Bill of Responsibilities — Legislative Clarity, Transparency, Scope and Duration

The is the second posting expanding on the Bill of Responsibilities proposed in a posting on April 4, 2012.

Legislative Clarity

The third proposed amendment in the Bill of Responsibilities deals with the obscure nature of much of Congressional legislation.

Legislative Transparency

The fourth amendment in the proposed Bill of Responsibilities deals with giving everyone, including the members of Congress, enough time to read and comment on proposed legislation.

Legislative Scope

The fifth amendment to the proposed Bill of Responsibilities deals with predilection of Congress to pass legislation that is not apply uniformly to all citizens and specifically to Congress’ exemption of themselves from legislation.

Legislative Duration

The sixth amendment of the Bill of Responsibilities deals with how long legislation remains in effect.

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Bill of Responsibilities — Citizen and Language

An earlier post (April 4, 2012) defined a number of amendments to the United States Constitution that, together, could be considered a Bill of Responsibilities akin to the original Bill of Rights.  What is the reasoning behind each of the proposed amendments?  In this post, I’ll expand on the first two of the suggested amendments – citizenship and official language.

Who is a Citizen?

Amendment A — Citizens

Section 1

A Citizen of the United States of America is a person whose mother or father is a citizen of the United States of America, has obtained citizenship through the process of naturalization, or is a Citizen at the time of the adoption of this amendment.

. . .

Amendment B — Language

Section 1

The official language of the United States shall be English.

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Bill of Responsibilities

The United States of America may be unique among the civilizations that have existed on Earth.  By many standards it is a young civilization and by others, very old.  Its very existence rests on a Constitutional foundation that, in total, consists of approximately 4600 words that can be printed on a half dozen pages.  It may be the shortest Constitution ever written and the most inspired.  The Constitution defines the structure of the government of the United States, and the duties of the three branches created.  It defines a single crime — Treason.  The Constitution is clearly written and available to everyone.  Compare this to the Constitution of the European Union, which consists of over 160,000 words of complex legal language not easily understood by the general population.

While the Constitution defines the functions of the three branches of government and the rights of the citizens and States are defined in the Bill of Rights, nowhere are the responsibilities of the Congress and citizens defined.

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