In a recent op-ed for the Boston Globe, a University of Miami School of Law professor has penned a proposal for a “redo” of the First and Second Amendments in order to eliminate free speech, the free press, and the right to bear arms.
Mary Anne Franks, the Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the university, wrote that the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights — the amendments where we are guaranteed constitutional protection of our God-given rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and bearing arms — need to be changed because the current version penned by the Founding Fathers tend to “inspire religious-like fervor in many Americans” and that they are “deeply flawed in their respective conceptualizations” (via FOX News):
“These two amendments are highly susceptible to being read in isolation from the Constitution as a whole and from its commitments to equality and the collective good,” Franks wrote.
The professor claims that the two amendments “tend to be interpreted in aggressively individualistic ways that ignore the reality of conflict among competing rights.”
According to Franks, this failure to address “equality and the collective good” has resulted in “the most powerful members of society” benefiting from these rights at the expense of vulnerable groups. Franks did not elaborate on individuals in these groups.
Of course, Franks didn’t need to elaborate because we know full well that using words like “collective good” are not only intentional, but they are an expression of Marxist ideology designed to fundamentally transform our republic — a goal shared by both the communist-left and the nationalist-right.
For example, overt racism — denying certain people personhood and creating protected vs. unprotected classes of people — is generally associated with the nationalist-right. And the human/civil rights laws loved by the communist-left are the result of their denial of personhood to the unborn and their creation of protected classes.
The work of these two “opposing” ideologies have one thing in common: the abandonment of liberty for the highly volatile, liberty-killing, “ends justify the means,” objectives of the communist-left and fascist-right.
This creates a fundamental problem because collectivism can’t be the solution to tyranny because collectivism is the root of tyranny. Only liberty can end tyranny. Unfortunately, with the doubling-down on collectivism we are witnessing in Washington along with the advance of an increasingly progressive agenda — on both the left and the right — the stability of our society can only spiral downward from here.
So, how would Franks “redo” the First and Second Amendments?
For the First Amendment, her proposal reads:
“Every person has the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances, consistent with the rights of others to the same and subject to responsibility for abuses. All conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.” (emphasis mine)
For the Second Amendment, Franks said the concept of self-defense should be expanded to include “a meaningful right to bodily autonomy” – such as on reproductive matters. Her proposal reads:
“All people have the right to bodily autonomy consistent with the right of other people to the same, including the right to defend themselves against unlawful force and the right of self-determination in reproductive matters. The government shall take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the public as a whole.”
Yes, she really is equating the “right” to murder an unborn baby to the right of self-defense.
With the platform she’s been given as a professor at the University of Miami, Franks’ desire to “redo” the First and Second Amendments is troubling but not surprising, especially with the assault on liberty and the Constitution we’ve witnessed over the past few decades from Washington.
- George W. Bush brought us the PATRIOT Act and other liberty-killing laws post 9/11
- Barack Obama worked on building a police state
- Donald Trump frequently threatened the First and Second Amendments
In the first year of his presidency, Joe Biden has targeted the First Amendment as a part of his pro-LGBT agenda, and from expanded red flag laws to the creation of a national gun registry, he’s targeted the Second Amendment on multiple fronts.
And in a sort of collectivist win-win, Biden has merged gun control and COVID mandates to begin building a police state that would make Barack Obama proud.
Let’s not forget how Donald Trump’s Supreme Court has been systematically dismantling the First and Second Amendments. Most recently, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett defended COVID tyranny and rejected liberty when groups of healthcare workers objected to vaccine mandates for religious reasons.
It should come as no surprise that as a result of this war on liberty, our republic has been compromised even as both the collective-left and right have become stronger and more entrenched. And while there can be no argument that slavery, racism, the denial of personhood, and other issues so important to the collectivists are a part of American history, we need to remember that they were not the result of weaknesses in our Constitution or our founding principles. Instead, they were the result of the progressive-left and right and their identical ideologies.
Franks’ “redo” of the First and Second Amendments and other objectives of collectivism in America is fundamentally incompatible with a free society, our Constitution, and our limited form of government for several reasons:
- Our Constitution is not a positive charter depicting what rights the government is promising to provide to the people
- Our government was designed to be constitutionally restricted from ever having that kind of power
- Government is not the great and powerful provider of our rights and liberty, but a product of them
For the sake of liberty, it’s time we get that straight!
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.