The Bill of Rights – Ten Amendments That Matter

Here we are, a breakdown of the Bill of Rights for the progressive thinker.

But wait! There were actually twelve articles in the first draft of the Bill of Rights, and only articles 3 through 12 were ratified. Here is the text of the missing amendments that were to make up the original Bill of Rights:

Article II – On Congressional pay. No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

This provided protection against congressional pay hikes, preventing a sitting Congress from giving itself a raise. Any increase in pay would not go into effect until the following House election. This proposal was resurrected 203 years later when it became the 27th amendment to the Constitution in 1992! Again, the Founding Fathers predicted situations and provided a statutory basis to address the situation—such foresight!

Article I – Providing for a truly representative republican democracy. After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand persons.

The explosive growth of our population outstripped these visionary representation numbers. This was followed on by the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage, which changed the demographic electoral equations dramatically. Nonetheless, the Founding Fathers expected the House of Representatives to continue to grow with the growth of the electorate. Inexplicably, for a century we have been stuck at a little more than 400 representatives!

Hmmm…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *