Saturday, December 4, 2010

Twenty-Seventh Amendment (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.

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment was proposed as part of the original Bill of Rights, but it failed to be ratified. It was reintroduced in the early 1980s and was ratified in 1992. The Twenty-Seventh Amendment prohibited members of Congress from raising their salaries during their terms of service. Members of Congress cannot receive an increase in salary until after the next election.

This cartoon suggests that Congressmen are greedy, and therefore are prone give themselves pay raises at the expense of the rest of the citizens. The cartoon reemphasizes the need for the 27th Amendment. http://tobuds.com/blogs/blog1.php/2009/12/24/congress-votes-themselves-pay-raise-in-2


The 27th Amendment restricts the ability for Congressmen to receive pay raises. In this video Florida Representative Vern Buchanan pushes for a bill that will prohibit Congressmen from receiving a pay increase until they balance the budget. This would place even more restrictions on the ability for Congressmen to receive pay raises.

Twenty-Sixth Amendment (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.

The Twenty-Sixth Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in federal, state, and local elections. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation.

This 1969 New Jersey campaign poster was created in support of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, paving the way for the drafting of the 26th Amendment. However, New Jersey was one of the states that did not vote to ratify the 26th Amendment. http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/njh/1960/vote.php


This video is a clip from the 26th Amendment Certification Ceremony. President Nixon chooses three 18-year-olds to serve as witnesses to the certification of the 26th Amendment. He does this on purpose to celebrate what the 26th Amendment does.

Twenty-Fifth Amendment (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 principal 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 receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, 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 powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
 
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment outlined the presidential plan of succession.

The following image illustrates the first three persons in line for presidential succession after President Barack Obama, starting with Vice President Joe Biden to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye. http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-after-byrd-a-new-presidential-succession-plan-needed/19538649


This video comically gives account to the presidential line of succession if Bush were to have become incapacitated.



Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or 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.

The Twenty-Fourth Amendment got rid of the poll tax. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation. 

This cartoon illustrates the terribly constraining effects of the poll tax on citizens' ability to vote for change. http://bvapush.pbworks.com/w/page/4313391/Amendment-24 

This video recounts the history behind the ratification of the 24th Amendment. This video highlights the voting disparities between the wealthy and the poor. I enjoyed the accompanying music very much.



Twenty-Third Amendment (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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Twenty-Third Amendment amended Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. It gave the District of Columbia electors. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation.

The following picture shows what life was like in Washington D.C. before the Twenty-Third Amendment. http://www.livinginaperfectworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/23rd-amendment.jpg


Although the 23rd Amendment gave D.C. the right to vote for President and Vice President, it did not give D.C. represenation in Congress. This video is fighting for D.C.'s right to representation in Congress.






Twenty-Second Amendment (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 the 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.

The Twenty-Second Amendment set presidential term limits at two terms.

There have been many attempts since the ratification of the 22nd Amendment to repeal it. This web page lists the many attempts to either repeal or restructure the 22nd Amendment during the last 20 years. http://theconservativist.com/tag/22nd-amendment/

This video recounts the history behind the ratification of the 22nd Amendment. It talks about how President George Washington set the ground for the custom of presidents serving two terms until being challenged by President Grant and President Roosevelt. The 22nd Amendment was created to prevent this from happening again.



Twenty-First Amendment (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.

The Twenty-First Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, ending the Prohibition. The Twenty-First Amendment returned the regulation of alcohol to the states. The Twenty-First Amendment was the only amendment ratified by conventions rather than legislatures.  

The following photograph shows the excitement experienced after the repeal of the 21st Amendment!
http://www.albany.edu/~wm731882/21st_amendment_final.html



This video illustrates the rejuvenation of the liquor industry after the repeal of the 18th Amendment by the 21st. The Prohibition had been a major blow to the alcohol industry and the nation's economy.




Twentieth Amendment (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 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.

The Twentieth Amendment is often referred to as the "lame-duck" amendment. It reduced the four-month lag period between the November elections and the March 4 starting date of the new congressional and presidential terms. It moved the commencement of the new congressional session from March 4 to January 3. Under the Twentieth Amendment, if a presidential election were thrown into the House of Representatives, the decision would be made by the newly elected House. Under the Twentieth Amendment, the nation would only have to go two months instead of four months without a chief executive.Twentieth Amendment modified section 1 of the Twelfth Amendment and Article I of the Constitution.
This illustration of a "lame-duck" points the lack of quality work during the lag time when the nation is waiting for their new president to take office. Bills are often shuffled through the system and signed without serious debate. The 20th Amendment shortened this lag time.  http://www.carolinapatriots.org/cpblog/2010/11/e-mail-fyi-lame-duck-session-original-intent-and-reality/


This video compares Congress' lame duck session to high school senioritis. I thought it was funny.

Nineteenth Amendment (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.

The Constitution never prohibited women from voting. However, several states place voting restrictions that hindered women from voting. The Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed women their right to vote. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation. 

This poster commemorates Susan B. Anthony, one of the leading activists in the women's suffrage movement that paved the way for the 19th Amendment. She died 14 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nJLOuss1ip0/TGyNt3S7ezI/AAAAAAAACm8/6UzsKtqIfB0/s1600/19th+amendment_sba-arrested.jpg



A humorous take on the women's suffrage movement and taxation without represenation. I enjoyed the critical thinking. 



Eighteenth Amendment (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.

The Eighteenth Amendment instituted the Prohibition. It also gave both Congress and the States the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation.

This photograph illustrates the dissatisfaction experienced after the ratification of the 18th Amendment!
http://blogs.abcnews.com/campuschatter/2008/12/abc-news-on-c-2.html


This video highlights the disastrous effects of the Prohibition. The Prohibition allowed for the rapid development of organized crime.  




Seventeenth Amendment (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.

Under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, state legislatures were responsible for electing U.S. senators. This system started to experience problems in the mid-19th century with the growth of political parties. By the late 19th century, party disagreements left some states without Senate representation for years. This Seventeenth Amendment changed the system so that senators are elected directly by the people. 

The following diagram illustrates how government representatives are elected and appointed. The blue arrow illustrates the process before the ratification of the 17th Amendment. The green arrow shows the change after the 17th Amendment was ratified. http://craigwwright.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/structure_of_u_s_government.jpg


This Fox news clip claims that the 17th Amendment is unconstitutional because it amended the original constitution. The news reporter feels that the 17th Amendment took away state power and that "states no longer [have] a place at the federal table."



Sixteenth Amendment (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.

The Sixteenth Amendment reversed an 1895 Supreme Court decision by declaring a federal income tax law constitutional.

The following cartoon illustrates the power of the IRS and the helplessness of the people after the ratification of the 16th Amendment. http://www.apfn.org/apfn/16th.htm



This video is a refreshing and humorous account of tax evasion, a direct violation of the 16th Amendment!



Fifteenth Amendment (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.

The Fifteenth Amendment protected the African American citizen's right to vote. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation.  

This picture documents some African Americans' first vote after the ratification of the 15th Amendment. http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/15thamendment.html


This rap written and sung by these girls is really creative. They sing about exercising their 15th Amendment right. 

Fourteenth Amendment (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 in 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 shall bear to the whole number of 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 in insurrection 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 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 or 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.

The Thirteenth Amendment freed the slaves, but did not make them citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment made the newly freed slaves citizens. It declared that all persons born or naturalized within the United States were citizens. It made provisions for due process, which the Supreme court has used to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the states. It demanded equal protection of the laws for all citizens. However, the Fourteenth Amendment denied convicted felons the right to vote even if they served their time and prohibited anyone who served or provided aid to the rebellion to hold office. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation. 

This political cartoon suggests that bans on gay marriage violate Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:
"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."

http://jimmays.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/gay_marriage.gif



In this video (Part 1 of 4) Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services Debby Alter from the Jewish Family and Vocational Service shares step by step how to become naturalized. After becoming naturalized, the 14th Amendment will protect one's new citizenship rights. 



Thirteenth Amendment (1865)

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a 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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Thirteenth Amendment freed the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to all the states. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery entirely. It also gave Congress the authority to enforce the amendment through legislation.  

The following cartoon celebrates achievements in the fight for racial freedom. Slavery was abolished once and for all with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, but Jim Crow laws were soon created to push for segregation.
http://daddybstrong.blogspot.com/2008/12/13th-amendment-happy-freedom-people.html


The following video takes a stand against human trafficking arguing that it is a form of involuntary servitude. I definitely agree. Involuntary servitude is protected against by the 13th Amendment. Human trafficking is modern day slavery. United States' citizens need to stand up and fight against it. 


Twelfth Amendment (1804)

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by 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 person 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 to 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, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by 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 constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, electors were not required to vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates separately. The Twelfth Amendment required that electors vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates separately. It also required that both candidates must meet the same eligibility requirements as president.

This cartoon makes fun of the 12th Amendment's electoral process. http://gdpiglet.glogster.com/


This video describes the electoral process. The 12th Amendment further mandates that electors must vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates separately. It is quite confusing! 



Eleventh Amendment (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.

Under Article III of the Constitution, citizens could sue states in federal court. The Eleventh Amendment made it so that states could only be sued in state courts. The Eleventh Amendment protected state sovereignty and provided for what is known as the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

The 11th Amendment gave more power to the states. http://www.csc.noaa.gov/ptd/module08/lesson01/0801.htm


This video talks about the sometimes tragic downfalls of sovereign immunity. This video tells the story of Haseeb, a resident of one of the nation's institutions for the mentally disabled. Haseeb was heavily assaulted by a caretaker. Haseeb's family has not been able to seek justice for Haseeb because of their inability to sue due to state sovereign immunity. Many time citizens suffer at the expense of state sovereign immunity, which is protected by the 11th Amendment. This needs to be reexamined.