The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution could have been an addendum to the US Constitution. With the idea that the Bill of Rights could have been added as an Addendum to the US Constitution, my notes on the remaining 17 amendments are as follows. My notes are regarding the notes on the official transcript by the National Archives.
For reference, the US Constitution is broken down into the following sections
- Article 1 – Congressional Powers
- Article 2 – Executive Powers
- Article 3 – Judiciary Powers
- Article 4 – States
- Article 5 – Amendments
- Article 6 – Laws, Debts and Agreements
- Section 7 – Ratification and signatures
Amendment 21 – This amendment “repealed” the 18th amendment . However, the 18th amendment was invalid to begin with as a Nation’s Constitution is not a place for legislative text.
The amendment affirms that importing or transporting alcohol into or through a state in violation of that States law is prohibited. However, the Federal Government is already delegated authority for interstate commerce and trade and that would include alcohol as well as class 1 narcotics. Currently the Department of Transportation, a federal agency also regulates commercial transportation on public highways.
This amendment also appears to be an exercise in modifying the US Constitution. It affirms the 18th amendment is invalid and documents that violating a State’s penal code is prohibited.
This amendment was made in the final year of the Great Depression.
Amendment 22 – The amendment places a 2 term limit on the President of the United States for a maximum term of 8 years. It also prevents an Acting President from being elected as President for more than 1 term or 4 years total.
An 8 year term for a President is not considered enough time in 2020 to provide enough stability for a generation of Citizens to raise their children from pregnancy through early adulthood. The President needs to be trained in all their duties and responsibilities as well as legislative processes, lawful enforcement actions, judicial proceedings and all international treaties and agreements that are active and in force to serve effectively. Additionally the President needs to learn how to command the National Armed Forces including strategy and tactics as well as compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
Many people feel that a President of the United States needs to serve a 16 year term to do an efficient job. Since this is a Constitutional document and new amendments can only be null and void or severed if they are in conflict with existing text, this amendment is valid.
A proposed solution to this dilemma has been to choose a pool of candidates that are qualified to serve as President and to get them fully trained by age 35 so that they can successively serve as President one after the other with a clear goal and agenda for the future of the United States.
Amendment 23 – This amendment brought the United States further on to the world stage of Global Governance. It instituted a Seat of Government that was treated as equal with the States but was not a State because according to US Constitution Article 4, Section 3; a new state can not be set up within the borders of an existing State. The US Constitution also required that the Seat of Government be up to 10 Miles Square and to be obtained through Cession and for Congress to accept that Cession.
The word cession is of late middle English and Latin origin. Oxford dictionary defines Cession as “the formal giving up of rights, territory or property by States” and traces the words origin to a time period between 1150 and the 1500s. The Italian root of the word is Cedere and Cambridge dictionary defines Cedere as “to give away or to give up” and as “to sell or transfer”.
In the United States, the Seat of Government is Washington, D.C. in the State of Maryland. If Washington, D.C. had annexed a 10 mile square area or setup Washinton D.C. as a State, the Seat of Government could have been invalidated and potentially made the US Constitution null and void as a Nation can not function or operate without a Seat of Government.
Washington D.C. was established in 1790, the same year as the first census and is currently 68.32 miles squared. The State of Maryland ceded or transferred its property rights and legislative jurisdiction to the District of Washington D.C. and this amendment gave the District of Washington D.C. or the US Seat of Government the same property rights, legislative jurisdiction, Senators and People’s Representatives that it would have if it were a State.
Specifically, the amendment gave the US Seat of Government representation within Congress and in doing so established that Washington D.C. did have the same property rights and legislative jurisdiction within the District that a State would have within its borders. On an international level, the District of Washington D.C. is treated in a similar manner to indigenous reservations with the exception that indigenous reservations do not have representation in Congress because they are treated as sovereign landlocked nations. The point being that the surrounding state does not dictate legal matters within the US Seat of Government or within indigenous reservations.
This amendment was added during the US Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Amendment 24 – This amendment affirmed and documented that voting is a Citizen Right and Obligation. It established that a US Citizen can not be denied the right to vote by the US Government or State Government for failure to pay taxes.
The only invalid part of this amendment is implying that US Citizens can directly vote for Senators. They can not as this would be in conflict with Article 1, Section 3, Paragraph 1 of the US Constitution and this was addressed on the notes on Amendment 17.
Article 1, Section 4, Paragraph 1 mentions elections for Senators in the same sentence with Representatives. However, the elections for Senators would have to be conducted by the State Legislature in order to be compliance with the entire unamended text of the US Constitution.
Amendment 25 – Section 1 of this amendment just restates the text of Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6 of the US Constitution in a more modern English.
Section 2 is valid because the US Constitution did not provide a directive in a case where there is no Vice President but there is still a President. The US Constitution only provided a directive for a case where the United States is left without a President and without a Vice President. That scenario is outlined in US Constitution Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6. In a case where both the President and Vice President are unable to carry out their duties, Congress is allowed to legislate a manner to elect, appoint or nominate a new President or Vice President.
Since the US Constitution does not provide a directive for this scenario, there is no conflict with the unamended text. There are also no conflicts with any of the previous amendments so this section is valid.
The amendment directs the President of the United States to nominate a Vice President who must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate and a majority vote of the House of the People’s Representatives.
Section 3 is partly valid, it gives the President the option to declare an inability to carry out his duties by transmitting a written declaration to the Senate’s Temporary President and the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives. This scenario where a President declares an inability and a directive on who to transmit that declaration to is not covered in the unamended text of the US Constitution so this section is valid.
The US Constitution does cover the scenario where the President has an inability in Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6 of the US Constitution and in that case the Vice President would be delegated the Presidents duties until the inability passes or a new President is elected.
According to this amendment, when the President transmits a declaration of inability, the Vice President would become Acting President and that would be invalid because Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6 of the US Constitution states that in the case of the President having an inability to carry out his duties, the “Powers and Duties of said Office” (i.e. “Same”) would devolve upon the Vice President. The word devolve means to delegate, roll down, transfer or pass to according to Oxford Dictionary. So the Vice President would be delegated the powers and duties of the President without losing their office or title of Vice President. Making the Vice President an Acting President would be in conflict with the unamended text of the US Constitution and should not prevail because President, Vice President and Acting President are three different roles within Governance.
Section 4, Paragraph 1 allows the Vice President of the United States and a the Principal Officer from every Federal Agency to transmit a written declaration of Presidential inability to the Senate’s Temporary President and the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives when their is a majority consensus among the group of Federal Agency Principal Officers. This declaration can be transmitted by the Vice President and the Principal Officers that are in the majority group and the minority group does not have to be included in the declaration but it would look more professional if the whole group of Principal Officers for every Federal Agency were included in the declaration to show willingness to comply with constitutional directives. In most cases the Principal Officer would be the Director of an Agency but some agencies have an Administrator or Secretary instead of a Director and in rarer cases an Attorney General or Inspector General is the Principal Officer of an Agency.
Section 4, Paragraph 1 also allows the Vice President of the United States and a Congressional Joint Committee that has been established through Public Law to transmit a written declaration of Presidential inability to the Senate’s Temporary President and the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives.
In both of these scenarios, the Vice President would be delegated the powers and duties of the President without losing their office or title of Vice President because President, Vice President and Acting President are three different roles within Governance and Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6 of the unamended text of the US Constitution gives this directive when the President has an inability.
Section 4, Paragraph 2 allows the President to transmit a written declaration stating an inability no longer exists to the Senate’s Temporary President and the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives in order to resume their powers and duties.
When the President transmits this written declaration that an inability no longer exists, the Vice President and a majority of Principal Officers for every Federal agency or the Vice President and a Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inability have 4 days to dispute the President’s assertion by to transmitting a written declaration of Presidential inability to the Senate’s Temporary President and the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives.
Congress must then assemble within 48 hours of the declaration being transmitted if they are not in session. The United States Congress General Chamber (meaning Congress as a whole and not the Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inability) must then decide within 21 days if the President has an inability. The 21 day period begins upon transmission of the declaration if Congress is in session and within 48 hours of transmission if Congress is not in session. The President continues to hold their power and duties during this 21 day period.
If the United States Congress decides within the 21 day period that the President has an inability then the Vice President is delegated the powers and duties of the President per Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6 of the US Constitution’s unamended text.
If the United States Congress decides the President has an inability or does not come to a decision within 21 days, the President will hold their powers and duties.
This amendment was passed in 1971
Xerox Parc was formed in 1970 and the first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971.
The fax machine was invented in 1843 by Alexander Bain and Fax Machines definitely included error checking by 1971.
This amendment has the potential to cause in infinite loop of the President declaring he has no inability and the Vice President and a majority group of Federal Agency Principal Officers or the Vice President and a Congressional Joint Committee on Presidential Inability declaring that the President does have an inability.
The amendment needs a stopping point where the Vice President and a majority group of Federal Agency Principal Officers or the Vice President and a Congressional Joint Committee on Presidential Inability are no longer able to declare that the President has an inability and a stopping point where the Vice President is delegated the President’s powers and duties until the following election. This can be done through Public Law and does not require another constitutional amendment until the processes are tested, verified and attested to work well in an emergency.