Bad news, everyone!
It turns out that due to its massive war debt at the end of its revolutionary war, the United States was unable to pay to own outright all future amendments to its Constitution. Instead, all Constitutional amendments were actually leased with an option to buy at a later date. Sadly, that date is April 1, 2013.
Due to the sluggish economy and debt ceiling (thanks a lot, Obama!), it turns out we can only afford to purchase five of our current amendments at this time; the rest are being repossessed by the Dutch.
Under the terms of the original lease agreement, we will be unable to add any additional amendments for the next 100 years; this includes re-instituting any of the amendments that are repossessed. Of course, all case law that is based on repossessed amendments will be considered void to the extent that rulings were made on said amendments. Come April 1, citizens, corporations, and government bodies will be allowed to operate and legislate free from the restrictions these amendments currently provide.
As conservative talk show hosts like to constantly remind us, a nation of 300 million should be run exactly like an American nuclear family sitting down with a checkbook at its kitchen table – and so now we have to make some hard budgeting choices. And therein lies this week’s Thursday Night Bar Fight quandary:
Which of the five amendments to the Constitution should we keep, and why?
When making these choices, I ask you to consider the following:
Which amendments are really the most important to you?
Which amendments are less necessary now due to cultural shifts that have occurred since they were adopted?
Which amendments might you think a mistake, either outright or in their scope or wording – and therefore might be well served by redoing in 100 years?
You can find a quick reference of all of the amendments here.