Friday, January 4, 2013

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Here are a few new Constitutional Amendments I would like to see:

  • The Taxation Legislation Expiration Requirement Amendment
  • The Federal Commerce Regulatory Authority Amendment
  • The Tax Injunction Amendment

I'm not proposing these exact titles, or even this particular wording, just these ideas.


The Taxation Legislation Expiration Requirement Amendment

·         All tax legislation must have sunset clauses, with a maximum lifespan of up to four years, upon which the applicable tax rate becomes zero if the legislation is not renewed or replaced.
o   Expiring tax rates shall not revert to a prior non-zero rate, the principles being here that if there is no current tax law there can be no current tax, and that the definition of “current” requires that a law be actively reviewed, renewed, and maintained.
·         Tax laws may be renewed without modification or amendment one time only, with the duration of the renewal to last no longer than the lifespan defined in the original legislation, up to four years. 
o   A modified or amended tax law shall be considered as entirely new tax legislation.
·         New taxation legislation may have a delayed implementation date of up to two years from passage while retaining a maximum lifespan of up to four years.  All tax laws thus expire a maximum of six years after they are signed into law.
·         Implementation of new taxation legislation may be delayed beyond two years from its passage, however doing so shortens its maximum allowable lifespan as all tax laws shall expire a maximum of six years after they are signed into law.

The Federal Commerce Regulatory Authority Amendment

·         Clarifies the interstate regulatory authority of the “Commerce Clause” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).
·         Restricts the Federal Government to the regulatory powers as they were understood at the time of the Constitution’s ratification
o   Specifically, the power to regulate commerce “among the several States” was given to the Federal Government to prevent the States from enacting tariffs between/against each other.
o   Clarifies, and enumerates (limits) the interactions between the “Commerce Clause” and the “Necessary and Proper Clause” (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18).
·         Specifically overturns “Wickard v. Filburn”
o   Specifically clarifies that just because “something” (e.g. a State law, a personal or corporate action, the existence of a commodity, etc.) impacts or may impact interstate commerce, that impact alone does not automatically bring it under the federal regulatory umbrella of “interstate commerce”. 
·         Specifically defines “commerce” as being “transactional” under Federal Law, so that where there is no actual commercial transaction that can be identified, there is therefore no commerce to be regulated.  
o    Prohibits defining “negative engagement” as commerce, so that "choosing not to engage in commerce" cannot be considered a commercial decision for regulatory purposes, no matter that decision's impact upon existing or future commerce.
o   Overrules and rebukes those courts which held “the act of choosing not to engage in interstate commerce” was itself a commercial decision and thus fell under the federal regulatory authority.
o   Specifically overturns the Affordable Healthcare Act’s individual mandate on these grounds, and states that the Supreme Court erred in redefining the individual mandate as a tax, as:
§  Only Congress can pass tax legislation and expressly did not do so in that case.
§  Redefining the individual mandate as a tax violates both the "Apportionment of Representatives and Taxes Clause" (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3) and the "Taxing and Spending Clause" (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1).

The Tax Injunction Amendment

·         Adds “Constitutional challenges” to the list of limited exceptions to the "Anti-Injunction Act" (26 U.S.C. § 7421(a)), wherein a court may entertain pre-enforcement suits brought with the purpose of “restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.”
o   Allows such Constitutional challenges to be filed by the States, as well as individuals, organizations, and companies (corporations and other legal business arrangements classified as “legal persons”).


  1. Wow. Hunter, do you think this deeply all of the time? Impressive. Are you a lawyer?

  2. Thanks! I'm sorry to say that the answer to your first question is "no", but I'm very pleased to say the answer to your second question is also "no".

    My father was a very good lawyer, and that's as close as I care to get to the profession.

  3. I'm happy that both of your answers were no. :) I certainly am grateful for the time you put into your posts. I really enjoy them.

  4. Whats a good lawyer?

    I would have thought that was like good cancer...

    1. I'm thinking someone like Atticus Finch. Uncommon, but good.

    2. Hey, he had much the same opinion of lawyers in general, although he'd admit there ARE a few good ones out there. THOSE he made his partners.

      Plus he was a 3-time (possibly 5-time - I feel like I'm forgetting some) cancer survivor, and was cancer free when he passed away, so while I wouldn't call them "good", at least those cancers were not "too bad".

      My point being, I think, is that while good lawyers might not be as rare good cancers, they're probably as plentiful as "not that bad" cancers.

      See? I proved I'm not always a deep thinker!
      That analogy stank!

  5. Excellent piece as usual, Hunter! I am fully behind these new proposed amendments!!

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  7. We should flat-out repeal the Interstate Commerce Clause. Article 1 Section 10 already says: "No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports". Don't clarify it, fix it.

    And then repeal the ambiguous General Welfare Clause, which sways less-studied people to employ the federal government in entirely un-federal matters.

    What would then remain for the federal government to place the weight of their abuses upon? Very little.