Green Room

A Futile Constitutional Exercise, But a Nice Shibboleth Nonetheless

posted at 6:01 pm on January 22, 2010 by

I would love to see Republicans in House and Senate propose the following amendment to the United States Constitution; it’s short, simple, and substantive:

The rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities protected by this Constitution shall apply only to United States citizens and legally resident or visiting aliens, not found to have taken up arms against the United States of America.

I’m not deluded enough to think it would find even a majority in either chamber, let alone the two-thirds necessary to move it to the state legislatures. But at the very least, I would love to see Democrats squirm as they’re forced by the Left to vote against it.

I want to hear their arguments, as they ponder the looming elections, why we should extend the Constitution to cover both illegal aliens and enemy combatants. And I’ll bet their positions will further alienate them from Republicans and Independents, and even from quite a few patriotic Democrats.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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I do not think I would support it as written. I would support it as follows.

“The rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities protected by this Constitution shall apply only to United States citizens and legally resident or visiting alien.”

The reason is simple, once a legal resident or a visiting alien takes illegal action against this country, they are automatically or should automatically be moved into the illegal column, thus no longer protected. Whereas, should this nation ever have a revolution by the people trying to regain their rights from an overbearing government, they could be stripped of their constitutional rights.

Unless there is explicit language that ensures that citizens cannot have their constitutional rights taken away, even in an instance of insurrection, I could not support this.

astonerii on January 22, 2010 at 6:44 PM

That one is simple. They’ll just (falsely) claim that withholding citizen’s rights from non-citizens would be a violation of Human Rights. That is, if illegal aliens and terrorists aren’t afforded constitutional rights then they would have no protection against torture and the like.

Browncoatone on January 22, 2010 at 6:45 PM

I like the thinking behind the idea, i.e., to find ways to make democrats squirm. We don’t do this nearly enough and yet oppostunities are so rife these days.

rrpjr on January 22, 2010 at 7:54 PM

The basic idea is long overdue – it’s the Constitution stupid!
Over 220 years we’ve come way too far down the “slippery slope” to be fooled again by well intended legislation. It’s time to address the problem where it actually resides. We don’t need a new constitution but we do need to patch up the ripped and violated safeguards of the one we have.
The 10th amendment needs to be revitalized into an actual limit on Federal overreach that establishs the States and local governments as the true locus of legitimate government.
The general welfare and the commerce clauses need to be clarified and limited so that an overreaching Federal monstrosity can no longer micromanage the intimate details of any citizen’s life.
The ability of the Federal government to tax any individual citizen needs to be repealed.
And finally, the United States Supreme Court needs to be dethroned as the “sole” interpreter of the United States Constitution.
All of these measures are aimed at a redeployment of power away from a powerful, distant, opaque, arbitrary and capricious central government.
In all of human history, centralizing power at the top of a pyramidal organization, especially a very very large and multi-purposed one, has always lead to a disaster. It has NEVER worked! And yet, here we are doing exactly that. Gradually handing ourselves over to “the smartest guys in the room” and hoping against hope that they won’t screw it up.

Lew on January 23, 2010 at 9:25 AM