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 26 – Amendment 26 does not modify amendment 14 because they cover two completely different topics. Amendment 14 is regarding apportionment in Congress and Amendment 26 covers voting rights for eligible voters. Amendment 14 requires Congress to reduce representation for a State when male citizens that are 21 years old have their voting rights denied or reduced proportionally to the total number of male citizens that are 21 year old.
Amendment 26 states that United States Citizens can not have their voting rights denied or reduced because of their age after they are 18 years old. This means there isn’t an upper age limit that no longer prevents Congress from denying or reducing a US Citizen’s voting rights based on their age. The lower age limit for Congress to prevent an eligible citizen from voting based on their age is 18.
While this amendment can be misconstrued as setting the voting age at 18 years old, it does not. The concept of legal competence, being of sound mind, demonstrably knowledgeable of the issues being voted on and being affected by the outcome of the voting results have been a foundation of democratic elections and public feedback since the Athenian Empire and those same concepts were part of Persian Governance.
The constitution does not prevent people younger than 18 from voting nor does it give citizens who are 18 years or older an absolute right to vote. Amendments 15, 19 and 24 prevent citizens from having their voting rights denied or reduced because of their color, race or previous servitude; their gender or sexual orientation; or because of failure to pay taxes. This amendment only prevents those over 18 years old from having their voting rights denied or reduced because of their age.
Voting rights can be denied for various other reasons such as mental incompetence, criminal neglect and professional incompetence. As an example, a former chemist who voted to use a toxic chemical to maintain healthy water quality that resulted in the fish being poisoned and the population suffering from various long term illnesses can be prevented from voting on any industrial or environmental legislation. Similarly, a 15 year old or 14 year old can be allowed to vote because they are already in college and completed their high school education with a 4.0 including all advanced placement topics offered by the high school before others in their age group completed 8th grade.
This amendment allows Congress to deny those under 18 the right to vote or to reduce their rights because of their age. It also prevents Congress from denying or reducing the voting rights of those over 18. It does not set the absolute age of voting at 18 years old.
Amendment 27 – This amendment prevents changes to the wages and salary of Congressional members without review by elected representatives. The elected representatives can mean Wall St. Bankers, the Federal Reserve, Central Bankers or the US Treasury in the case of a pay decrease or the Congressional Budget Office in the case of a pay increase.
Currently, there is a committee within congress evaluating Congressional pay and releasing yearly reports.
This amendment took 203 years to pass from proposal to ratification and it has been reported that the original document read
“… of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall intervene”.
Notes from the time period indicate that the election of representatives was to be a performance review board that evaluates costs, management and efficiency and composed of financial experts.
This amendment was passed in 1992 and took 203 to be ratified from date of proposal.