I have had several people ask me how I plan to vote on the amendments that will be on the Alabama ballot this Tuesday, so I decided to write down some of the research that I've done. My policy with constitutional amendments is to evaluate them at face value with no consideration for which party originally proposed the amendment or which political groups may be supporting it. A constitutional amendment is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent change in our states supreme law and should therefore be very strictly examined for any hint of error. With that being said, let me share how I plan to vote on this years slate of proposals.
CAUTION: Most of the groups advising voters on these amendments do NOT provide you with the actual wording of the amendment. What you read in most of these publications is a summary of the amendments that was created by the Fair Ballot Commission. These summaries are helpful, but there is no guarantee of their accuracy. Therefore, I have included links to the actual text of the proposed amendments and not to the ballot summaries.
Amendment 1: Yes. This amendment prevents our judges from basing their rulings on foreign laws such as Sharia law.
Amendment 2: No. This amendment would increase our state’s indebtedness by an additional $50 million. The first section of this amendment reads: “The authority granted to the State of Alabama to become indebted … is hereby increased by an additional amount of fifty million dollars.” We should work on eliminating the debt that we already have before electing to go further into debt.
Amendment 3: No. This amendment is self contradictory. It takes our current right to bear arms and declares that it is a “fundamental right,” but then it states that restrictions placed on this right will be subject to strict scrutiny. The problem with this is that the government has no authority to place restrictions on a fundamental right. A fundamental right is a right which is inherent to our nature as human beings. Only God can place restrictions on a fundamental right.
Amendment 4: Yes. This amendment slows down the amount of spending in our educational system. If it is passed, this amendment will make it more difficult for the legislature to increase educational spending. There is a lot of conflicting information being spread about this particular amendment, and it is opposed by most of the TEA party groups in our state. However, their objections seem to be based on a misreading of the actual text of the amendment. This amendment does not give the government greater authority to tax. It limits the authority that they are already using by requiring a 2/3 majority vote for any unfunded mandates that may be issued to the school boards.
Amendment 5: Yes. This amendment adds additional guarantees that citizens of Alabama will have the right to hunt and fish.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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