Dysfunctional Constitutional Provisions

By Alan Adaschick

Any departure from constitutional precept, no matter how insignificant, establishes the precedent that all provisions of a constitution may be violated and government can pick and choose which provisions it wishes to obey or ignore.

When this is the case, a constitution is dysfunctional for the primary purpose for which it was written and the power enjoyed by government officials is undefined. If the power held by government officials is undefined then, in the final analysis, it is unlimited.


1. ARTICLE I, Section 1: All legislative power granted herein shall be vested in Congress.

Problem: The legislative power of Congress is now shared with and subordinate to the Ruling Panels of the World Trade Organization.

2. ARTICLE I, Section 3: The Senate Shall have the sole power to try impeachments.

Problem: In President Clinton’s impeachment trial, the Senate assumed that the power to try impeachments included the power to decline to try them. Toward this end, the Senate entertained a vote to dismiss the charges against the President. This vote was an infringement upon the House’s constitutionally provided “sole” power of impeachment. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate cannot vote to un-impeach by dismissing the charges against the President. A vote of this kind, in the final analysis, is a vote by the Senate to evade their constitutionally provided for duties and responsibilities.

3. ARTICLE 1, Section 3: When sitting for that purpose (impeachment), they (the Senate) shall be on oath or affirmation.

Problem: In President Clinton’s impeachment trial, the Senate voted to limit the presentation and the amount of evidence presented by House prosecutors. It is impossible to reconcile an oath to judge fairly and properly with a vote to limit the amount and manner of presentation of the evidence. How can a judgment be fair an proper if all the evidence was not heard? Any vote taken to limit the amount and presentation of the evidence in any trial is a clear indication that the outcome of the trial has been pre-ordained and the proceedings undertaken as window dressing.

4. ARTICLE I, Section 3: Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States: but the party so convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trail, judgment and punishment according to law.

Problem: The purpose of the impeachment procedure in our Constitution was to provide a mechanism for removal from office any high government official who Congress believes is guilty of committing crimes. This removal is necessary so the nation does not have to suffer a criminal trial of high governmental officials while they hold office. The governing principles involved here are that no government official is above the law and no convicted should hold high public office. In the case of President Clinton, the Senate did not fairly and properly hear the charges against him and far worse, the criminal justice system failed to charge and try President according to Law after the conclusion of his impeachment trail. This established the deplorable precedent that the President and other high government officials are above the law, that they are not accountable for crimes they commit while in office, and that they will also avoid being held accountable for their crimes after they leave office.

ARTICLE I, Section 8: Congress shall have the power to collect duties, imposts, and excises.

Problem: Congress can now only collect duties, imposts, and excises at the discretion of the Ruling Panels of the World Trade Organization.

5. ARTICLE I, Section 8: Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.

Problem: Congress has subordinated its power to regulate commerce with foreign nations to the Ruling Panels of the World Trade Organization.

6. ARTICLE II, Section 4: The President, Vice President, and other Civil Officers shall be removed from office upon conviction and impeachment for Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Problem: The commission of deliberate criminal acts by President, Vice President, and other high government officials are no longer considered sufficient for reasons for impeachment and removal from office. This is especially true for misdemeanor crime.

7. ARTICLE III, Section 1: The Judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court.

Problem: The judicial Power of the United States has been subordinated by Congress to the Ruling Panels of the World Trade Organization.

8. ARTICLE III, Section 2: The powers of the Supreme Court are to be exercised through either appellate jurisdiction or original jurisdiction.

Problem: The Supreme Court has never exercised its power of original jurisdiction and is remiss for not doing so in consideration of the implications and ramifications of our membership in the World Trade Organization.

9. ARTICLE V: Congress or two-thirds of the legislatures of the states shall propose amendments to the Constitution.

Problem: The amendment process has not been used by Congress in all cases where warranted and significant changes to how our government functions have been made by simple legislative act. Furthermore, citizens are now legally denied redress for such concerns and grievances.

10. ARTICLE VI: Senators, Representatives, State Legislators, and all executive and judicial officers shall support this Constitution and be so bound by oath.

Problem: To support the Constitution is to abide by all its precepts. Our government, as a matter of routine practice, no longer does this. This situation persists because the President, Senators, Representatives, and State legislators, in general, agree that it is acceptable to violate the oath they have sworn.

11. AMENDMENT I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Problem: By prohibiting Congress from legally establishing an official religion for this Nation the Founders did not intend to outlaw non-denominational reference to God at public events or in our schools. Unfortunately, today such references to God are wrongfully interpreted as being politically incorrect and, in some instances, unconstitutional.

12. AMENDMENT II: Congress shall make no law prohibiting the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Problem: The situation in the United States today is that citizens no longer have a legal right to question or challenge governmental actions as to constitutionality in a court of law. As a result, our Constitution has been rendered dysfunctional for the prime purpose for which it was written and citizens have been denied an inalienable right.

13. AMENDMENT II: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Problem: The right of people to keep and bear arms has been infringed upon in a multitude of ways.

14. AMENDMENT III: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.

Problem: Governmental authorities have assumed the right seize the property and effects of any citizen whenever they deem appropriate primarily in regard to suspected illegal drug activity. Furthermore, our property and effects can, by themselves, be charged with a crime and seized for that reason. When this occurs, the burden of proof lies with the owners and not the charging authorities.

15. 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.

Problem: This is the most flagrantly violated provision in our Constitution. The government of the United States now exercise a plethora of powers and responsibilities reserved by our Constitution to the States and their citizens. Among these are the Social Security System, the Interstate Highway System, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health And Human Services, the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Commission On Civil Rights, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the equal Employment Opportunity Commission, etc., etc., etc.

 Constitution Forum.us – Copyright © 2003 

Reprinted with permission from Alan Adaschick. Correspondence follows:

You have my permission to reprint, publish, xerox, distribute, give away, send etc. any and all of my political writings that appear on my website…
God bless you
Alan Adaschik
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