Restore the Constitution

The US Constitution resulted from a hundred and fifty years of experience with self-government in the Colonies, a thousand years of struggle for rights in England, and thousands of years of experience with government around the world. It was designed by men experienced with self-government, not by academics or aristocrats.

The purpose of uniting the States was to establish a common defense and common world presence, not to replace the States or create a new sovereign nation. Consequently, the Constitution authorizes a small set of powers delegated to the Federal government by the Sovereign States.

To help control the human inclination to power, this Federal government was divided into branches that were intended to be jealous and hence to balance each other's avarice. We have allowed these branches to buy each other and the States off , and expand the activities of the government well beyond the intended limits. We are dangerously close to a totalitarian tyranny that may not be stoppable.

By shrinking the Federal government back to its Constitutional limits, we free the States to arrange their affairs as best suits their local interests, and not bow to the global power aspirations of the Federal aristocracy. We must reaffirm the Constitution, and work vigorously to return the usurped powers to the States. The effort will seem massive because we have allowed this growing tyranny for a hundred years or more, and the Federal government is now entwined into almost every aspect of our society.

Measures Necessary (not necessarily in order of priority)

  1. Repeal Amendment Seventeen to restore appointment of Senators by the Sovereign States. This will reestablish representation of the Sovereign States in the Federal government. Elected Senators represent the same urban majority as the Representatives, not the States, consequently the elected Senators do not act as a balance of power. Allow the States to recall and replace any of their Senators at any time, not just at election time.
  2. Return all Federal land to the States except that authorized by Article I Section 8. All unauthorized Federal land such as held by the BLM, Forest Service, Park Service, or the like shall be returned to the States along with all staff and equipment appurtenant thereto. The Federal taxes related to such land shall be eliminated. Then the States may take up their sovereign rights and duties over such land. This obviously means disbanding any corresponding Federal departments, laws, regulations, and fees related to their former activities.
  3. Return all social welfare programs to the sovereign States. Social Security, Medicare, disability and all other such programs shall be returned to the States. All related Federal taxes and fees will be discontinued and all amounts held in trust returned to the States that  paid them. The corresponding Federal departments and all laws and regulations related to their former activities are disbanded.
  4. Disband all departments, offices, or the like that are not specifically authorized by the Constitution. This means the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms, etc., and all Constitutionally allowed offices not specifically approved by Congress and appointed by consent of the Senate should be disbanded. As this process unfolds, we will be astounded just how many such departments and offices exist. As these are disbanded, Federal taxes and fees will be reduced by their budgets so as to allow the States to organize such services as they deem appropriate, and of course all related laws and regulations will become void.

Additional Measures (not necessarily in order of priority)

  1. Amendment to require all proposed legislation to come to its legislative body for discussion and vote. No committee or Speaker or President of the Senate or President pro tempore or other legislative functionary shall block or unnecessarily delay any proposed bill.
  2. Amendment to require all bills to be available on-line for at least 30 days before any vote.  This includes the original, intermediate, amended, and final form of every bill. All bills must be voted by the full body. No reconciliation committee may pass a bill without full reconsideration and vote by the full body and the 30 day pre-vote publication.
  3. Amendment requiring the President to follow the law as specified by Congress. No executive orders, signing letters, or other orders may alter or abolish provisions of any law passed by Congress. The President may seek review by the Supreme Court of the entire bill, or specific provisions. [No effect until approved?]
  4. Amendment requiring that all Regulations promulgated under a law be approved by Congress. All regulations must be approved in their final form by Congress, and be complete, final, published on-line for at least 30 days prior, and then voted on by Congress. Regulations are not valid until so approved. Any later changes must be similarly approved.
  5. Amend Article 2 Section 2 to require two-thirds vote of the entire Senate to approve a treaty (not just "two thirds of the Senators present"). [Verify my interpretation is correct]
  6. Amend Article 6 to make clear that treaties may not alter any part of the Constitution or its Amendments, and that any such part of a treaty is null and void.
    [Some have argued that treaties can supersede Constitutional provisions.]
    No provision of a treaty may may exceed the explicit authority allowed by the Constitution to the Federal government, and may not add to or diminish such authority. Also, a treaty may not change or supersede any law passed by Congress or the States. If a treaty requires changes in US or State law, such changes must be proposed and approved as for any law. Any later modification or re-interpretation of a treaty requires full re-approval by the Senate.
  7. Amend the Constitution to make clear that children born to illegal immigrants are not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof [the US]", and hence are not citizens. Further, require all immigrants to foreswear allegiance to any other country, sovereign, or power as have earlier immigrants. Possession by any person of a valid passport or similar document, or voting privileges, citizenship rights or titles in any other country invalidates US citizenship or immigrant status and returns that person to non-resident alien status or return to their country of origin.
  8. Clarify that "natural born citizen" means born in the United States to two US Citizens with respect to the qualifications for the offices of President and Vice-President. Apply the same requirement to all Federal offices. Require that candidates prove that they meet all requirements before being accepted as candidates.
  9. Amendment to repeal Article 16 (Income Tax).
    When the Federal government is reduced to Constitutional limits, taxation on the scale of the Income Tax will not be necessary. Taxes apportioned to the States by population will be quite sufficient.
  10. Amendment so that a spouse, domestic partner, consort, or other similar relationship of a President or Vice-President, whether still related or divorced, or their children or grand-children, or their parents, may not run for, be elected, or succeed as President or Vice-President. This is needed to prevent hereditary power now that both men and women are eligible.
  11. Repeal Article 25 and return all residential and business areas of Washington DC to the States that ceded that land. This reestablishes their citizens voting rights without creating a competing State.
  12. Amendment to require proof of citizenship to register to vote, and present major ID to vote. Invalid registration or voting, double voting, or the like shall be a felony, and such a person shall be prohibited from voting for the rest of their life. Mail-in voters must present ID in person and submit a new signature before each National election.
  13. Repeal Article 26 to return voting age to 21.
    [Consider allowing soldiers who are citizens to vote at any age].
    [Perhaps even require proof that the young citizen is self-supporting.]
  14. Abolish the Federal Reserve, and return full control of US money to Congress, as provided in Article One, Section 8.
  15. All budgets, accounting, financial, inventory, property, and legal records of the government of the United States will be accessible on-line in real time, including both raw and summary data. The detail shall be complete such that anyone can verifiy the enire financial status and actions of the Federal government. This includes all instantaneous transactions, not just budgets or balance sheets. This open access will include all campaign and operational funds of all elected officials or candidates.

  16. Consider abolishing any and all party organization within Congress. Those bodies should not act as party partisans but as individual, colligate representatives of the citizens that elected them.

Amendments from Mark Levin's book, "The Liberty Amendments" (see book for details)
[Not necessarily recommended, just here for discussion.]

  1. Term limit of 12 years for Congress.
  2. Repeal Seventeenth Amendment, restoring state legislature appointment of Senators.
  3. Term limit of 12 years for Supreme Court.
    3/5s vote of Senate and House overrides a Supreme Court opinion (no Presidential veto).
    3/5s of State legislatures may override a Supreme Court opinion. (no Federal interference).
  4. Failure to pass a budget automatically reverts to 95% of the prior year budget.
    Expenses shall not exceed revenue.
    Expenses shall not exceed 17.5% of the Gross domestic Product for previous year.
    Congress hall not collect more than 15% of a person's annual income (natural and legal persons).
    The deadline for filing tax returns shall be the day before the Federal elections.
    No estate taxes.
    No value-added tax, sales tax, or other tax in kind or form.
  5. All federal departments and agencies shall expire unless individually re-authorized each three years by a stand-alone reauthorization bill. All Executive Branch regulations exceeding 100 million must be approved by a Congressional committee prior to implementation.
  6. Congress' power to regulate commerce is not a plenary power but is limited to preventing States from impeding commerce and trade among the several States.
  7. When a government entity regulates or takes property reducing the market value, the owner shall be fully compensated.
  8. The State Legislatures may adopt Amendments to the Constitution by 2/3 vote of the States.
  9. Require a minimum of 30 days from final publishing of a bill until it is voted by Congress.
    Over-ride by 2/3 vote of each house.
    3/5 vote of the state legislatures overrides a federal statuate.
    3/5 vote of the state legislatures overrides an Executive Branch regulation.
    No review or litigation or oversight or interference allowed by the Federal government.
  10. Citizens shall produce photo ID demonstrating citizenship before voting in any Federal election.
    For mail ballot, ID must be presented within 45 days of the election.
    Electronic registration or voting are proscribed.