Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Being About the Business of the People

I appreciate your comments to my recent post here about the U.S. Constitution and my objections to amending it to correct issues of morality. However, one comment that was made deserves some elaboration on my part especially in light of recent events here in Georgia.

One person who commented agreed with me that altering the Constitution is a big deal but that times have changed and we need to change with the times. True, very true. However, let’s remember what the main purpose of the U.S. Constitution is. It is our plan of government. We have three branches that work independently and dependently at the same time hence the term checks and balances. The Constitution lays out the responsibilities for each branch and provides the game plan for what can be done and what can’t. The U.S. Constitution also details the relationship between the states and the Federal government. It tells us that matters that are not covered in the Constitution falls under the authorization of the states.

Currently a few amendments to the U.S. Constitution involve changes regarding the procedures of the Federal government, however, most of the amendments secure our individual liberties. The only time we have had an amendment that restricted liberty it was repealed later. The 18th amendment dealt with Prohibition. The purpose of the amendment was flawed, it failed miserably, and was repealed by the 21st amendment.

This brings me to the news from today. This morning I was awoken with a news story concerning yet another U.S. Congressman who is pushing for an amendment to ban flag burning. I was also reminded by my newsman that the State of Georgia would be arguing their case before the Georgia Supreme Court regarding a reversal of a gay marriage amendment. Sometime ago Georgia citizens voted overwhelmingly (76%) to approve a state amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions. The key word to the dispute is “and”. Some months later a judge overturned the vote because the ballot question presented to voters dealt with more than one issue. It is true that for over a century Georgia has had a statute where ballot questions can only deal with one issue. State attorneys argue that the two issues, gay marriage and civil unions are really one and the same.

So here’s the crux of my point….the major issue I keep hearing about amendments based on issues of morality is people are angry at judges who legislate from the bench. If our U.S. Congress and our state legislatures would sincerely be about the business of the people these situations would not occur. Many of the members of legislatures across our great country are attorneys. Why then can’t they legislate appropriately so that we don’t have crazy loopholes and mistakes that cause these types of debacles? Think about the thousands of dollars that are being wasted because the Georgia General Assembly did not follow procedure or overlooked it. There are too many people involved in the legislation process for there to be haphazard and sloppy legislation.

Perhaps our lawmakers should make the problems of “we the people” their main concern instead of taking great ideas that will solve problems and whittle away at them and water them down so much they don’t even resemble the original legislation by the time they are done. Why do they do this? Could it be that legislators are so involved in pleasing every special interest group they are hindered from being about the business of the people. Could it be continued efforts to be re-elected also hinders them from doing what “we the people” elect them to do?

What do you think?

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1 comment:

EHT said...

Welcome Reb84! I agree with many of the points you bring up. As an educator I constantly worry about the unmotivated and unwilling who allow those that will to make decisions for them. I simply don't understand it. I get very frustrated as many pundits out there blame this type of malaise on our educational system. While I realize the system I work for has tremendous problems I also know that I and teachers like myself are attempting to build critical thinking skills in our youth so that hopefully these skills will carry over to adulthood. Sometimes I feel like I'm treading water. :)

Thank you for your links and I look forward to delving into your sites.