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Tag Archives: speaker
Posted: December 4, 2016 at 11:25 pm
Three weeks ago, around a quarter of the American population elected a demagogue with no prior experience in public service to the presidency. In the eyes of many of his supporters, this lack of preparation was not a liability, but a strength. Donald Trump had run as a candidate whose primary qualification was that he was not a politician. Depicting yourself as a maverick or an outsider crusading against a corrupt Washington establishment is the oldest trick in American politics but Trump took things further. He broke countless unspoken rules regarding what public figures can or cannot do and say.
Every demagogue needs an enemy. Trumps was the ruling elite, and his charge was that they were not only failing to solve the greatest problems facing Americans, they were trying to stop anyone from even talking about those problems. The special interests, the arrogant media, and the political insiders, dont want me to talk about the crime that is happening in our country, Trump said in one late September speech. They want me to just go along with the same failed policies that have caused so much needless suffering.
Trump claimed that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were willing to let ordinary Americans suffer because their first priority was political correctness. They have put political correctness above common sense, above your safety, and above all else, Trump declared after a Muslim gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. I refuse to be politically correct. What liberals might have seen as language changing to reflect an increasingly diverse society in which citizens attempt to avoid giving needless offence to one another Trump saw a conspiracy.
Throughout an erratic campaign, Trump consistently blasted political correctness, blaming it for an extraordinary range of ills and using the phrase to deflect any and every criticism. During the first debate of the Republican primaries, Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked Trump how he would answer the charge that he was part of the war on women.
Youve called women you dont like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals, Kelly pointed out. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees
I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct, Trump answered, to audience applause. Ive been challenged by so many people, I dont frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesnt have time either.
Trump used the same defence when critics raised questions about his statements on immigration. In June 2015, after Trump referred to Mexicans as rapists, NBC, the network that aired his reality show The Apprentice, announced that it was ending its relationship with him. Trumps team retorted that, NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct.
In August 2016, after saying that the US district judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego was unfit to preside over the lawsuit against Trump Universities because he was Mexican American and therefore likely to be biased against him, Trump told CBS News that this was common sense. He continued: We have to stop being so politically correct in this country. During the second presidential debate, Trump answered a question about his proposed ban on Muslims by stating: We could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem.
Trump and his followers never defined ‘political correctness, or specified who was enforcing it. They did not have to
Every time Trump said something outrageous commentators suggested he had finally crossed a line and that his campaign was now doomed. But time and again, Trump supporters made it clear that they liked him because he wasnt afraid to say what he thought. Fans praised the way Trump talked much more often than they mentioned his policy proposals. He tells it like it is, they said. He speaks his mind. He is not politically correct.
Trump and his followers never defined political correctness, or specified who was enforcing it. They did not have to. The phrase conjured powerful forces determined to suppress inconvenient truths by policing language.
There is an obvious contradiction involved in complaining at length, to an audience of hundreds of millions of people, that you are being silenced. But this idea that there is a set of powerful, unnamed actors, who are trying to control everything you do, right down to the words you use is trending globally right now. Britains rightwing tabloids issue frequent denunciations of political correctness gone mad and rail against the smug hypocrisy of the metropolitan elite. In Germany, conservative journalists and politicians are making similar complaints: after the assaults on women in Cologne last New Years Eve, for instance, the chief of police Rainer Wendt said that leftists pressuring officers to be politisch korrekt had prevented them from doing their jobs. In France, Marine Le Pen of the Front National has condemned more traditional conservatives as paralysed by their fear of confronting political correctness.
Trumps incessant repetition of the phrase has led many writers since the election to argue that the secret to his victory was a backlash against excessive political correctness. Some have argued that Hillary Clinton failed because she was too invested in that close relative of political correctness, identity politics. But upon closer examination, political correctness becomes an impossibly slippery concept. The term is what Ancient Greek rhetoricians would have called an exonym: a term for another group, which signals that the speaker does not belong to it. Nobody ever describes themselves as politically correct. The phrase is only ever an accusation.
If you say that something is technically correct, you are suggesting that it is wrong the adverb before correct implies a but. However, to say that a statement is politically correct hints at something more insidious. Namely, that the speaker is acting in bad faith. He or she has ulterior motives, and is hiding the truth in order to advance an agenda or to signal moral superiority. To say that someone is being politically correct discredits them twice. First, they are wrong. Second, and more damningly, they know it.
If you go looking for the origins of the phrase, it becomes clear that there is no neat history of political correctness. There have only been campaigns against something called political correctness. For 25 years, invoking this vague and ever-shifting enemy has been a favourite tactic of the right. Opposition to political correctness has proved itself a highly effective form of crypto-politics. It transforms the political landscape by acting as if it is not political at all. Trump is the deftest practitioner of this strategy yet.
Most Americans had never heard the phrase politically correct before 1990, when a wave of stories began to appear in newspapers and magazines. One of the first and most influential was published in October 1990 by the New York Times reporter Richard Bernstein, who warned under the headline The Rising Hegemony of the Politically Correct that the countrys universities were threatened by a growing intolerance, a closing of debate, a pressure to conform.
Bernstein had recently returned from Berkeley, where he had been reporting on student activism. He wrote that there was an unofficial ideology of the university, according to which a cluster of opinions about race, ecology, feminism, culture and foreign policy defines a kind of correct attitude toward the problems of the world. For instance, Biodegradable garbage bags get the PC seal of approval. Exxon does not.
Bernsteins alarming dispatch in Americas paper of record set off a chain reaction, as one mainstream publication after another rushed to denounce this new trend. The following month, the Wall Street Journal columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz decried the brave new world of ideological zealotry at American universities. In December, the cover of Newsweek with a circulation of more than 3 million featured the headline THOUGHT POLICE and yet another ominous warning: Theres a politically correct way to talk about race, sex and ideas. Is this the New Enlightenment or the New McCarthyism? A similar story graced the cover of New York magazine in January 1991 inside, the magazine proclaimed that The New Fascists were taking over universities. In April, Time magazine reported on a new intolerance that was on the rise across campuses nationwide.
If you search ProQuest, a digital database of US magazines and newspapers, you find that the phrase politically correct rarely appeared before 1990. That year, it turned up more than 700 times. In 1991, there are more than 2,500 instances. In 1992, it appeared more than 2,800 times. Like Indiana Jones movies, these pieces called up enemies from a melange of old wars: they compared the thought police spreading terror on university campuses to fascists, Stalinists, McCarthyites, Hitler Youth, Christian fundamentalists, Maoists and Marxists.
Many of these articles recycled the same stories of campus controversies from a handful of elite universities, often exaggerated or stripped of context. The New York magazine cover story opened with an account of a Harvard history professor, Stephan Thernstrom, being attacked by overzealous students who felt he had been racially insensitive: Whenever he walked through the campus that spring, down Harvards brick paths, under the arched gates, past the fluttering elms, he found it hard not to imagine the pointing fingers, the whispers. Racist. There goes the racist. It was hellish, this persecution.
In an interview that appeared soon afterwards in The Nation, Thernstrom said the harassment described in the New York article had never happened. There had been one editorial in the Harvard Crimson student newspaper criticising his decision to read extensively from the diaries of plantation owners in his lectures. But the description of his harried state was pure artistic licence. No matter: the image of college students conducting witch hunts stuck. When Richard Bernstein published a book based on his New York Times reporting on political correctness, he called it Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for Americas Future a title alluding to the Jacobins of the French Revolution. In the book he compared American college campuses to France during the Reign of Terror, during which tens of thousands of people were executed within months.
None of the stories that introduced the menace of political correctness could pinpoint where or when it had begun. Nor were they very precise when they explained the origins of the phrase itself. Journalists frequently mentioned the Soviets Bernstein observed that the phrase smacks of Stalinist orthodoxy but there is no exact equivalent in Russian. (The closest would be ideinost, which translates as ideological correctness. But that word has nothing to do with disadvantaged people or minorities.) The intellectual historian LD Burnett has found scattered examples of doctrines or people being described as politically correct in American communist publications from the 1930s usually, she says, in a tone of mockery.
The phrase came into more widespread use in American leftist circles in the 1960s and 1970s most likely as an ironic borrowing from Mao, who delivered a famous speech in 1957 that was translated into English with the title On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.
Until the late 1980s, ‘political correctness’ was used exclusively within the left, and almost always ironically
Ruth Perry, a literature professor at MIT who was active in the feminist and civil rights movements, says that many radicals were reading the Little Red Book in the late 1960s and 1970s, and surmises that her friends may have picked up the adjective correct there. But they didnt use it in the way Mao did. Politically correct became a kind of in-joke among American leftists something you called a fellow leftist when you thought he or she was being self-righteous. The term was always used ironically, Perry says, always calling attention to possible dogmatism.
In 1970, the African-American author and activist Toni Cade Bambara, used the phrase in an essay about strains on gender relations within her community. No matter how politically correct her male friends thought they were being, she wrote many of them were failing to recognise the plight of black women.
Until the late 1980s, political correctness was used exclusively within the left, and almost always ironically as a critique of excessive orthodoxy. In fact, some of the first people to organise against political correctness were a group of feminists who called themselves the Lesbian Sex Mafia. In 1982, they held a Speakout on Politically Incorrect Sex at a theatre in New Yorks East Village a rally against fellow feminists who had condemned pornography and BDSM. Over 400 women attended, many of them wearing leather and collars, brandishing nipple clamps and dildos. The writer and activist Mirtha Quintanales summed up the mood when she told the audience, We need to have dialogues about S&M issues, not about what is politically correct, politically incorrect.
By the end of the 1980s, Jeff Chang, the journalist and hip-hop critic, who has written extensively on race and social justice, recalls that the activists he knew then in the Bay Area used the phrase in a jokey way a way for one sectarian to dismiss another sectarians line.
But soon enough, the term was rebranded by the right, who turned its meaning inside out. All of a sudden, instead of being a phrase that leftists used to check dogmatic tendencies within their movement, political correctness became a talking point for neoconservatives. They said that PC constituted a leftwing political programme that was seizing control of American universities and cultural institutions and they were determined to stop it.
The right had been waging a campaign against liberal academics for more than a decade. Starting in the mid-1970s, a handful of conservative donors had funded the creation of dozens of new thinktanks and training institutes offering programmes in everything from leadership to broadcast journalism to direct-mail fundraising. They had endowed fellowships for conservative graduate students, postdoctoral positions and professorships at prestigious universities. Their stated goal was to challenge what they saw as the dominance of liberalism and attack left-leaning tendencies within the academy.
Starting in the late 1980s, this well-funded conservative movement entered the mainstream with a series of improbable bestsellers that took aim at American higher education. The first, by the University of Chicago philosophy professor Allan Bloom, came out in 1987. For hundreds of pages, The Closing of the American Mind argued that colleges were embracing a shallow cultural relativism and abandoning long-established disciplines and standards in an attempt to appear liberal and to pander to their students. It sold more than 500,000 copies and inspired numerous imitations.
In April 1990, Roger Kimball, an editor at the conservative journal, The New Criterion, published Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted our Higher Education. Like Bloom, Kimball argued that an assault on the canon was taking place and that a politics of victimhood had paralysed universities. As evidence, he cited the existence of departments such as African American studies and womens studies. He scornfully quoted the titles of papers he had heard at academic conferences, such as Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl or The Lesbian Phallus: Does Heterosexuality Exist?
In June 1991, the young Dinesh DSouza followed Bloom and Kimball with Illiberal Education: the Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. Whereas Bloom had bemoaned the rise of relativism and Kimball had attacked what he called liberal fascism, and what he considered frivolous lines of scholarly inquiry, DSouza argued that admissions policies that took race into consideration were producing a new segregation on campus and an attack on academic standards. The Atlantic printed a 12,000 word excerpt as its June cover story. To coincide with the release, Forbes ran another article by DSouza with the title: Visigoths in Tweed.
These books did not emphasise the phrase political correctness, and only DSouza used the phrase directly. But all three came to be regularly cited in the flood of anti-PC articles that appeared in venues such as the New York Times and Newsweek. When they did, the authors were cited as neutral authorities. Countless articles uncritically repeated their arguments.
In some respects, these books and articles were responding to genuine changes taking place within academia. It is true that scholars had become increasingly sceptical about whether it was possible to talk about timeless, universal truths that lay beyond language and representation. European theorists who became influential in US humanities departments during the 1970s and 1980s argued that individual experience was shaped by systems of which the individual might not be aware and particularly by language. Michel Foucault, for instance, argued that all knowledge expressed historically specific forms of power. Jacques Derrida, a frequent target of conservative critics, practised what he called deconstruction, rereading the classics of philosophy in order to show that even the most seemingly innocent and straightforward categories were riven with internal contradictions. The value of ideals such as humanity or liberty could not be taken for granted.
It was also true that many universities were creating new studies departments, which interrogated the experiences, and emphasised the cultural contributions of groups that had previously been excluded from the academy and from the canon: queer people, people of colour and women. This was not so strange. These departments reflected new social realities. The demographics of college students were changing, because the demographics of the United States were changing. By 1990, only two-thirds of Americans under 18 were white. In California, the freshman classes at many public universities were majority minority, or more than 50% non-white. Changes to undergraduate curriculums reflected changes in the student population.
The responses that the conservative bestsellers offered to the changes they described were disproportionate and often misleading. For instance, Bloom complained at length about the militancy of African American students at Cornell University, where he had taught in the 1960s. He never mentioned what students demanding the creation of African American studies were responding to: the biggest protest at Cornell took place in 1969 after a cross burning on campus, an open KKK threat. (An arsonist burned down the Africana Studies Center, founded in response to these protests, in 1970.)
More than any particular obfuscation or omission, the most misleading aspect of these books was the way they claimed that only their adversaries were political. Bloom, Kimball, and DSouza claimed that they wanted to preserve the humanistic tradition, as if their academic foes were vandalising a canon that had been enshrined since time immemorial. But canons and curriculums have always been in flux; even in white Anglo-America there has never been any one stable tradition. Moby Dick was dismissed as Herman Melvilles worst book until the mid-1920s. Many universities had only begun offering literature courses in living languages a decade or so before that.
In truth, these crusaders against political correctness were every bit as political as their opponents. As Jane Mayer documents in her book, Dark Money: the Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Bloom and DSouza were funded by networks of conservative donors particularly the Koch, Olin and Scaife families who had spent the 1980s building programmes that they hoped would create a new counter-intelligentsia. (The New Criterion, where Kimball worked, was also funded by the Olin and Scaife Foundations.) In his 1978 book A Time for Truth, William Simon, the president of the Olin Foundation, had called on conservatives to fund intellectuals who shared their views: They must be given grants, grants, and more grants in exchange for books, books, and more books.
These skirmishes over syllabuses were part of a broader political programme and they became instrumental to forging a new alliance for conservative politics in America, between white working-class voters and small business owners, and politicians with corporate agendas that held very little benefit for those people.
By making fun of professors who spoke in language that most people considered incomprehensible (The Lesbian Phallus), wealthy Ivy League graduates could pose as anti-elite. By mocking courses on writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, they made a racial appeal to white people who felt as if they were losing their country. As the 1990s wore on, because multiculturalism was associated with globalisation the force that was taking away so many jobs traditionally held by white working-class people attacking it allowed conservatives to displace responsibility for the hardship that many of their constituents were facing. It was not the slashing of social services, lowered taxes, union busting or outsourcing that was the cause of their problems. It was those foreign others.
PC was a useful invention for the Republican right because it helped the movement to drive a wedge between working-class people and the Democrats who claimed to speak for them. Political correctness became a term used to drum into the public imagination the idea that there was a deep divide between the ordinary people and the liberal elite, who sought to control the speech and thoughts of regular folk. Opposition to political correctness also became a way to rebrand racism in ways that were politically acceptable in the post-civil-rights era.
Soon, Republican politicians were echoing on the national stage the message that had been product-tested in the academy. In May 1991, President George HW Bush gave a commencement speech at the University of Michigan. In it, he identified political correctness as a major danger to America. Ironically, on the 200th anniversary of our Bill of Rights, we find free speech under assault throughout the United States, Bush said. The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land, but, he warned, In their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behaviour crush diversity in the name of diversity.
After 2001, debates about political correctness faded from public view, replaced by arguments about Islam and terrorism. But in the final years of the Obama presidency, political correctness made a comeback. Or rather, anti-political-correctness did.
As Black Lives Matter and movements against sexual violence gained strength, a spate of thinkpieces attacked the participants in these movements, criticising and trivialising them by saying that they were obsessed with policing speech. Once again, the conversation initially focused on universities, but the buzzwords were new. Rather than difference and multiculturalism, Americans in 2012 and 2013 started hearing about trigger warnings, safe spaces, microaggressions, privilege and cultural appropriation.
This time, students received more scorn than professors. If the first round of anti-political-correctness evoked the spectres of totalitarian regimes, the more recent revival has appealed to the commonplace that millennials are spoiled narcissists, who want to prevent anyone expressing opinions that they happen to find offensive.
In January 2015, the writer Jonathan Chait published one of the first new, high-profile anti-PC thinkpieces in New York magazine. Not a Very PC Thing to Say followed the blueprint provided by the anti-PC thinkpieces that the New York Times, Newsweek, and indeed New York magazine had published in the early 1990s. Like the New York article from 1991, it began with an anecdote set on campus that supposedly demonstrated that political correctness had run amok, and then extrapolated from this incident to a broad generalisation. In 1991, John Taylor wrote: The new fundamentalism has concocted a rationale for dismissing all dissent. In 2015, Jonathan Chait claimed that there were once again angry mobs out to crush opposing ideas.
Chait warned that the dangers of PC had become greater than ever before. Political correctness was no longer confined to universities now, he argued, it had taken over social media and thus attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old. (As evidence of the hegemonic influence enjoyed by unnamed actors on the left, Chait cited two female journalists saying that they had been criticised by leftists on Twitter.)
Chaits article launched a spate of replies about campus and social media cry bullies. On the cover of their September 2015 issue, the Atlantic published an article by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. The title, The Coddling Of the American Mind, nodded to the godfather of anti-PC, Allan Bloom. (Lukianoff is the head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, another organisation funded by the Olin and Scaife families.) In the name of emotional wellbeing, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they dont like, the article announced. It was shared over 500,000 times.
The climate of digital journalism and social media sharing enabled the anti-political-correctness stories to spread
These pieces committed many of the same fallacies that their predecessors from the 1990s had. They cherry-picked anecdotes and caricatured the subjects of their criticism. They complained that other people were creating and enforcing speech codes, while at the same time attempting to enforce their own speech codes. Their writers designated themselves the arbiters of what conversations or political demands deserved to be taken seriously, and which did not. They contradicted themselves in the same way: their authors continually complained, in highly visible publications, that they were being silenced.
The climate of digital journalism and social media sharing enabled the anti-political-correctness (and anti-anti-political correctness) stories to spread even further and faster than they had in the 1990s. Anti-PC and anti-anti-PC stories come cheap: because they concern identity, they are something that any writer can have a take on, based on his or her experiences, whether or not he or she has the time or resources to report. They are also perfect clickbait. They inspire outrage, or outrage at the outrage of others.
Meanwhile, a strange convergence was taking place. While Chait and his fellow liberals decried political correctness, Donald Trump and his followers were doing the same thing. Chait said that leftists were perverting liberalism and appointed himself the defender of a liberal centre; Trump said that liberal media had the system rigged.
The anti-PC liberals were so focused on leftists on Twitter that for months they gravely underestimated the seriousness of the real threat to liberal discourse. It was not coming from women, people of colour, or queer people organising for their civil rights, on campus or elsewhere. It was coming from @realdonaldtrump, neo-Nazis, and far-right websites such as Breitbart.
The original critics of PC were academics or shadow-academics, Ivy League graduates who went around in bow ties quoting Plato and Matthew Arnold. It is hard to imagine Trump quoting Plato or Matthew Arnold, much less carping about the titles of conference papers by literature academics. During his campaign, the network of donors who funded decades of anti-PC activity the Kochs, the Olins, the Scaifes shunned Trump, citing concerns about the populist promises he was making. Trump came from a different milieu: not Yale or the University of Chicago, but reality television. And he was picking different fights, targeting the media and political establishment, rather than academia.
As a candidate, Trump inaugurated a new phase of anti-political-correctness. What was remarkable was just how many different ways Trump deployed this tactic to his advantage, both exploiting the tried-and-tested methods of the early 1990s and adding his own innovations.
First, by talking incessantly about political correctness, Trump established the myth that he had dishonest and powerful enemies who wanted to prevent him from taking on the difficult challenges facing the nation. By claiming that he was being silenced, he created a drama in which he could play the hero. The notion that Trump was both persecuted and heroic was crucial to his emotional appeal. It allowed people who were struggling economically or angry about the way society was changing to see themselves in him, battling against a rigged system that made them feel powerless and devalued. At the same time, Trumps swagger promised that they were strong and entitled to glory. They were great and would be great again.
Second, Trump did not simply criticise the idea of political correctness he actually said and did the kind of outrageous things that PC culture supposedly prohibited. The first wave of conservative critics of political correctness claimed they were defending the status quo, but Trumps mission was to destroy it. In 1991, when George HW Bush warned that political correctness was a threat to free speech, he did not choose to exercise his free speech rights by publicly mocking a man with a disability or characterising Mexican immigrants as rapists. Trump did. Having elevated the powers of PC to mythic status, the draft-dodging billionaire, son of a slumlord, taunted the parents of a fallen soldier and claimed that his cruelty and malice was, in fact, courage.
This willingness to be more outrageous than any previous candidate ensured non-stop media coverage, which in turn helped Trump attract supporters who agreed with what he was saying. We should not underestimate how many Trump supporters held views that were sexist, racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic, and were thrilled to feel that he had given them permission to say so. Its an old trick: the powerful encourage the less powerful to vent their rage against those who might have been their allies, and to delude themselves into thinking that they have been liberated. It costs the powerful nothing; it pays frightful dividends.
Trump drew upon a classic element of anti-political-correctness by implying that while his opponents were operating according to a political agenda, he simply wanted to do what was sensible. He made numerous controversial policy proposals: deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the US, introducing stop-and-frisk policies that have been ruled unconstitutional. But by responding to critics with the accusation that they were simply being politically correct, Trump attempted to place these proposals beyond the realm of politics altogether. Something political is something that reasonable people might disagree about. By using the adjective as a put-down, Trump pretended that he was acting on truths so obvious that they lay beyond dispute. Thats just common sense.
The most alarming part of this approach is what it implies about Trumps attitude to politics more broadly. His contempt for political correctness looks a lot like contempt for politics itself. He does not talk about diplomacy; he talks about deals. Debate and disagreement are central to politics, yet Trump has made clear that he has no time for these distractions. To play the anti-political-correctness card in response to a legitimate question about policy is to shut down discussion in much the same way that opponents of political correctness have long accused liberals and leftists of doing. It is a way of sidestepping debate by declaring that the topic is so trivial or so contrary to common sense that it is pointless to discuss it. The impulse is authoritarian. And by presenting himself as the champion of common sense, Trump gives himself permission to bypass politics altogether.
Now that he is president-elect, it is unclear whether Trump meant many of the things he said during his campaign. But, so far, he is fulfilling his pledge to fight political correctness. Last week, he told the New York Times that he was trying to build an administration filled with the best people, though Not necessarily people that will be the most politically correct people, because that hasnt been working.
Trump has also continued to cry PC in response to criticism. When an interviewer from Politico asked a Trump transition team member why Trump was appointing so many lobbyists and political insiders, despite having pledged to drain the swamp of them, the source said that one of the most refreshing parts of the whole Trump style is that he does not care about political correctness. Apparently it would have been politically correct to hold him to his campaign promises.
As Trump prepares to enter the White House, many pundits have concluded that political correctness fuelled the populist backlash sweeping Europe and the US. The leaders of that backlash may say so. But the truth is the opposite: those leaders understood the power that anti-political-correctness has to rally a class of voters, largely white, who are disaffected with the status quo and resentful of shifting cultural and social norms. They were not reacting to the tyranny of political correctness, nor were they returning America to a previous phase of its history. They were not taking anything back. They were wielding anti-political-correctness as a weapon, using it to forge a new political landscape and a frightening future.
The opponents of political correctness always said they were crusaders against authoritarianism. In fact, anti-PC has paved the way for the populist authoritarianism now spreading everywhere. Trump is anti-political correctness gone mad.
Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.
Posted: at 11:02 am
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America
Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the several states, pursuant to the Fifth Article of the original Constitution fn1
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice- President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice- President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President–The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. p>
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Section. 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Sec. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Sec. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section. 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Sec. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Sec. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Sec. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Sec. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
Sec. 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.
Section. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Sec. 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.
Sec. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Section. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Sec. 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
Section. 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
Sec. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section. 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section. 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section. 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives has written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section. 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives has written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
This document is sponsored by the United States Senate on the United States Government Printing Office web site.
Footnotes 1 In Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Supreme Court stated that it would take judicial notice of the date on which a State ratified a proposed constitutional amendment. Accordingly the Court consulted the State journals to determine the dates on which each house of the legislature of certain States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment. It, therefore, follows that the date on which the governor approved the ratification, or the date on which the secretary of state of a given State certified the ratification, or the date on which the Secretary of State of the United States received a copy of said certificate, or the date on which he proclaimed that the amendment had been ratified are not controlling. Hence, the ratification date given in the following notes is the date on which the legislature of a given State approved the particular amendment (signature by the speaker or presiding officers of both houses being considered a part of the ratification of the ”legislature”). When that date is not available, the date given is that on which it was approved by the governor or certified by the secretary of state of the particular State. In each case such fact has been noted. Except as otherwise indicated information as to ratification is based on data supplied by the Department of State.
2 Brackets enclosing an amendment number indicate that the number was not specifically assigned in the resolution proposing the amendment. It will be seen, accordingly, that only the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Amendments were thus technically ratified by number. The first ten amendments along with two others that were not ratified were proposed by Congress on September 25, 1789, when they passed the Senate, having previously passed the House on September 24 (1 Annals of Congress 88, 913). They appear officially in 1 Stat. 97. Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791, when the eleventh State (Virginia) approved these amendments, there being then 14 States in the Union.
The several state legislatures ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution on the following dates: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 27, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; Virginia, December 15, 1791. The two amendments that then failed of ratification prescribed the ratio of representation to population in the House, and specified that no law varying the compensation of members of Congress should be effective until after an intervening election of Representatives. The first was ratified by ten States (one short of the requisite number) and the second, by six States; subsequently, this second proposal was taken up by the States in the period 1980-1992 and was proclaimed as ratified as of May 7, 1992. Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts ratified the first ten amendments in 1939.
3 The Eleventh Amendment was proposed by Congress on March 4, 1794, when it passed the House, 4 Annals of Congress 477, 478, having previously passed the Senate on January 14, Id., 30, 31. It appears officially in 1 Stat. 402. Ratification was completed on February 7, 1795, when the twelfth State (North Carolina) approved the amendment, there being then 15 States in the Union. Official announcement of ratification was not made until January 8, 1798, when President John Adams in a message to Congress stated that the Eleventh Amendment had been adopted by three-fourths of the States and that it ”may now be deemed to be a part of the Constitution.” In the interim South Carolina had ratified, and Tennessee had been admitted into the Union as the sixteenth State.
The several state legislatures ratified the Eleventh Amendment on the following dates: New York, March 27, 1794; Rhode Island, March 31, 1794; Connecticut, May 8, 1794; New Hampshire, June 16, 1794; Massachusetts, June 26, 1794; Vermont, between October 9 and November 9, 1794; Virginia, November 18, 1794; Georgia, November 29, 1794; Kentucky, December 7, 1794; Maryland, December 26, 1794; Delaware, January 23, 1795; North Carolina, February 7, 1795; South Carolina, December 4, 1797.
4 The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by Congress on December 9, 1803, when it passed the House, 13 Annals of Congress 775, 776, having previously passed the Senate on December 2. Id., 209. It was not signed by the presiding officers of the House and Senate until December 12. It appears officially in 2 Stat. 306. Ratification was probably completed on June 15, 1804, when the legislature of the thirteenth State (New Hampshire) approved the amendment, there being then 17 States in the Union. The Governor of New Hampshire, however, vetoed this act of the legislature on June 20, and the act failed to pass again by two- thirds vote then required by the state constitution. Inasmuch as Article V of the Federal Constitution specifies that amendments shall become effective ”when ratified by legislatures of three-fourths of the several States or by conventions in three-fourths thereof,” it has been generally believed that an approval or veto by a governor is without significance. If the ratification by New Hampshire be deemed ineffective, then the amendment became operative by Tennessee’s ratification on July 27, 1804. On September 25, 1804, in a circular letter to the Governors of the several States, Secretary of State Madison declared the amendment ratified by three-fourths of the States.
The several state legislatures ratified the Twelfth Amendment on the following dates: North Carolina, December 22, 1803; Maryland, December 24, 1803; Kentucky, December 27, 1803; Ohio, between December 5 and December 30, 1803; Virginia, between December 20, 1803 and February 3, 1804; Pennsylvania, January 5, 1804; Vermont, January 30, 1804; New York, February 10, 1804; New Jersey, February 22, 1804; Rhode Island, between February 27 and March 12, 1804; South Carolina, May 15, 1804; Georgia, May 19, 1804; New Hampshire, June 15, 1804; and Tennessee, July 27, 1804. The amendment was rejected by Delaware on January 18, 1804, and by Connecticut at its session begun May 10, 1804. Massachusetts ratified this amendment in 1961.
5 The Thirteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on January 31, 1865, when it passed the House, Cong. Globe (38th Cong., 2d Sess.) 531, having previously passed the Senate on April 8, 1964. Id. (38th cong., 1st Sess.), 1940. It appears officially in 13 Stat. 567 under the date of February 1, 1865. Ratification was completed on December 6, 1865, when the legislature of the twenty-seventh State (Georgia) approved the amendment, there being then 36 States in the Union. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State Seward certified that the Thirteenth Amendment had become a part of the Constitution, 13 Stat. 774.
The several state legislatures ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on the following dates: Illinois, February 1, 1865; Rhode Island, February 2, 1865; Michigan, February 2, 1865; Maryland, February 3, 1865; New York, February 3, 1865; West Virginia, February 3, 1865; Missouri, February 6, 1865; Maine, February 7, 1865; Kansas, February 7, 1865; Massachusetts, February 7, 1865; Pennsylvania, February 8, 1865; Virginia, February 9, 1865; Ohio, February 10, 1865; Louisiana, February 15 or 16, 1865; Indiana, February 16, 1865; Nevada, February 16, 1865; Minnesota, February 23, 1865; Wisconsin, February 24, 1865; Vermont, March 9, 1865 (date on which it was ”approved” by Governor); Tennessee, April 7, 1865; Arkansas, April 14, 1865; Connecticut, May 4, 1865; New Hampshire, June 30, 1865; South Carolina, November 13, 1865; Alabama, December 2, 1865 (date on which it was ”approved” by Provisional Governor); North Carolina, December 4, 1865; Georgia, December 6, 1865; Oregon, December 11, 1865; California, December 15, 1865; Florida, December 28, 1865 (Florida again ratified this amendment on June 9, 1868, upon its adoption of a new constitution); Iowa, January 17, 1866; New Jersey, January 23, 1866 (after having rejected the amendment on March 16, 1865); Texas, February 17, 1870; Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected the amendment on February 8, 1865). The amendment was rejected by Kentucky on February 24, 1865, and by Mississippi on December 2, 1865.
6 The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on June 13, 1866, when it passed the House, Cong. Globe (39th Cong., 1st Sess.) 3148, 3149, having previously passed the Senate on June 8. Id., 3042. It appears officially in 14 Stat. 358 under date of June 16, 1866. Ratification was probably completed on July 9, 1868, when the legislature of the twenty-eighth State (South Carolina or Louisiana) approved the amendment, there being then 37 States in the Union. However, Ohio and New Jersey had prior to that date ”withdrawn” their earlier assent to this amendment. Accordingly, Secretary of State Seward on July 20, 1868, certified that the amendment had become a part of the Constitution if the said withdrawals were ineffective. 15 Stat. 706-707. Congress on July 21, 1868, passed a joint resolution declaring the amendment a part of the Constitution and directing the Secretary to promulgate it as such. On July 28, 1868, Secretary Seward certified without reservation that the amendment was a part of the Constitution. In the interim, two other States, Alabama on July 13 and Georgia on July 21, 1868, had added their ratifications.
The several state legislatures ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on the following dates: Connecticut, June 30, 1866; New Hampshire, July 7, 1866; Tennessee, July 19, 1866; New Jersey, September 11, 1866 (the New Jersey Legislature on February 20, 1868 ”withdrew” its consent to the ratification; the Governor vetoed that bill on March 5, 1868; and it was repassed over his veto on March 24, 1868); Oregon, September 19, 1866 (Oregon ”withdrew” its consent on October 15, 1868); Vermont, October 30, 1866; New York, January 10, 1867; Ohio, January 11, 1867 (Ohio ”withdrew” its consent on January 15, 1868); Illinois, January 15, 1867; West Virginia, January 16, 1867; Michigan, January 16, 1867; Kansas, January 17, 1867; Minnesota, January 17, 1867; Maine, January 19, 1867; Nevada, January 22, 1867; Indiana, January 23, 1867; Missouri, January 26, 1867 (date on which it was certified by the Missouri secretary of state); Rhode Island, February 7, 1867; Pennsylvania, February 12, 1867; Wisconsin, February 13, 1867 (actually passed February 7, but not signed by legislative officers until February 13); Massachusetts, March 20, 1867; Nebraska, June 15, 1867; Iowa, March 9, 1868; Arkansas, April 6, 1868; Florida, June 9, 1868; North Carolina, July 2, 1868 (after having rejected the amendment on December 13, 1866); Louisiana, July 9, 1868 (after having rejected the amendment on February 6, 1867); South Carolina, July 8, 1868 (after having rejected the amendment on December 20, 1866); Alabama, July 13, 1868 (date on which it was ”approved” by the Governor); Georgia, July 21, 1868 (after having rejected the amendment on November 9, 1866–Georgia ratified again on February 2, 1870); Virginia, October 8, 1869 (after having rejected the amendment on January 9, 1867); Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Texas, February 18, 1870 (after having rejected the amendment on October 27, 1866); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected the amendment on February 7, 1867). The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Kentucky on January 8, 1867. Maryland and California ratified this amendment in 1959.
7 The Fifteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on February 26, 1869, when it passed the Senate, Cong. Globe (40th Cong., 3rd Sess.) 1641, having previously passed the House on February 25. Id., 1563, 1564. It appears officially in 15 Stat. 346 under the date of February 27, 1869. Ratification was probably completed on February 3, 1870, when the legislature of the twenty-eighth State (Iowa) approved the amendment, there being then 37 States in the Union. However, New York had prior to that date ”withdrawn” its earlier assent to this amendment. Even if this withdrawal were effective, Nebraska’s ratification on February 17, 1870, authorized Secretary of State Fish’s certification of March 30, 1870, that the Fifteenth Amendment had become a part of the Constitution. 16 Stat. 1131.
The several state legislatures ratified the Fifteenth Amendment on the following dates: Nevada, March 1, 1869; West Virginia, March 3, 1869; North Carolina, March 5, 1869; Louisiana, March 5, 1869 (date on which it was ”approved” by the Governor); Illinois, March 5, 1869; Michigan, March 5, 1869; Wisconsin, March 5, 1869; Maine, March 11, 1869; Massachusetts, March 12, 1869; South Carolina, March 15, 1869; Arkansas, March 15, 1869; Pennsylvania, March 25, 1869; New York, April 14, 1869 (New York ”withdrew” its consent to the ratification on January 5, 1870); Indiana, May 14, 1869; Connecticut, May 19, 1869; Florida, June 14, 1869; New Hampshire, July 1, 1869; Virginia, October 8, 1869; Vermont, October 20, 1869; Alabama, November 16, 1869; Missouri, January 7, 1870 (Missouri had ratified the first section of the 15th Amendment on March 1, 1869; it failed to include in its ratification the second section of the amendment); Minnesota, January 13, 1870; Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Rhode Island, January 18, 1870; Kansas, January 19, 1870 (Kansas had by a defectively worded resolution previously ratified this amendment on February 27, 1869); Ohio, January 27, 1870 (after having rejected the amendment on May 4, 1869); Georgia, February 2, 1870; Iowa, February 3, 1870; Nebraska, February 17, 1870; Texas, February 18, 1870; New Jersey, February 15, 1871 (after having rejected the amendment on February 7, 1870); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (date on which approved by Governor; Delaware had previously rejected the amendment on March 18, 1869). The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. California ratified this amendment in 1962 and Oregon in 1959.
8 The Sixteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on July 12, 1909, when it passed the House, 44 Cong. Rec. (61st Cong., 1st Sess.) 4390, 4440, 4441, having previously passed the Senate on July 5. Id., 4121. It appears officially in 36 Stat. 184. Ratification was completed on February 3, 1913, when the legislature of the thirty-sixth State (Delaware, Wyoming, or New Mexico) approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On February 25, 1913, Secretary of State Knox certified that this amendment had become a part of the Constitution. 37 Stat. 1785.
The several state legislatures ratified the Sixteenth Amendment on the following dates: Alabama, August 10, 1909; Kentucky, February 8, 1910; South Carolina, February 19, 1910; Illinois, March 1, 1910; Mississippi, March 7, 1910; Oklahoma, March 10, 1910; Maryland, April 8, 1910; Georgia, August 3, 1910; Texas, August 16, 1910; Ohio, January 19, 1911; Idaho, January 20, 1911; Oregon, January 23, 1911; Washington, January 26, 1911; Montana, January 27, 1911; Indiana, January 30, 1911; California, January 31, 1911; Nevada, January 31, 1911; South Dakota, February 1, 1911; Nebraska, February 9, 1911; North Carolina, February 11, 1911; Colorado, February 15, 1911; North Dakota, February 17, 1911; Michigan, February 23, 1911; Iowa, February 24, 1911; Kansas, March 2, 1911; Missouri, March 16, 1911; Maine, March 31, 1911; Tennessee, April 7, 1911; Arkansas, April 22, 1911 (after having rejected the amendment at the session begun January 9, 1911); Wisconsin, May 16, 1911; New York, July 12, 1911; Arizona, April 3, 1912; Minnesota, June 11, 1912; Louisiana, June 28, 1912; West Virginia, January 31, 1913; Delaware, February 3, 1913; Wyoming, February 3, 1913; New Mexico, February 3, 1913; New Jersey, February 4, 1913; Vermont, February 19, 1913; Massachusetts, March 4, 1913; New Hampshire, March 7, 1913 (after having rejected the amendment on March 2, 1911). The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah.
9 The Seventeenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on May 13, 1912, when it passed the House, 48 Cong. Rec. (62d Cong., 2d Sess.) 6367, having previously passed the Senate on June 12, 1911. 47 Cong. Rec. (62d Cong., 1st Sess.) 1925. It appears officially in 37 Stat. 646. Ratification was completed on April 8, 1913, when the thirty-sixth State (Connecticut) approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On May 31, 1913, Secretary of State Bryan certified that it had become a part of the Constitution. 38 Stat 2049.
The several state legislatures ratified the Seventeenth Amendment on the following dates: Massachusetts, May 22, 1912; Arizona, June 3, 1912; Minnesota, June 10, 1912; New York, January 15, 1913; Kansas, January 17, 1913; Oregon, January 23, 1913; North Carolina, January 25, 1913; California, January 28, 1913; Michigan, January 28, 1913; Iowa, January 30, 1913; Montana, January 30, 1913; Idaho, January 31, 1913; West Virginia, February 4, 1913; Colorado, February 5, 1913; Nevada, February 6, 1913; Texas, February 7, 1913; Washington, February 7, 1913; Wyoming, February 8, 1913; Arkansas, February 11, 1913; Illinois, February 13, 1913; North Dakota, February 14, 1913; Wisconsin, February 18, 1913; Indiana, February 19, 1913; New Hampshire, February 19, 1913; Vermont, February 19, 1913; South Dakota, February 19, 1913; Maine, February 20, 1913; Oklahoma, February 24, 1913; Ohio, February 25, 1913; Missouri, March 7, 1913; New Mexico, March 13, 1913; Nebraska, March 14, 1913; New Jersey, March 17, 1913; Tennessee, April 1, 1913; Pennsylvania, April 2, 1913; Connecticut, April 8, 1913; Louisiana, June 5, 1914. The amendment was rejected by Utah on February 26, 1913.
10 The Eighteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on December 18, 1917, when it passed the Senate, Cong. Rec. (65th Cong. 2d Sess.) 478, having previously passed the House on December 17. Id., 470. It appears officially in 40 Stat. 1059. Ratification was completed on January 16, 1919, when the thirty-sixth State approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On January 29, 1919, Acting Secretary of State Polk certified that this amendment had been adopted by the requisite number of States. 40 Stat. 1941. By its terms this amendment did not become effective until 1 year after ratification.
The several state legislatures ratified the Eighteenth Amendment on the following dates: Mississippi, January 8, 1918; Virginia, January 11, 1918; Kentucky, January 14, 1918; North Dakota, January 28, 1918 (date on which approved by Governor); South Carolina, January 29, 1918; Maryland, February 13, 1918; Montana, February 19, 1918; Texas, March 4, 1918; Delaware, March 18, 1918; South Dakota, March 20, 1918; Massachusetts, April 2, 1918; Arizona, May 24, 1918; Georgia, June 26, 1918; Louisiana, August 9, 1918 (date on which approved by Governor); Florida, November 27, 1918; Michigan, January 2, 1919; Ohio, January 7, 1919; Oklahoma, January 7, 1919; Idaho, January 8, 1919; Maine, January 8, 1919; West Virginia, January 9, 1919; California, January 13, 1919; Tennessee, January 13, 1919; Washington, January 13, 1919; Arkansas, January 14, 1919; Kansas, January 14, 1919; Illinois, January 14, 1919; Indiana, January 14, 1919; Alabama, January 15, 1919; Colorado, January 15, 1919; Iowa, January 15, 1919; New Hampshire, January 15, 1919; Oregon, January 15, 1919; Nebraska, January 16, 1919; North Carolina, January 16, 1919; Utah, January 16, 1919; Missouri, January 16, 1919; Wyoming, January 16, 1919; Minnesota, January 17, 1919; Wisconsin, January 17, 1919; New Mexico, January 20, 1919; Nevada, January 21, 1919; Pennsylvania, February 25, 1919; Connecticut, May 6, 1919; New Jersey, March 9, 1922; New York, January 29, 1919; Vermont, January 29, 1919.
11 The Nineteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on June 4, 1919, when it passed the Senate, Cong. Rec. (66th Cong., 1st Sess.) 635, having previously passed the house on May 21. Id., 94. It appears officially in 41 Stat. 362. Ratification was completed on August 18, 1920, when the thirty-sixth State (Tennessee) approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of Colby certified that it had become a part of the Constitution. 41 Stat. 1823.
The several state legislatures ratified the Nineteenth Amendment on the following dates: Illinois, June 10, 1919 (readopted June 17, 1919); Michigan, June 10, 1919; Wisconsin, June 10, 1919; Kansas, June 16, 1919; New York, June 16, 1919; Ohio, June 16, 1919; Pennsylvania, June 24, 1919; Massachusetts, June 25, 1919; Texas, June 28, 1919; Iowa, July 2, 1919 (date on which approved by Governor); Missouri, July 3, 1919; Arkansas, July 28, 1919; Montana, August 2, 1919 (date on which approved by governor); Nebraska, August 2, 1919; Minnesota, September 8, 1919; New Hampshire, September 10, 1919 (date on which approved by Governor); Utah, October 2, 1919; California, November 1, 1919; Maine, November 5, 1919; North Dakota, December 1, 1919; South Dakota, December 4, 1919 (date on which certified); Colorado, December 15, 1919 (date on which approved by Governor); Kentucky, January 6, 1920; Rhode Island, January 6, 1920; Oregon, January 13, 1920; Indiana, January 16, 1920; Wyoming, January 27, 1920; Nevada, February 7, 1920; New Jersey, February 9, 1920; Idaho, February 11, 1920; Arizona, February 12, 1920; New Mexico, February 21, 1920 (date on which approved by govrnor); Oklahoma, February 28, 1920; West Virginia, March 10, 1920 (confirmed September 21, 1920); Vermont, February 8, 1921. The amendment was rejected by Georgia on July 24, 1919; by Alabama on September 22, 1919; by South Carolina on January 29, 1920; by Virginia on February 12, 1920; by Maryland on February 24, 1920; by Mississippi on March 29, 1920; by Louisiana on July 1, 1920. This amendment was subsequently ratified by Virginia in 1952, Alabama in 1953, Florida in 1969, and Georgia and Louisiana in 1970.
12 The Twentieth Amendment was proposed by Congress on March 2, 1932, when it passed the Senate, Cong. Rec. (72d Cong., 1st Sess.) 5086, having previously passed the House on March 1. Id., 5027. It appears officially in 47 Stat. 745. Ratification was completed on January 23, 1933, when the thirty-sixth State approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On February 6, 1933, Secretary of State Stimson certified that it had become a part of the Constitution. 47 Stat. 2569.
The several state legislatures ratified the Twentieth Amendment on the following dates: Virginia, March 4, 1932; New York, March 11, 1932; Mississippi, March 16, 1932; Arkansas March 17, 1932; Kentucky, March 17, 1932; New Jersey, March 21, 1932; South Carolina, March 25, 1932; Michigan, March 31, 1932; Maine, April 1, 1932; Rhode Island, April 14, 1932; Illinois, April 21, 1932; Louisiana, June 22, 1932; West Virginia, July 30, 1932; Pennsylvania, August 11, 1932; Indiana, August 15, 1932; Texas, September 7, 1932; Alabama, September 13, 1932; California, January 4, 1933; North Carolina, January 5, 1933; North Dakota, January 9, 1933; Minnesota, January 12, 1933; Arizona, January 13, 1933; Montana, January 13, 1933; Nebraska, January 13, 1933; Oklahoma, January 13, 1933; Kansas, January 16, 1933; Oregon, January 16, 1933; Delaware, January 19, 1933; Washington, January 19, 1933; Wyoming, January 19, 1933; Iowa, January 20, 1933; South Dakota, January 20, 1933; Tennessee, January 20, 1933; Idaho, January 21, 1933; New Mexico, January 21, 1933; Georgia, January 23, 1933; Missouri, January 23, 1933; Ohio, January 23, 1933; Utah, January 23, 1933; Colorado, January 24, 1933; Massachusetts, January 24, 1933; Wisconsin, January 24, 1933; Nevada, January 26, 1933; Connecticut, January 27, 1933; New Hampshire, January 31, 1933; Vermont, February 2, 1933; Maryland, March 24, 1933; Florida, April 26, 1933.
13 The Twenty-first Amendment was proposed by Congress on February 20, 1933, when it passed the House, Cong. Rec. (72d Cong., 2d Sess.) 4516, having previously passed the Senate on February 16. Id., 4231. It appears officially in 47 Stat. 1625. Ratification was completed on December 5, 1933, when the thirty-sixth State (Utah) approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On December 5, 1933, Acting Secretary of State Phillips certified that it had been adopted by the requisite number of States. 48 Stat. 1749.
The several state conventions ratified the Twenty-first Amendment on the following dates: Michigan, April 10, 1933; Wisconsin, April 25, 1933; Rhode Island, May 8, 1933; Wyoming, May 25, 1933; New Jersey, June 1, 1933; Delaware, June 24, 1933; Indiana, June 26, 1933; Massachusetts, June 26, 1933; New York, June 27, 1933; Illinois, July 10, 1933; Iowa, July 10, 1933; Connecticut, July 11, 1933; New Hampshire, July 11, 1933; California, July 24, 1933; West Virginia, July 25, 1933; Arkansas, August 1, 1933; Oregon, August 7, 1933; Alabama, August 8, 1933; Tennessee, August 11, 1933; Missouri, August 29, 1933; Arizona, September 5, 1933; Nevada, September 5, 1933; Vermont, September 23, 1933; Colorado, September 26, 1933; Washington, October 3, 1933; Minnesota, October 10, 1933; Idaho, October 17, 1933; Maryland, October 18, 1933; Virginia, October 25, 1933; New Mexico, November 2, 1933; Florida, November 14, 1933; Texas, November 24, 1933; Kentucky, November 27, 1933; Ohio, December 5, 1933; Pennsylvania, December 5, 1933; Utah, December 5, 1933; Maine, December 6, 1933; Montana, August 6, 1934. The amendment was rejected by a convention in the State of South Carolina, on December 4, 1933. The electorate of the State of North Carolina voted against holding a convention at a general election held on November 7, 1933.
14 The Twenty-second Amendment was proposed by Congress on March 24, 1947, having passed the House on March 21, 1947, Cong. Rec. (80th Cong., 1st Sess.) 2392, and having previously passed the Senate on March 12, 1947. Id., 1978. It appears officially in 61 Stat. 959. Ratification was completed on February 27, 1951, when the thirty-sixth State (Minnesota) approved the amendment, there being then 48 States in the Union. On March 1, 1951, Jess Larson, Administrator of General Services, certified that it had been adopted by the requisite number of States. 16 Fed. Reg. 2019.
A total of 41 state legislatures ratified the Twenty-second Amendment on the following dates: Maine, March 31, 1947; Michigan, March 31, 1947; Iowa, April 1, 1947; Kansas, April 1, 1947; New Hampshire, April 1, 1947; Delaware, April 2, 1947; Illinois, April 3, 1947; Oregon, April 3, 1947; Colorado, April 12, 1947; California, April 15, 1947; New Jersey, April 15, 1947; Vermont, April 15, 1947; Ohio, April 16, 1947; Wisconsin, April 16, 1947; Pennsylvania, April 29, 1947; Connecticut, May 21, 1947; Missouri, May 22, 1947; Nebraska, May 23, 1947; Virginia, January 28, 1948; Mississippi, February 12, 1948; New York, March 9, 1948; South Dakota, January 21, 1949; North Dakota, February 25, 1949; Louisiana, May 17, 1950; Montana, January 25, 1951; Indiana, January 29, 1951; Idaho, January 30, 1951; New Mexico, February 12, 1951; Wyoming, February 12, 1951; Arkansas, February 15, 1951; Georgia, February 17, 1951; Tennessee, February 20, 1951; Texas, February 22, 1951; Utah, February 26, 1951; Nevada, February 26, 1951; Minnesota, February 27, 1951; North Carolina, February 28, 1951; South Carolina, March 13, 1951; Maryland, March 14, 1951; Florida, April 16, 1951; and Alabama, May 4, 1951.
15 The Twenty-third Amendment was proposed by Congress on June 16, 1960, when it passed the Senate, Cong. Rec. (86th Cong., 2d Sess.) 12858, having previously passed the House on June 14. Id., 12571. It appears officially in 74 Stat. 1057. Ratification was completed on March 29, 1961, when the thirty-eighth State (Ohio) approved the amendment, there being then 50 States in the Union. On April 3, 1961, John L. Moore, Administrator of General Services, certified that it had been adopted by the requisite number of States. 26 Fed. Reg. 2808.
The several state legislatures ratified the Twenty-third Amendment on the following dates: Hawaii, June 23, 1960; Massachusetts, August 22, 1960; New Jersey, December 19, 1960; New York, January 17, 1961; California, January 19, 1961; Oregon, January 27, 1961; Maryland, January 30, 1961; Idaho, January 31, 1961; Maine, January 31, 1961; Minnesota, January 31, 1961; New Mexico, February 1, 1961; Nevada, February 2, 1961; Montana, February 6, 1961; Colorado, February 8, 1961; Washington, February 9, 1961; West Virginia, February 9, 1961; Alaska, February 10, 1961; Wyoming, February 13, 1961; South Dakota, February 14, 1961; Delaware, February 20, 1961; Utah, February 21, 1961; Wisconsin, February 21, 1961; Pennsylvania, February 28, 1961; Indiana, March 3, 1961; North Dakota, March 3, 1961; Tennessee, March 6, 1961; Michigan, March 8, 1961; Connecticut, March 9, 1961; Arizona, March 10, 1961; Illinois, March 14, 1961; Nebraska, March 15, 1961; Vermont, March 15, 1961; Iowa, March 16, 1961; Missouri, March 20, 1961; Oklahoma, March 21, 1961; Rhode Island, March 22, 1961; Kansas, March 29, 1961; Ohio, March 29, 1961, and New Hampshire, March 30, 1961.
16 The Twenty-fourth Amendment was proposed by Congress on September 14, 1962, having passed the House on August 27, 1962. Cong. Rec. (87th Cong., 2d Sess.) 17670 and having previously passed the Senate on March 27, 1962. Id., 5105. It appears officially in 76 Stat. 1259. Ratification was completed on January 23, 1964, when the thirty- eighth State (South Dakota) approved the Amendment, there being then 50 States in the Union. On February 4, 1964, Bernard L. Boutin, Administrator of General Services, certified that it had been adopted by the requisite number of States. 25 Fed. Reg. 1717. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this certificate.
Thirty-eight state legislatures ratified the Twenty-fourth Amendment on the following dates: Illinois, November 14, 1962; New Jersey, December 3, 1962; Oregon, January 25, 1963; Montana, January 28, 1963; West Virginia, February 1, 1963; New York, February 4, 1963; Maryland, February 6, 1963; California, February 7, 1963; Alaska, February 11, 1963; Rhode Island, February 14, 1963; Indiana, February 19, 1963; Michigan, February 20, 1963; Utah, February 20, 1963; Colorado, February 21, 1963; Minnesota, February 27, 1963; Ohio, February 27, 1963; New Mexico, March 5, 1963; Hawaii, March 6, 1963; North Dakota, March 7, 1963; Idaho, March 8, 1963; Washington, March 14, 1963; Vermont, March 15, 1963; Nevada, March 19, 1963; Connecticut, March 20, 1963; Tennessee, March 21, 1963; Pennsylvania, March 25, 1963; Wisconsin, March 26, 1963; Kansas, March 28, 1963; Massachusetts, March 28, 1963; Nebraska, April 4, 1963; Florida, April 18, 1963; Iowa, April 24, 1963; Delaware, May 1, 1963; Missouri, May 13, 1963; New Hampshire, June 16, 1963; Kentucky, June 27, 1963; Maine, January 16, 1964; South Dakota, January 23, 1964.
17 This Amendment was proposed by the Eighty-ninth Congress by Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, which was approved by the Senate on February 19, 1965, and by the House of Representatives, in amended form, on April 13, 1965. The House of Representatives agreed to a Conference Report on June 30, 1965, and the Senate agreed to the Conference Report on July 6, 1965. It was declared by the Administrator of General Services, on February 23, 1967, to have been ratified.
This Amendment was ratified by the following States: Nebraska, July 12, 1965; Wisconsin, July 13, 1965; Oklahoma, July 16, 1965; Massachusetts, August 9, 1965; Pennsylvania, August 18, 1965; Kentucky, September 15, 1965; Arizona, September 22, 1965; Michigan, October 5, 1965; Indiana, October 20, 1965; California, October 21, 1965; Arkansas, November 4, 1965; New Jersey, November 29, 1965; Delaware, December 7, 1965; Utah, January 17, 1966; West Virginia, January 20, 1966; Maine, January 24, 1966; Rhode Island, January 28, 1966; Colorado, February 3, 1966; New Mexico, February 3, 1966; Kansas, February 8, 1966; Vermont, February 10, 1966; Alaska, February 18, 1966; Idaho, March 2, 1966; Hawaii, March 3, 1966; Virginia, March 8, 1966; Mississippi, March 10, 1966; New York, March 14, 1966; Maryland, March 23, 1966; Missouri, March 30, 1966; New Hampshire, June 13, 1966; Louisiana, July 5, 1966; Tennessee, January 12, 1967; Wyoming, January 25, 1967; Washington, January 26, 1967; Iowa, January 26, 1967; Oregon, February 2, 1967; Minnesota, February 10, 1967; Nevada, February 10, 1967; Connecticut, February 14, 1967; Montana, February 15, 1967; South Dakota, March 6, 1967; Ohio, March 7, 1967; Alabama, March 14, 1967; North Carolina, March 22, 1967 Illinois, March 22, 1967; Texas, April 25, 1967; Florida, May 25, 1967.
Publication of the certifying statement of the Administrator of General Services that the Amendment had become valid was made on February 25, 1967, F.R. Doc. 67-2208, 32 Fed. Reg. 3287.
18 The Twenty-sixth Amendment was proposed by Congress on March 23, 1971, upon passage by the House of Representatives, the Senate having previously passed an identical resolution on March 10, 1971. It appears officially in 85 Stat. 825. Ratification was completed on July 1, 1971, when action by the legislature of the 38th State, North Carolina, was concluded, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration officially certified it to have been duly ratified on July 5, 1971. 36 Fed. Reg. 12725.
As of the publication of this volume, 42 States had ratified this Amendment: Connecticut, March 23, 1971; Delaware, March 23, 1971; Minnesota, March 23, 1971; Tennessee, March 23, 1971; Washington, March 23, 1971; Hawaii, March 24, 1971; Massachusetts, March 24, 1971; Montana, March 29, 1971; Arkansas, March 30, 1971; Idaho, March 30, 1971; Iowa, March 30, 1971; Nebraska, April 2, 1971; New Jersey, April 3, 1971; Kansas, April 7, 1971; Michigan, April 7, 1971; Alaska, April 8, 1971; Maryland, April 8, 1971; Indiana, April 8, 1971; Maine, April 9, 1971; Vermont, April 16, 1971; Louisiana, April 17, 1971; California, April 19, 1971; Colorado, April 27, 1971; Pennsylvania, April 27, 1971; Texas, April 27, 1971; South Carolina, April 28, 1971; West Virginia, April 28, 1971; New Hampshire, May 13, 1971; Arizona, May 14, 1971; Rhode Island, May 27, 1971; New York, June 2, 1971; Oregon, June 4, 1971; Missouri, June 14, 1971; Wisconsin, June 22, 1971; Illinois, June 29, 1971; Alabama, June 30, 1971; Ohio, June 30, 1971; North Carolina, July 1, 1971; Oklahoma, July 1, 1971; Virginia, July 8, 1971; Wyoming, July 8, 1971; Georgia, October 4, 1971.
19 This purported amendment was proposed by Congress on September 25, 1789, when it passed the Senate, having previously passed the House on September 24. (1 Annals of Congress 88, 913). It appears officially in 1 Stat. 97. Having received in 1789-1791 only six state ratifications, the proposal then failed of ratification while ten of the 12 sent to the States by Congress were ratified and proclaimed and became the Bill of Rights. The provision was proclaimed as having been ratified and having become the 27th Amendment, when Michigan ratified on May 7, 1992, there being 50 States in the Union. Proclamation was by the Archivist of the United States, pursuant to 1 U.S.C. Sec. 106b, on May 19, 1992. F.R.Doc. 92-11951, 57 Fed. Reg. 21187. It was also proclaimed by votes of the Senate and House of Representatives. 138 Cong. Rec. (daily ed) S 6948-49, H 3505-06.
The several state legislatures ratified the proposal on the following dates: Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; Virginia, December 15, 1791; Ohio, May 6, 1873; Wyoming, March 6, 1978; Maine, April 27, 1983; Colorado, April 22, 1984; South Dakota, February 1985; New Hampshire, March 7, 1985; Arizona, April 3, 1985; Tennessee, May 28, 1985; Oklahoma, July 10, 1985; New Mexico, February 14, 1986; Indiana, February 24, 1986; Utah, February 25, 1986; Arkansas, March 13, 1987; Montana, March 17, 1987; Connecticut, May 13, 1987; Wisconsin, July 15, 1987; Georgia, February 2, 1988; West Virginia, March 10, 1988; Louisiana, July 7, 1988; Iowa, February 9, 1989; Idaho, March 23, 1989; Nevada, April 26, 1989; Alaska, May 6, 1989; Oregon, May 19, 1989; Minnesota, May 22, 1989; Texas, May 25, 1989; Kansas, April 5, 1990; Florida, May 31, 1990; North Dakota, Mary 25, 1991; Alabama, May 5, 1992; Missouri, May 5, 1992; Michigan, May 7, 1992. New Jersey subsequently ratified on May 7, 1992.
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U.S. Constitutional Amendments – FindLaw
Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm
House Speaker Paul Ryan points to his copy of the Constitution as he emphasizes to reporters that the GOPs proposed gun-control measures protect Second Amendment rights on July 6, at Republican National Committee Headquarters.
Re: Still making it too easy for a crazy guy with a gun, July 14 Greg Dobbs column.
I have read many distorted interpretations of the Second Amendment, but Greg Dobbs columnsets a new low bar. His interpretation of the amendments phrase well regulated Militiathat Either the militia bearing arms would be regulated by someone or something, or that the bearing of arms themselves would be regulated is nonsense. The phrase has nothing to do with regulations, or something being regulated. It simply means in the 1791 historical context when written a well-organized, well-equipped, well-trained and well-led militia.
Equally absurd is Dobbs suggestion to use his interpretation to change the language of the gun-control debate, from gun control to gun regulation. A rose by any other name smells the same. In this case, it stinks. Call it what you wish, but what the political left wants in the end is national firearm registration, followed shortly by firearm confiscation.
Stephen B. Pacetti, Lakewood
What Greg Dobbs and most people fail to realize is that the purpose of the Second Amendment is for the citizens of this country to protect the Constitution from the government.
It must be noted that when the Second Amendment was written, the word militia meant anarmy of trained civilians which may be called upon in time of need; or the entire able-bodied population of a state; or a private force, not under government control.
The important words are civilian and not under government control. Our forefathers understood the importance of keeping our government under control and they understood that history has shown that democracy can be lost when governments have absolute control.
Our country has always understood that peace is possible through strength. If we want peace in our streets, maybe everyone should be required to have firearm training.
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Interpreting the language of the Second Amendment (2 letters)
Posted: June 17, 2016 at 4:55 am
Written by Patrick Dixon
Futurist Keynote Speaker: Posts, Slides, Videos – What is Human Cloning? How to Clone. But Ethical?
Human cloning: who is cloning humans and arguments against cloning (2007)
How human clones are being made – for medical research. Arguments for and against human cloning research. Why some people want to clone themselves or even to clone the dead (and not just cloning pets).
Why investors are moving away from human cloning and why human cloning now looks a last-century way to fight disease (2007)
Should we ban human cloning? Arguments against cloning
An abnormal baby would be a nightmare come true. The technique is extremely risky right now. A particular worry is the possibility that the genetic material used from the adult will continue to age so that the genes in a newborn baby clone could be – say – 30 years old or more on the day of birth. Many attempts at animal cloning produced disfigured monsters with severe abnormalities. So that would mean creating cloned embryos, implanting them and destroying (presumably) those that look imperfect as they grow in the womb. However some abnormalities may not appear till after birth. A cloned cow recently died several weeks after birth with a huge abnormality of blood cell production. Dolly the Sheep died prematurely of severe lung disease in February 2003, and also suffered from arthritis at an unexpectedly early age – probably linked to the cloning process.
Even if a few cloned babies are born apparently normal we will have to wait up to 20 years to be sure they are not going to have problems later -for example growing old too fast. Every time a clone is made it is like throwing the dice and even a string of “healthy” clones being born would not change the likelihood that many clones born in future may have severe medical problems. And of course, that’s just the ones born. What about all the disfigured and highly abnormal clones that either spontaneously aborted or were destroyed / terminated by scientists worried about the horrors they might be creating.
A child grows up knowing her mother is her sister, her grandmother is her mother. Her father is her brother-in-law. Every time her mother looks at her, she is seeing herself growing up. Unbearable emotional pressures on a teenager trying to establish his or her identity. What happens to a marriage when the “father” sees his wife’s clone grow up into the exact replica (by appearance) of the beautiful 18 year old he fell in love with 35 years ago? A sexual relationship would of course be with his wife’s twin, no incest involved technically.
Or maybe the child knows it is the twin of a dead brother or sister. What kind of pressures will he or she feel, knowing they were made as a direct replacement for another? It is a human experiment doomed to failure because the child will NOT be identical in every way, despite the hopes of the parents. One huge reason will be that the child will be brought up in a highly abnormal household: one where grief has been diverted into makeing a clone instead of adjusting to loss. The family environment will be totally different than that the other twin experienced. That itself will place great pressures on the emotional development of the child. You will not find a child psychiatrist in the world who could possibly say that there will not be very significant emotional risk to the cloned child as a result of these pressures.
What would Hitler have done with cloning technology if available in the 1940s? There are powerful leaders in every generation who will seek to abuse this technology for their own purposes. Going ahead with cloning technology makes this far more likely. You cannot have so-called therapeutic cloning without reproductive cloning because the technique to make cloned babies is the same as to make a cloned embryo to try to make replacement tissues. And at the speed at which biotech is accelerating there will soon be other ways to get such cells – adult stem cell technology. It is rather crude to create a complete embryonic identical twin embryo just to get hold of stem cells to make – say – nervous tissue. Much better to take cells from the adult and trigger them directly to regress to a more primitive form without the ethical issues raised by inserting a full adult set of genes into an unfertilised egg.
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Posted: June 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm
According to Fox 45 Now, a classy upstanding citizen was robbed & assaulted in an alley by her drug dealer, Tutu after asking him to turn away while s…
Native New Englander now residing in South Carolina
I love our president, his passion and I appreciate his proposal to heal the epidemic of opioid abuse, but I believe the bigger picture goes beyond treatment centers and expanding scope of practice. We need to assist our patients from the inside, the roots, only then can they truly begin to heal.
Root-Cause Integrative PA-C, Yoga Teacher, Storyteller, Community/Clinical Curator, Speaker, Thinker, Doer, Rapscallion
Becoming a mother has really opened my heart. Besides being with family, I notice the compassion most when I am teaching yoga. One of my favorite plac…
Los Angeles-based yoga teacher, writer, life coach and mother-to-be
A robust public conversation is currently unfolding led by the formerly incarcerated and seized by President Obama himself to reflect on our current criminal justice system and the lasting stigma and damage it causes those who have been in contact with it. But does a nation of second chances include those of us who are immigrants?
Legal and Policy Director for Mijente and the #Not1More Campaign
Iceland may be the world’s most progressive country at reducing teenage substance abuse. In the more than 4 decades that I have studied, researched …
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1, among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 o…
There are two problems with threatening long sentences to extract cooperation from low-level drug offenders. This strategy is ineffective in impacting the drug trade. It also inflicts immense collateral damage on innocent people and low-level offenders, while letting the guiltiest offenders off more easily.
Training Director at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Boy, it isn’t every day you get to write a headline like that! But those are the kinds of feelings Ted Cruz seems to bring out in everyone — left, right, and center.
During my imprisonment I had tried to commit suicide, been stuck with a knife, and was beat down with a pipe–but nothing hurt me more than my separat…
Manager of Media & Artist Relations, Drug Policy Alliance
Jason Hernandez never thought he would see the outside world again.
Today, drug cartels are playing the political activism game and are increasing their support base by appealing to the hearts and minds of millions of people through the widespread social discontent and the ideal of social justice.
Masters in Science in Global Affairs and Transnational Security Candidate at New York University
The disdain that the Amish faithful feel for family members who reject their all-encompassing religious worldview is such that they refuse to dine with them at the same table.
Historian studying US state power, policies, and the institutions that shape American life.
In the United States, while there are shifting patterns of drug use, there is no simple relationship to the severity of the nation’s drug laws. The caveat is that from the European study, relaxing penalties had equally unpredictable results. Annan’s statement needs that bit of context. We rate this claim Mostly True.
Undeniably, the world is splintering. Geopolitical blocs are forming once again, the nuclear arms race is reigniting and religious war rages. Globalization is in retreat as publics across the planet suspect trade agreements, politicians talk about building walls and refugees are turned away. Yet, as Parag Khanna, author of the new book, “Connectography,” writes this week from Singapore, “the same world that appears to be falling apart is actually coming together.” (continued)
While mostly ignored by the media (and almost completely ignored in the debates), the issue is going to become a lot more important in the general election, as many states will have recreational legalization ballot initiatives to vote on.
LISBON, Portugal — This week’s U.N. summit on the global drug problem is already a turning point in our collective journey toward improving global drug policy. Whatever the final formal conclusions, reforms are on and history is in the making.
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Posted: May 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm
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NSA San Diego
Posted: January 27, 2016 at 7:44 pm
Events :: Upcoming… SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15* 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Recent Events… January 15: Sticky Content with Brian Walter 01/15/16, 8:30am (click above for more information) We are delighted to have Brian Walter, CSP, as our speaker on January 15th! Discover how to bring your content to life with Brians presentation on Sticky Content. December 15th: Working Session: Professional Members Only 12/15/15, 6:00pm (click above for more information) Join us on December 15th for a session on How To Build Your Personal Brand and Become A Local Celebrity Entrepreneur with Ramon Ray December 9: NSA-NYC Holiday Party! 12/9/15, 6:30pm (Click above for more information.) Please join the Leadership Team of the New York Chapter of the National Speakers Association for our annual festive holiday party. November 13: Do YOU! Finding Your Point of Distinction 11/13/15, 9:00am (click above for more information) Join us on November 13th for Jessica Pettitt Do YOU! Finding Your Points of Distinction October 28th: Working Session: Professional Members Only 10/28/15, 6:00pm (click above for more information) Join us on October 28th for a session on Pitching the Media with Jess Todtfeld, CSP October 20th Meet Up: Elevate Your Presentation Skills! 10/20/15, 6:30pm (click above for more information)Join us on Tuesday, October 20th, for: Elevate Your Presentation Skills! – 2 Hours, 2 Speakers, an Interactive Discussion and Tangible Take-a-Ways! October 16th: Sell Your Thoughts: How to Build Your Thought Leadership, Increase Your Revenue 10/16/15, 8:30am (click above for more information) We are delighted to have Neen James, CSP, as our speaker on October 16th! Discover how to leverage your ideas with Neens presentation on Sell Your Thoughts: How to Build Your Thought Leadership, Increase Your Revenue. September 18th: Creating Systems to put You Center Stage with Ruby Newell-Legner 09/18/15, 8:30am (click above for more information)Join us on September 18th as we kick-off our 2015-2016 season with Ruby Newell-Legners program on Creating Systems to put You Center Stage! August 5th: Working Session: Professional Members Only 08/5/15, 6:00pm (click above for more information) Join us on August 5th for a session on The Technology of Presentations with Trevor Perry June 24th Meet Up: NSA Sneak Peek and Navigate 06/24/15, 6:30pm (click above for more information)Join us on Wednesday, June 24th, for NSA Convention Sneak Peak and Navigate.
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National Speakers Association New York Chapter
Posted: October 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm
The Federal Reserve is the chief culprit behind the economic crisis. Its unchecked power to create endless amounts of money out of thin air brought us the boom and bust cycle and causes one financial bubble after another. Since the Feds creation in 1913 the dollar has lost more than 96% of its value, and by recklessly inflating the money supply the Fed continues to distort interest rates and intentionally erodes the value of the dollar.
For the past 30 years, Congressman Ron Paul has worked tirelessly to bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the secretive bank. And in 2009 and 2010 his unfaltering dedication showed astonishing results: HR 1207, the bill to audit the Federal Reserve, swept the country and made the central bankers shudder at their desks. The bill passed as an amendment both in the House Financial Services Committee and in the House itself.
But the usurpers of Americas future didnt take it lying down. They werent about to allow their secrets to be exposed and their magic money machine to be put under close scrutiny. They worked frantically behind the scenes to quietly derail all efforts to open up the Federal Reserve to an independent audit.
A handful of Fed-loving U.S. senators led by Chris Dodd rewrote the Senate version of the Financial Reform Bill to strip out Ron Pauls Audit the Fed amendment and actually expand the Feds power over banks, lending and money. As Ron Paul commented on here, the Dodd bill completely eliminated legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, which had already passed in the House.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced an amendment on the floor effectively adding the Grayson-Paul language to the Senate bill, but later changed his amendment under pressure by the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration. The altered Sanders amendment passed the Senate on May 11, 2010 by a unanimous 96-0 vote.
Sen. Vitter reintroduced an amendment with the original Audit the Fed language. The Senate rejected the amendment on May 11, 2010 by a 37-62 vote.
The House and Senate went to the conference committee which attempted to reconcile the differences between the two bills (and their amendments). Unfortunately, Ron Pauls tough language ended up not being included in the final bill.
On June 30, 2010, the GOP introduced Ron Pauls Audit the Fed bill as a motion to recommit, which was the last chance to alter the financial regulation bill. Audit the Fed failed by a vote of 229-198. All Republicans voted in favor of the measure with 23 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. 114 co-sponsors of HR 1207, all Democrats, jumped ship and voted against Audit the Fed.
But lets start from the beginning. Heres the fascinating history of Ron Pauls Audit the Fed bill:
02/2009: Ron Paul introduces bill to Audit the Federal Reserve
On February 26, 2009, Ron Paul introduced HR 1207, the bill to audit the Federal Reserve:
I rise to introduce the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar. Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserves loose monetary policy. How long will we as a Congress stand idly by while hard-working Americans see their savings eaten away by inflation? Only big-spending politicians and politically favored bankers benefit from inflation.
After a groundswell of grassroots support, HR 1207 and its counterpart in the Senate, S 604, went on to attract 320 and 32 co-sponsors respectively.
10/2009: Mel Watt Introduces Competing Placebo Amendment
With HR 1207 gaining momentum, Congressman Mel Watt introduced a competing banker-approved placebo amendment that would have replaced HR 1207 and actually increased the Federal Reserves secrecy.
11/2009: Victory over Mel Watt Amendment
On November 19, 2009, after a historic debate lasting several hours, Ron Pauls and Alan Graysons Audit the Fed amendment passed 43-26 in the House Financial Services Committee. The amendment called for a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve and replaced the opposing placebo amendment proposed by Mel Watt.
How they voted on Ron Pauls Audit the Fed amendment (HR 1207 co-sponsors in bold):
Note: Due to a clerical error, until 5/26/2010 this roll call erroneously listed Rep. Gary Miller (CA-42) as a Democrat who supposedly voted nay. However, the reality is that Rep. Miller is a Republican who was absent on the day of the vote. He is a co-sponsor of HR 1207. We apologize!
12/2009: Audit the Fed Passes in the House
The Audit the Fed amendment was attached to Barney Franks HR 3996, also known as the Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009. That bill was later combined, along with several other bills, into The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009 (HR 4173). The House passed the new bill on December 11, 2009 on a vote of 223-202.
03/2010: Treasury Officials Still Support Mel Watt Amendment
On March 8, 2010 Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein participated in a bizarre meeting with unnamed high level treasury officials:
The Treasury Department is vigorously opposed to a House-passed measure that would open the Federal Reserve to an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a senior Treasury official said Monday. Instead, the official said, the Treasury prefers a substitute offered by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), and would like to see it enacted as part of the Senate bill.
The Watt measure, however, while claiming to increase transparency, actually puts new restrictions on the GAOs ability to perform an audit.
03/2010: Mel Watt Amendment Used in Senate Version of the Financial Reform Bill
Ron Paul: In the Senate, we didnt get enough strong support over there and the Republicans didnt really fight for it and at the Senate side it is not included. Matter of fact, they have included Mel Wattss language. His language and my language competed in the House Financial Services Committee and of course we won that pretty easily. But they inserted that in so Mel Watt and the bankers were able to influence the senators enough to put their language in there. So what probably will happen is the two bills will be passed. Itll be in one bill and not the other and then the fight will be to put pressure on the conference to go with the House [bill] instead of the Senate.
04/2010: Bernie Sanders Introduces Audit the Fed Amendment in the Senate
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced an amendment on the floor effectively adding the Grayson-Paul language to the Senate bill.
05/2010: Bernie Sanders Sells Out, Senate Passes Watered Down Amendment
On May 6, 2010 Bernie Sanders sold out to the bankers by modifying his amendment to the extent that it would allow the Fed to keep many of its activities secret. On May 11, 2010 the Sanders amendment passed the Senate by a unanimous 96-0 vote.
05/2010: David Vitter Comes To The Rescue But His Amendment is Defeated
Sen. David Vitter reintroduced an amendment with Ron Pauls original Audit the Fed language. The Senate rejected the amendment on May 11, 2010 by a 37-62 vote.
06/2010: 114 Democrats Jump Ship and Vote Down Audit the Fed
On June 30, 2010, Ron Pauls attempt to audit the Federal Reserve, which was previously co-sponsored by 320 members of the House (HR 1207), failed by a vote of 229-198. All Republicans voted in favor of the measure with 23 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. 114 co-sponsors of HR 1207, all Democrats, jumped ship and voted against Audit the Fed.
The GOP had offered the Fed audit as the minoritys last chance to alter the financial regulation bill. The bill does have an watered-down audit provision in the conference report, but it is limited to loans made by the Fed during the height of the economic crisis. Ron Pauls bill would have allowed a total examination of the Feds books.
Democrats, Republicans, HR 1207 Co-Sponsors
Aderholt Akin Alexander Austria Bachmann Bachus Barrett (SC) Bartlett Barton (TX) Biggert Bilbray Bilirakis Blackburn Blunt Boehner Bonner Bono Mack Boozman Boucher Boustany Brady (TX) Broun (GA) Brown (SC) Brown-Waite, Ginny Buchanan Burgess Burton (IN) Buyer Calvert Camp Campbell Cantor Cao Capito Carney Carter Cassidy Castle Chaffetz Childers Coble Coffman (CO) Cole Conaway Crenshaw Critz Culberson Davis (KY) Dent Diaz-Balart, L. Diaz-Balart, M. Djou Dreier Duncan Edwards (TX) Ehlers Emerson Fallin Flake Fleming Forbes Fortenberry Foxx Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gallegly
Ackerman Adler (NJ) Altmire Andrews Arcuri Baca Baird Baldwin Barrow Bean Becerra Berkley Berman Berry Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Boccieri Boren Boswell Boyd Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Bright Brown, Corrine Butterfield Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carson (IN) Castor (FL) Chandler Chu Clarke Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly (VA) Conyers Cooper Costa Costello Courtney Crowley Cuellar Cummings Dahlkemper Davis (AL) Davis (CA) Davis (IL) Davis (TN) DeFazio DeGette Delahunt DeLauro Deutch Dicks Dingell Doggett Donnelly (IN) Doyle Driehaus Edwards (MD) Ellison Ellsworth Engel Eshoo Etheridge Farr Fattah Filner Foster Frank (MA) Fudge Garamendi
Gonzalez Gordon (TN) Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Hall (NY) Halvorson Hare Harman Hastings (FL) Heinrich Herseth Sandlin Higgins Hill Himes Hinchey Hinojosa Hirono Holden Holt Honda Hoyer Inslee Isra-el Jackson (IL) Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Kagen Kanjorski Kaptur Kennedy Kildee Kilpatrick (MI) Kilroy Kind Kissell Klein (FL) Kosmas Kucinich Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lewis (GA) Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lujn Lynch Maffei Maloney Markey (MA) Marshall Matheson Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McMahon Meek (FL) Meeks (NY) Melancon Michaud Miller (NC) Miller, George Mollohan Moore (KS) Moore (WI) Moran (VA) Murphy (CT) Murphy (NY) Murphy, Patrick Nadler (NY)
Napolitano Neal (MA) Oberstar Obey Olver Ortiz Owens Pallone Pascrell Pastor (AZ) Payne Perlmutter Peters Peterson Pingree (ME) Polis (CO) Pomeroy Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Rangel Reyes Richardson Rodriguez Rothman (NJ) Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Salazar Snchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schauer Schiff Schrader Schwartz Scott (GA) Scott (VA) Serrano Sestak Shea-Porter Sherman Shuler Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Snyder Speier Spratt Stark Stupak Sutton Tanner Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Tonko Towns Tsongas Van Hollen Velzquez Visclosky Walz Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Watt Waxman Weiner Welch Wilson (OH) Wu Yarmuth
Bishop (UT) Taylor Wamp Woolsey Young (AK)
Ron Pauls legislation is aimed at pulling back the curtain from a secretive and unaccountable Federal Reserve. Congress and the American people have minimal, if any, oversight over trillions of dollars that the Fed controls.
With recent bailouts and spending decisions shining a spotlight on the actions of the Federal Reserve, more and more pressure is bearing down on Congress to take action and demand accountability and transparency.
Auditing the Fed is only the first step towards exposing this antiquated insider-run creature to the powerful forces of free-market competition. Once there are viable alternatives to the monopolistic fiat dollar, the Federal Reserve will have to become honest and transparent if it wants to remain in business.
Ron Paul introduced bill H.R. 1207 on February 26, 2009 with the following speech to Congress:
I rise to introduce the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar. Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserves loose monetary policy. How long will we as a Congress stand idly by while hard-working Americans see their savings eaten away by inflation? Only big-spending politicians and politically favored bankers benefit from inflation.
Serious discussion of proposals to oversee the Federal Reserve is long overdue. I have been a longtime proponent of more effective oversight and auditing of the Fed, but I was far from the first Congressman to advocate these types of proposals. Esteemed former members of the Banking Committee such as Chairmen Wright Patman and Henry B. Gonzales were outspoken critics of the Fed and its lack of transparency.
Since its inception, the Federal Reserve has always operated in the shadows, without sufficient scrutiny or oversight of its operations. While the conventional excuse is that this is intended to reduce the Feds susceptibility to political pressures, the reality is that the Fed acts as a foil for the government. Whenever you question the Fed about the strength of the dollar, they will refer you to the Treasury, and vice versa. The Federal Reserve has, on the one hand, many of the privileges of government agencies, while retaining benefits of private organizations, such as being insulated from Freedom of Information Act requests.
The Federal Reserve can enter into agreements with foreign central banks and foreign governments, and the GAO is prohibited from auditing or even seeing these agreements. Why should a government-established agency, whose police force has federal law enforcement powers, and whose notes have legal tender status in this country, be allowed to enter into agreements with foreign powers and foreign banking institutions with no oversight? Particularly when hundreds of billions of dollars of currency swaps have been announced and implemented, the Feds negotiations with the European Central Bank, the Bank of International Settlements, and other institutions should face increased scrutiny, most especially because of their significant effect on foreign policy. If the State Department were able to do this, it would be characterized as a rogue agency and brought to heel, and if a private individual did this he might face prosecution under the Logan Act, yet the Fed avoids both fates.
More importantly, the Feds funding facilities and its agreements with the Treasury should be reviewed. The Treasurys supplementary financing accounts that fund Fed facilities allow the Treasury to funnel money to Wall Street without GAO or Congressional oversight. Additional funding facilities, such as the Primary Dealer Credit Facility and the Term Securities Lending Facility, allow the Fed to keep financial asset prices artificially inflated and subsidize poorly performing financial firms.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act would eliminate restrictions on GAO audits of the Federal Reserve and open Fed operations to enhanced scrutiny. We hear officials constantly lauding the benefits of transparency and especially bemoaning the opacity of the Fed, its monetary policy, and its funding facilities. By opening all Fed operations to a GAO audit and calling for such an audit to be completed by the end of 2010, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act would achieve much-needed transparency of the Federal Reserve. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
This is the bill itself, H.R. 1207:
111th Congress 1st Session
A BILL To amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes.
1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009.
SEC. 2. AUDIT REFORM AND TRANSPARENCY FOR THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM.
(a) IN GENERAL. Subsection (b) of section 714 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking all after shall audit an agency and inserting a period.
(b) AUDIT. Section 714 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
(e) AUDIT AND REPORT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM.
(1) IN GENERAL. The audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks under subsection (b) shall be completed before the end of 2010.
(A) REQUIRED. A report on the audit referred to in paragraph (1) shall be submitted by the Comptroller General to the Congress before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which such audit is completed and made available to the Speaker of the House, the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the committee and each sub-committee of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and any other Member of Congress who requests it.
(B) CONTENTS. The report under subparagraph (A) shall include a detailed description of the findings and conclusion of the Comptroller General with respect to the audit that is the subject of the report, together with such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Comptroller General may determine to be appropriate..
In this speech to Congress, Ron Paul refutes Ben Bernankes interpretation of HR 1207, the bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and explains why only an audit will protect the publics interest.
Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, the big guns have lined up against HR 1207, the bill to audit the Federal Reserve. What is it that they are so concerned about? What information are they hiding from the American people? The screed is: transparency is okay except for those things they dont want to be transparent.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, argues that HR 1207, the legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, would politicize monetary policy. He claims that monetary policy must remain independent, that is; secret. He ignores history because chairmen of the Federal Reserve in the past, especially when up for reappointment, do their best to accommodate the president with politically driven low interest rates and a bubble economy.
Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Arthur Burns, when asked about all the inflation he brought about in 1971 before Nixons reelection, said that the Fed has to do what the president wants it to do, or it would lose its independence. That about tells you everything.
Not by accident Chairman Burns strongly supported Nixons program of wage and price controls the same year, but I guess thats not political. Is not making secret deals with the likes of Goldman Sachs, international financial institutions, foreign governments and foreign central banks politicizing monetary policy?
Bernanke argues that the knowledge that their discussions and decisions will one day be scrutinized will compromise the freedom of the Open Market Committee to pursue sound policy. If it is sound and honest and serves no special interest, whats the problem?
He claims that HR 1207 would give power to Congress to affect monetary policy. He dreamt this up to instill fear, an old statist trick to justify government power. HR 1207 does nothing of the sort. He suggested that the day after an FOMC meeting, Congress could send in the GAO to demand an audit of everything said and done. This is hardly the case. The FOMC function under HR 1207 would not change.
The detailed transcripts of the FOMC meetings are released every 5 years, so why would this be so different and what is it that they dont want the American people to know? Is there something about the transcripts that need to be kept secret, or are the transcripts actually not verbatim?
Fed sycophants argue that an audit would destroy the financial markets faith in the Fed. They say this in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in history brought on by none other than the Federal Reserve. In fact, Chairman Bernanke stated on November 14th 2007, A considerable amount of evidence indicates that Central Bank transparency increases the effectiveness of monetary policy and enhances economic and financial performance.
They also argue that an audit would hurt the value of the U.S. dollar. In fact, the Fed, in less than a 100 years of its existence, has reduced the value of the 1914 dollar by 96%.
They claim HR 1207 would raise interest rates. How could it? The Fed sets interest rates and the bill doesnt interfere with monetary policy. Congress would have no say in the matter and besides, Congress likes low interest rates.
It is argued that the Fed wouldnt be free to raise interest rates if they thought it necessary. But Bernanke has already assured the Congress that rates are going to stay low for the foreseeable future. And again, this bill does nothing to allow Congress to interfere with interest rate setting.
Fed supporters claim that they want to protect the publics interest with their secrecy. But the banks and Wall Streets are the opponents of HR 1207, and the people are for it. Just who best represents the publics interest?
The real question is: why are Wall Street and the Fed so hysterically opposed to HR 1207? Just what information are they so anxious to keep secret? Only an audit of the Federal Reserve will answer these questions.
Excerpt from Ron Pauls 4/22/2009 appearance on Judge Andrew Napolitanos Freedom Watch:
Ron Paul: After we came back yesterday from our 2-week break, I think have 15 new people signed on and somebody came up to me and says, I signed on your bill this morning because I went to my town hall meetings, I went four of them and in every meeting people were there and say, Its time that we have transparency of the Fed.’
But I call them the Fourth Branch of government. Some people dont think of them as part of the government because theyre so secretive. But we created it, we can end it, we take no responsibility to supervise it, and look at what theyre doing. We spend hundreds of billions, but the Fed deals in trillions, and they dont have any responsibility to tell us about it. So theres a lot of power there and it deserves looking at.
And I think I have to say Barney Frank has been sympathetic with this. Hes for transparency. Hes not for hard money and the type of monetary policy Im talking about. He believes that we should have more transparency of the Fed, so whether this bill gets passed or something very similar, the mood in the country is such that not only do they want us to be better in handling the appropriated fund and knowing where these TARP funds went, the American people have awakened to this whole idea of what the Federal Reserve does behind the scenes.
So Im delighted. Ive been pushing this monetary issue for more than 30 years believing it was THE significant economic issue of our time, and I think people are starting to realize this and were going to keep hearing about it and theres a good chance that it will eventually make it to the floor.
Excerpt from Ron Pauls 3/5/2009 appearance on Judge Andrew Napolitanos Freedom Watch:
Judge Napolitano: Before we switch gears, Congressman Paul, how did Ben Bernanke react to the legislation that you introduced calling for an audit of the Fed. Did he give you a call on the phone?
Ron Paul: Oh yes, he called me, wanted to congratulate me and he wanted to support my bill. You know, interestingly, just recently, I cannot name his name but I was talking to a former member of the Federal Reserve board and told him about the bill and he was friendly enough.
I said, What do you think of that? He said, I think its not a very good idea. And I said, Do the people at the Federal Reserve ever talk about, are concerned about the dollar. I said, you know, Im always talking about the dollar and what this is going to do to the dollar. And I said, Do they know that all this debt and inflation could hurt the dollar? He says, Yes, they do. He confirmed it. He said, They absolutely do. He says, But they cant answer your questions in public because it would cause panic.
Judge Napolitano: This administration came to power and we all knew the words that they used, hope and change. But one of the words that they really used was transparency. I would think the President himself should be in favor of transparency at the Fed if he wants to be ideologically consistent. What are they afraid we will find out, Congressman Paul?
Ron Paul: Well, what theyre going to find out is, thats the first step. Once we get the audit bill passed and we can reveal what they are doing, I think the next step is to end the Fed. Thats why they dont want that.
You know, we had some very good comments made by our Senator Bernie Sanders yesterday from Vermont. I talked with him this morning and were going to be talking a lot about the need for having transparency.
And I think the mood is right. The mood is right both with the Democrats and the Republicans, because they dont know exactly what is going on but they know the American people are sick and tired of just throwing money out there, whether its to the Treasury and nobody knows where it goes, whether they send it to Iraq and nobody knows where the bundles of money go, or whether the Federal Reserve can create 2 trillion dollars, and they dont even have to tell us.
As a government all onto itself, its bigger than the whole U.S. Congress. They create trillions in a day, you know, in a short period of time, and in the Congress we do talk a little bit when we pass 400 million or 800 million. But the Fed is a much bigger problem.
Excerpt from Ron Pauls 3/10/2009 interview with Alex Jones: