Friday, February 22, 2013

Constitution once amended frequently

Writing about the recent official notification of the ratification of the 13th Amendment by Mississippi, this column quotes from A Price Too High to note that once the Constitution was frequently amended.
Today we no longer seek actual war to determine the great issues that divide us as a country. In fact, we no longer seek actual amendments to the Constitution. Thirteen states on the left or the right can block any amendment. In "A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy," former U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Charles Pickering of Laurel, Mississippi wrote, "The Constitution is not too sacred to amend, for the Founders created a process to do so. From the time the Constitution was adopted in 1788 until 1971, the Constitution was amended twenty-six times...The twenty-six amendments adopted between 1789 and 1971, constitute an average of one amendment every seven years. From 1933 until 1971, we amended the Constitution seven times, an average of one amendment every five years. No amendment proposed since 1971-during the thirty-five years since the living mystery Constitution became a prevailing legal theory-has been adopted."

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