US History Amendments Project

Topics: United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Bill of Rights Pages: 5 (1434 words) Published: January 9, 2014
The Right to an Attorney Who Actually Does His Job

The public defense systems of two towns near Seattle, Washington were found to be so in adequate that they violate the sixth amendment right to the assistance of counsel in criminal prosecutions. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik condemned the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington, Washington for failing to provide meaningful representation to indigent defendants facing misdemeanor charges. A class-action suit against the cities, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington affiliate and private citizens went to trial in June.

Inadequate representation is not an isolated issue that only exists in Washington state. Attorney General Eric Holder continues to bring attention to the problems in public defense systems throughout the United Sates. In an August speech he said, "America's indigent defense systems continue to exist in a state of crisis."

Judge Lasnik pointed out that two lawyers the cities had contracted, each handled about 1000 cases per year, far exceeding the supreme court's annual public-defender caseload cap of 400! The lawyer often spent less than one hour per case. They didn't have the opportunity, or financial incentive to interview their clients and thus did not represent their clients properly. Their failure to provide adequate representation is a violation of the sixth amendment.

Give States More Power With Caution

This article discusses the benefits of giving states the power to decide how to choose their senators. The states would be allowed to choose their senators by appointment, or indirect or direct election. Allowing the states to decide how to choose their senators would violate the 17th amendment to the United States Constitution which states that senators must be elected by popular vote.

The article points out that federalism is fundamental to American political institutions. Also, it explains that the 17th amendment is outdated. It was partially a response to corruption in the 19th century, a time when the choosing as Senators was often marred by bribery, horse-trading, and the purchasing of seats.

Another reason to repeal the 17th amendment is that there is no institutionalized means for protecting states' interests in Congress. The article suggests that we find a way to include state governments in debates over federal power, and that repealing the 17th amendment could lead to a more balanced Federation. Thus, doing without the 17th amendment would benefit the states.

Best Way to Disrupt Illegal Handgun Market is to Impose Nationwide Limit of One Handgun Purchase Per Month

This article suggests imposing a nationwide limit of one handgun purchase per month (excepting the purchase of handgun collector sets) is the most effective way to disrupt the illegal handgun market. Imposing such a law would still uphold our second amendment rights, because the US Supreme Court has ruled that "laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms are legal."

Additionally it suggests limiting the number of handgun bullets that can be purchased at any one time and imposing higher taxes on ammunition. Doing so would not violate the second amendment. In addition to imposing restrictions on handguns and bullets, the article tells the importance of violence prevention programs focused on supporting individuals at high risk of committing violent acts.

Regulations such as a limit of one handgun purchase per month may be seen as impeding on our rights, but these regulations could save lives by disrupting the illegal handgun market and keeping guns out of the hands of those most likely to kill others. In addition to violence prevention programs these regulations would increase public safety, while still upholding our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Victims Push Laws To End Online Revenge Posts

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