July 19th, 2004
|jimbojones||02:20 am - Welcome to South fucking Carolina...|
Where when it comes time to elect your Senator, you can proudly choose between gay-bashing (Republican) or gay-bashing (Democratic).
That's right, Inez Tenenbaum - woman, Superintendent of Education, and Democratic Senatorial candidate - proudly endorses the FMA, aka the Constitutional Amendment specifically designed to not only strip basic civil liberties from homosexuals at a federal level, but ensure that they stay stripped in the event of a
non-fascist non-Dubya administration change.
Guess I'll be sitting this senatorial election out. Hope you didn't need MY vote to win, lady. >=\
Current Mood: angry
Current Music: Public Enemy - Yo Nigga
| ||From: jimbojones|
Date: July 19th, 2004 - 06:42 am
Re: Quick response
To be precise, it's not the states that repeal Constitutional amendments - the states themselves are stuck with anything in the Constitution. It's the Federal representatives elected by the states that have a chance to repeal an amendment.
And in case you missed out on this, the entire reason the Shrub wants to get this stuck in the Constitution instead of simply dumping such a law where it would belong - IE, the US Code - is to make it more difficult to overturn. A law in the US Code, which is where federal laws are actually SUPPOSED to go (the Constitution is a framework intended to broadly define the role and scope of federal government and protect critical civil liberties, NOT a repository of criminal statutes) could be overturned by the courts OR by the legislative system with a simple majority, whereas repealing a Constitutional amendment could ONLY be done by the legislature, and would need to be done with a two thirds majority, not a simple majority.
Dubya knows damn well that even if he could get his anti-homosexual legislation passed, it would get struck down FAST in any other administration - so he's attempting to get something done that would be a lot harder for a less diehard christian-conservative administration to undo. Even though it's at the expense of violating the intended purpose and integrity of the Constitution itself.
> whereas repealing a Constitutional amendment could ONLY be done by
> the legislature, and would need to be done with a two thirds
> majority, not a simple majority.
actually to repeal an amendment also requires endorsement by 2/3 of the states in addition to the whole congressional bit, since you have to pass ANOTHER amendment to make it happen. it's hard to repeal an amendment once it's there. the only time it happened so far was when they tried to take our booze away from us (18th & 21st Ams.). so yeah, it's pretty hard (though not impossible) to repeal an amendment. it gets harder when you're dealing with one that singles out a rather small minority of citizens, even if they are a fabulous one.
the main reason they want to do this with an amendment rather than just a law, though, is that the law -- which already exists, in the form of the defense of marriage act (thank you bill clinton) -- is widely thought to be unconstitutional. in other words, what they're trying to do is far enough outside the framework of the current constitution that it's likely that only a fundamental change to the document will suffice. this is just not something that anybody ever imagined would be a federal -- or even national -- issue. and the principled argument against the FMA is simply "it's not."
none of which does anything to vitiate your point that this whole affair threatens to undermine some of the main reasons we HAVE a constitution (i.e., protect us from each other and our government). i will point out that dubya doesn't NEED to get any anti-homosexual legislation passed, and indeed there isn't any pending. it's already on the books! and now that massachussetts has started marrying gay people, a constitutional challenge to the DOMA is not far off. hell, it's probably been filed already now that there are couples with standing! i'll check.
Date: July 19th, 2004 - 10:01 am
Whilst I agree with you that the Constitution was NEVER intended to be a statute of laws, a la the US Code, the fact remains that if an amendment were passed, it could still be removed. Granted, the only way to do that would be ANOTHER amendment, but it could still be removed... in a difficult manner. As far as the process goes, it IS, in fact, the states who pass amendments. The House and Senate may propse amendments by getting a 2/3 vote in each house. If the same version of the amendments does pass by a 2/3 vote in each house, it then is sent to the legislatures of all 50 states, at which time 3/4 of all the states must ratify it for it to become law. The "Founding Fathers" were men of intelligence. They made it DAMN HARD to change the document they created but not impossible.
PS Always vote. I have not served my country in any way except to pay my taxes (as required by various laws including the 16th Amendment), but even I know that voting is one of the most important rights we have.