall not be abridged, and all judicial rulings, orders, or legislation which have done so are hereby overruled.  There shall be no law, order, or ruling which denies the right of people in a voluntarily organized group, of any size or kind, to choose their own members, associates, employees, or agents.  No law or ruling shall require a person to be a member of any organization in order to be employed or to otherwise enjoy the rights and privileges as a citizen of the United States.  No person shall be granted a privilege to impose themselves upon a voluntarily organized group.  Other than when necessary to ascertain the truth in criminal and civil matters, no person shall be required by law to explain or justify decisions to associate or not associate with another person, or to hire another person.   The freedom of the Boy Scouts of America to train boys to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight shall not be violated. Nor shall this freedom be denied to any other group of a similar nature.   No tax funds of any kind shall be collected and granted to any city, state, public or private organization that attempts, or intends, to violate these rights of the Boy Scouts, or any other organization with similar rights to freedom of association.

     The name of God, the 10 commandments, religious symbols, observances, celebrations, and prayer shall not be prohibited in the public square, in public schools, on federal or state property, or on coinage and stamps.  Persons who attend public meetings in which prayer or other observances are a part, shall not be compelled to participate in those prayers or observances.  But such prayers or observances shall not be prohibited by law or court rulings, nor shall public officials be either prevented from or compelled to participate.

  The right to bear arms includes the right to keep and maintain firearms in ones home and other property.  It also includes the right to keep firearms on one’s person wherever it is reasonable for a person to protect themselves, be prepared for self protection or protection of the community, or to otherwise enjoy the reasonable use and exercise of the firearms.

     No court shall have the power to require a legislative body to raise taxes.  No court decision, rule, or law shall require the relocation of lawfully abiding people from their homes, schools, or religious institutions for reasons of public or social policy.  There shall be no law or rule that requires a person to attend a school not of their own choosing.  Unfunded mandates shall not be issued to the states, nor shall financial grants or inducements be used to compel compliance from the states in matters unrelated to, or only slightly related to the use of the grants.  Nor will the states be required to return the grants or inducements if they do not comply with unlawful inducements.

     Every human being shall be treated as a person from conception until natural death by the courts. The power of state legislatures to determine the extent to which that human life shall be protected shall not be abrogated, and all cases that abrogate that power are hereby overruled.

     In any case where a person has been physically, mentally or emotionally harmed, a court shall not exclude evidence which would establish the truth of the crime because law enforcement officers may have erred or obtained the evidence unlawfully.  Nor shall a court set a criminal suspect free because of the misbehavior of law enforcement officers. Rules to control and penalize law enforcement officers for misbehavior shall not deny justice to the victims of crimes.

     A penalty of death for violent or serious crimes is lawful, and shall not be considered cruel or unusual.  Murder, maiming, torture, forceable rape, and forceable kidnapping, are among those serious crimes, but are not a complete list of them.

     Neither Federal and state legislatures, nor the courts, nor any international body or authority, shall control the content of what is taught in a local elementary or secondary school, or college.  No law, order, or rule shall be issued which denies a school the right to teach subject matter that is characterized as religious.  Public funds appropriated for the education of children shall be distributed without favor among the children, the schools that they attend, or the religion of the schools that they attend, except that grants may be directed to a specific subject matter.  No law, rule, or order shall abridge the right of parents to choose the school for their children to attend, except where, through due process of law, it can be determined that a parent is not the guardian of the child, or that the parent’s choice will harm the child. The right of a person to write or talk about their religious faith in a civil and respectful manner while completing assignments or making speeches in a public school shall not be prohibited or abridged.  No school shall be compelled to employ a teacher who engages in crimes, unseemly sexual activity, or other activities which offend the community’s standards of morality.

     No person shall be compelled to pay more than 25% of their income(net of ALL expenses)  in taxes, fees, or any other form of taking or mandate, nor shall more than 25% of the value of any person’s property be taken from them by law, legislation, or executive order or mandate.  Nor shall a tax be levied on income earned more than one year prior to the levy.  This means that the combined total taking of all authorities, including international, federal, state, and all subdivisions agents and assigns thereof is limited to 25% of a person’s net income, and that once a taxing period is over, the income can no longer be reached for tax purposes. It also means that any property of a person from which a taking has taken place, is exempt from a further taking from that property except to the extent of the difference between 25% of the value of the property and the present day value of that amount that has already been taken. The burden of proof as to whether that amount has been exceeded shall rest on the authority doing the taking and shall be clear and convincing.  Present day value means the market value of the property at the time the property was taken, adjusted to account for the change in the value of money.  [Example:  $10 was taken from income that was used to purchase personal property worth $100.  At the time of the taking the property is worth $50 in present day dollars.  The adjustment in the value of money is 1.25.  There is no more power for any authority to take any of the remaining property.]

     Neither the federal government nor the states, nor subdivisions thereof, shall engage in an enterprise that reasonably can be a voluntary private enterprise, nor shall they establish or favor private monopolies, except when licensing the use of public resources that cannot reasonably be divided.

     No pensions shall be paid to federal legislators, judges, elected or appointed officials, except for officers and enlisted military personnel, unless the amount of revenues received in any given year exceed the expenditures for the same year.  All pension contributions from federal funds must be funded for the year when wages and salaries are earned, and placed in funds or trusts which are owned and under the control of the federal official or employee.  Except when engaged in a major declared war, if the total expenditures of the federal government exceed the revenues received during the term of a Congress, no member of that Congress may serve during the next session of Congress.

     No person shall be complelled to pay more than the actual damages, pain, suffering, and expenses of the plaintiff in a civil suit. There shall be no punitive or multiple damages. Nor shall Congress pass any law that subjects a person or organization to multiple damages for civil infractions.

     Laws to restrain racketeering shall not be misused to concoct unreasonable civil cases, nor be used as a political weapon to restrain freedoms of speech, thought, association, or religion. Class action suits in civil cases shall not be favored by the courts.  If the plaintiffs lose the case, the plaintiffs’ attorneys shall pay all expenses of the defendant, but may not seek reimbursement from plaintiffs except for the amounts contributed or pledged by the plaintiffs in writing.  Legal fees shall not exceed 20% of the award in class action suits, or the actual legal costs, whichever is less; and attorney’s fees shall be strictly set by the courts at no more than the medium rates for attorneys in the jurisdiction.  Class action plaintiffs shall be denied a hearing if evidence of jurisdiction shopping is clear.

     Limitations placed on the federal government to protect our God given rights by the first 10 amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, and by this amendment, shall also limit the power of the states.

     Every federal judge and federal officer shall be compelled to swear a new oath to uphold the Constitution, including this amendment.  If they will not so swear, they shall be dismissed without recourse, without pay, and without pension.  In the event they are not dismissed forthwith, from the date of the adoption of this amendment, no person shall be required to comply with any orders or rulings of those who do not swear to uphold this amendment.


© Curtiss Wikstrom  See other articles by Curtiss Wikstrom at www.curtwikstrom.com


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