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News TX Gov. Perry and What He Would Change in the Constitution

  1. Aug 22, 2011 #1

    Apparently in a book he wrote (Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington) Rick Perry named a number of things he would like to see changed in the constitution or added to it. The article appears fair, and quotes the book, though I can not say I have read the book and know whether or not these may have been taken out of context.

    I will list only the gist of each for reference, the article contains a couple short paragraphs further describing each point.

    1. Abolish lifetime tenure for federal judges by amending Article III, Section I of the Constitution.

    2. Congress should have the power to override Supreme Court decisions with a two-thirds vote.

    3. Scrap the federal income tax by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment.

    4. End the direct election of senators by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.

    5. Require the federal government to balance its budget every year.

    6. The federal Constitution should define marriage as between one man and one woman in all 50 states.

    7. Abortion should be made illegal throughout the country.

    What do you think of such amendments? What do you think of these ideas coming from Perry as a candidate for President?

    Personally I agree with none. #5 is the only one that I find at all reasonable, as the government should strive to keep a balanced budget, but I find the idea of making it mandatory each year to be naive. I have not yet looked into the candidates much unfortunately, and not that I would have likely voted for him anyway, but this article gives me a particularly bad impression of the man.

    edit: Just for clarification I am not indicating by the title that Perry could or would have the power to actually change the constitution.
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  3. Aug 22, 2011 #2


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    My two-cents

    Both of these sound very dodgy, essentially transferring legal power towards politicians. If the supreme court ruled Intelligent design to not be a science I'd hate to see an override.

    Thus causing a massive loss of revenue for the government and ultimately increasing the rich/poor divide.

    No idea what this means but it doesn't sound good.

    Nations are in a constant state of debt and borrowing, this sounds like an ideal but it's laughably naive and absurd to suggest it as a mandatory rule.


    Again absurd.

    None of these sound like the reasonable proposals of a politician, they sound like the mental armchair ideas of someone who has no real understanding of how a country works.
  4. Aug 22, 2011 #3

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    First, I think it's only fair that one should read the book before criticizing it.

    Second, ryan, for most of the US' existence, this is how the Senate was elected. The intent was that the House would be represent the interests of the people and the Senate would represent the interests of the states (remember, this is a federal system).
  5. Aug 22, 2011 #4
    These things were set up the way they are for this exact reason. Checks and balances of power. The idea of allowing congress to nullify a Supreme Court ruling is just ridiculous. As it stands Congress does have the ability to change the law and propose constitutional amendments which can invalidate a SC ruling. This would just allow them to ignore it without the responsibility of dealing with the legal issues being pointed out by the SC.

    The Senate was originally appointed, not elected.

    To be fair they are just ideas he wrote in a book though he has apparently campaigned on some of these. And he can't actually change the constitution himself though I would be concerned with the direction of his policy setting and memoranda particularly with regard to same sex marriage and abortion.
  6. Aug 22, 2011 #5
    Its not the book so much as certain ideas that are apparently in it which Perry has, according to the article, also campaigned on and mentioned in interview. If the article does not appear to you to be a fair representation of facts then I will of course respect a recommendation that the thread be locked.
  7. Aug 22, 2011 #6
    This one is rather strange. The Constitution already allows Congress to override the Supreme Court by changing the Constitution. However, it is much harder than a two-thirds vote. This lends a conservative bent to our system of government and you would think that Perry would not want to weaken it.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  8. Aug 22, 2011 #7


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    I read this article this morning on Perry. TSA, if you don't think it belongs, I will move it.


  9. Aug 22, 2011 #8
    i like 1, 3, 5, and 7.

    unsure about 2.

    4 seems to take the power away from the people, and give it to the govt, so i dont think i would want this.

    i dont like 6, because i dont want the fed to have any laws regarding marriage.
  10. Aug 22, 2011 #9
  11. Aug 22, 2011 #10
    Personally, I'm in favor of eliminating executive orders other than for short term emergency situations. President Obama (IMO) has become far too comfortable with executive orders that further his agenda in the face of Congressional defeat. I'll gladly post (specific details) regarding last weekend's immigration initiatives and EPA regulation to support this comment if necessary.
  12. Aug 22, 2011 #11


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    The sudden interest in Gov. Perry reminds me of Fred Thompson's saga when he declared he was running for President in 2007. There's a sudden peak in popularity, I think mostly because the candidate's newness.

    When the field is weak, as I feel the current GOP field is, anyone who is fresh sees a rapid boost in popularity. It's more because of who they are not, than who they are.

    We'll see if Perry's arc continues on its current path, or if he crashes and burns, a la Fred Thompson.
  13. Aug 22, 2011 #12
    The EO you mentioned isn't in http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/obama.html" yet, so could you post a link about that EO? What other specific EOs issued do you have a problem with? I saw none in 2011 that seemed to attempt a furthering of his agenda inthe face of Congressional defeat (though I admit I only looked at the titles for 2010 and 2009).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  14. Aug 22, 2011 #13
    Actually, you are correct - it wasn't an EO - just a policy change on Friday.
    http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/08/immigration/xVwK5kIcuveuzkoAFlilFJ/index.html [Broken]

    "The Obama administration took one of its boldest steps yet toward addressing illegal immigration today by announcing it would halt potentially thousands of cases in federal immigration court if they do not involve criminals or people with flagrant immigration violations.

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said today that the agency will launch a case-by-case review of 300,000 cases pending in immigration courts across the nation to focus on the federal government’s top priority, detaining and deporting criminals and serious violators of immigration law."

    This might be worse than an EO - it's less transparent.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  15. Aug 22, 2011 #14
    Congress already has the power to increase the number of supreme court justices. If the president (who appoints them) and the senate (who confirms them) have sufficient cause they can change the balance of power in the court. Historically there are two instances of the threat of such an action probably influenced the courts: Reconstruction and the New Deal.

    The only new feature of Perry's proposal would be to cut the president "out of the loop". I think that we already have sufficient protection from a runaway court through congressional and presidential political pressure. Our constitution is a DELICATE balance of powers and should not be toyed with lightly. It has lasted over 200 years.

  16. Aug 22, 2011 #15
    This to me seems a matter of just prioritizing an already overburdened court system by going after the convicted criminals and flagrant violaters. If there were plenty of resoures to do both, I could understand the problem with the policy change, but since resources are limited, I'd rather see the Justice Department go after the criminals rather than the average Joe (or Jose, since when we talk about illegal immigration inthis country, it's invariably about Central and South Americans).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  17. Aug 22, 2011 #16
    i dont follow politicians, so i knew nothing of him. just commenting on the 7 suggestions.

    personally, i dont vote - my way of effecting change.
  18. Aug 22, 2011 #17
    Isn't it still a crime to enter the country illegally?
  19. Aug 22, 2011 #18


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  20. Aug 22, 2011 #19


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    It is true that for most of the US' existence, Senators were appointed by the state legislatures - 125 years of state legislature appointment, 98 years of direct election, plus 12 years under the Articles of Confederation. However, appointment of Senators being a state issue, many states required the state legislature to appoint whoever won the popular election as Senator even before the 17th Amendment was passed - in fact, it was almost impossible to get the amendment out of committee, let alone passed, until there enough 'popularly elected' Senators to make the amendment an issue. So there was actually a kind of fuzzy boundary with the last few years of state legislature appointment being a mix between actual appointment and a de facto endorsement of whatever the popular elections decided.

    It's ironic that one of the prime motivations for direct elections were bribery and other scandals (plus deadlocked state legislatures leaving Senate seats vacant for months to years). Having the entire state vote for Senators instead of having them chosen by a few would theoretically make it more difficult to 'buy' a Senator position. One of the prime motivations for returning Senator selection to the state legislatures is to remove the influence of 'special interest groups' in swaying elections via large influxes of money into campaigns. Some problems never go away - they just adapt to whatever environment they exist in.

    It's also a little ironic that repealing the 17th Amendment would be a Tea Party issue. Returning Senatorial appointment would seem to be returning control to the 'establishment' regardless of which party was in control of the state legislature. It would almost eliminate any chance of Tea Party candidates becoming Senators since they'd have to win many elections in the state instead of just one (but the Tea Party doesn't do all that well in statewide elections, anyway, so they really wouldn't be losing all that much). I think it's mostly a safe dig at those in office than a serious movement.

    While I would lean towards states being able to choose Senators any way that they please, I don't think it's something worth spending any time on. I'd be more motivated to support popular election of the President than to support repealing the 17th Amendment.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  21. Aug 22, 2011 #20


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    Yes, but there are still priorities involved, just the same as solving 'real' crimes are more important than catching every person that breaks the speed limit.

    How much of an increase in taxes would you be willing to accept in order to expand the police/justice system large enough to catch the millions of illegal aliens in this country?
  22. Aug 22, 2011 #21
    dont put more cooks in the kitchen - simply sour the soup.
  23. Aug 22, 2011 #22
    How much will we need to pay in taxes to provide food, housing, healthcare, education, etc. to these people - and/or who will need to lose benefits to support these people if taxes aren't increased.
  24. Aug 22, 2011 #23
    I never said it wasn't. But you have to prioritize the crimes you go after when you have limited resources. Do you go after the violent criminals, or do you go after the nonviolent ones?
  25. Aug 22, 2011 #24


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    I don't see any reason abortion laws need to be uniform between the states since it's a single act occurring in a single state.

    I don't think marriage/divorce laws need to be uniform, either, but there does have to be enough agreement that states will respect what has been done in another state. While states have divorce laws that vary greatly from state to state, each state respects the decision of the state where the divorce was initiated. For example, you can't take the kids, move to a new state, and initiate a new child custody case just because the court in your old state awarded custody to your spouse. Likewise, it's ludicrous to allow gay marriage in one state, only to have the marriage invalidated by one (or both) of the persons simply moving to a new state (not to mention a violation of Article 4, Section 1 of the Constitution). The legitimacy (or non-legitimacy) of gay marriage has to be uniform, even if the marriage may not be able to take place in some states.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  26. Aug 22, 2011 #25
    if abortion is not outlawed in all states, then people would just go to an ABORTION STATE, and then go back.
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