The following is an excerpt from the original Maine Constitution of 1820
SECT. 1. Every male citizen of the United States of the age
of twenty-one years and upwards, excepting, paupers;
persons under guardianship, and Indians not taxed, having
his residence established in this State for the term of three
months next preceding any election, shall he an elector for
Governor, Senators and Representatives. in the town or
plantation where his residence is so established; and the
elections shall be by written ballot. But persons in the military,
naval or marine service of the United States, or this State,
shall not be considered as having obtained such established
residence by being stationed in any garrison, barrack or
military place, in any town or plantation; nor shall the
Students at any seminary of learning entitle him
to the right 0f suffrage in the town or plantation where the seminary is located.
The U. S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 4 provides; “The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senator and Representative, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing Senators. Omitted from this ability to alter the regulations for voting is the absence of being able to regulate who is entitled to vote. Those qualifications are listed above and part of the Maine Constitution of 1820. Webster defines a pauper as anyone who lives on charity, especially tax supported charity.
The Bill of Rights, or the first ten so-called amendments to the Constitution exacted fierce debate amongst the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Those who argued against their inclusion cited the fact that each State had already incorporated them as part of their State constitutions. Further, the only individuals over whom the federal authority had any jurisdiction were counterfeiters, pirates and those who committed treason against the federal government. Their ultimate inclusion was not only unconstitutional but has resulted in continual controversy between the people and the federal government ever since.
I say unconstitutional because they were not amendments in the strict sense of the word, but additions, making it an entirely new document, after the first had been approved by the States, without them. Webster defines amendment as a revision or change but not an addition. Therefore, every single amendment added to the original Constitution is not a change, but an addition to the document which is why the original language remains.
For example, the amendment giving women the privilege of voting did not amend the Constitution but added to it a power not given the federal government, that is determining who was qualified to vote. Even if the States agreed, it was on the basis of violation of their own Constitutions. To be strictly legal, the States would have had to replace their own constitutions with one replacing the language cited above. Granted, many States did rewrite their constitutions accordingly. For example, the Maine Constitution does not include the language cited above but reads, “Every citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years and upwards, excepting persons under guardianship for reasons of mental illness, having his or her residence established in the State, shall be an elector for Governor or Senators and Representatives, in the city, town or plantation where his or her residence has been established………” The constitution of the State of Massachusetts, adopted before the federal Constitution provided for the joint ballot of the State Senate and House of Representatives to choose the delegates to the Continental Congress.
Not all additions to the Constitution, regardless of their form of ratification, fall in the category of requiring the States to rewrite their own Constitutions. I cite the XIVth and XVIIth amendments in particular to illustrate the errors and actual unconstitutionality of the illadvised actions of the federal government and complicity of the States in ratifying them. The first words of the XIVth amendment read, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States”. This language was intended to make citizens of those previously held in bondage as property and was totally unnecessary because their residency in one of the States already made them citizens. Instead, it created the anchor baby problem of illegal immigrants coming to the United States for the single purpose of having their children born here so they could not be deported. It also made citizens of any foreign woman’s child who happened to give birth while visiting or even transiting the country, never intending remain here and have her child made a citizen of the United States. It created the dual citizenship category which is ridiculous because you cannot be a citizen of two countries, any more than you can be a citizen of two States, a resident only when physically present, meaning they are not one in the same.
The XVII amendment is the classic case of ignorance of the law, because the Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws, that is making illegal that which was previously legal. Its repetition was avoided in the case of tobacco but not with mind altering drugs, much to the detriment of society when the government unconstitutionally banned the sale and use of some of them, including marijuana.
For a full exposure of the unlawful or just outright stupid acts of your Congress, the Executive and the Judiciary I refer you to my book, The Constitution, a Document Steeped in History and a Compromise Devoid of Promise.