Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Tip My Hat to the New Constitution- Part 1 Bill of Rights

Since our government no longer uses the Constitution, I've taken the liberty of writing up a new one. Since I, your gracious blogger, have already done the hard part of writing it up, I expect you, the readers, to do the easy part and convene a Constitutional convention and implement it. I'm thinking noonish tomorrow. Thanks. Here it is:

Preamble. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. [Ed. Note: The preamble works. Why change it?]

Article I.
Bill of Rights
[The Iowa Constitution starts with a bill of rights, why not mine?]
Sec. 1: Introduction. The provisions of this Bill of Rights shall be effective upon all levels of government, unless otherwise noted. [Bill of Rights is automatically "incorporated" against state and local laws.] Congress shall have the power to enforce this Bill of Rights by appropriate legislation. The enumeration in this constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Sec. 2: General Rights. All people are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights- among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. [From Virginia Declaration of Rights.]

Sec. 3: Political Power. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or abolish the same, whenever the public good may require it. [From Iowa Bill of Rights.]

Sec. 4: Equality Rights. There shall be no law discriminating by race, gender, age (over 18 years), political affiliation, sexual orientation, or religion. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; no citizen nor class of citizens shall be granted privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens

Sec. 5: Voting Rights. There shall be no poll tax or other fee upon the right of any United States citizen to vote in a government election.

Sec. 6: Slavery. There shall be no slavery; nor shall there be involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime; nor shall there be military conscription, nor compulsory civil service, paid or unpaid.

Sec. 7: Freedom of Expression. There shall be no law abridging the freedom of speech or expression or of the press, regardless of medium; and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [Present 1st Amendment broke into two parts (one below) and reworded.]

Sec. 8: Freedom of Religion. There shall be no law establishing a state religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Sec. 9: Right To Assembly and Association. The people have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association. [From U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yuck! The only one that I borrowed from those weenies, since most of their “rights“ amount to: “You have the right to the shirt off someone else‘s back.”]

Sec. 10: Right to Bear Arms. The people have the right to acquire, possess and bear individual arms for the purpose of sport or for the defense of themselves, their liberties, their property, and their communities; and there shall be no law disarming the people or any of them, unless for actual felonies committed; the people shall not have to pay a fee or tax to enjoy this right, nor shall a licensing or registration regime be imposed. [Any questions Hillary? First part is inspired by the wording of the Pennsylvania delegation to the 1787 Constitutional convention’s minority dissent. Second part just to make sure everybody gets it.]

Sec. 11: Defense Rights. A person engaged in lawful activity is justified in using any degree of force that the person reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, when resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person or in defense of habitation or property. A lawful person does not have a duty to retreat from an attacker in the circumstances described in this section. [Commonly called “Castle Doctrine.”]

Sec. 12: Security Rights. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, vehicles, personal communications and effects, against unreasonable searches, seizures, and eavesdropping shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to searched or surveilled, and the persons or things to be seized; nor shall a government be immune from responsibility for damages caused by improper action. [Expanded 4th Amendment.]

Sec. 13: Military. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law. The United States military may not be used as a posse comitatus, except as prescribed in this document. No military personnel may be placed under the command of a foreign nation or international body. No United States soldier shall be surrendered to a foreign court or body to be tried for any reasonable and necessary actions taken to carry out a lawful order.

Sec. 14: Free Market and Property Rights. The right of the people to exchange goods and services on the open market, free from excessive government interference shall not be violated. The United States [federal gov't] shall impose no wage or price controls. The people shall have the right to choose their own employment, within their means and abilities, but no one shall be required to employ another. No taxes shall be levied upon property; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation and in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 15: Habeas Corpus et al. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended. No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. [From Article I, Sec. 9 of the U.S. Constitution.]

Sec. 16: Rights of Persons Accused. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; nor shall any person be tried for the same offence twice; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty , or property, without due process of law. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trail, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime was committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed one-thousand dollars, the right of trail by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of common law. [Current amendments 5, 6, and 7 combined.]

Sec. 17: Rights of Persons Convicted. Excessive bail shall be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. The United States [federal gov’t] shall have no capital crimes excepting treason, which shall be defined as levying war against the nation, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort; or terrorism, which shall be defined as any act intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.

Sec. 18: Family Rights. Any consenting adult may marry any other consenting adult or consenting adults. The parents or legal guardian of a child shall have the right to raise, discipline and educate the child in a manner consistent with their own beliefs, free from government intervention, unless those actions pose a grave risk of death, serious bodily injury, sexual degradation or extreme emotional trauma to the child.

Sec. 19: Extradition. No U.S. citizen shall be extradited to a foreign nation unless that nation shall demonstrate probable cause of wrongdoing to a domestic grand jury and said jury approves. [I just made that up, I rather like it.]

Sec. 20: Federalism. The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. [ Current 10th Amendment. I should add, “Really! We mean it this time!”]

To Be Continued...


Anonymous said...

I take issue with the gun control section, and perhaps if you lived for a few years in my city, the former murder capital of the world, you might have a different view. Strict gun control has helped the D.C rein in crime and help ensure that police can at least attempt to patrol neighborhoods, although it's not that hard to bring in guns from across the District line. If kids are already being caught in the crossfire, and in many neighborhoods are too scared to go out and play, is more freedom to buy any kind of gun one wants with no restrictions really the answer? When I look around at my companions on the bus or subway, my hope is really that no one has a gun; I don't sit there wishing that everyone was armed so we could all defend ourselves in the event of real (or perceived) incident.

Bawb said...

Ben, dude! You are so Old School. Don't you watch the news? We need an Airline Travelers Bill of Rights, a Daycare Providers Bill of Rights, A Healthcare Patients Bill of Rights, and a Lesbian Nazi Hookers Abducted by UFOs and Forced Into Weight-Loss Prgrams Bill of Rights, but an actual Bill of Rights Bill of Rights? C'mon. Something that enumerates and enforces basic God-given civil rights to everyone in the country? How can we possibly fight the "War on Terror" if our citizens have rights? Where do you come up with these strange ideas.

NOTE TO IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH: This is known as sarcasm.

Bawb said...

Sorry, I also must respectfully disagree with the success of gun control as well. The cities with the most stringent gun control laws also have the highest crime rates. In places that enacted shall-issue concealed carry laws, crime rates have basically plummeted. When I minored in Criminal Justice in college, I remember a survey done of prison inmates regarding what they "feared" the most. The police, the courts, and incarceration barely made the list, but way up at the top was the fear of a potential victem shooting their butt. If one of us rubes from the sticks visited the "Big City", I'm sure our very demeanor would guarentee us victem status from the predators.

Where I live in Montana there are probably more guns per capita than the 101st Airborne but with the exception of drunk drivers, dogs off a leash in town, and kids lighting off fireworks around the Fourth, crime is pretty much non-existant. Since criminals by their very nature do not obey the law, I really can't see how more numerous laws restricting and disarming the law-abiding citizens who are the victems of said criminals protects us.

Out here, the policeman is still your friend. When the local law tells you, "If anyone ever breaks into your home, just make sure you're the only one left standing to fill out the reports." there are essentially zero B&E's. Both the local law and us Pine Cone Cops deal with numerous heavily armed folks every day, especially during hunting season, yet none of us have had any problems, been threatened, nor shot. As Robert A. Hienlein once noted, "An armed society is a polite society."

But that's just my two cents, worth what ya paid for it.

Ben said...

Here I figured I'd catch grief for my equal rights for gays amendment, not the arms bearing amendment.

I'm surprised by "taxation without representation" (if that is his/her real name) using crime-ridden DC as a good example that gun control works. I would use DC as the posterchild for the fact that gun control does NOT work. As I understand it, the crime rates exploded after DC launched its gun ban. Also, armed citizens helped our forefathers out of their problem with taxation without representation, maybe you guys should give that a try.

While we disagree on this issue, I appreciate your comments. I also urge you to read my Second Amendment post at

Now everybody get back to work on my Constitutional Convention!

Jen said...

To add to the disagreement with DC as an example of gun control success, I would suggest "taxation without representation" spend a little time reviewing information detailed in the briefing (including amicus) in the current challenge to DC's gun ban. All documentation is available at