Constitutional amendments valid
To the editor:
I was pleased to read in last week’s Ledger-Transcript that the initiative to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. FEC is gaining momentum in New Hampshire, with 46 towns passing petitions to restore Constitutional rights to natural persons only and to change the notion that “money is free speech.” This case permits unlimited spending on election campaigns by corporations and unions.
There may be arguments against this action, but one reported in last week’s Ledger-Transcript made by a Jaffrey citizen is simply wrong. He stated that to disagree with a Supreme Court decision would set a bad precedent and would create chaos if the citizenry voted to overturn it. There is nothing sacrosanct about Supreme Court decisions and history has shown how bad some of their decisions have been. Four amendments have overturned Supreme Court decisions that were unpopular.
It is one of the strengths of our Constitution that the founders made a provision for the citizenry to have a mechanism to change laws or decisions made by our government that do not reflect the will of the people. In Article V of the Constitution the process to amend is stated. The bar for amending is high and there have been only 17 amendments since adopting the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments.
It is one of the many checks and balances that the writers of the Constitution wisely included. The process we see at our town meeting in voting on petition articles is the first step in restoring the democratic process to “We The People” and taking power away from corporations. Hopefully, the process will continue until 3/4ths of the states ratify an amendment.
Brian E. Rohde