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Surge Desk Elections

8 Candidates Who Want to Amend the US Constitution

Oct 7, 2010 – 6:15 PM
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David Knowles

David Knowles Writer

(Oct. 7) -- Does the U.S. Constitution grant Americans citizens too many rights?

That seems to be the conclusion reached by some tea party activists and the candidates they have helped propel to victory. While in years past, a scattered number of political aspirants have spoken about scaling back the Constitution so that it more closely resembles the original version, this year's rise of the tea party has resulted in a slew of candidates who view the revered document as bloated.

Surge Desk has a roundup of the politicians who believe that, when it comes to the number of amendments tacked on to the Constitution, less will mean more.

From left, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller and Rand Paul
AP / MCT
Sharron Angle, Joe Miller and Rand Paul are some of the candidates running this year who have expressed a desire to repeal or amend certain portions of the U.S. Constitution.

THE 17th AMENDMENT

Before the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913, state legislatures, not the voters, appointed the senators from a given state.

Mike Lee
In an interview with CNN in July, Utah Republican Senate candidate Mike Lee termed the 17th Amendment a "mistake" that lessened the power of the states. Thought Lee admitted that a repeal of it was unlikely, it is clear that he favors such a move.



Joe Miller
Senate write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski has posted footage of Alaska GOP nominee Joe Miller proclaiming his belief that the 17th Amendment be repealed.




Ken Buck

At an event in 2009, Colorado Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck declared that the 17th Amendment had "taken us [the country] down the wrong path" and indicated his support for the idea of repealing it. Democrats seized on Buck's remarks, releasing video of the event in an ad. Buck then clarified his stance, telling The Huffington Post, "It is not a position I still hold and it wasn't a position I held a day later when I called back the guy who asked the question and talked to him about the issue and reflected more on it."

Steve Southerland
Like Buck, after telling an audience that he was "fine with" the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment, Florida's "conservative Republican" Southerland later backtracked after his opponent, Democrat Allen Boyd, brought the initial statement to light in a campaign ad.


THE 16th AMENDMENT

Ratified by Congress in 1913, the
16th Amendment allows the federal government to tax the income of American citizens directly.

Jeff Landry
Boasting a love of small government and states rights, tea party candidate Jeff Landry assured voters that he would like to see the outright repeal of both the 16th and the 17th Amendments, as well as a revision of the 14th, while speaking at a forum leading up to the primary election in Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District.

Sharron Angle
Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle abhors taxes. On her website she proposes a "hard cap on property tax increases" and pledges to vote against all tax and fee increases. Perhaps it's no wonder then, that, as the Las Vegas Sun reported, she also favors a repeal of the 16th Amendment.

Paul Broun
Like Fox News Host Glenn Beck, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, who is running for re-election, is no fan of President Woodrow Wilson. It was during Wilson's time in office, after all, that both the 16th and the 17th Amendments were passed. Here was Broun at a gathering in Athens, Ga., earlier this year describing his view that "both amendments need to be repealed."



The 14th AMENDMENT

Passed in 1866, the portion of the
14th Amendment that has drawn conservative ire is the Citizenship Clause, which defines citizenship as extending to all those who are born in the United States, regardless of the immigration status of the parents.

Rand Paul
Like many sitting Republican U.S. senators, Rand Paul favors a repeal of the 14th Amendment. In an interview with Right Wing News, Paul said the following:

I also think that we need to have the courts review whether or not if you break the law to come into the U.S., whether your child would be a citizen just by being born here. Some point of the 14th Amendment say you can't do that. But the 14th Amendment actually says that you will be a citizen as long as you are under the jurisdiction of the United States. Many argue that these children that are born to illegal aliens are really still under the jurisdiction of the Mexican government. I think we need to fight that out in the courts. If we lose, then I think we should amend the Constitution because I don't think the 14th amendment was meant to apply to illegal aliens. It was meant to apply to the children of slaves.
Mike Lee
In addition to his dislike of the 17th Amendment, Lee would also like to see the 14th done away with. Lee has often termed the children who are born in the U.S. to foreign citizens "anchor babies."


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