The Bill of Rights and Civil War Amendments, 2012 Version

Preface: Although written otherwise, the de facto language of these amendments has changed significantly through acts of Congress, interpretation of the Executive, and rulings of the Supreme Court. Citizens of the United States may appeal to the original language of the amendments, but the government of the United States may violate those amendments at will, placing the burden of both the breach and the proving of it thereof squarely on the shoulders of those oppressed by the actions of the government. Challenging the government over breaches of the amendments will likely meet in failure, for while it delights in clothing itself in the cloth of freedom and republican democracy, it is only to disguise an increasingly authoritarian power.

Some rights need to be denied only for a day in order to meet the aims of an authoritarian government. The authoritarian government can incarcerate the lawful protester on an eventful day, only to release him with an apology when the press’ attentions are elsewhere. The government can unlawfully declare a man a felon on election day, only to reinstate his vote the day following, when it is too late to count. The government can violate all privacy of a man until the day the man proves to the Supreme Court that his privacy is violated beyond the interests of the all-encompassing cloak of National Security.

With that all in mind, I have updated the language of the amendments to reflect what is now common and current practice.

First Amendment – Congress shall make laws respecting an establishment of religion, and prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and abridging the freedom of speech, and of the press; and the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment – A well regulated Militia, being a threat to the expansion of a tyrannical State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall be infringed.

Third Amendment – 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 to be prescribed by law, unless Congress shall determine such actions be necessary in the name of National Security, regardless of the actual necessity of such actions.

Fourth Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall be violated.

Fifth Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger, or in the interests of National Security; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, unless such person is to be tried in a different court; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, unless the prosecuting attorney is really cleaver, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, unless the Internal Revenue Service shall be involved, or in the interests of National Security; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation, excepting in cases that shall arise in which corporations shall have subverted public bodies of government to serve their own interests in condemning said private property.

Sixth Amendment – In some criminal prosecutions, the accused might enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and possibly to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; perhaps to be confronted with the witnesses against him; maybe to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and sometimes to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Seventh Amendment – In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial 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 the common law, even if such facts were perjured, inaccurate, or invented.

Eighth Amendment – Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, except in cases deemed to be involving National Security.

Ninth Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, but such rights shall be denied and disparaged through acts of Congress or proceedings of the Supreme Court.

Tenth Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are nevertheless reserved to the United States.

Thirteenth Amendment – 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction, save when persons shall be subjected to debt slavery or wage slavery.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Fourteenth Amendment – 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, unless said person be a human being; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, unless said person be a human being; that corporations, being repositories of great wealth, shall not be limited in their use of said wealth, and that they shall have unfettered access to parties in government and unlimited access to the press for the furtherance of their views.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the inhabitants of such State, being eighteen years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State; but should the right to vote of said persons be minimized or neutralized through the manipulation and machination of law, the basis of representation therein shall not be reduced.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability, which means this section has little real value.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned, in particular by the citizens of the United States who shall pay this public debt with their several taxes. The United States shall assume and pay any debt or obligation incurred in reckless speculation and mismanagement by corporations deemed by Congress or the President to be too big to fail. All such debts, obligations and claims shall be held legal and to be the obligations of the citizens of the United States, excepting those citizens possessed of sufficient means to persuade Congress to exempt them from taxation and other payments to the United States.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Fifteenth Amendment – 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, unless said citizens are deemed to be likely to vote in favor of a person, party, or proposition not amenable to the persons in government at the time.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

3 thoughts on “The Bill of Rights and Civil War Amendments, 2012 Version

  1. LEJ

    While I like your writing, this piece got a bit repetitive. I think it would have been a bit more powerful (even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything) if you had been a bit more selective in which ones to rewrite.

  2. deanwebb Post author

    Thing is, I rewrote the ones the government rewrote. I do see it as an exercise in exhaustion. It is a beatdown precisely because the government has not been selective in its undermining of the rights we thought we had.

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