Saturday, June 25, 2005

Amending the Constitution

I'm not one to suggest a constitutional amendment every time I see a problem that needs a solution, but we've just been handed a big problem. No, I'm not talking about the anti flag desecration nonsense. I'm talking about protecting our property rights, you know, an amendment to insure a right that we all thought we already had.

Sure, the fifth amendment says that our property can't be taken without due process of law, and private property can't be taken for public use without just compensation, but according to the Supreme Court, it can be taken for private use.

Call me a property rights extremist if you wish, but I think we need an amendment stating that the government may not take private property from one owner to give it (or sell it) to another private owner without the un-coerced consent of the first owner.

Thumbing through the Bill of Rights, I notice that the most popular amendments (the ones that seem to be quoted the most) are the ones that limit the power of the government. Wasn't that the intention of the framers? A limited government?

On the other hand, if the Constitution is a "living document" it can metamorphose into anything the current Supreme Court decides to mold it in to. This would include creating a government that's grown into an uncontrollable monstrosity and is free to trample over our rights. In this vein, I notice that the least popular amendments are the ones that hand the government more power; the eighteenth which created Prohibition was so unpopular, it was overturned by twenty-first. Many of us wish the sixteenth (which infliced the income tax upon us) could be repealed.

The flag amendment would give the government more power, and you know if it passed, a Koran desecration amendment would be demanded soon after.

Let's get our property rights back!

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