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A recent meme on social media about the Constitution and now Justice Amy Coney Barrett got me thinking about the progressive-leftist view of the Constitution and the central role the Supreme Court takes in their belief system. The meme showed an image of Judge Coney Barrett with a quote from Representative Jackie Speier that read: “Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law. Senator Harris would not even be considered fully human. The Constitution is a living breathing document meant to evolve with the times.”

My progressive friend posted it with the statement “So true!”

I told him I didn’t quite understand the quote. The Constitution actually has a process for amending it. It had been amended 27 times over 240 years to change with the times. I pointed out that an originalist-textualist reads the text as it is now, tries to understand its context, and interprets the law as written. Originalism-textualism is not about what the Constitution was in 1789. It did not even have the Bill of Rights fully approved at that point. The text of the Constitution outlines a process for Congress to pass laws, the president to sign and execute those laws, and the judiciary adjudicates the laws.

I also pointed out that If he didn’t fall asleep before reading Article V, he’d find that it does indeed describe a process for amending the Constitution. This has been used for permitting such things as ending slavery, allowing the women to vote, defining citizenship, and ensuring equal protection of the laws, all of the issues called out in the quote.

The meme is striking because it ignores the Constitutional amendment process because until the late seventies, progressives were at the forefront of amending the Constitution. The failure of the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment combined with the growing success and popularity of the conservative movement transformed their approach from working through the electoral process to a strong focus on the courts to get their preferred outcomes. There is an almost religious form of zealotry in pursuit of their goals. It is reflected in raising the court to a type of priesthood where heretics like Amy Coney Barrett are not allowed.

Constitutional Amendments and the Progressive Movement

Progressives were at the forefront of amending the Constitution in the 20th century, undertaking the hard work to get two-thirds of the House and Senate to approve sending the proposed amendments to the states. Then working to get approval by three-quarters of these states to change the text and intent of the Constitution. The Constitution was amended only five times during the 19th century. From 1909 to 1971, the Constitution was amended 11 times. That’s almost two amendments per decade.

These amendments included:

  • Permitting use of an income tax;
  • Directly electing senators;
  • Prohibiting of the manufacture and sale of alcohol;
  • Allowing women to vote;
  • Shortening the time between election and inauguration of the president and vice president;
  • Repealing Prohibition 14 years after it was approved;
  • Limiting the number of terms a president can serve;
  • Granting the District of Columbia three electors in the electoral college;
  • Outlawing poll taxes;
  • Clarifying the presidential succession process and outlined the approval of vice presidents when that office becomes vacant; and
  • Allowing 18-year-olds to vote

The last four on this list were passed in an 11-year period between 1960 and 1971, led by then- Indiana Senator Birch Bayh who compared to James Madison, the only man to shepherd more amendments than Bayh.

What is striking about all but one of the 27 amendments to the Constitution is that all of the amendments were approved by the requisite number of states within four years of proposal in Congress. Nine were approved within one year, with the amendment allowing 18-year-olds to vote approved by the states within 100 days. The longest approval time was three years 343 data for the amendment limiting a president to two terms in office.

The lone exception is the 27th amendment, which prohibits Congressional and presidential pay raises to take effect until the next term of office, took 202 years to be approved. Unlike more recent amendment proposals, it did not have a time limit for approval when it was proposed at the same time the Bill of Rights was proposed. It is also the only amendment to pass since progressives abandoned the amendment process in favor of seeking favorable Supreme Court decisions.

Most people think the change was caused by the success of the Roe v. Wade abortion case, but the move from change by Constitutional amendment to change by court case was driven more by the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment to be approved by the states. Progressives came to view the text of the Constitution as fixed, but the interpretation as subject to change.

The Failure of the Equal Rights Amendment and the New Importance of the Supreme Court

The amendment process shows a consensus among the people that these amendments are necessary. There was a long period of discussion on each of these not reflected in the time from proposal to approval. While it took only 100 days to approve the amendment allowing 18-year-olds to vote, that 100 days was the culmination of a decades-long debate that became serious as 18- and 19-year-olds of the Greatest Generation fought for the liberation of peoples across Europe and the Pacific in World War II.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was sent to the states in March 1972 after the passage of the 26th amendment with a seven-year time clock for approval. Given the average time for amendments being approved, the timeline seemed generous. By 1977, 35 of the 38 of the states approved. There was great momentum in advancing women’s rights and the ERA would solidify them.

The ERA seemed on a fast track, but it slowed and, despite a push to meet the 1979 deadline, and even with a three-year extension, it failed. Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, and South Dakota revoked their previous approvals between 1973 and 1979. I remember my mom and dad taking me to a march in 1978 in favor of the amendment’s passage. I remember tremendous energy and optimism. The energy that had been pushed for amending the Constitution moved to the pushing for change on the Supreme Court.

Is it any surprise that the Supreme Court nomination process became more contentious in 1987 with the nomination of Robert Bork? His view of the Constitution did not comport with the progressive-leftist views. The election of Reagan and the rise of conservatism caused them to reassess their approaches and switch to achieving their goals through the Supreme Court rather than the amendment process that failed when it came to their views on women’s rights.

Progressivism as Faith

What has been the effect of the emphasis on courts rather than legislation and Constitutional Amendment? Simply put, it’s easier to get general legislation passed and to enact regulations imposing the progressive-left vision and to get friendly justices. It’s easier to try to discredit judicial appointees like Robert Bork, Brett Kavanaugh, and the concept of persuasion in pursuit of righteous goals.

This really came into focus as I read a friend’s social media post. He spoke of a friend who wrote a dissertation on a single chapter of one of the books in the Old Testament. That friend described the changing interpretation of that chapter through the millennia. How religious scholars discussed and interpreted the fixed text. While the text is fixed, its interpreted as a living, breathing thing, challenging the reader always. He even said that the text isn’t written in stone. That seemed ironic because some of it actually was written in stone. He spoke of the religious tradition of Judaism of open-minded study and imagination that adjusts with the times. Its interpretation is done slowly and, in the case of the Christian tradition, through canon law. He then wrote that Amy Coney Barrett represents the “frozen, static, unimaginative approach to following the text of the Constitution rather than looking for ways to adapt it as religious scholars do.”

The Progressive-Left views Supreme Court justices as religious scholars in black robes reading the text and changing its meaning to impose upon a populace rather than working through representative government. Seeking broad consensus among different groups through discussion and persuasion takes on less importance because heretics cannot be tolerated. Conversion is done through threat and accusation a la Kavanaugh and Bork and cancellation if you do not agree. Power is necessary to remove the barriers to the faith.

As such, Roe, Casey, and Obergefell become canon law decreed by the black-robed high priesthood of the Court. Prior to the Obergefell decision, some form of same-sex marriages or civil unions were legal in 38 states, one territory, and the District of Columbia. Three other states without either type of law recognized same-sex marriages performed out of state. The art of persuasion and the laws of math were working, yet it was necessary for the Court to identify the right in existing text where it had not been seen before. Rather than work for approval where victory was in sight, advocates chose to have the law directed by five individuals out of a population of 320 million.

They Can’t Take Yes for an Answer

While the Equal Rights Amendment failed to be added to the Constitution, the goals of its advocates have largely been accepted. The roles of women expanded in society as women moved more into workforce, universities, and the military. This and other laws provided an impetus for equality and elimination of discrimination by sex has changed our society over the last 50 years. 56% of university students are female 50 years since the proposal of the ERA, up from 43%. More women than men have been awarded degrees in the last 30 years. Now half of all medical and law students are female. Women made up 43% of workforce in 1970. Now they make up half. Until the death of Justice Ginsburg, there were three female justices of the Supreme Court. Amy Coney Barrett would bring that number back to three. It’s easy to imagine four or more women on the court in the near future as the increased number of degrees earned by women in the past 30 years is reflected in the highest levels of business, education, courts, political life, and society. The goals of equality of opportunity for women seem to have been largely achieved without the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Despite the success of the women’s rights movement, there is a sense of loss among progressives. The failure of the ERA led them down a road that they must use power and legal force to achieve their goals. Amy Coney Barrett should be an example of their success. A woman who is a successful appellate judge, university professor, and legal scholar who has a family of great diversity. However, her personal and professional successes are threatening because she does not share their views on the Constitution and how it should be amended, interpreted enacted, or enforced.

We can see the future through their promises to “rebalance the court” by adding additional members to ensure their desired outcomes in retaliation for Republicans using Constitutional means first, block Merrick Garland’s Court nomination, and second, approve Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. Where statehood for Washington DC was once pursued through a proposed 1978 amendment sent from Congress to the states, statehood is pursued now through a simple majority vote of both Houses of Congress. Where the electoral college is clearly described in the Constitution and would require three-quarters of the states to change it, progressive states now work through a multi-state Compact to bypass persuasion and the amendment process to impose the change on the nation.

There is even now discussion that the Constitution itself must be replaced, despite its resiliency in adapting to a changing world over almost two and a half centuries. It is instead a vehicle developed by white men for white men, and useful only for a bygone era where women could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law and African Americans were not even be considered fully human.

It’s not about persuasion or political process anymore. It’s an issue of faith.

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  1. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EddyEricsson: a quote from Representative Jackie Speier that read: “Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law. Senator Harris would not even be considered fully human. The Constitution is a living breathing document meant to evolve with the times.” 

    Why do people put out quotes that just make themselves look stupid? You can’t ignore the amendment process. Amendments are part of the Constitution. Women didn’t get to vote because activist justices just ignored the Constitution and made crap up. And the worst part is, the person who said this probably thought they were really clever.

    • #1
    • October 27, 2020, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Seawriter Contributor

    Actually the Constitution, as written, did not prevent women from voting, owning property (including slaves) or enjoy the full protection of the law. It was silent on the first two, but even from the beginning women enjoyed the rights enumerated under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Voting and property rights, etc, devolved to the states.

    One state, New Jersey, even permitted women to vote in elections as they permitted one vote per household. (Either a man or woman per household could vote and if the woman was head of household she could vote. That change somewhere in the late 1790s or early 1800s when the Democrats took over the state legislature. They changed the franchise to male only, largely because most women who voted tended to vote for Federalists.

    Democrats – discriminating by race and sex for over 220 years. 

    • #2
    • October 27, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 32 likes
  3. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    I keep telling my more liberal friends that if abortion is seen as a right by the overwhelming majority they claim, there’s no reason for every SCOTUS appointment to become a bare-knuckles brawl. Simply amend the Constitution. If the vast majority in favor of abortion exists, getting 2/3 of each House and then 3/4 of the States should be easy. Strangely enough, not one of them has said, “Hey, that’s a great idea! Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er!”

    • #3
    • October 27, 2020, at 9:16 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Chuck Thatcher

    I found, courtesy of Fox, a quote that says it all: “Originalism is racist. Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination” – Sen. John Markey (Mass.)

    • #4
    • October 27, 2020, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    EddyEricsson: a quote from Representative Jackie Speier that read: “Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law. Senator Harris would not even be considered fully human. The Constitution is a living breathing document meant to evolve with the times.”

    Why do people put out quotes that just make themselves look stupid? You can’t ignore the amendment process. Amendments are part of the Constitution. Women didn’t get to vote because activist justices just ignored the Constitution and made crap up. And the worst part is, the person who said this probably thought they were really clever.

    I think this is down more to ignorance, on the one hand, and disingenuousness, on the other, rather than to stupidity.

    Most people don’t know what originalism means with regard to constitutional philosophy. And why would they? It’s never been explained to them. They do know what original means, and that can understandably lead someone to think an originalist wants to go back to the Constitution as it was originally ratified.

    There’s another group who I suspect fully understands what’s going on and is simply trying to mislead people. The Left are experts and abusing the language to manipulate the ignorant.

    • #5
    • October 27, 2020, at 11:21 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Stad Thatcher

    That’s a good point. The Constitution is a living, breathing document that changes with the times. However, that change is slow and carefully managed so as to not cause sudden upheavals in our society. However, bad decisions such as Roe and Kelo have had the same effect as a sudden upheaval, almost like “mini-amendments” . . .

    Update: I should have added the left views “living and breathing” as making changes on the fly to follow the whims of the latest leftist fad . . .

    • #6
    • October 27, 2020, at 11:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Eddy Ericsson Coolidge
    Eddy Ericsson

    Stad (View Comment):

    That’s a good point. The Constitution is a living, breathing document that changes with the times. However, that change is slow and carefully managed so as to not cause sudden upheavals in our society. However, bad decisions such as Roe and Kelo have had the same effect as a suddent upheaval, almost like “mini-amendments” . . .

    That’s a great point. One thing I did not really talk about is that simple majority decisions are not very strong. If you focus on that alone, you have to work hard to maintain the decision. The country was moving toward a sort of consensus on abortion when Roe came along and interrupted that. Same with Obergfell. It must be imposed.

    • #7
    • October 27, 2020, at 11:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Bob Thompson Member

    What Progressives really like is to get these decisions they favor approved by simple majorities and not have to depend on consensus. Changing the Constitution requires real work. Politicizing the Supreme Court is easier.

    • #8
    • October 27, 2020, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    Dr. Walter E. Williams says, if you think the Constitution is living and breathing, let’s play poker…..with living and breathing rules.

    • #9
    • October 27, 2020, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Actually the Constitution, as written, did not prevent women from voting, owning property (including slaves) or enjoy the full protection of the law. It was silent on the first two, but even from the beginning women enjoyed the rights enumerated under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Voting and property rights, etc, devolved to the states.

    One state, New Jersey, even permitted women to vote in elections as they permitted one vote per household. (Either a man or woman per household could vote and if the woman was head of household she could vote. That change somewhere in the late 1790s or early 1800s when the Democrats took over the state legislature. They changed the franchise to male only, largely because most women who voted tended to vote for Federalists.

    Democrats – discriminating by race and sex for over 220 years.

    You beat me to it.

    Just ask these people to cite where in the Constitution it said that women couldn’t own property.

    • #10
    • October 27, 2020, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. kylez Member
    kylezJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m tired of that “3/5 human” crap too. 

    3/5 citizens for representation. 

     

    • #11
    • October 27, 2020, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Gary Robbins Reagan

    What a great post!

    There are three parts of our Constitution that, by the very terms of the constitution, could not be amended under the final portion of Article V.

    First, under Article V, the importation of new slaves could not be prohibited until 1808. Once that time expired, Congress immediately prohibited the importation of new slaves.

    Second, the Constitution could not be changed to allow the imposition of an income tax until 1808. It took a little more than another century for that to be amended, which occurred in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th Amendment.

    Third, no state may ever be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate without its consent. Folks rail about how a half-dozen states have two senators, when populous states With 40 times more people also have only two senators, and will suggest that the Constitution be amended to address this inequality. However, by its very terms, the Constitution cannot be so amended. The solution is to create and ratify a whole brand new constitution, just as our Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation. But the current Constitution, by its very terms, cannot be amended to have any state lose its equal suffrage without its consent.

    • #12
    • October 27, 2020, at 9:44 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Eddy Ericsson Coolidge
    Eddy Ericsson

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    What a great post!

    There are three parts of our Constitution that, by the very terms of the constitution, could not be amended under the final portion of Article V.

    First, under Article V, the importation of new slaves could not be prohibited until 1808. Once that time expired, Congress immediately prohibited the importation of new slaves.

    Second, the Constitution could not be changed to allow the imposition of an income tax until 1808. It took a little more than another century for that to be amended, which occurred in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th Amendment.

    Third, no state may ever be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate without its consent. Folks rail about how a half-dozen states have two senators, when populous states With 40 times more people also have only two senators, and will suggest that the Constitution be amended to address this inequality. However, by its very terms, the Constitution cannot be so amended. The solution is to create and ratify a whole brand new constitution, just as our Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation. But the current Constitution, by its very terms, cannot be amended to have any state lose its equal suffrage without its consent.

    Thanks for the great comment in the post. It’s interesting to note that the law banning the importation of slaves was passed in 1807 so that it could take effect at the earliest moment possible. Signed, of course, by Thomas Jefferson. 

    • #13
    • October 27, 2020, at 10:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Eddy Ericsson (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    What a great post!

    There are three parts of our Constitution that, by the very terms of the constitution, could not be amended under the final portion of Article V.

    First, under Article V, the importation of new slaves could not be prohibited until 1808. Once that time expired, Congress immediately prohibited the importation of new slaves.

    Second, the Constitution could not be changed to allow the imposition of an income tax until 1808. It took a little more than another century for that to be amended, which occurred in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th Amendment.

    Third, no state may ever be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate without its consent. Folks rail about how a half-dozen states have two senators, when populous states With 40 times more people also have only two senators, and will suggest that the Constitution be amended to address this inequality. However, by its very terms, the Constitution cannot be so amended. The solution is to create and ratify a whole brand new constitution, just as our Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation. But the current Constitution, by its very terms, cannot be amended to have any state lose its equal suffrage without its consent.

    Thanks for the great comment in the post. It’s interesting to note that the law banning the importation of slaves was passed in 1807 so that it could take effect at the earliest moment possible. Signed, of course, by Thomas Jefferson.

    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation. 

    • #14
    • October 27, 2020, at 10:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Doctor Robert Member

    Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law.”

    I’m having trouble finding the articles that refer to qualifications to be a voter, property owner, or recipient of legal protection. Have I missed something?

    • #15
    • October 28, 2020, at 1:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kylez (View Comment):

    I’m tired of that “3/5 human” crap too.

    3/5 citizens for representation.

    And rightly amended into non-existence long before living memory.

    • #16
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:22 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. davenr321 Coolidge

    My progressive friend posted it with the statement “So true!”

    Did you get un-friended or is your friend now less progressive? …presuming one or the other after that excellent lecture (that, by the way, I’m going to keep in my back pocket for applicable occasions!)?

    • #17
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:26 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Stina Member

    kylez (View Comment):

    I’m tired of that “3/5 human” crap too.

    3/5 citizens for representation.

     

    Historically ignorant and contentious.

    • #18
    • October 28, 2020, at 4:03 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    kylez (View Comment):

    I’m tired of that “3/5 human” crap too.

    3/5 citizens for representation.

     

    Historically ignorant and contentious.

    And a tacit admission that, as amended, they have nothing to object to so they are left with this.

    • #19
    • October 28, 2020, at 4:11 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kylez (View Comment):

    I’m tired of that “3/5 human” crap too.

    3/5 citizens for representation.

     

    And completely misunderstood. It wasn’t about “Blacks are less than human”. It was the abolitionists who wanted slaves to count not at all, and the slave-owners who wanted them counted 100%.

    • #20
    • October 28, 2020, at 5:18 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation. 

    As I recall my 5th grade history, slavery was on the way out, until the invention of the cotton gin made it economically viable again.

     

    • #21
    • October 28, 2020, at 5:20 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation.

    As I recall my 5th grade history, slavery was on the way out, until the invention of the cotton gin made it economically viable again.

    That’s also my understanding.

    And let us remember, the Emancipation Proclamation only feed those slaves in areas that were in a state of “rebellion.” It did nothing for the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, etc. They remained under the lash until Lincoln himself was a ghost.

    • #22
    • October 28, 2020, at 5:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Steven Galanis Coolidge

    Great post! I once believed voter referendum held promise as a path for change, until the perpetual referendum came along ( for example, the Irish question on abortion) and the Brexit referendum highlighted the difficulties in placing a substantive question on the ballot. As developments here, now cast doubt on the integrity of voter registration lists, voting processes, and vote counting, I can no longer fathom this alternative. Better even to have 5 deciding for 320 million than this!

    • #23
    • October 28, 2020, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris OlerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Third, no state may ever be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate without its consent. Folks rail about how a half-dozen states have two senators, when populous states With 40 times more people also have only two senators, and will suggest that the Constitution be amended to address this inequality.

    Yes, I have seen “outrage” over this on social media. Nevermind that a legislative chamber where all states had equal representation (in theory, if not practice) was precisely the point. Can’t wait to see the constitution these folks draft. “On Equal Protection: Every post on Facebook shall receive no less than ten likes to make the user feel better.”

    • #24
    • October 28, 2020, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris OlerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation.

    I’m not sure it was presaging, the revulsion was already there and some of those Framers carried it to Congress with them. Lincoln, in his Cooper Union speech, discerned the opinion of a majority of the Framers on the issue by looking at their voting records and public statements. It wasn’t divination, he did the research.

    Edit: now to think of it, I think Lincoln made the case by vote records from Congress and various legislatures. A magnificent effort and speech.

    • #25
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    EddyEricsson: a quote from Representative Jackie Speier that read: “Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law. Senator Harris would not even be considered fully human. The Constitution is a living breathing document meant to evolve with the times.”

    Why do people put out quotes that just make themselves look stupid? You can’t ignore the amendment process. Amendments are part of the Constitution. Women didn’t get to vote because activist justices just ignored the Constitution and made crap up. And the worst part is, the person who said this probably thought they were really clever.

    Jackie Speier looks stupid because she is. However, the issue isn’t the issue. The issue is the revolution, and to discredit the Founders and all their works in American eyes to create supporters of the revolution. What Speier said is an echo of what is now being taught in the schools. When the Constitution is framed this way, fewer students will want to read it. For some of those who might, their vocabularies and thought processes are stunted by other aspects of their indoctrination process.

    • #26
    • October 28, 2020, at 7:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Gary Robbins Reagan

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation.

    As I recall my 5th grade history, slavery was on the way out, until the invention of the cotton gin made it economically viable again.

    That’s also my understanding.

    And let us remember, the Emancipation Proclamation only feed those slaves in areas that were in a state of “rebellion.” It did nothing for the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, etc. They remained under the lash until Lincoln himself was a ghost.

    That is also my understanding on both the cotton gin and the scope of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    • #27
    • October 28, 2020, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I think that this was a clear presaging of the increasing revulsion towards slavery. If a particular institution is a good one why must it be protected? I would guess that the southern states were in a bind that they did not know how to resolve without crippling poverty. If memory serves, there was a thought that slavery would simply disappear over time. The issue of allowing slavery into the territories was the precipitating reason for the destruction of the Whig (“We Hope in God”) Party and the creation of the Republican Party. Lincoln campaigned on the promise to prevent the expansion of slavery into the territories, not on the promise of ending slavery. However, after years of the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln sought emancipation.

    As I recall my 5th grade history, slavery was on the way out, until the invention of the cotton gin made it economically viable again.

    That’s also my understanding.

    And let us remember, the Emancipation Proclamation only feed those slaves in areas that were in a state of “rebellion.” It did nothing for the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, etc. They remained under the lash until Lincoln himself was a ghost.

    That is also my understanding on both the cotton gin and the scope of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    But to the point of this whole post, Lincoln did also start and support the process of amending the Constitution to eliminate that horror.

    • #28
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Chris O. (View Comment):
    I’m not sure it was presaging, the revulsion was already there and some of those Framers carried it to Congress with them

    Remember the “Northwest Ordinance of 1787,” which banned slavery north of the Ohio River.

    The prohibition of slavery in the territory had the practical effect of establishing the Ohio River as the geographic divide between slave states and free states from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, an extension of the Mason–Dixon line. It also helped set the stage for later federal political conflicts over slavery during the 19th century until the American Civil War.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Ordinance

    Dredd Scott had a bad lawyer as the law clearly made him and his wife free by the owner taking them to free territory. The case should never have gone to the Taney Supreme Court.

    • #29
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. CurtWilson Lincoln

    “Under and original reading of the Constitution, Judge Barrett and I could not vote, own property, or enjoy the full protection of the law. “

    Leaving aside amendments, this fundamental point is wrong, as several have noted. I have long been impressed that the 18th-century founders did NOT restrict the franchise (or office holding) to men, or to property holders (debated but rejected).

    • #30
    • October 28, 2020, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes