Repeal the __ amendment!

Michi put together this handy chart showing the relative prevalence on the web of the phrase "repeal the __ amendment" for all amendments to 27. Note that this doesn't necessarily represent popular sentiment against the amendments (for example, "Senator Dingleberry wants to repeal the second amendment, and that's why we've gotta fight to elect Senator Yosemite Sam!").

Repeal the nth amendment (via Making Light)


    1. That’s because there is no one alive who actually remembers what the ninth amendment meant.

  1. Why would anyone want to repeal the 17th Amendment. Do people hate popular election of senators that much?

    1. A lot of lowercase-l libertarian and paleocon folks think that, when senators started being elected by the people directly, rather than state legislatures, powers began moving from the states to the federal government. And if you dislike Federal powers that make Federalism almost obsolete (and that includes issues on both sides, like the Dept. of Ed., marijuana prohibition and gay marriage), then you would want to repeal the seventeenth amendment.

    2. Representatives are elected to ask for what the people want.. ice cream every day, free beer, etc.. That is why we call them ‘REPRESENTATIVES’
      Senators, in contrast, were sent to DC to protect the State governments from such idiocy. Not standing for election meant, no raising campaign cash, no need to coddle corporations.
      Unfunded mandates passed by the house could be stopped by the Senate.. sorry kids, no free ice cream of beer. Learn to delay gratification.. put you pennies aside to buy ice cream for yourself.

  2. I personally find the degradation of the constitution to be deeply disturbing. If you read the US constitution and the first 10 amendments without know how the US operators today, I am pretty fucking sure that you would not envision what the US has. The “Defense of Marriage” act is pretty explicitly illegal, yet through some absurdity it is law. We have presidents starting wars, the fourth and fifth amendments are jokes when the government can just demand third parties (corporations) hand out all of your personal information, or just cut the pretense all together and simply wiretap you without a warrant. The eight amendment is a big joke when you can be sued into oblivion over copy right infringement on an item that sells for a dollar. The tenth amendment is has just been left in for the lolz. The “interstate commerce” clause is used to basically justify any and every single action of the federal government.

    The only savings grace is that against all odds, the first amendment has weathered the storm pretty well. Not perfectly, but better than many democracies.

    Oh yeah, and the third amendment seems to be doing pretty well. The government might wiretap me without a warrant, declare war without an actual declaration or getting congress to approve it, prohibit gay marriage, gather private data on me from corporations without a warrant, and that facilitate a corporation in suing me into oblivion because I can’t prove I own a 1 dollar song… but hey, at least I don’t have to worry about soldiers sprawling on the couch, eating my food, and ordering pay per view TV. Thank Jebus for the 3rd amendment.

    1. Rindan, that only applies during peacetime. Since we are at a permanent state of war, legally (the “War on Terror” has standing in the courts) los Federales are permitted to house soldiers in your crib any time they want. They do have to pay you eventually… here’s some IOUs for now.

  3. I’m amazed that there’s more talk about repealing the 17th Amendment (popular Senatorial election) than the 16th (income tax).

  4. Repeal the preamble! The only general welfare I want to be promoting is the General Well fare at my new General Well ™ chain of buffets. I’m sure this is what the founding fathers meant and if they could see how you twisted their words they’d be very upset with you, society.

    By the way, tonight is pan-asian barbecue night. All you can eat, only $11.99, stop by!

  5. If state legislatures selected replacement Senators in the event of a vacancy, they’re much more likely to be representative of the general tendencies of the state than selection from a governor (who may have been elected as a counterbalance against the legislature or his inspiring performance in Jingle All the Way) or by a special election, which tend to produce anomalous results (e.g., Scott Brown).

  6. As of a moment ago, there were also 3 hits for repealing the 28th amendment, 4 for the 32nd and 37th each, 1 for the 39th and 5 for the 42nd. For other amendments up to 50, there were no Google hits at all.

    I was actually surprised how sane these numbers were – perhaps counting Google hits actually has some validity as a research method!

  7. What the hell kind of scale is that? I mean, OK, I know what kind of scale it is, but could ‘Michi’ have picked a worse one? Hard to read doesn’t even scratch the surface.

    Plus [s]he’s not searching on ‘repeal nth amendment’, the search string in fact seems to be ‘repeal the nth amendment’.

    And if you follow the link, the same data are presented unstacked — how gratuitously unhelpful! — on a log-scaled line graph. Srsly, this person is a math PhD, and they don’t understand why it’s just flat wrong to use a line graph for this kind of data?

    And the data are problematic too. 10 ^-2 hits for ‘repeal the twenty-seventh amendment’? Srlsy wtf? One hundredth of a hit? Are you having a laugh?

    The data on the only other point I checked was wrong too: 7th/seventh scores more than 10, but it’s plotted below 10 ^1.

    What an utter crock. Could this possibly be any more wrong?

    (And if I were a betting man, I’d take odds on the data being taken from the Google search estimates — which are often too high by several orders of magnitude — rather than being based on the actual counts. )

    1. Hi misterfricative, Michi here.

      I _do_ realize that a line graph is not very good. Getting Google Charts to make a better work of an unstacked log-graph was rather tricky, and I wanted the log-scaled to be unstacked in order not to mess with the relative size comparisons of the two spellings.

      Also, yes, it was search estimates. And I used “-2” as an approximation for “-infinity”.

      It never was supposed to be more than a short little whipped-up cute chart, inspired by the ones xkcd does periodically; certainly nothing I’d expect to be taken to task on on a level similar to my research output.

      1. Hey Michi,

        Fair enough. Thank you for your measured response — especially after I came on so strong.

        I figured it was never intended as anything more than a throwaway, off-the-cuff experiment, but here it is on Boing Boing being touted as a ‘handy chart’, and… well, it just isn’t.

        Google Charts has a lot to answer for as well then.

        As for the Google search estimates, yeah, anytime you run a search that produces a large number of hits, you can try clicking through a few pages. Sometimes the estimate seems to hold up, but other times I’ve seen estimates in the thousands that in fact run out of hits after a few pages. At the very least, Google’s estimated number of hits is absolutely not to be relied on, not even to within a few orders of magnitude. (This is an interesting problem, and it comes up quite a lot over on language log

  8. Repeal the 3rd amendment!

    Just wanted to get that count up a bit. Who doesn’t love quartering soldiers in peacetime?

    1. I, for one, would welcome the opportunity to accommodate a platoon of rambunctious Marines.

  9. Aargh! I blundered. Entirely my fault and nothing whatever to do with the pisspoor data presentation.

    Anyway, there are indeed just over 10 Google hits for repealing the 7th/seventh, but I was wrong to say that the result is plotted below 10^1; in fact, the line graph puts the cumulative total somewhere north of 30,000.

  10. we should repeal ALL of them since all they’ve done is give people the misconception that their rights stem from a document, as opposed to being inherent in their existence.

  11. Not to mention that other countries and organizations have e.g. 17th amendments too that they might want to repeal. The US constitution isn’t the only thing with repeal-able amendments.

  12. I don’t understand this obsession with the amendments to the constitution. Did they do such a bad job writing the original constitution? Or was the original constitution just a blank piece of paper with nothing on it? Why are the amendments valued so much more than the original constitution? They are just basically corrections.

Comments are closed.