Three Failed Amendments to the Constitution and Why They Failed


There are actually a lot of amendments that were never passed and we just never hear about them.

What I'd like to do over the next few weeks is to talk about some of these. Some of them are pretty wacky, but some of them might be on to something. Let's take a look.

Protecting and Preserving Slavery

Approved by Congress in 1861, and ratified by two states, the Corwin Amendment would have guaranteed the right of states that legalized slavery to keep “persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” Congress passed it two days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.

This amendment was only ratified by five state legislatures and therefore did not become and amendment. Technically speaking, the amendment is still pending and could be passed, but that will never happen. We're done with slavery.

Outlawing Millionaires

In 1933, Rep. Wesley Lloyd from Washington thought that by distributing income equally the issue of the Federal debt would be solved. He proposed that no one should be able to accumulate more than $1 million.

Imagine that today. While $1 million is still a good amount of money, it's really not a ton in 2021, especially with this inflation. I wouldn't put it past the Democrats to try and do something like this still with a number like $1 billion, but that will never happen either because there aren't enough people in this country that think being a billionaire should be illegal.

Three Presidents?

In 1876, a private citizen named Augustus Wilson wrote Congress to ask them to pass an amendment to eliminate the office of President and replace it with a Roman-style triumvirate. His reasoning was because of the contested Hayes-Tilden election.

Also, in 1876, some residence of Potter County, Pennsylvania, asked Congress to pass an amendment to eliminate the Senate and the Presidency. Guess what? The proposal never made it to the Senate!

I honestly wonder what something like this would look like today. I'd be willing to be that nothing would get done unless they were all of the same party which would be a disaster. But what if it had to be equal? What if there were to be a Republican, a Democrat, and then something in-between...whatever that may be. Maybe it could be something like an elected official who is bound to make the decision that the majority of the people of the country choose.

So for example, should we pass this bill? President 1 says yes, President 2 says no, and President 3 sees what the majority vote by the public is and they say yes and votes accordingly. That would be interesting.

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