The U.S. Constitution Needs a New Equal Rights Amendment – The American Thinker


Amendments have been added to the U.S. Constitution in order to assure equal rights for various groups of persons. These groups have included freed slaves, women voters, and civil rights for all minorities.

However, a new equal rights amendment is badly needed, and this amendment will be the most comprehensive of all: it would be an amendment to force government at all levels to obey the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the administration of laws, mandated Federal programs, and regulations. Right now, the Federal government and its employees enjoy a privileged status, a special group of rights — including the right to deprive private citizens of the rights given to them by the Constitution.

Here’s an example. The Supreme Court recently ruled in the Horne Case No. 14-275 that if the Department of Agriculture seizes raisins in order to bring price stability to the raisin market it must give just compensation to the raisin growers. The raisin growers cannot be forced to wait until the raisins are sold, up to a year later, and then maybe get an unsatisfactory amount for the seized raisins. This reflects the Fifth Amendment requirement that property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation. But the government through its various agencies violates the takings clause every day.

If someone loses a house to a tax sale, that house is being taken for public use, viz., to pay the back taxes. These taxes are purely for public use. No government would say the property taxes are going to private use. Yet I am not aware of any county in the U.S. that is required, by state law, to provide just compensation to the person whose house was taken. The county should sell the house at a tax sale, deduct the taxes owed, then give the owner compensation equal to the market value — assessed value — of the house. If the county assesses the value of the house at $150,000 and it sold for $40,000 at a back taxes sale, then the homeowner is owed $110,000 in just compensation.

Of course, if counties had to obey the Fifth Amendment and give just compensation they could no longer use the threat of a tax sale to extort money from property owners to fund their outrageous pensions. However, this is not a constitutional argument. This takings clause argument is valid.

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