Constitutional Amendment 21

Closely tied to the Eighteenth Amendment (because it repeals it) the Twenty-First Amendment serves to validate the value and proper use of the amendment process.

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Because government justly derives its power from the consent of the governed, and because the will of the majority cannot ultimately be held in check by a rule (no matter how good the rule) unless the majority choose to abide by that rule (thus giving their consent), the 18th and 21st amendments demonstrate that the high barrier of creating a Constitutional Amendment can be used to remove rights and grand government new restrictive powers but that leaving that possibility open is reasonable because it can also be used to undo previous poor decisions when the people change their stance on an issue that should never have been addressed in the Constitution.

The amendment process is powerful and should be used carefully, but it has been established precisely so that we have the possibility of making fundamental changes (when so desired by a large majority of the people at any given time) in a way that is essentially peaceful. There is no way to grant a power while guaranteeing that it can never be abused, but the amendment process does of good job of making it difficult to abuse the power while leaving the people ultimately sovereign over their government (if they will insists upon holding their government in line with their Constitution).

2 comments for “Constitutional Amendment 21

  1. August 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    David… I really need you to make an occasional, non-political comment. It can be anything else, as long as it proves you're not being held against your will in the basement of a law library.

  2. August 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    So you're saying that I need to have Facebook read my other blog feed? (For some reason Facebook will not allow me to link to more than one feed.)BTW – if I were in the basement of the law library it would not be against my will.

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