Skip to comments.the 27th Amendment
Posted on 08/17/2009 3:29:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Twenty-Seventh Amendment: No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
(Excerpt) Read more at caselaw.lp.findlaw.com ...
FindLaw's commentary: Referred to the state legislatures at the same time as those proposals that eventually became the Bill of Rights, the congressional pay amendment had long been assumed to be dead. This provision had its genesis, as did several others of the first amendments, in the petitions of the States ratifying the Constitution. It, however, was ratified by only six States (out of the eleven needed), and it was rejected by five States. Aside from the idiosyncratic action of the Ohio legislature in 1873, which ratified the proposal in protest of a controversial pay increase adopted by Congress, the pay limitation provision lay dormant until the 1980s. Then, an aide to a Texas legislator discovered the proposal and began a crusade that culminated some ten years later in its proclaimed ratification.The f-bags Tom Foley and Robert Byrd were apparently against ratification.
Now that the provision is apparently a part of the Constitution, 4 it will likely play a minor role. What it commands was already statutorily prescribed, and, at most, it may have implications for automatic cost-of-living increases in pay for Members of Congress.
WikiPedia commentary: ...originally submitted to the state legislatures for ratification by the 1st Congress on September 25, 1789, the last ten of which became the United States Bill of Rights by December 15, 1791. From 1789 to 1791, the compensation proposal was ratified by the legislatures of only six states -- Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Vermont and Virginia -- out of the ten then required. As more states entered the Union, the ratification threshold increased. In 1873, more than 80 years after Congress offered it to the nation's state lawmakers, the Ohio General Assembly ratified the compensation amendment as a means of protest against the "Salary Grab Act." The Salary Grab Act not only provided for a Congressional pay raise, but made that raise retroactive.Congressional cost of living adjustments have not been affected by the 27th Amendment.
The proposed amendment was again largely forgotten, until University of Texas at Austin student Gregory Watson discovered it in 1982. The push for ratification began in earnest and the amendment became the Constitution's Twenty-seventh Amendment when it was ratified a decade later on May 5, 1992 by the Alabama Legislature, the thirty eighth state to do so. It had been erroneously believed that the ratification by the Michigan Legislature on May 7, 1992 added the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, when the June 1792 ratification of all twelve amendments by the Kentucky General Assembly during that state's initial month of statehood later came to light, it was quickly realized that the Twenty-seventh Amendment's addition to the Constitution was actually finalized on May 5, 1992 by Alabama (whose legislature had acted immediately before Michigan's). Possibly unaware of the 1792 ratification, Kentucky lawmakers ceremonially approved the amendment a second time in 1996 (almost four years after the amendment had already been made part of the Constitution). In 1989, the North Carolina General Assembly likewise re-ratified the amendment, having first adopted it two centuries earlier in 1789.
Under the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), any proposed amendment, which has been submitted to the states for ratification and does not specify a ratification deadline, may be ratified by the states at any time. In Coleman, the Supreme Court further ruled that the ratification of a constitutional amendment is political in nature -- and so not a matter properly assigned to the judiciary.
Proposed along with what we know as the Bill of Rights, in 1789, this most recently adopted amendment to the U.S. Constitution wasn't ratified until 1992 -- very nearly 203 years later. Thank you James Madison, and bravo! Worth a ping. End of the weekly Amendments topics.
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It is too bad we can’t progressively diminish Congressional members’ pay the longer they are in office. ;-)
I think their pay should be the median income of the rest of us, computed annually. That way their pay would go DOWN during economic bad times, & up when things are going well. Might give them an incentive to avoid bad legislation!
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