Constitution 101: Bill of Rights and Other Amendments to the Articles of the US Constitution


Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of  your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings – give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.
Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention, Richmond, Virginia, June 5, 1788

 The Preamble of the Constitution has nor force in law and serves as a reason the document was created, as well as reflecting the desires of the Framers that wished to make a more perfect document than the Articles of Confederation to be a benefit to the people instead of detriment.

The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States. There are, at present, twenty-three amendments. I would like to note that the Founders did not use fancy lawyer words and phrases because it was meant to be understood by all citizens; indeed, Thomas Jefferson saw the importance of the People to be educated and knowledgeable about their Constitution and its amendments in order to protect it – unlike today’s legislation that covers page after page of complicated lawyer lingo instead of making it simple and to the point.

George Mason was the primary individual who proposed adding the bill of rights:

It would give great quiet to the people; and with the aid of the State declarations, a bill might be prepared in a few hours.

The motion to appoint a committee to draft a bill of rights was rejected, but Mason, Gerry and Pinckney would not drop the subject. The absence of a bill of rights soon inflamed into heated debate.

In a letter to Madison, Jefferson stated what he did not like about the proposed Constitution:

First the omission of a bill of rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction against monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of the fact triable by the laws of the land and not by the laws of Nations … Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. [Papers of Thomas Jefferson 438, 440 [J. Boyd, 1958]. Madison wrote to Jefferson, initially a doubter of a bill of rights included in the Constitution:

…while my own opinion has always been in favor of a bill of rights, I have never thought the omission a material defect, not been anxious to supply it even by subsequent amendment … [The Writings of James Madison 269 – G. Hunt, 1904] After Madison’s seat in the House, he endorsed the proposal for a bill of rights, and wrote:

It is my sincere opinion that the Constitution ought to be revised, and that the first Congress meeting under it ought to prepare and recommend to the States for ratification, the most satisfactory provisions for all essential rights, particularly the rights of Conscience in the fullest latitude, the freedom of the press, trials by jury, security against general warrants & c.

You do not have to be a lawyer or have studied law to understand the Constitution and its amendments and every educational institution in the United States should ensure that students understand their Constitution and its Bill of Rights as well as all of the amendments.

In 1857, a landmark case of Dred Scott v. Sandford was an issue/court decision that challenged the concept that “all men are created equal and that freedom and liberty belongs to every human being. Benjamin Curtis, Supreme Court Justice wrote a dissent:

When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their views of what it ought to mean.

Today, advocate and political judges and justices use politics and advocacy rather than constitutional law as their guidelines in decisions of individual cases.

The judiciary was designed to protect constitutional law by ensuring that court decisions matched it, and the Supreme Court of the United States has become political advocates who base their decisions upon popular opinion rather than the articles and amendments of the Constitution of the United States. If nor reformed/corrected, eventually the Bill of Rights will be nothing but a historical document that no longer applies.

AMENDMENT I  [1791]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A good example of a redress of grievances is the Declaration of Independence. The redress of grievances applies anytime the government fails to honor, protect, and obey the articles and amendments of the Constitution of the United States and those grievances are made known by the People. Officials of the United States government and military personnel and law enforcement officers of state, county, cities, and towns are required to affirm an oath to uphold and support the Constitution of the United States. They are obligated to refuse/refrain any required action or unlawful order given that is against the articles and amendments of the Constitution of the United States.

In recent times, people argue over separation of church and state and erroneously attribute it to the First Amendment. It is not, and they are referring to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802 – fifteen years after the Constitution was signed and ratified. What they are referring to is the part that reads … Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. They ignore, too often, the part: shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Christians are singled out and traditions established with the founding of our nation and soon after that concerns public prayer and display of religious icons like the nativity scene at Christmas or renaming the “Christmas” tree, a “Holiday” tree. It seems that people tend to believe that the Constitution provides protection from being offended, but it does not. There are laws that protect people from public slander or untruthful attacks upon one’s character to be judged in a court of law. Those that constantly invoke the First Amendment too often commit acts of slander and hateful rhetoric against people who do not agree with them not having the right to alter or evade the truth. Too often, they confuse opinion with facts and statistics.

Freedom of the Press is important; however, the press is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the People, not the mouthpiece for the government, specifically and nonobjectively taking political sides. News is meant to keep the people informed, not to misinform or only provide information that steers the public towards their personal beliefs or political ideology – that is for the OpEd and opinion part of the media.

AMENDMENT II  [1791]

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

More than ever in our history, this amendment has been within hot debate, and despite the simple paragraph with clear meaning, there are those who would interpret it other than what was intended, whether it be politicians or members of the judiciary. It guarantees the right of the People to defend themselves by keeping, carrying, and using firearms – and shall not be infringed. The security of a free State from enemies, both foreign and domestic. As Patrick Henry and other Founders pointed out, a government, which fears their citizens to be armed to defend themselves, fellow citizens and the community/state, is a government that is up to no good. History has shown, repeatedly, that citizens who allow government to take away means of defense end up persecuting and murdering their own people in the name of a tyrant government.

AMENDMENT III  [1791]

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of War, but in a manner prescribed by law.

This amendment was important because what the colonists endured under British rule. The only violation of this amendment occurred in Louisiana after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Nothing was done about it nor did the corporate mainstream media report it.

 AMENDMENT IV  [1791]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

An extremely important amendment, there have been times in our history that this amendment was circumvented or tried to be circumvented via legislation, such as the Patriot Act, so named so those in Congress would feel ashamed for disagreeing with its content. BH Obama has continued those policies and recently it has been shown that the Attorney General of the Obama administration and Homeland Security has violated this and other amendments in the name of big government and false sense of security and protection of the people. Even in the name of national security, this amendment must never be violated.

 AMENDMENT V  [1791]

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This amendment caused much debate among the Founders and disagreed with the drafted wording. Some wanted to use public purpose or public benefit instead of public use. Public use is what is called eminent domain that James Madison composed and included just compensation. Apparently in some states, like Connecticut, this amendment does not matter because its courts allowed the seizure of private property so they could make money by selling it to a developer.

 AMENDMENT VI  [1791]

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

 AMENDMENT VII  [1791]

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

 AMENDMENT VIII  [1791]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

 AMENDMENT IX  [1791]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other retained by the people.

 AMENDMENT X  [1791]

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 AMENDMENT XI  [1795]

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

 AMENDMENT XII  [1804]

The Electors shall meet in the respective states, and vote for ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the persons voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed by the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by the states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.] The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionality ineligible to the office of the President shall be eligible to that of the Vice-President of the United States.

 AMENDMENT XIII  [1865]

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Judging from the concept of the Constitution and the original ten amendments [Bill of Rights], slavery should have been abolished then; but the fear of not being able to unite the states into one sovereign nation of separate sovereign states, a republic, caused the issue not to be considered. This human rights issue came to a head in 1860 when southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America and the civil war. Abraham Lincoln, against slavery, declared that states did not have the right to secede, an issue that returns today over federal issues and federal government usurpation over state sovereignty and the right of a state to defend itself or enact laws that the federal government ignores concerning illegal immigration.

 AMENDMENT XIV  [1868]

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil, or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss of emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

For the first time in history, it has been declared by some that a president, Barack H. Obama, is not legally a president and could not legally run for president because of the question as to where he was born – Hawaii or Kenya. While evidence points toward the latter place of birth, the incident definitely substantiates that this amendment should have a paragraph added through the amendment process that all candidates for offices of the president, vice president, elected judges, and members of Congress should undergo a complete background check to determine eligibility just as required for security clearances. The major concern would be what happened in the case of BH Obama as well as those members of federal offices have access to confidential, classified, and secret information during the process of their tenure in various committees.

Snopes, a bias [when it comes to political subjects] website when it comes to politically motivated questions of authenticity and truth, has concluded that a document produced and displayed on the website in 2008 proves Obama is a citizen, but has since been claimed to be a false piece of evidence/document by investigators and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. President Obama and his lawyers have failed to recognize any court of law that took the case and did not appear before court to address allegations of Obama’s ineligibility as President of the United States in a Georgia court case.

 AMENDMENT XV  [1870]

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Along with the amendment that freed slaves and prohibited slavery, this is another important addition to the Bill of Rights that should have been established from the beginning. During the course of history this amendment was challenged: (1) contracts of seamen that involved certain extent of surrender of personal liberty, may be enforced without regard to the Amendment; (2) Individuals that owe the government, such as service in the military and on juries is not covered in this amendment; (3) a state law requiring that every able-bodied man within its jurisdiction to labor for a reasonable time on public roads near his residence without direct compensation was sustained; (4) a Thirteenth Amendment challenge to conscription for military service was summarily rejected; (5) a state law making it a misdemeanor for a lessor, or his agent or janitor, intentionally fail to furnish such water, heat, light, elevator, telephone, or other services as may be required by the terms of the lease and necessary to the proper and customary use of the building was held not to create an involuntary servitude; (6) a federal statute making it unlawful to coerce, compel, or constrain a communications licensee to employ persons in excess of the number of employees needed to conduct his business was held not to implicate the Amendment.

 AMENDMENT XVI  [1913]

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

In August 1894, the Wilson-Gorman Act was signed into law levying a 2% tax on annual incomes of $4,000 or more. The tax was applied to gains, profits, and income derived from any kind of property, rents, interest, dividends, or salaries from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation. It also included inheritance and gift tax. The tax was applied to net profits of corporations, companies, and associations. Shareholders sued and consolidated grievances in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. accepted by the Supreme Court in January of 1895. The plaintiffs were represented by William D. Guthrie, George F. Edmunds, and Joseph Choate who claimed that the income tax would induce class warfare that would lead to communism, anarchy, and then, the ever following despotism.

The constitutional argument, as the plaintiffs presented, is that income tax is a direct tax and according to Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution …

No capitation or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration …

It was claimed that the income tax was not in proportion to the census and unconstitutional. The uniformity clause was invoked from Article I, Section 8

…all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

Meaning that laying tax upon a certain segment of the population or taxing a segment of the population more than other citizens is unconstitutional.

The defense, Richard Olney and James C. Carter, maintained that the income tax was not a direct tax, citing the 1796 Supreme Court decision that upheld a carriage tax, determined by direct tax upon property.

In May of 1895, the Supreme Court threw out the Wilson-Gorman law by a 5-4 margin, Justice Fuller wrote that the unconstitutionality of the income tax on real estate made the entire law null, despite that some taxes upon wages were constitutional. This case and decision led to a future amendment, the sixteenth.

The Sixteenth Amendment, along with the Second Amendment, have been the most argued amendments in the US Constitution. A majority of the sovereign States, falsely declared ratified in 1913, makes the Sixteenth Amendment not applicable. Even if the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, it has been unconstitutional as a direct tax, according to Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution. Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court denied this in Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 U.S. 1. They ruled that it –

…created no new power of taxation … it did not change the constitutional limitations which forbid any direct taxation of individuals.

Research has shown that 36 states were needed to ratify the Sixteenth Amendment and the following information was discovered:

  • Not ratified by state legislature, and so reported.
  • Not ratified by state legislature, but reported as ratified.
  • Missing or incomplete evidence of ratification, but reported as ratified.
  • Failure of Governor or other official to sign, although required by State Constitution.
  • Other violation of State Constitution in ratification process.
  • Other procedural irregularity making ratification doubtful.
  • Approval, but with change in wording, accepted as ratification of original version.

These points of interest and facts were found for all 48 states of the time. The income tax and its IRS agency who abuses power remains in affect despite an alternative tax system introduced into Congress in 2002 as the Fair Tax Act.

AMENDMENT XVII  [1913]

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

 AMENDMENT XVIII  [1919]

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

 AMENDMENT XIX  [1920]

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 AMENDMENT XX  [1933]

Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of the Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission.

AMENDMENT XXI  [1933]

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXII  [1951]

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII  [1961]

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXIV  [1964]

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President and Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXV  [1967]

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principle officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

AMENDMENT XXVI  [1971]

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXVII  [1992]

No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

This amendment has implications for automatic cost-of-living increases in pay for members of Congress. An attempt to disqualify members of Congress or any elected official retirement compensation is, and has been, in progress. Arguments against automatic pay increases, for whatever reasons, continue being that Congress is the only department or agency or branch that receives automatic COLA without needing legislation and/or vote. To date, the only case brought against the amendment is parties who raise the question of the validity of its ratification; the court refused to consider the issue raised by Boehmer v. Anderson, 809 F.Supp. 138 (D.D.C. 1992).

Colin Quinn is an Irish American born in Brooklyn, New York and is a one-man-show on Broadway that presents humor in discussing the US Constitution. As he does so, he makes the Constitution more interesting to those who believe it is boring. He states in his performance – answering the question of what makes the document so fascinating:

I’ll tell you why. Because it’s the one thing that we’re all experts about, which is amazing and impressive because none of us have read it. It’s four pages long. That’s kind of a hassle.

An hour later, Quinn has covered different articles and amendments and arrives at a conclusion: Our divided nation needs a new Constitutional Convention. We set it up so it wouldn’t work. But I don’t think it’s supposed to not work this way.

His show is named Colin Quinn Unconstitutional. Quinn sprinkles modern-day analogies into historical events, making it more interesting to the audience. He began working to put together the show after becoming a convert as to how interesting the Constitution can be, stating:

I always hated it because it was boring to me. Once I got into it, I was like, ‘Oh, I get it now’.

Quinn researched his subject and endorses A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution by Carol Berkin.

Quinn denounces political correctness by defending gun owners and wondering why no one makes fun of President Barack Obama. He calls political correctness social censorship.

His performances will run through June 3rd at the Barrow Street Theatre, NYC.

FOR FURTHER or SUPPLEMENTAL READING

Study Guide of the Constitution of the United States [PDF]

Constitution Study Guide – Richland Community College [PDF]

The United States Constitution Study Guide – Academic Solutions

United States Constitution – Army Board Study Guide

US Constitution Annotated – US Law, Case Law, Codes, Statutes, etc.

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