Restore our Constitutional Repulic to fit our character

Compiled by Ken Wear and posted July 4, 2005
Reorganized for Memorial Day, 2006

Our Constitution, including its Bill of Rights, is the pillar of our society, the foundation for our national character. Political power struggles have cost us much of the original intent, so we must from time to time reappraise how well our governments reaffirm our character and make our will known through collective action. To that end I propose this set of Constitutional Amendments.

Our Founding Fathers visualized a government where legislative bodies proposed and passed laws, courts interpreted the laws thus passed, and the executive branch served to carry out the will of the people thus expressed. The underlying principles were
(1) the consent of the governed shall be supreme,
(2) government shall be as close to the people as possible.
To that end:
1) the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of our Federal establishment are co-equal;
2) one must not usurp the powers of another and
3) the Federal establishment must not usurp the powers of the States.

Provision for new or unforeseen conditions not anticipated by the framers of our original Constitution were left to the legislative branch in expressing the consent of the governed. Perhaps the wandering from original principles has resulted from failures of our national and local legislative bodies, or aggressiveness on the part of our Federal executive branch in usurping local authority, or even the vanity of judges appointed for life and therefore immune to citizen criticism. Whatever the cause, it now seems appropriate for citizens to reaffirm those underlying principles and instruct our government anew.

Our governments should hear us on language, citizenship, sex-related practices, education, drugs, judicial abuse, . . . Much of what I propose should be the province of law, with the Constitution serving to present the principles on which law is based. But, since we have no mechanism for citizen initiative, . . .

While it is true that emergencies may require temporary abandonment of these principles, it is also anticipated that adequately responding to the emergency will be followed by return to the normalcy that existed prior to the emergency.

To go directly to a specific topic, click on it: .
English as U.S. language Immigration and citizenship Drug policy
Sex and its consequences Personal safety Schools
Judiciary and juries Church and State Property rights
Police power Term limits Restore 9th & 10th Amend
Other: Citizen initiative, companies moving offshore, international practices
While there is desperate need for such laws as tort reform and removing impediments to competition, they are not amenable to Constitutional amendments. Further comment on many of these issues will be discovered by examining the contents of this web site. More, I have presented opinions on many more topics in my collections of opinion, which are accessible through the index.

English Is Our National Language

The official language of these United States shall be the contemporary outgrowth of the English language initially transported to our shores by English-speaking peoples.

COMMENT: A common language is necessary to amalgamation of our "melting pot" into a cohesive society. English was and is our dominant language although it, like everything else, changes with time and should now be more appropriately known as American English (or simply American). Moreover, there should be no federal requirement for bilingual publications or announcements since these undermine the cohesiveness produced by a common language. (Cohesion is necessary to defense; the American Indians would not have been so readily defeated had they had a common language.)

Term Limits of Congressmen and Senators

A member of the House of Representatives may be reelected only four consecutive times, and may serve no more than seven full or partial terms.

An elected member of the Senate may be reelected only twice and may serve no more than four partial or full terms.

These provisions shall go into effect immediately upon ratification.

COMMENT: The public is disgusted with career senators and representatives commencing to campaign for reelection immediately after election and angry at the influence of lobbyists, and consequent distortions in law and Federal regulations, because of campaign contributions and other financial considerations. Granted there is value in acquired knowledge and continuity in specialized areas such as structure of our armed forces and their provisioning, but each Congressman has staff and both needs can be adequately provided by staff members (which is largely the case anyway).

Immigration and Citizenship COMMENT: Immigration is a multi-faceted concern and may require more than one amendment to adequately address the various issues. It will also require our Congress to adequately fund -- and examine for the sake of industriousness and efficiency -- the departments of government involved in enforcement.

1. After ratification of this Amendment U.S. citizenship shall be denied to anyone born to a person not legally entitled to be within the national boundaries of these United States until they satisfy such other requirements established by Congress. COMMENT: Who shall be regarded as a citizen is fundamental.

2. Non-citizens shall not vote, hold elected office or receive benefits that are supported by taxation. COMMENT: There must be reason for non-citizens to pursue citizenship.
Non-citizens who are legally entitled to be within the national boundaries of these United States may receive such benefits and courtesies as specifically described by law or regulation. Information on their whereabouts and activities shall be, for reasons of national security, maintained in data base(s) accessible under rules prescribed by Congress. COMMENT: It should not be necessary to spell out that there are time limits on the presence of any non-citizen. The same computers that contain data can spit out names and locations of persons whose time has expired. There is an expectation that each person will either take steps to retain approval to remain or return to his own country; and our government agencies must enforce time limits.

4. Emergency services rendered to a person not legally entitled to be within the national boundaries of these United States shall be the responsibility of the nation in which he holds citizenship. COMMENT: It may not be possible to enforce collections from foreign nations. Therefore, costs associated with emergency services performed for citizens should be the responsibility of his locale while costs associated with non-citizens should be the responsibility of the federal government.

5. There shall be no expansion of these United States beyond the present fifty States. COMMENT: All territories presently under the control of the U.S. should be offered the choice of political independence or transfer to the United Nations. Of course, the United Nations may request we continue our oversight, but this provision would shift the political atmosphere to the same sort of self-rule we enjoy within our country.

6. Citizen support is solicited in securing the borders and shores of these United States against entry by non-citizens not in possession of proper papers showing official approval for their entry. COMMENT: This speaks for itself.

7. Citizens who, in acting as agents of foreign powers or organizations, wilfully act to compromise the security of these United States shall, upon being duly recognized as such under rules prescribed by Congress, forfeit their citizenship. COMMENT: If this results in a person having no citizenship at all, that is a consequence of his willful acts.

COMMENT: The current furor over illegal immigrants within our borders should impel action, although the sum-total of what I have heard discussed is not nearly adequate to correct the situation as it exists today (May 2006). While we are a nation of immigrants, recent immigration by Spanish-speaking peoples has become nothing short of an invasion, albeit friendly from the standpoint of the immigrants themselves. (You may recall that Cuba's Castro emptied his prisons and sent his inmates to the U.S. -- a weapon against us; to all appearances Mexico finds it more acceptable to encourage its citizens to come here in preference to correcting abuses and corruption at home.) Citizenship by birth has outlived its usefulness. Foreign nationals are expected to be here with the consent of both their government and ours. The burden imposed on our hospitals and law enforcement cannot be sustained. The illegals should be encouraged to create in their homeland political systems that allow creation of wealth and strength so there is less incentive to come here. (There are a number of comments on specific concerns regarding immigration in my opinion essay; click here.

Drug Policy

1. To maintain the public order and assist local law enforcement, recreational drugs shall be categorized by degree of harm to the user as
1) freely available and taxed as tobacco and alcohol,
2) available by prescription,
3) dangerous, or
4) prohibited
and priority in enforcement shall be directed first to those drugs most debilitating to citizens. The penalty for illicit trafficking in substantial quantities of prohibited drugs shall be, upon conviction and after priority appellate review, immediate death by public execution.

a. A period of two years after ratification of this Amendment shall be allowed for categorization by Federal authorities; afterward State definitions will apply in each State unless Federal authorities and authorities in that State concur in altering the list of affected drugs and their categories.

2. Medicinal drugs shall be categorized as freely available, available by prescription only, or available only through a strict control system. Drugs, herbs, compounds and formulations advocated or consumed for improvement of health, and not deemed poisonous or highly addictive, are here regarded as medicinal.

3. Drugs for medical research purposes, and other chemical compounds and formulations whose use is neither recreational nor medicinal, are excluded from this provision.

COMMENT: Enforcement activity ranking marijuana and crack cocaine or methamphetamines as equally dangerous is insane. I will admit that arresting "pot heads" is less risky than going after drug cartels, and confiscations increase revenue without tinkering with the tax system. But is that our purpose in taxing ourselves to support law enforcement networks? Until there is a ranking of severity, the merely nuisance drugs continue to be rated as dangerous as the deadly. Moreover, there have been recent reports of police actions reminiscent of vigilante tradition in the middle of the night posing unnecessary risk to life and limb of innocent persons; where the drug is no more dangerous than marijuana, such drastic police actions are unwarranted.

COMMENT on War on Drugs: Should you feel execution too extreme a penalty, remember that these criminals are fully aware of the destruction of persons, tantamount to the dealth penalty, caused by consumption of their wares. Tit-for-tat demands a severe penalty. If we are serious about removing this scourge from our society, stern measures are necessary and public execution is the most effective deterent I can imagine. Moreover, I am opposed to supporting such heinous persons for life in our prisons; they pursue their trade for financial gain; let us impose a penalty that limits our cost.

COMMENT: Admittedly, a constitutional amendment may seem 'over-kill' and such a severe misalignment of priorities in pursuing relatively harmless drugs that remedial action is long overdue. I include it here because -- somehow -- attention must be drawn to legislative correction of the problem. Descriptions of several drugs and their consequences will be found by clicking here.

Sex and its Consequences

1. Sexual practices and their consequences (such as abortion, sodomy, fertility, homosexuality, reproduction, prostitution, . . .), so long as no Federal criminal law is violated, are not properly a concern of the Federal government or its Court system. Federal Court rulings contrary to this provision shall be null and void three years after ratification of this Amendment.

2. Recognition of a pledge of mutual commitment by two people, following rules prescribed by a political subdivision, is a civil union; marriage is such a union recognized by an institution of religion. In all Federal laws, rules and regulations the word “marriage” to describe a civil union and its consequences is hereby stricken and replaced by the term “civil union.” Other related terminology may be changed as deemed appropriate, such as “unite” in place of “marry” and "spouse" in place of “husband” or “wife” except where recognition of sex is necessary due to natural functions.

3. Article IV Section 1 is hereby amended to allow each State to establish whether or how to recognize a civil union consummated in another State and to allow each State to establish its practices regarding marriage, child custody, adoption, parenting and inheritance.

4. Pornography is a matter of local definition and concern. States are encouraged to assist registered voters in the precinct (or smallest geographical sub-division for voting purposes) to determine what real estate use or forms of commercial activities shall be allowed there, except that redistricting following the census should not impose excessive financial burdens on any citizen.

5. The role of the Federal government shall be limited to facilitating cooperation between States, crafting model legislation for State consideration and establishing minimal codes for public hygiene or safety.

COMMENT: Get the Feds out of our bedrooms! The intrusion of the Federal government into matters that are and should remain of local concern must end. (Practical aspects of the public debate on abortion are presented by clicking here),

COMMENT: While pornography is of nationwide interest, there must be a sorting out of degree so local communities can assert their parochial interests. "One sizes fits all" is inadequate.

Personal Safety and guns

Owners of hand guns, hunting equipment and other firearms and weapons of self-defense shall demonstrate proficiency in their use.

COMMENT: The time required for public defenders to respond to activities by criminal elements requires that the individual be responsible for his own health and safety.

Police Power

Federal law enforcement activities shall be limited to areas of concern to national defense, national security, and solvency of the Federal government. Maintenance of facilities and personnel to assist local and State efforts is welcome, but law enforcement is otherwise of State and local interest and concern, except that activities such as kidnapping, crossing State or National boundaries with criminal intent, or violation of Federal criminal law by multi-State organizations or persons actively controlling such organizations are specifically exempted from this Amendment. A period of five years from ratification of this Amendment is allowed for these provisions to become fully in effect.

a. Federal authorities may enter into compacts with States to assist in enforcement of State or Federal laws.

b. Limitations on Federal police power may be temporarily suspended in the event of natural calamity, insurrection, or gross incompetence or corruption on the part of State or local authorities.

COMMENT: Admittedly, this suggestion appears radical; but it is intended to clearly enunciate the boundaries of law enforcement activity. The totality of law enforcement activity has grown haphazardly and is in need of redefined responsibilities.


1. Schools operated by the Federal government for its employees shall follow the practices of the community in which the school is located or, if outside the United States, shall follow the practices of the region from which the affected U.S. citizens hail. Schools on Indian reservations excepted, all other schools are a State, local, or private responsibility. Programs within the schools, even if funded by Congressional appropriation, are subject to approval and adoption by the local school board or by competent authority within the State or within the schools.

2. The role of the Federal government in academic practices and programs shall be limited to developing texts and crafting model legislation for recommendation to States for the sake of uniformity in academic performance. Assistance to individuals in pursuit of their formal education is not addressed by this provision.

COMMENT: Intrusion by the Federal establishment into local schools has resulted in loss of disciplinary control, disregard for individual abilities, poor educational performance, distortion of educational principles, loss of esteem for teachers, . . . If we want to educate our children, we must extricate the Federal government from local public schools. Reforms needed in our schools are discussed separately; to access that, click here. For a discussion of intellectual giftedness, click here.

Judiciary and Juries

1. Appointment to the Supreme Court shall be limited to a single term of twenty (20) or twenty-five (25) or thirty (30) years, to be specified at the time of nomination, with no judge serving in a voting capacity beyond 85 years of age.

COMMENT: (1) Appointments for good behavior have not served the people well since appointments for life provide no penalties for overstepping the bounds of reason or the Constitution (as amended). Term limits for judges should also reduce the possibility of senility entering judicial decisions. (2) Fundamentally we must choose between (a) a system of laws which can, by building precedent upon precedent, compound unintended consequences to the point of absurdity, and (b) a system which is more flexible and responsive to the consent of the governed yet immune to transient public interests or fads.

a. Age of judges nominated for the Supreme Court shall be no more than 65 years at the time of nomination.

b. The number of judges on the Supreme Court entitled to vote on cases before the Court is limited to nine (9); the vote of a judge temporarily incapacitated (as acknowledged by that judge or due to obvious medical emergency) may be, for the duration of that incapacitation, exercised by an appellate court judge appointed to serve in his place, except that the age limit of 85 for a voting judge may not be exceeded.

2. Term of appointment for Appeals Court judges shall be twelve (12) years plus time remaining until the day of the next nation-wide election; the term of office may be extended once or twice, so long as age at retirement does not exceed 85 years, for ten years by a majority vote determined in this fashion: Each district served by the Court and from which a member of the lower house of the State Legislature is elected shall have one vote determined by a majority of qualified voters voting there.

a. Campaigning for extension of a judge's term by the judge, his supporters or his detractors, shall be limited to discourses on law and its consequences as influenced by that judge's performance in office.

b. Age of judges nominated for Appeals Court shall be no more than 65 years at the time of nomination.

c. Any judge may be removed from office by a super-majority of three- quarters of State Legislatures in the area served by the Court except that votes may not be accumulated for more than three years.

d. This Amendment shall not prejudice a second or third appointment to the same or another Appeals Court, nor to appointment to the Supreme Court.

3. Term of appointment of other Federal judges shall be as Appeals Court judges except the majority vote shall be determined in this fashion: Each voting precinct in the area served by the Court shall have one vote determined by a majority of qualified voters voting there. Age, limitation on campaigning and removal from office shall be as for Appeals Court judges.


1. Citizen jurors shall be permitted to seek and receive facts or opinions they consider germane to the case at hand even though not presented by the prosecution, defense, or court.

2. Citizen jurors shall be informed that their findings may be contrary to the judge's interpretation of the law if, in their united opinion, enforcement of that law will result in extreme injustice to the person(s) involved in the case.

3. Deliberations in the jury room regarding the case in hand shall be privileged, except for unlawful efforts to persuade a jury member, and not subject to review by any competent authority nor subject to civil or criminal penalties.

COMMENT: Too often we hear of judges refusing to allow testimony the jurors may request in their pursuit of justice, or instructing the jury that they cannot interpret the law but must adhere to the judge's standards of justice. Moreover, jurors should not be subjected to criminal or civil penalties, nor costs of defending themselves from violation of that privilege, for performing their civic duty. I sometimes wonder if the judge's vanity, or the prosecutor's wish to protect his budget, become more important than the quest for justice.

4. Citizen jurors are discouraged from revealing either the content of deliberations in the jury room regarding the case in hand or their vote on the outcome of the case.

COMMENT: This to protect jurors from later public harrassment should they disagree with prevailing public sentiment as well as discouraging pursuit of personal profit resulting from their knowledge of jury room deliberations.

Church and State

Reaffirm Separation of Church and State

A secular government representing the best hope for allowing each citizen to pursue the religious persuasion of his choice, the Congress and legislative bodies of the various States and localities are prohibited from making laws or regulations, or funding activities, that foster one religious doctrine (including atheism) at the expense of another or tend to establish or encourage a national, State or local church or religion or religious doctrine. Citizens, collectively or individually, shall not be hindered in their expression of their religious persuasion so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

COMMENT: A minority of voters should not be allowed to dictate the usage of public facilities, although space allocated to religious displays, etc., should allow proportionate space for displays by all religious and non-religious organizations.

Religious teachings requiring union of church and state

Should conflict arise between the principle of separating church and state and the teachings of any religion, separation of church and state shall be supreme. Public acts contrary to this provision shall be considered seditious.

COMMENT: The Muslim religion teaches that the church and state are one, and that all laws must conform to the teachings of that religion, which requires that non-Muslims pay a head tax or face execution. Acceptance of the principle of separation of church and state should be required of all citizens, and those acquiring citizenship must specifically affirm this priniciple. Refer to, which reminds us of prevailing Muslim attitudes as well as the widely publicized court ruling in Afghanistan in 2007 sentencing a man to death for choosing to convert from the Muslim religion.

Property Rights

1. Use of buildings and common areas not built, developed or maintained with Federal money is specifically exempted from intervention by the Federal Courts. However, a petition signed by 15% of registered voters in the affected district may deny, for the period (not to exceed six years) specified in the petition, use of a publicly-funded building or common area for any religious or religiously-oriented structure or activity.

COMMENT: Intrusion of the Federal Courts into determination of proper usage of properties developed entirely with local funds is unconscionable. Local schools, court houses, parks, etc., not funded or operated with Federal money should be immune from intrusion by the Federal establishment except for the purpose of enforcing Federal criminal laws. (While it may seem unbalanced to allow the 14% to determine what the 86% can do, some arbitrary standard must be set and even 20%, for practical reasons, seems too high a bar.)

COMMENT: Ownership and control of private property, is a foundation of "The American Dream." However, there should be a uniform requirement such as:

2. Excessive valuation and condemnation of property for reasons of personal or group animosity or vendetta, creation of jobs, increase in tax revenue or creation of tourist attractions are prohibited, except that a petition signed during a three month period by three-fourths of property owners who are also registered voters in the affected area, and reaffirmed not less than six months nor more than one year later by a similar petition, may overturn an owner's resistance to accepting reasonable compensation for his property.

Reaffirmation of Ninth and Tenth Amendments

1. We hereby reaffirm that failure to enumerate certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage those rights to the people. We also reaffirm that the powers not specifically delegated to the United States by the Constitution, as amended, nor specifically prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people. Any Federal legislation assuming powers not clearly enumerated by the Constitution, as amended, shall become null and void. Appellate judgments in conflict with this Amendment shall be vacated and conflicts over the intent of this Constitution (with its Amendments) shall be subordinated to State legislative bodies acting in concert.

2. Use of the Interstate Commerce clause (in Article I Section 8 ) to cloak Federal intrusion in order to thwart limitations placed on the Federal government shall cease. Other Federal activities and controls may be added by Amendment to this Constitution (to be in effect in each State upon national ratification of that Amendment) or by Congress (to become effective in each State upon concurrence by the highest legislative body of that State).

3. Inasmuch as the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in the aftermath of the War of Separation (commonly referred to as the Civil War) with the specific purposes to (1) guarantee to former slaves the rights of citizenship, (2) guarantee all males 21 years and older the right to vote, (3) prevent officials of the Confederate States from holding public office, and (4) invalidate debt of the Confederate States, the provisions of that Amendment have served their purpose, the Amendment is hereby abandoned, court decisions based on the Fourteenth Amendment are hereby vacated and further decisions based on those court decisions are to be revisited.

4. It is anticipated that there will be no wholesale abandonment of existing law, regulations, precedent and/or rulings, but that, as lawsuits arise and must be adjudicated, case law in accord with the most recent Amendments will prevail and contrary laws, rules and regulations will become null and void.

COMMENT: Where further Constitutional Amendments may be necessary to allow the orderly conduct of business, that route is much preferred to Congress arrogating to itself powers not specifically granted by the people. If, over the years, there comes into being significant differences between States in their relationship to the Federal government and with each other, that is the product of the two founding principles of our republic to (1) have government as close to the people as possible and (2) ensure that the consent of the governed is supreme. Continued Federal intrusion into states rights is unconscionable.

While I have no idea how many people agree with me, I am infuriated at the queasiness with which later opinions are based on unintended consequences of earlier opinions. Specifically, if local people want religious documents and displays in public buildings that have been funded, built, maintained and staffed entirely with local money, the Federal establishment has no legitimate interest.

While not appropriate as Amendments to our Constitution, we have concerns for:

Citizen Initiative

The Congress is hereby requested to devise a system whereby citizen initiatives may be placed on the national ballot as an advisory to Congress of citizen desire. A period of four years is allowed to present such a system to the voters for ratification of the system itself. Should that vote fail, a system of citizen initiative shall be presented to the voters at the time of each presidential election until either it is accepted or it is rejected for the third time. Should the Congress fail to present a system, each State may devise such a system as seems appropriate for that State and systems of voter initiative at State or local levels should not be affected.

Moving Offshore

1. Corporations that move off-shore to escape taxes here should be treated as foreign entities and taxed accordingly regardless of their state of incorporation.

2. Products, either manufactured or agricultural, coming into the U.S. should bear a proportionate share of the costs of security at the points of entry.

COMMENT: The purpose is two-fold: 1) To be fair to domestic producers who must presently bear the costs of security created by their foreign competitors; and 2) To require companies moving off-shore for cheap labor to pay costs of distribution of their products, security requirements at our borders being a part of the cost of distribution.

International Practices

We endorse, in international practices, the twin concepts of government by the consent of the governed and government authority retained at the lowest level that can effectively serve the people. We endorse an international republic whose leaders are elected for a fixed term by a majority vote of legislative bodies of member nations. We endorse international efforts at promoting economic growth, stability and harmony, as well as suppression of crime and violence. We endorse physical and intellectual property rights secured to an individual owner. We endorse minimal restrictions on international trade except that the owner of goods must bear all costs, including security, of crossing national boundaries. We oppose rules that rank the worth of individual adults. We oppose interference with individual exercise of religious faith or conscience. We oppose an international police power but support cooperation between nations. We recognize that use of slavery or child labor, or working under inhumane conditions, creates unfair cost advantages in trade and suggest labeling of goods (including foods) so produced. We recommend our Bill of Rights as a model for conduct by each nation.

a. We expect our Courts to weigh the values expressed in our Bill of Rights, as amended, in resolving conflicts properly brought before them.

b. We expect our Congress to weigh the values expressed in our Bill of Rights, as amended, in resolving conflicts created by present and proposed treaties.

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If you agree that local citizen consent is the foundation upon which government and all of its branches and activities are built and should ultimately govern law and judicial opinion, you should forward this to media, politicians, friends, or whomever may be upset at one or more acts of judicial initiative (some say tyranny), or usurpation by Congress of local interests and concerns, or lack of Congressional attention to citizen concerns. If it takes local action to arouse the State or State action to arouse the Federal establishment, then let's be about it. I pledge to do what I can and hope to enlist you.

The time frame suggested for judicial appointments should be adequate to avoid what people fear most, that the judiciary will respond to current fads and thereby become another instrument of politics. It should be evident, from the current (Dec 2005) wrangling over a nominee to the Supreme Court (because of his possible history of comment on abortion, which should not be a Federal concern) that intrusion of that Court into what ought to remain a State concern can render Federal Government almost helpless or useless at best and an instrument of suppression and destruction at worst.

I accept that these Amendments will produce some degree of loss of uniformity between the several States, but I submit that citizen consent and the notion of local governance, considering the diversity of peoples and backgrounds that cohere in our country, requires recognition of differences in sex- and drug-related practices, in schools, in local exploitation of the natural environment, in end-of-life issues, . . . , while region-wide concerns such as water and air must be considered on a regional or national (or international) basis.

Many who read this will wish to become involved in the needed remedies. Discourse should be in the public arena. I feel it not in the public interest for me to be the focus of disagreements, attacks or counter suggestions, but I will gladly assist as I can in securing names and addresses of national, state or local political figures to whom these concerns should be addressed. For the e-mail form click here.

My printer takes 10 pages or 5 sheets of paper to print this document.