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Essay:Needed Constitutional Amendments (Smerdis of Tlön)

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Drug legalization; abolition of excise taxes[edit]

  1. Notwithstanding any existing federal or state law, alcoholic beverages now known or yet to be discovered, tobacco and its active ingredients, marijuana and its active ingredients, opium poppies and their active ingredients, coca leaves and their active ingredients, and peyote and its active ingredients are lawful for any person to own, sell, manufacture, and consume.
  2. After the effective date of this amendment, states may enact minimum ages for the purchase and sale of these substances, not to exceed 21 years. Provided, however, that such minimum age must be at least two years before that person becomes eligible for a license to drive an automobile.
  3. Neither the United States nor any State may impose an excise tax or any other tax on any product named in this amendment, nor any product sold for human consumption, unless that tax is levied generally on all foodstuffs. No tax shall be levied on any product sold for human consumption based on that product's ingredients, method of manufacture, or chemical composition.
  4. No substance shall be made unlawful to possess, manufacture, consume, or sell on the grounds that a person may use it to become voluntarily intoxicated.

Extended ERA[edit]

  1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, sexual identity, sexual orientation, habits, or lifestyle, except when the United States or any State has a compelling interest to protect the safety and rights of its citizens.
  2. Neither the Federal Government nor any state may criminalize or impose any sanction on any work of creative expression based on its sexual content.
  3. Neither the Federal Government nor any state may abridge the right to travel, dwell in property they have an interest in, or restrict the movements of any person because they have been convicted of a sex crime.

Voting rights: felonies[edit]

  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 any conviction for crime, once the convict has been released from prison.
  2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Right to drive[edit]

  1. The right to operate a motorized vehicle shall not be abridged without the due process of law.
  2. No person shall be judged to have consented to any search or medical procedure by virtue of operating a motor vehicle or holding a license to operate one.

Copyright[edit]

  1. The maximum duration for copyright in a published work is thirty-five years from the date of first publication. The maximum date for copyright for an unpublished work is twenty years from the date of its last revision, or the author's death, whichever comes first.
  2. Neither trademark nor any other law may be used to extend the duration of copyrights.
  3. Congress may shorten the term of copyright defined by this amendment. Notwithstanding any changes made by Congress to the duration of copyrights, any work that has entered the public domain shall remain in the public domain. The maximum duration of copyright shall be fixed and determined by the law in place on the date the work was deemed created by this amendment, and may not be enlarged by the retroactive application of any law providing for a longer term.

Abortion; definition of treason[edit]

  1. Neither the Federal Government nor any State shall abridge the right of a woman to terminate her pregancy for any reason at any time, nor may they impose any regulation on any procedure to procure abortion that is not generally imposed on all other medical procedures.
  2. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort, or suggesting the repeal of this Amendment for any reason.
  3. Treason is punishable by death, or by such lesser penalty as the Congress or the several states may impose. In the absence of such legislation, this Amendment shall serve as a criminal statute defining a crime and imposing a penalty.

Conscription[edit]

  1. No person shall be subjected to impressment, conscription, or other involuntary service of a military or other nature by the Federal Government or any State, except as punishment for crime, or in case of a formal declaration of war by Congress under article I of this Constitution.

Imprisonment for debt; contempt[edit]

  1. Neither the Federal Government nor any State shall subject any person to imprisonment for debt, including the violation of a court order to pay money to or on behalf of any person.

Identity documents[edit]

  1. Neither the Federal Government nor any State shall issue or compel the use of any identity card or papers, nor may they issue any other document for use as an identity card; nor may they compel any person to produce documents of identity on demand; nor may they issue anyone an identity number, or compel anyone to identify themselves by a number instead of by name.

Crime and asset forfeitures[edit]

  1. All criminal penalties imposed by the Federal Government or by any State shall have a maximum duration and amount fixed by law.
  2. Neither the Federal Government nor any State shall impose an indeterminately long sentence, nor impose a general or indefinite forfeiture of assets; nor may any forfeiture be ordered before conviction.
  3. No person shall suffer sequestration or confiscation of property on account of a criminal accusation before conviction; nor may any person be deprived of funds used to defend against a criminal charge.

Religious test[edit]

  1. The government of the United States shall not establish diplomatic relations with the Papacy, or recognize the Pope of Rome as an earthly ruler.
  2. All persons holding any office of profit under the government of the United States, and all elected and appointed officials and representatives of that government, shall abjure troublesome and unsocial religious beliefs as defined by this Amendment, by making a declaration substantially in the following form:
I deny, without prevarication or mental reservation, that we are living in the End Times of Biblical prophecy. I specifically deny that the existence of the Jewish state of Israel fulfils biblical prophecy or is a sign of the End Times.

Single subject of legislation[edit]

  1. All bills in Congress shall be confined to a single subject, which shall be clearly expressed in the title. Provided, however, that general or omnibus money and spending bills may be passed, but those bills may not change the substance of laws.
  2. No bill shall be named in memory of any person, living or dead. All such bills passed by Congress or any state now in force are repealed.

No treaties giving rights to investors[edit]

  1. No person or business shall be granted a right to be heard by any tribunal or a right to an award of damages against the United States or any of its States, based on a loss of profit or opportunity occasioned by any law, regulation, policy, or decision made by any arm of their governments.
  2. Any treaty or agreement is hereby abrogated to the extent that it purports to confer such a right.

Municipal statehood[edit]

  1. Any municipal area as defined by the Census that exceeds 500,000 people in population may, by majority vote of its residents, secede from the state or states it formerly was a part of, and reconstitute itself as a new state.
  2. No state may act to prevent or qualify the right to secede and form a new state.