Monday, August 22, 2011

Rick Perry Rips Up The Constitution

One of the major tenets of the Tea Party is that the U.S. Constitution was written by sober minded conservative religious folk who wanted small government and low taxes. The Founders also created a system whereby no branch of government would get more powerful than the other two.

Evidently, that's not good enough for Rick Perry.

In the article Seven Ways Rick Perry Wants to Change the Constitution from the Yahoo News site The Ticket, Perry wants to fundamentally alter the Constitution in ways that would do real damage to the fragile balance between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and the rights of American citizens.

For example, one of his proposals would amend the Constitution to abolish lifetime tenure for federal judges. This would expose them and their decisions to political scrutiny and elections and would most likely influence how they ruled in a case. The founders knew that judges needed to be insulated from public opinion in order to apply the law and not be swayed by factions, as James Madison argued in Federalist paper #10. Perhaps Perry stopped at #9.

Perry also wants to allow Congress to override Supreme Court decisions with a two-thirds vote. Does he truly believe that Congress knows more about the law than the Court, or that Congress, the body that currently has a 13% approval rating, would instinctively do the right thing? Congress can already remedy a ruling by passing a new law according to the Court's decision.

Perry throws red meat to the conservatives with amendments that would define marriage (guess how?), require a balanced federal budget, and outlaw abortion. He would also repeal the Sixteenth Amendment that established the income tax.

The change that has me scratching my head is his desire to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment. This amendment allows citizens to elect their U.S. Senators. Repealing this would allow state legislatures to elect senators, as had been the law until 1913.  How is this helpful? I thought the Tea Party trusted people's decisions more than those in government. Apparently not.

But if you're looking for him to explain his reasoning, here is a quote from Perry:
"The American people mistakenly empowered the federal government during a fit of populist rage in the early twentieth century by giving it an unlimited source of income (the Sixteenth Amendment) and by changing the way senators are elected (the Seventeenth Amendment)," he writes.

These changes made the United States the economic and political powerhouse of the world. Rick Perry would roll that all back.


  1. Dude... I'm starting to agree with you.... I'm scared and need to get a drink! LOL

  2. Come over from the dark side. These people really are extreme.