Written and Proposed by Diane Rufino
RESOLUTION PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO CHANGE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SUPREME COURT
An amendment to replace the States’ influence in the federal government since the 17th Amendment was adopted.
“…If no remedy of the abuse be practicable under the forms of the Constitution, I should prefer a resort to the Nation for an amendment of the Tribunal itself.” — James Madison, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1832
Whereas, “The Creator has made the earth for the living, not for the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things.” (Thomas Jefferson). Rights and powers do not originate or belong to a government, unless that power is exercised for the People – on behalf of them – and NOT against them;
Whereas, the several States, by a compact under the style and title “Constitution for the United States,” and of amendments thereto, voluntarily constituted a general government for special common purposes;
Whereas, the several States are parties to the compact (Constitution), with the people of said States acting in their own conventions to consider, debate, deliberate, and ratify it;
Whereas, our government structure is predicated on separation of powers between the States, as sovereigns, and the federal government, which is sovereign with respect to certain responsibilities;
Whereas, this separation of powers, known as federalism, is a critical feature of our government system, intended to safeguard the “precious gem” of individual liberty by limiting government overreach;
Whereas, there is no provision in the Constitution nor any grant of delegated power by which the States can be said to have (willingly or intentionally) surrendered their sovereignty, for it is clear that no State would have ratified the document and the Union would not have been established;
Whereas, the States were too watchful to leave the opportunity open to chance and using an abundance of caution, insisted that a series of amendments be added, including the Tenth Amendment, as a condition of ratification and formation of the Union;
Whereas, the Preamble to the Bill of Rights expressed the unambiguous intention of those amendments, and reads: “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution”;
Whereas, that relationship between the states and the federal government is defined by the Tenth Amendment, which reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”;
Whereas, the critical relationship has been eroded through the many Supreme Court decisions which have transferred power from the States to the federal government in order to enlarge its sphere of influence;
Whereas, the federal government has made itself the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, and as such, its need for power and its discretion – and not the Constitution – have been guiding those decisions.
Whereas, the federal government has created for itself an absolute monopoly over the possession and scope of its powers and has consistently assumed powers it wasn’t meant to have – misappropriating them from the States and from the People;
Whereas, the federal government has used said monopoly to change the nature of the Constitution and redefine its terms without using the lawful route, Article V;
Whereas, the particular security of the people is in the possession of a written and stable Constitution. The branches of the federal government have made it a blank piece of paper by construction;
Whereas, the federal government, through the consolidation and concerted action of its branches and said monopoly, the government has created a government that is bloated, vested with illegitimate powers, coercive, wasteful, corrupt, and out of touch with the People, is one in which less than a quarter of the people have trust in, and most importantly, is one that poses serious threats to the exercise of the freedoms that Americans are promised;
Whereas, the right of judging on infractions of inherent powers is a fundamental attribute of sovereignty which cannot be denied to the States, and therefore they must be allowed to do so;
Whereas, the States need a voice directly in the federal government in order to break up its monopoly and to serve as the only effective check to prevent unconstitutional laws from being enforced;
Therefore, in order to reverse the unintended concentration of power in the federal government and in order to divest it of powers it has misappropriated and assumed for the past 200 years
And Therefore, in order to replace the States’ influence in the federal government since the 17th Amendment was adopted, to recognize their sovereign right to meaningfully defend their sphere of power embodied in the Tenth Amendment, and to have them, as the parties who created and adopted the Constitution and from which the government’s powers derived, be the tribunal which offers the opinions of constitutionality, the following amendment is proposed to alter the make-up of the Supreme Court:
- The Supreme Court’s membership will increase from 9 to 50. This way, citizens don’t incur the outrage that comes from a decision handed down by a mere 9 mortals, each motivated like other politicians with politics, legacy, passions, opinions, prejudices, personal preferences, ideology, etc., or the more outrageous situation of a 5-4 decision.]
- Justices to the Supreme Court will be assigned by the States. Each state will select one justice to the Court. That justice will be selected by the particular state legislature (or popular referendum).
- Justices selected by each state MUST have a documented history of adherence to the original meaning and intent of the Constitution and MUST have cited supporting documentation for its meaning and intent, including the Federalist Papers and the debates in the various state ratifying conventions. [Any change to the Constitution, including to reflect “modern times,” must be in the form of an amendment].
- Justices can serve an unlimited term, but that term can be shortened upon a showing of incompetence, disloyalty to the state, or by violating the previous provision.
- Justices will require each law passed by Congress to be prefaced with the particular grant of delegated Constitutional power which grants legal authority for that law. [Having 50 justices will allow the Court to render an initial opinion on the constitutionality of each piece of legislation, thus giving Congress the opportunity to be more cautious and responsible with its office.]
- The first task of the newly-seated Supreme Court will be to review the federal budget for spending that is not constitutional. The analysis will be used to remind Congress what are the constitutional objects of spending, to adjust federal taxation, and to help return policy-making and legislative power to the states.
- The next task of the newly-seated Supreme Court will be to invalidate all federal mandates (*) and eliminate all funding the government uses or plans to give/offer the states through “conditioned” grants or other forms of funding, contractual or otherwise. [Mandates are directly in violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; Congress may not commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states. With respect to federal grants and other forms of funding, if the government’s budget includes funds to “bribe” the states and otherwise attempt to influence state policy or planning, then it clearly overtaxes. Bribing the states or otherwise paying for any of its internal functions or projects is not one of the objects for which Congress can tax and spend under the Constitution. Such funding will end and the reduced federal tax rate will allow the states themselves to tax according to their own schemes to fund their own projects.]
- The Supreme Court’s new membership will establish new constitutional law jurisprudence. They not be bound by any previous court decision and will agree to establish continuity in jurisprudence only among their own decisions.
- Congress will not attempt to limit jurisdiction on this newly-organized Supreme Court in an attempt to frustrate the intent of this amendment.
- Because the Constitution is the peoples’ document – their shield against excessive government in their lives and affairs – the justices will honor the rightful expectation that it is firm and unambiguous in its meaning. “The Constitution of a State is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon by the temper of the times, nor to rise and fall with the tide of events; notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immovable, as a mountain amidst the raging of the waves.” [Justice William Patterson, in Vanhorne’s Lessee v. Dorance (1795)]. A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. The purpose of having a stable and firm constitution is so that when government transgresses its limits, the people can immediately recognize such action. [Thomas Paine]. Any change in the meaning of the US Constitution will be sought through the amendment process provided in Article V.