HolyCoast: You Can't Solve Social Issues With Constitutional Amendments

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You Can't Solve Social Issues With Constitutional Amendments

They tried that with Prohibition, remember?  How'd that work out?

One fault I've noticed with Rick Perry is his repeated suggestion that we change the Constitution to solve certain social or government structural problems.  Gabriel Malor made a list on Twitter.  I've taken out some of the abbreviations to make it easier to understand:
By my count, Perry has now proposed 8 Amendments to the Constitution, the most of any candidate.

Perry wants: (1) a Balanced Budget Amendment; (2) a pro-life amendment; (3) marriage amendment; (4) repeal income tax; (5) repeal direct election of Senators; ...

cont) Perry wants: (6) abolish lifetime tenure for fed judges; (7) give Congress a veto of SCOTUS decisions; (8) school prayer amendment.
The Balanced Budget Amendment wouldn't be a bad thing, but I don't know if I could support any of the others. I don't like using the Constitution in that manner. The document was well-crafted and well-thought out and to create amendments based on changing moral and political standards is wrong. Just as I didn't support the federalization of abortion, I also cannot support the federalization of marriage or school prayer. Those issues should be left up to the states, and if you don't like what your state has done, you can either work to change the law or move. However, jamming these issues down the entire nation's throats via federalization is wrong and I can't support it.

Regarding #7, a congressional veto of SCOTUS decisions, I think they've already got that as does the president.  The Constitution did not create a court that's "supreme" to the other two branches of the government.  They're supposed to be co-equals.  Therefore, I don't see why Congress or the President can't look at Supreme Court decisions as advisory and not necessarily binding.  We've allowed the court to have power it was never intended to have.

Perry needs to come up with a better approach to dealing with these issues.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Most legislators, like Perry, see their job as fixing problems –whether it's their job to fix those problems or not. The amount of self-control required to avoid fixing a problem that isn't theirs to fix is massive, and more than the vast majority of people possess.

Imagine a room of people where they are asked who wants to be in charge of everyone else in the room. Anyone who jumps up screaming “OOH, ME! ME! ME!” –that’s the absolute last person you want in charge, but more often than not they're the people who end up there anyway. It's like gravitational pull.