When was the last time
there was an attempt to amend the Constitution?
In the ’80s, there was
an attempt with the Equal Rights Amendment. There was a great
deal of controversy surrounding that as well. With gay rights,
it is even more politicized.
What happens when states
challenge the federal government? It seems like the states would
like to retain control.
It’s hard for states to
challenge the feds. For instance, when the federal government
decided that the national speed limit should be 55 miles per
hour, some states balked since states set the speed limits.
The federal government simply threatened the withholding of
federal highway dollars, and the states caved in. The problem
is that all the states feed at the federal trough, so it’s
difficult for states to take on the federal government.
So adding an amendment is
Well, historically, it’s
not been easy and I think that’s the point. You want
people to fully understand the implications, and amending
our Constitution shouldn’t be that easy. It provides
the basis of our legal system, and while it must change with
the times, these changes should be done in a manner that is
thoughtful and intelligent.