Sunday, July 7, 2013

Repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments

In my last post, I said I thought that the radical turn from limited Constitutional governance occurred in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments.  Others probably understand better than I the issues swirling through the nation at the time.  I should find out more, but what were the people of the United States thinking? In any case, the American Thinker today has an article up entitled How to Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments by Theodore Koehl.  It's an interesting idea that should be explored by Constitutional scholars.  In essence, it is a kind of secession without formally seceding from the Union.  The States can declare that they no longer think these Amendments are in their best interest, and if 3/4 of the States vote to repeal the 16th and 17th
Amendments, and files those Acts with the National Archivist, then those Amendments are repealed.  It would probably require coming up with model language that has been worked on by a committee of lawyers, but it could be done, peacefully.

Koehl makes the same arguments that I do about the negative affects of both amendments on our liberty. With so much money coming in from direct income taxes, the Federal government now had the resources to become a national busybody, taking the decisions that people made out of their hands, and placing them in the hands of unelected Federal bureaucrats. But it is not just Federal bureaucrats, the State and local governments get in on the act, often at the behest of the Feds, by virtue of granting back to the States some of the money that shouldn't have been taken from them in the first place. Thus, the education of your children, the curriculum, and how they are taught, have become national problems, with national solutions, and you have no say any more. What was once a strictly local matter has become a national one, and you have lost one more liberty, the right to bring your children up with your values. In the same way, he also points out the loss of sovereignty that has come to the States through the loss of a voice in Congress. The Senate no longer represent the States, but act as an at-large member of the House.

Note though, that even with the States returned to their rightful place, it will not be a picnic for the citizens.  While I do not believe for a moment that the States will return to racism, and Jim Crow, as Leftists would have you believe, they will have more power over things like eminent domain.  It is difficult to build and maintain a lasting national machine, but it is easier to do at the State level.  Collusion between the three branches of State government, as we have seen in Mississippi, where a minority is acting to deny open carriers their rights, will be easier, and will have more impact.  On the other hand, States will show more variability, and we will have more choices as to a place to live that suits our needs.

We must starve the beast, and we must get back the notion that the States are sovereign, that they only delegated to the Federal government certain powers, and that they retain plenary powers within their respective borders.   


  1. There hasn't been a legal law passed by the congress of the U.S. gvt,
    The 1860 sine die adjournment;
    Combine that with the separation of powers doctrine and any attorney/lawyer sitting in congress/senate/white house negates any and all legislation;
    THEN we go to the war of 1812 and the disappearance of the ORIGINAL 13th amendment!