Category Archives: Amendments
Articles about the Amendments to the US Constitution
In the economic doldrums of the late 1970s, the State of Michigan hit on an idea to take over some land it liked and build a car plant which would create jobs and economic benefit. The people who owned the land weren’t all that thrilled about the idea, nevertheless, the state persisted. Eventually, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that the taking was a legitimate use of eminent domain for economic benefit. Thirty-seven years later, it didn’t turn out to be such a great idea.
The State of Indiana argued yesterday that seizing a person’s car for doing 5mph over the speed limit was not an “excessive fine.” Seriously. That’s not a joke. They really argued that. The Supreme Court didn’t think that it was funny.
The Supreme Court will hear the Bladensburg Cross case after the 4th Circuit ruled that public expenditures used to maintain the monument violated the 1st Amendment prohibition against the establishment of religion by the Government. It is always a touchy subject, and the debates are always passionate. From Bladensburg to Texas to San Diego, the debate rages as to what exactly constitutes “establishment” and whether or not the long history of various monuments has any sway in the question of the monument’s status.
Like most things, it’s not as simple as it seems. Nor is the hyperbole – on both sides – helping to sort through the real issues.
In recent days, we have watched the debate over the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice. While the debate rages around things such as abortion, gay rights, women’s rights, and so forth, the single fact remains that these things are rarely the meat and potatoes of what the Supreme Court does. Almost never are those things noticed until after the fact. indeed, very few (if any) questions of any nominee relate to them or to the understanding of how those things might end up affecting our day to day lives. Read the rest of this entry