It has occurred to me that the entire rigmarole of writing and enacting legislation which overlaps or repeats itself goes back to reconstruction. Beyond reconstruction, sure, but for this post let's stop there.
When I see politicians and their fourth estate sycophants addressing a texting while driving law, after a cell phone while driving law, after a perfectly adequate for these purposes while much further reaching than reasonable driving while distracted law, I become fed up and disgusted.
Enter the 14th amendment.
While complicated, may I, and correct me please, suggest that the states signed on to a constitution which they routinely violated. No surprise there. Precisely why the bill of rights are "amendments". Folks wouldn't sign on until they had put the obvious into the contract. They didn't buy the assurances that such simple notions were guaranteed. Their fears were immediately confirmed.
Enter the civil war and it's aftermath.
States were enacting legislation in clear violation of the constitution.
Federal areas, to put it crudely, could not violate the constitution, but states could?
This loose framework of separate states had such independent latitude that they could ignore the constitution based on local majorities and the caprices of local legislative bodies?
So, instead of simply applying the constitution which prevailed over local construction, even before reconstruction, folks, politicians, were presented with some manner of difficulty and political opportunity which they utilized to gain personal notoriety and political capital.
Those opposed to such practices eventually passed a constitutional amendment which did not secure or enhance freedoms or processes which were not clearly available through enforcing existing frameworks and which have subsequently cluster fucked, with frightening Byzantine legal avenues and potential for unintended consequences, our previously plainly delineated liberties and rights.
What were the local elections like up north?
Clearly they asserted that they needed to change the constitution in order to make the constitution valid.
The same political garbage we see today.
I will reread this tomorrow as I can't see through my contacts. Maybe I am just ignorant.
Further reading with clear eyes is in order.
(Update: rereading now. Very complicated matters but essentially the constitution...well...
It endows us with no right whatsoever. We have those rights. They may be denied us by abusive governance or policing or what have you, but they are ours by virtue of being here alive.)
Here is a nice quote from this weeks proceedings regarding Chicago and gun rights:
Gura---"Justice Sotomayor, States may have grown accustomed to violating the rights of American citizens, but that does not bootstrap those violations into something that is constitutional."
Here is a lovely SCOTUS roundup.
Perhaps Cruikshank is better.
How can anyone--oh, these are lawyers---but how can anyone not understand that rights are not granted. They are.
How can anyone disagree with this:
"And a second piece at Balkinization today argues that instead of overturning the Slaughter-House Cases, as the petitioners suggested, the Court should overturn its 1875 decision in United States v. Cruikshank, which held that the Bill of Rights did not “grant” most rights, but instead “secured” them against government interference."
Slaughterhouse and privileges and immunities and due process and arrghhh...what about don't tread on me?
If one wishes it is interesting to read:
and on and on for a lifetime...