Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has written a book entitled Six Amendments, in which he proposes amendments to the Constitution which would retroactively make all his minority opinions into majority opinions and also make the justices who disagreed with him look like total meatheads. You have to give the old fellow (age 94) credit for feistiness. The Idler had an aunt who, at the same age, lobbied for a Constitutional amendment requiring Lawrence Welk to be televised seven days a week. She wouldn’t have made a very good Supreme Court Justice, though. Her method of dealing with people who had dissenting opinions was to hit them with her cane. (“But there might be people who’d rather not watch Lawrence Welk every night . . ..” Wham!)
The Idler isn’t in favor of amending important historical documents before he has gotten around to reading them, and so far, Article I isn’t going well. Section 8, paragraph 2, giving Congress the power, “to borrow Money on the credit of the United States“ looks like trouble. But I couldn’t help but page back toward the end, and it looks like there have been twenty-seven amendments already. So what’s another amendment or two, right? In fact, the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, were adopted at the same time as the Constitution. That’s like making a pair of pants and putting on ten patches before you even try them on.
I don’t know about Stevens’s amendments, which seem kind of boring and lawyerly. I think the Constitution needs to be amended to incorporate modern ideas about society. The following are some proposed amendments I came up with while celebrating the repeal of prohibition (21st amendment):
AMENDMENT XXVIII – Congress shall authorize and empower law enforcement officials of the several states and territories to detain and forthwith deport any foreign pretty boy found to be annoying significant portions of the domestic population. Each said official shall have the option to slap around the said pretty boy at his or her sole discretion This shall henceforth be known as the Bieber amendment.
AMENDMENT XXIX – No professional athlete sporting a uni-brow shall be permitted to participate in a sanctioned sporting event, and any team employing such a player shall retroactively forfeit any wins and be disbanded forthwith. (The Flacco amendment)
AMENDMENT XXX – The inventor of stickers on fruit shall be summarily executed.
AMENDMENT XXXI – No one named Ryan shall be permitted to participate in professional sports (the Succop – Braun amendment)
AMENDMENT XXXII – There shall be a tax holiday on domestic merchandise at participating state stores (the Jim Beam amendment)
There are the Idler’s amendments so far. Why not propose some of your own? It’s a free country.