Wholly misleading half truth: Repealing an amendment

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Technically speaking, this is true. However, it is also a strawman. In practical terms, the constitution can be changed by reinterpreting it, which is within the purview of the Supreme Court.

The constitution states the amendment process:

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

However, this ignores the fact that the Supreme Court can “reinterpret” the constitution.

For example, the federal government is barred from taking powers not explicitly granted by the constitution by the tenth amendment:

Amendment X

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.

Between 1917 and 1919, this was interpreted to mean that the government may not outlaw foods or drinks, especially if they are manufactured and consumed in the same state. Therefore, to pass prohibition it was necessary to pass the 18th amendment:

AMENDMENT XVIII

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

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.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 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.

Yet today, without any relevant change in the constitution itself, the federal government runs the Drug Enforcement Agency that forbids other drugs.

Very few people are afraid that the government will abolish the second amendment from the written constitution. But if it is interpreted to mean “the state militia may bear arms”, or “only such arms as existed when the Bill or Rights was ratified”, it becomes dead letter.

This fear is based on:

  1. Gun control laws that restricted the right to bear arms, and were approved by the supreme court as not violating the second amendment.
  2. Statements, including from Hillary Clinton herself, supporting further restrictions on the right to bear arms.

Wholly misleading half truth: Non-essential

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There are things that have to run 24×7. Law enforcement, ambulances and hospitals, fire dept., 911 dispatch, etc. Those are called essential.

Some non-essential employees fulfill other functions, which have to be fulfilled for the essentials to happen. If payroll doesn’t pay the police, if the fire department doesn’t have access to the budget for fuel, or if the 911 dispatch center gets disconnected from electricity because the bill wasn’t paid, what happens? How about if the roads that the ambulance needs to get to your house aren’t maintained, even though they aren’t maintained during a snow storm? Or the court system that takes people arrested by the police and sends them to prison or sets them free? Those are all non-essential on a 24×7 basis. They can all take a week off to avoid dying in snow related accidents. But if they took much longer than that, there would be effects.

Bad Comparison: Dissimilar Events

This is not a valid argument, because the two events were very different.

In Garland, TX it was an event guaranteed to upset Muslims. The event organizers, very prudently, hired guards to keep the events safe. An attack was expected, guards were there, and it was resolved successfully.

In San Bernardino, CA the attack was unexpected. While having CHL holders might have helped matters, we cannot be sure. People are much easier to attack when they think they are safe. Therefore, this comparison is invalid. A better comparison would be to an unexpected act of violence, such as this one.

Strawman: The Inconsistent Immigrant

There are several issues here.

  1. Nobody claims that all immigrants (or even just all illegal immigrants) are the same. There is no logical contradiction between believing that Jose, who is a much harder worker than I am, will “steal” my job and believing that Ramon will be too lazy to work and end up supported by the government one way or another.
  2. The meme says “immigrant”. This is another strawman, because the public policy argument is only about immigrants who are violating immigration law.

h/t Robert Boyer and David Burkhead