Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr reports on how how a Utah court just missed “a chance to be a leader in Third Amendment jurisprudence.”
Category Archives: Third Amendment
Time Magazine’s cover story this month is about the Constitution and whether it still matters. I noticed that I was not interviewed for this story. Damn you, Time Magazine. Anyway, Time’s website has a bunch of videos for all the amendments in the Bill of Rights. Here’s a link to the video for the Third Amendment, starring Akhil Reed Amar, constitutional law expert extraordinaire from Yale Law School (in my book, I say that if Amar were a baseball player, he’d be Alex Rodriguez, and if he were a scrabble player, he’d be, well, one of the best scrabble players). Enjoy!
It turns out that there is a surprising amount of odd clauses gear out there for sale. If you do a little searching you can find all sorts of things, from Ninth Amendment t-shirts to Seventh Amendment thongs. I think my favorite stuff comes from the “Forgotten Rights” line of items from a place called “Illegal Briefs.” Here you can buy shirts, mugs, baby clothes, and even dog shirts devoted to the third, eleventh, and sixteenth amendments (the eleventh amendment is about how you can’t sue states, and the sixteenth amendment is the one that authorized the income tax–thus the slogan “the sixteenth amendment is taxing”). You can find all these items for sale right here.
I am a huge fan of Sarah Vowell. Anyone who has read Holy Hullabaloos or heard me talk about it knows that it was while reading Vowell’s classic Assassination Vacation that I got the inspiration for doing my church/state road trip that became the topic of HH. Indeed, after Barack Obama took office, and I was making completely hypothetical recommendations for some top appointments, I recommended Vowell to be the next Archivist of the United States, which of course why would she ever want to do that? But still.
So, imagine my delight to find, on page 164 of her new book about Hawaiian history Unfamiliar Fishes (a great read so far, by the way), a mention of the Third Amendment, probably the oddest clause of them all, and the subject of the final chapter in The Odd Clauses. The Third Amendment, in case it’s not at the top of your head right now, is the one that says “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” Vowell uses it to point out how sacred the early Americans viewed the concept of private property. As she says right after the Third Amendment sentence, “To the Don’t-Tread-On-Me generation and their offspring a property line is a line in the sand.”
And it’s just a bonus that she talks about the Third Amendment right after talking about the Sotomayor confirmation hearing, something that I’ve also expressed my views about at some length, but only in a ridiculous way.