Repealer Amendment

John Bickers bickersj1 at
Fri Sep 17 21:07:23 PDT 2010

Although there is much appeal for me in some of what Professor Lichtman writes, this seems as good a place as any to insert a concern I have had with this discussion.  
We keep talking about the Framers, and their view of federal-state relations.  Professor Lichtman asks us to be a little humbler about what we "know," and I admire his observation.  But I have another.
Should we care?

Did anything happen in our nation between the Aprils of 1861 and 1865?  If so, did we alter our Constitution to reflect those events?
As the Framers of 1787 gave us an amendment process, don't the amendments (even the newly-chastised XVII (which, I confess, I really don't understand the hostility to) count just the same as the original document (or more, as they are later)?
John Bickers
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Northern Kentucky University


From: conlawprof-bounces at on behalf of Lichtman, Steven
Sent: Fri 9/17/2010 10:58 PM
To: conlawprof at
Subject: RE: Repealer Amendment

"The TPM is about turning the clock back to living within our means, both in the public and in the private sector, and returning to original understanding on governmental powers ..."
Not to get all Herbert Croly on you, but if you really want an original understanding of the relationship between governmental powers and individual rights, try the Declaration of Independence: "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men."
My point ... the truly irksome thing about the Tea Party movement is its spectacularly arrogant insistence that THEY KNOW what the Constitution "really" means about the federal-state relationship.  
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