Three Constitutional Conversations Other Than Birthright Citizenship

With immigration increasingly a hot-button issue in the political arena, Sen. Lindsey Graham has suggested altering the part of the 14th Amendment that automatically grants United States citizenship to any baby born on U.S. soil. Opinions on the proposal have been varied, and on Wednesday, even Sen. John McCain expressed a willingness to consider the idea. But Graham's suggestion isn’t the first constitutional conversation in recent years. Supreme Court decisions and changing political temperaments have led to such things as calls for repeals, concern about the scope of the Bill of Rights, and suggestions that we change the very amendment that allows people to voice these opinions.
(1) In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, deciding that corporate speech is protected under the First Amendment just like that of any private citizen. Politicians like Sen. John Kerry then proposed a change to the First Amendment, so it would no longer protect corporations.
(2) Another recently suggested change is the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which gives citizens the right to elect their U.S. senators instead of having state legislatures choose and appoint them. According to The New York Times, this amendment was originally added to stop the selling and purchasing of Senate seats. But as the Times reports, those fighting against it, like columnist George Will and former senator Zell Miller, believe that it takes power away from the states.
(3) In the wake of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, some leftist pundits called for the repeal of the Second Amendment, a position that was all but quashed by the Supreme Court's ruling the following year that Washington, D.C.’s gun ban was an unjust infringement on the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms. In June of this year, the court ruled that the amendment also supersedes state and city laws, a ruling that again garnered criticism—though so far, no truly earnest attempts at repeal of what is perhaps the most controversial amendment.
Regardless of the media hype that Graham and other advocates of constitutional reform may prompt, amending the Constitution is a difficult task, so it seems unlikely that we'll see any substantial changes anytime soon.

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