Several years ago, I wrote about the United States Constitution one month and followed those thoughts up with commentary the next month on the Amendments to the Constitution. This is a very interesting time in the history of our Country, and I am continually amazed by the forward thinking exhibited by the Founding Fathers when they drafted the original documents of our governance.
The Constitution of the United States was finalized in 1789. It was the successor document and superseded the Articles of Confederation. It is the Supreme Law of the United States of America. What I find particularly interesting is that the latter Amendments to the Constitution, some of them now over 100 years in existence themselves have so many practicalities in our current world.
For example, the Sixteenth Amendment which gives Congress the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source, was passed in 1909. This was some 120 years AFTER the drafting of the Constitution. The Seventeenth Amendment affixes the number of Senators. The Twentieth Amendment calls for the terms of the President and Vice President to end at Noon on the 20th day of January. It also required Congress to assemble at least once in every year, beginning on the 3rd day of January.
In 1987 Justice Thurgood Marshall gave a speech in which he argued that the Constitution was a Living Document that must be interpreted…”in light of the moral, political and cultural climate of the age of interpretation.”
As the document has evolved, the 22nd Amendment limits the term of office for the President to two terms. If he or she shall serve for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President, they are limited to one more four-year term. The 23rd Amendment sets the number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives. Congress has the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Interestingly enough, the 24th Amendment addresses the Sixteenth in that it guarantees the right to vote absent payment of taxes.
The last election cycle had numerous articles and pundits addressing the 25th Amendment which regards the removal of the President from office, or their death or resignation while in office. This Amendment allows the President to appoint a Vice President if there is a vacancy, upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress. This amendment also allows the President to remove himself from office by stating in writing that he is unable to discharge his duties, but it also allows him or her to make a declaration to the contrary and resume power. This is also the Amendment that vests the Vice President and principal officers of the executive departments to declare the President unfit to discharge his duties. Were this to happen, Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within 48 hours for that purpose, if it is not in session at
The 26th Amendment gives the right to vote at age eighteen.
To close with a laugh, think this one thru… the 27th Amendment prohibits varying the compensation of Congress unless THEY intervene…what could possibly go wrong there?
Happy trails to you and yours!!
May God continue to bless America.