"No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. . . . Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right." Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to James Madison from Paris, 6 September 1789)
By Jefferson's words, enforcement of the U.S. Constitution became an act of force in 1808, during his presidency. What rules did he follow as he served out the last months of his term?
Every employee of California is compelled to sign the following oath:
"I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on 29 February 2008 that Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker graduate student, was fired from a teaching job at the California State University East Bay in Haywire for changing the wording of a loyalty oath required of all California state employees. Each employee, whether involved in law enforcement or not, is required to "support and defend" both the federal and state constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic". A Quaker, Ms. Kearney-Brown was barred by conscience from using violence to defend these paper documents. When she made that clear, she was fired.
"If she'd just signed the oath, the campus would have been more than willing to continue her employment", said Eunice Chan, attorney for the university. Likewise, St. Peter would have been more than happy to condemn her to hell.
It was reported that JoAnne Hill, human resources manager for the campus, "said Kearney-Brown could sign the oath and add a separate note to her personal file that expressed her views". Likewise, St. Peter could hand her a note asking that Satan treat her humanely.
This is merely another example of how arrogant government demands blind conformance to its dubious and arbitrary authority. Marianne Kearney-Brown teaches marginal students remedial mathematics, not jurisprudence, criminal justice, or military science.
Does the state insist that Ms. Kearney-Brown teach American math? Is all foreign mathematics (Egyptian trignometry, Greek geometry, the Indian concept of zero, Indian-Arab algebra, German-English calculus, and French coordinate geometry) off limits?
Although Ms. Kearney encountered a particular barrier to freedom of religion, we will attempt show why no conscientious person, Californian or otherwise, should agree to such an oath. Let's review it:
|TEXT OF OATH||PROBLEM|
|I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic;||Does that mean that the signer must defend the two constitutions against the likes of Dick Cheney?|
|that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California;||Any citizen of one country who swears allegiance to the constitution of another is flirting with treason. No guest worker (including a visiting professor) can be expected to sign such an oath.|
|that I take this obligation freely,||Is this a joke? The employee is under threat of termination (by the Terminator's administration).|
|without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;||A thoughtful person can easily develop reservations regarding this oath that are impossible to quell. Are all such people barred from employment?|
|and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.||Are employees expected to predict their own job performance? What if they guess wrong, and their performance is only mediocre?|
Dahl, Robert A., How Democratic Is the American Constitution? (Yale University Press, 2001).
Dahl, Robert A. , "On the Way to the Common Good, Delegates Found Words That Still Apply", Books of The Times, November 28, 2007.
Hertzberg, Hendrik, "Framed Up: What the Constitution gets wrong", The New Yorker, July 29, 2002.
Kruzer, James, "Set in Stone?: Robert Dahl questions the Constitution's traditional mystique", Harvard Political Review January 25, 2003.
Lazare, Daniel, In The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (1996).
Levinson, Sanford, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It).
Sabato, Larry, A More Perfect Constitution, 2007.
Scialabba, George, "Democracy-Proof", The American Prospect magazine, June 30, 2002.
Wood, Gordon S., "Rambunctious American Democracy", The New York Review of Books, Vol. 49, No. 8, May 9, 2002.
|I||2||1||The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.||What happens if a state creates a third house in its legislature, larger than the others, elected by native-born citizens over 65? Automatically, the majority of the population would be cut out of Congressional elections.|
|I||2||5||The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.||If the House hesitates to impeach, perhaps because of its complicity in the crime, the people have no timely recourse.|
|I||3.||1||The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen . . . for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.||Alexander Hamilton said that a Senate that treats all states as quantitatively equal "shocks too much the ideas of justice and every human feeling."
Small states and their people have lopsided control of Congress. Sanford Levinson, Our Undemocratic Constitution, notes that the Northern Plains states hold much of this power, along with a disproportionate share of the federal budget.
"California gets two senators; the 20 least populous states, which combined have roughly the same number of people as California, get 40 senators." George Scialabba, "Democracy-Proof", The American Prospect magazine, July 2002
"In 2004 (the population) ratio was an incredible 70 to 1 between California and tiny Wyoming. Therefore, the current Senate is absurdly skewed in the direction of the small states. Theoretically, if the twenty-six smallest states held together on all votes, they would control the U.S. Senate, with a total of just under 17 percent of the country's population! . . . Some researchers have even convincingly claimed that the structure of the Senate has resulted in a fairly consistent, and dramatic, redistribution of wealth from the large states to the small states. . . . On most crucial policy votes, . . . the arcane rules of the Senate permit 41 of the 100 senators to prevent a final vote on the floor by means of a filibuster-that is, continuous debate. Put another way, even if 59 of the 100 senators favor a particular bill, it will fail if the filibuster is employed, since 60 votes are needed to invoke cloture-the shutting off of the filibuster to permit a floor vote to proceed. Therefore, just 21 states can provide the 41 senators necessary to block action. The 21 most lightly populated states comprise a mere 11.2 percent of the nation's population as the Senate is currently constituted. . . . (N)othing passes without Senate assent. Therefore, the Congress has a one-house veto on legislation, and to control the Senate is to control the legislative outcome, and indeed much of what the federal government actually does. The small-state stranglehold on the Senate is not merely a bump in the road; it is a massive roadblock to fairness that can and often does stop all progressive traffic." Larry Sabato, A More Perfect Constitution, 2007
|I||7||2||Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.||One lone executive has the power to block legislation passed by Congress. The veto is rarely overridden. This concentration of power is typical in a monarchy, not a democracy.|
|I||8||2||The Congress shall have Power . . . To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;||There is no limit on how much may be borrowed, or what kind of project it may be spent on. The federal debt is enormous and growing. The dollar has lost much of the value it had at the start of the 21st century. A few major investors, including the dictatorial government of Red China, are in a position to manipulate the debt. The economy has begun to collapse.|
|I||8||3||To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;||A high tariff on machinery from Europe forced farmers in Dixie to purchase roughly-manufactured substitutes from Northern states. According to Jane Jacobs, The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty (1980), this contributed to tension that precipitated the Civil War.|
|I||8||5||To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;||How can Congress regulate the value of foreign coins? Isn't that up to the entity that minted them?|
|I||8||8||To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;||The limit is unclear. Congress seems to be extending copyright indefinitely, which is an unlimited time.|
|I||8||10||To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;||Violations of international law, such as unwarranted invasions, are going unpunished.|
|I||8||17||To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, . . .||The affairs of the city of Washington, D.C., most of which can be handled locally, require too much attention from Congress.|
|I||9||1||The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, . . .||The slave trade had legal protection.|
|I||9||7||No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.||While this is a good idea, the Pentagon never manages to comply.|
|I||10||1||No State shall . . . grant any Title of Nobility.||How about Kentucky colonels?|
|II||1||1||The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows||It was a mistake to place all the executive power in the hands of someone who does not answer to Congress and cannot be removed for repeated failure of policy.|
|II||1||2||Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.||Are electors subject to the will of the state legislature, with the governor playing no role?
"First-past-the-post, or strictly majoritarian, elections are also plainly unfair." George Scialabba, "Democracy-Proof", The American Prospect magazine, July 2002
|II||1||3||The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List 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 shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing 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. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.||This procedure has had to be reworked several times. No one honestly believes the Electoral College is the best way to conduct an election.
"First-past-the-post, or strictly majoritarian, elections are also plainly unfair." George Scialabba, "Democracy-Proof", The American Prospect magazine, July 2002
|II||1||5||No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;||The "natural born citizen" category is ambiguous enough to leave doubt about the eligibility of John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone.|
|II||2||8||Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."||Thus, a president elected to repeal the Constitution is not allowed to do so. Ignoring Jefferson's warning, it protects and defends itself from the people's will, perpetuating itself into a time when it will be at best, irrelevant, or at worst, fatal to the society it constrains.|
|II||2||1||The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; . . .||While this chain of command sounds good in principle, it involves a politician in the operation of the armed forces. One reason Germany lost World War II was Hitler's meddling in military decisions.|
|II||2||1||. . . he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.||A corrupt president's cronies have little fear of prosecution, because their ringleader has carte blanche to let them off the hook.|
|II||2||2||He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.||These public officials are not responsible to Congress or the people, but only to the president.|
|II||2||3||The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.||Recess appointments provide a way to give flunkies government jobs without having to subject them to Congressional or public scrutiny.|
|II||2||4||The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.||What does it take to make that happen?|
|III||1||The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.||"The lifetime appointment of Supreme Court judges is lunacy, encouraging presidents to nominate the young over the wise and rendering vacancies random and disruptive." Ezra Klein|
|III||3||1||Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.||Suppose a woman is propositioned by a male enemy combatant. If she rejects him, he will be free to wage war against the United States. If she gives him comfort for several days, he will be away from the battlefield for that time and perhaps too tired to fight when he returns but she can be prosecuted for treason.|
|IV||2||2||A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.||States can not only arrest people for victimless crimes, they can force other states to arrest and extradite them, also.|
|IV||2||3||No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.||The Fugitive Slave Laws made it illegal for any state to provide a safe haven for escaped slaves. Instead, they were required to be returned to their owners. So some escapees went all the way to Canada.|
|IV||3||1||New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.||Remote portions of states can be locked into relationships of permanent exploitation by the political majority. Development has been directed away from the Appalachian ends of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, because other parts of their respective states had more clout. Perhaps this problem can be remedied by changing the boundaries.|
|IV||4||The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.||Direct democracy is prohibited. Each state must be governed by elected representatives.|
|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.||Thirteen states, with 4.47% of the population, can block any amendment. (Those states are Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, and Nebraska. Six are clustered together.)|
|VI||2||This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.||It seems that treaties negotiated in secret can override equity.|
|VI||3||The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.||They are bound to support the Constitution, not morality, not the will of the people.|
|VII||The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.||It is not clear that the nine approving states must be from the original 13.|
|I||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.||How can an employee be required to declare support for her freedom of religion to a state that won't respect it?
Plutocratic judges have misinterpreted the First Amendment in a way that confuses money and speech. There is a move to amend the Constitution so that elections would not be so easy to buy.
|II||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.||This amendment can certainly not be defended by a pacifist Quaker. Nor is it necessary for the unarmed to defend the rights of the armed.|
|V||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.||A murder defendent who uses perjury to mislead a jury into acquittal cannot be retried on the original charge.|
|XI||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.||This amendment has been construed to provide foreigners no legal recourse for injury by American citizens or corporations, forcing them to seek recourse in foreign courts or illegally.|
|XII||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. (See Note 14)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.||This rambling mess was supposed to correct the problems with Article II, Section 1, without turning the choice of executives over to the great unwashed. "First-past-the-post, or strictly majoritarian, elections are also plainly unfair." George Scialabba, "Democracy-Proof", The American Prospect magazine, July 2002|
|XIV||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.||Plutocratic judges have misinterpreted these words as giving corporations, artificial persons created by state charter, most rights of citizens without any of the responsibilities (such as jury duty, draft registration, and criminal liability for treason). There is a move to amend the Constitution to recognize corporations for the fictional entities they are.|
|XIV||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,(See Note 15) 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.||Will disenfranchisement of women go unpunished?
The courts have misused the equal apportionment priniciple to elevate exact equality of Congressional districts above every other value. Gerrymanders are rampant, fragmenting electorates to put lobbyists in control.
|XIV||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.||Are descendants of a deceased slave barred from suing for wrongful death?|
|XXII||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.||When passed, this restriction apparently applied to Herbert Hoover, but not Harry Truman.|
|XXV||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.||Before resigning in disgrace, Richard Milhous Nixon chose his own successor, Gerald Ford. In return, Ford pardoned Nixon for his crimes.|
Although the California Constitution benefits from knowledge of mistakes at the federal level, it still has pitfalls.
|ARTICLE||SEC- TION||SUB- DIVI- SION||PARA- GRAPH||SUB- PARA- GRAPH||CLAUSE||TEXT||PROBLEM|
|Preamble||We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.||California must have the largest population of atheists in the western hemisphere. They have no reason to credit God for their religious freedom.|
|1||1||All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.||Acquiring and possessing property? How about creating it?|
|1||2||(a)||Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.||Everyone but employees of Cal State?|
|1||3||(b)||(2)||A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access. A statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of this subdivision that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.||How about right of access to a job at Cal State?|
|1||4||Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.||Is a Quaker's expression of conscience "licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State"?|
|1||5||The military is subordinate to civil power. A standing army may not be maintained in peacetime. Soldiers may not be quartered in any house in wartime except as prescribed by law, or in peacetime without the owner's consent.||It is odd to find 7,697 soldiers in California. Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County has been operated continuously since 1981.|
|1||8||A person may not be disqualified from entering or pursuing a business, profession, vocation, or employment because of sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.||California seems to accept religious discrimination in employment. Why?|
|1||31||(a)||The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.||California seems to accept religious discrimination in public employment, public education, or public contracting. Why?|
|2||2||A United States citizen 18 years of age and resident in this State may vote.||Any adult citizen, with no disqualifications?|
|2||4||The Legislature shall prohibit improper practices that affect elections and shall provide for the disqualification of electors while mentally incompetent or imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony.||How can any adult resident citizen be disqualified from voting, when previously guaranteed universal enfranchisement for adult resident citizens?|
|2||6||(a)||All judicial, school, county, and city offices shall be nonpartisan.||County and city?|
|2||6||(b)||No political party or party central committee may endorse, support, or oppose a candidate for nonpartisan office.||What is the purpose of a political party if it cannot support candidates for county office?|
|3||1||The State of California is an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.||Separable? It was easy enough to steal from Mexico.
Some people consider the Declaration of Independence to hold a superior position to any constitution. Certainly, It would be ridiculous for Californians to proclaim loyalty to a document that severely disenfranchises them.
|3||2||The boundaries of the State are those stated in the Constitution of 1849 as modified pursuant to statute. Sacramento is the capital of California.||Sacramento is only the political capital. Los Angeles is the economic capital. San Francisco is the cultural capital. Pasadena is the scientific capital. Berkeley is the educational capital. Palo Alto is the technological capital. Tijuana is the vice capital.|
|3||3||The powers of state government are legislative, executive, and judicial. Persons charged with the exercise of one power may not exercise either of the others except as permitted by this Constitution.||Which government power is exercised by supporting and defending a constitution?|
|7||4||(h)||The following are exempt from civil service: . . . Officers and employees of the University of California and the California State Colleges.||Why are blue-collar university employees not covered by civil service law?|
|7||9||(a)||Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, no person or organization which advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or the State by force or violence or other unlawful means or who advocates the support of a foreign government against the United States in the event of hostilities shall: . . . Hold any office or employment under this State, including but not limited to the University of California, or with any county, city or county, city, district, political subdivision, authority, board, bureau, commission or other public agency of this State;||A loyalty oath to "support and defend" both the federal and state constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic" rings hollow if the most insidious enemy, the Government of the United States, is off limits.|
|13A||1||(a)||The maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property shall not exceed One percent (1%) of the full cash value of such property. The one percent (1%) tax to be collected by the counties and apportioned according to law to the districts within the counties.||With housing values declining, it may require two percent (2%) or more of real property value to support decent schools.|
|13A||1||(b)||(3)||The limitation provided for in subdivision (a) shall not apply to ad valorem taxes or special assessments to pay the interest and redemption charges on any of the following: . . . Bonded indebtedness incurred by a school district, community college district, or county office of education for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, approved by 55 percent of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition on or after the effective date of the measure adding this paragraph. . . .||Voters are allowed to pierce the cap to pay the interest when building more classrooms, but not to pay construction outright. Unless investors and bankers can profit, no deal.|
|13A||1||(b)||(3)||(A)||This paragraph shall apply only if the proposition approved by the voters and resulting in the bonded indebtedness includes all of the following accountability requirements: . . . A requirement that the proceeds from the sale of the bonds be used only for the purposes specified in Article XIIIA, Section 1(b) (3), and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.||Voters can choose to pay for more classrooms, but not for teachers to staff those classrooms.|
|21||1||(d)||Districts of each type shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.||As a general rule, the higher the numbers that must be placed in a district on a map, the larger that district must appear. As the population of the southern half of Los Angeles county is larger than that of any land area of equal size in California, that area's districts are the smallest in area and most easily accommodate single-digit numbers, with numbers in the range 11-19 being next in character size. To make the maps easy to handle and read, the lowest ordinal district numbers should be near the southern end of California.|
|ARTICLE||SEC- TION||SUB- DIVI- SION||PARA- GRAPH||SUB- PARA- GRAPH||CLAUSE||TEXT||PROBLEM|
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