2/12/2013 – Research on “Time Limits on Ratifying Amendments”

As I still do not know much about the United States government and its ratification process, please feel free to correct me as long as you have a reliable source to back your statement.

In today’s post, I’ll talk about what is not a reliable source.


While searching for information regarding time limits on proposed constitutional amendments, I came across this website:

http://www.laughtergenealogy.com/bin/history/amendnr.html

It seemed like a good article at first, until I scrolled down and saw that the copyright hasn’t been updated since 2009 and that there were any explicit citations in the body which unnerved me. Nevertheless, I still read it, hoping to get some fresh leads and ideas. Instead, I was met by a writer who has great potential but instead drowns it all in his/her bias.

“A lasting constitution MUST be ABSOLUTE. The law of the land. No exceptions, even when it hurts.”

My goodness, would using bold or italics hurt? Oh, right, CAPS lock is a much better candidate in juvenile works. Let me state this first: I have my own bias, but will restrain it as much as possible, but please do correct me if I am overstepping a boundary.

First of all, it is logical to conclude immediately that this person is an originalist/textualist who feels that the constitution is not to be interpreted and has to be followed word-by-word. (My question: then why have the amendment process at all?)

“The notion of a living constitution is the most evil of all ideas… a euphemism for lawlessness. This is the verbiage embraced by those (lawyers, historians, politicians, and judges) who wish to take advantage of others. No fair minded person could ever endorse such blathering nonsense. The founders intended to produce a static document… why else provide a mechanism for change?

Applying today’s “principles” of government and considering the public’s deep seated apathy, MOST of the 17 Amendments beyond the Bill of Rights are totally unnecessary. Except for freedom for slaves and voting AGES, all of the rest are useless. If the XVI (income tax) did not already exist, it would still be permitted by the Supreme Court without review (under the “commerce clause.”) If the XVII (direct election of Senators) did not exist, Congress would force the states to modify their election procedures to do it anyway and the Supreme court would declare it a political question.”

Right. If you didn’t believe me when I said that this person is a originalist, I do hope that I’ve convinced you to think twice.

I stop at that point, because I do need to point out that the website is named “Laughter Genealogy”, which really suggests that this website is not to be trusted. I am completely fine with bias, but when the author doesn’t provide any citations or references, the bias suddenly becomes a ranting not even worthy of my time (nor yours).

Also, two paragraphs in the article talks about COLA, cost-of-living adjustment, for congressional pay.

“Amendment XXVII, ratified in 1992 (201 years late), limits the effective date of congressional pay raises to the next Congress AFTER the one which voted for the pay raise. That would seem to plug a gaping hole in the Constitution… but it didn’t. Those worms didn’t miss a beat. They enacted a law which provides a cost-of-living adjustment, a COLA. Now they automatically get raises based on inflation, but inflation for Congress is different than inflation for other folks. For example, Social Security provides about 1.0 to 1.9 percent (1997-2000.) Congress gets 3.0 to 5.0 percent.”

I’ve tried:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/94-803.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/08-22-2012-Update_to_Outlook.pdf

[Government-released information]

I cannot find any information that says that congressional employees receive a higher COLA and my god, this bothers me so much, I actually wasted four pages of library-provided free paper that talked about COLAs.

So yes, just a little ranting about bias on the internet.

I’ll update further about my research later.

PS: Just realized that the Laughter website didn’t even provide substantial information regarding time limits, simply a perspective.

And this is why I don’t bother to ask why on the internet anymore. *Rolls up sleeve*

Alright, lets finish this research and satisfy my curiosity!

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