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The Zombie Amendment

The Zombie Amendment

by Paul Engel

 

Summary

  • S. House of Representatives are attempting to revive a dead proposed constitutional amendment.
  • Can Congress change an amendment with a simple majority vote?
  • Is America a nation of laws or of men?

Ronald Reagan said, “a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Apparently, that is no longer true, since there is also a dead proposed amendment that simply will not go away. Sounding like Dr. Frankenstein, the House of Representatives is crying, “It’s alive!”, when it’s actually dead.

On March 17th, 2021, the House of Representatives voted 222 to 204 to ignore the language of the dead Equal Rights Amendment. Many claimed that the resolution passed, but if we read the Constitution we’ll find that no such thing happened.

The Resolution

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That notwithstanding any time limit contained in House Joint Resolution 208, 92d Congress, as agreed to in the Senate on March 22, 1972, the article of amendment proposed to the States in that joint resolution shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the United States Constitution whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States.

H.J. Res. 17 – 117th Congress

The resolution seems simple enough if we simply ignore the language of the amendment that pertains to the deadline for ratification. However, that brings up the first problem: Should the dead amendment be adopted, it would read as follows:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress:

H.J Res. 208 – 92nd Congress

If you look at the right hand border of the document, you can see that the date of submission was March 23rd, 1972. That is fifty years ago, well past the seven year deadline in the resolution.

So, if we added this to the Constitution as the House of Representatives wishes, we would have an amendment that directly contradicts its own ratification. This is not the first time Congress has tried to bypass the amendment process. Not only Congress, but several states also seem to want to ignore what the dead Equal Rights Amendment actually says, which I discussed in article 136 – Serving Expired Kool-Aid. Here though, we have have Congress claiming to pass a resolution without actually passing it.

Amendment Process

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution,

U.S. Constitution, Article V

There are those in the House of Representatives who want to change the dead Equal Right Amendment, but do not have the votes to do so. Do they believe they can ignore the amendment process to get what they want?

H.J. 17 is an attempt to remove language from the dead Equal Rights Amendment. Since that amendment has already been submitted to the states, Congress can’t simply modify it, they need to propose a new amendment. Even if H.J. 17 was an attempt to propose a modified version of the Equal Rights Amendment, it did NOT, as is claimed in Congress, pass the House of Representatives since it did not get the two thirds votes required by Article V.

Date Actions Overview

 

03/17/2021

Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 222 – 204 (Roll no. 82).

01/21/2021

Introduced in House

 

Actions taken on H.J. 17

Since H.J. 17 did not receive the number of votes in the House of Representatives necessary to proceed as an amendment to the Constitution, this should once again be a dead issue. Instead, claiming that the “amended amendment” passed when it did not, this zombie amendment simply will not die. It’s being kept alive by a lawless leadership in Congress, their accomplices in the media, and the ignorance of the American people.

Conclusion

So why am I making such a big deal about this Frankenstein’s monster of an amendment proposal? In drafting the Massachusetts Constituiton, John Adams noted that they were creating “a government of laws, not of men.” (Article XXX) If this nation is also to be run by a government of laws and not of men, those in government must be forced to obey those laws. Article VI of the Constitution not only declares it’s the supreme law of the land, but that all government office holders, at all levels, are required to swear or affirm their support of the Constitution in their oath of office.

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.

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.

U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Clauses 2 & 3

Those who voted for this resolution to ignore the language of the dead Equal Rights Amendment violated that oath by asking Congress to ignore the very law that created it. The leadership members who continue to claim that H.J. 17 passed the House of Representatives not only violate their oaths, but are committing perjury.

The act or crime of willfully making a false oath, when lawfully administered; or a crime committed when a lawful oath is administered in some judicial proceeding, to a person who swears willfully, absolutely and falsely in a matter material to the issue.

Perjury, Websters 1828 Dictionary

Since this act of perjury was not committed in a judicial proceeding, I do not believe it is a crime, though the act of willfully making a false statement while acting under their oath of office does seem to indicate they have perjured themselves morally, if not criminally.

There are those in Washington, D.C., with their willing accomplices in the media, who want to trick you into believing that the Equal Rights Amendment is still alive and able to be ratified. This is a lie and a perversion of the rule of law. If those who wish to resurrect the ERA were to propose a new amendment in Congress, they are more than able to do so. It is my belief, however, that they recognize that the chances of actually getting two thirds of both houses of Congress to vote for such an amendment are extremely slim. So rather than following the law, they continue to claim that a lie is the truth and that a simple majority can change an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe they do this in the hope that the American people know so little about their Constitution that they will let them get away with it. That would not only be a setback for the rule of law, but the further destruction of the blessings of liberty that the Constitution was written to secure to us and our children. The questions are, will the American people allow their employees in Congress to break the law, damage the republic, and drive us further into tyranny, all in the name of well titled amendment?