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[P]
What Good is the Third Amendment?

By bobpence in Culture
Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 12:29:18 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Does the Third Amendment of the Constitution of the United States mean anything anymore? Yeah.


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.

A Google News search for "third amendment" returns seven articles, referring to amendments in Pakistan, India, the UAE, and Coatesville, Pennsylvania. None refer to the United States constitution.

In fact it would seem that the Third Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is one of the least controversial legal issues ever. The founding fathers objected, in the Declaration of Independence, to the billeting of British soldiers in civilian homes, and so were determined not to repeat the offense.

It may well be the only law that rabid opponents have accused neither William Jefferson Clinton nor George Walker Bush -- nor even Richard Milhouse Nixon or even Howard Brush Dean -- of violating as President, as Governor, as Boy Scout, or ever at all.

So if the presidential campaign of 2004 comes down to "Brush" vs. "Shrub" (which are anagrams!), at least both candidates will apparently be able to agree on not housing soldiers in the homes of unwilling Americans.

It is apparently not a violation to house soldiers in Saddam's old palaces, but it would be a hoot if someone made something out of objecting to it.

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Poll
Predicted winner of 2004 presidential election?
o Shrub, third George to be American president 13%
o Brush, the brusque guy 13%
o Clarke, not just a dissapointing candy bar 4%
o King George III (deceased) 13%
o King Charles III (stuffy) 1%
o Dennis Kucinich 10%
o Saddam Hussein 16%
o Michael Moore 23%
o Joseph Isadore Lieberman 2%

Votes: 129
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o Third Amendment
o Also by bobpence


Display: Sort:
What Good is the Third Amendment? | 75 comments (50 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
What about law enforcement? (2.96 / 26) (#5)
by Steve Ballmer on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 05:13:08 PM EST

I've heard of situations where law enforcement will commandeer a nearby home for use as field headquarters during standoff situations. As law enforcement becomes increasingly militarized, will this practice conflict with the 3rd Amendment?

K5 is dead. (2.63 / 19) (#7)
by jw32767 on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 06:15:57 PM EST

Steve Ballmer made the most insightful comment on a story.

--
Krups, not only can they shell Paris from the Alsace, they make good coffee. - georgeha

These views are my own and may or may not reflect the views of my employer.
[ Parent ]
When all posts are trolls... (2.45 / 11) (#16)
by Eater on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 09:36:37 PM EST

...only the trolls will post.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
sigged [nt] (1.50 / 4) (#30)
by Jed Smith on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:36:57 AM EST


_____
K5 is dead. Steve Ballmer made the most insightful comment on a story. -- jw32767
[ Parent ]
Recast into one of the seven canonical forms (1.00 / 4) (#38)
by Scrymarch on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 07:58:42 AM EST

"In Soviet K5, the troll signals you."

Trust me, this hurts me more than it hurts you.  One day you'll thank me.

[ Parent ]

+1FP (2.69 / 13) (#10)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 07:56:36 PM EST

You raise an interesting point, but I don't know if I agree with you.  I once saw a film in which Eddie Murphy was a cop and he commandered someone's vehicle to chase a criminal.

Doesn't this violate the Third Amendment?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

F i l m (2.88 / 9) (#14)
by bobpence on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:21:02 PM EST

Commandeering someone's car (which is presumeably not their home) seems rather rare outside the movies. There is the eminant domain thing, but that requires paying fair market value. The 3rd Amendment has never come up before the Supreme Court, so I doubt there are any cromulent, non-movie examples.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
YHBT!!!! (1.25 / 8) (#22)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:05:22 AM EST

F33R MY L33T SKILLZ L00ZER!!!!!!!11111

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
cromulent? (2.16 / 6) (#29)
by lucifer666 on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:18:24 AM EST

cromulent? oh please don't do this.

[ Parent ]
c'mon (1.75 / 4) (#44)
by Wah on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 11:22:46 AM EST

it's a hella cool word.
--
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!"
..or simply
[ Parent ]
embiggen your vocabulary (1.80 / 5) (#45)
by bobpence on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:08:46 PM EST

And I'll embiggen mine by admitting that 'valid' would have been perfectly valid there.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
Yeah... (2.14 / 7) (#17)
by debillitatus on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 11:32:06 PM EST

I think that was Schindler's List, right?

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

+1 fp -nt- (1.60 / 10) (#11)
by Suppafly on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:04:45 PM EST


---
Playstation Sucks.
but in a manner to be prescribed by law? (3.00 / 7) (#12)
by Tyler Durden on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 08:14:15 PM EST

Does anyone know if Congress has ever passed anything that dictates how soldiers will be quartered in time of war?  Maybe sometime during the Civil War?

Doesn't seem like the 3rd Amendment is really good for anything.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie

Sure... (none / 1) (#53)
by Elkor on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 04:42:40 PM EST

It keeps soldiers from saying "Hey, nice house. We are stationed at the base over there, but plan on living here. We've got more artillery than the local PD. Get out."
"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Homeowners are compensated (none / 2) (#61)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 09:40:32 PM EST

Soldiers in the Civil War were frequently billeted in private homes and farms. The difference was they were compensated.

British soldiers during the revolution took over homes without compensation, and incidents of rape and plunder were all too common. In the days leading up the the Battle of Saratoga, British & Tory razed trails across New York State.

[ Parent ]

Hi there (2.80 / 5) (#18)
by Kragg on Tue Jan 13, 2004 at 11:41:05 PM EST

You appear to be right.

You also don't seem to think that the exact meaning of the individual words in this amendment really matter, since it is universally agreed and unlikely to ever face any disputes. That's also right.

I suggest that this amendment remain intact.
--
"How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. Try to do your duty, and you will know right away what you are like." -- Goethe, Willhelm Meister's Travels.

The poll (2.81 / 16) (#23)
by mcc on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:09:38 AM EST

I put Michael Moore as my answer to the poll because there are only two possible outcomes in 2004:
  1. A candidate Michael Moore likes becomes president.
  2. A candidate Michael Moore does not like becomes president, and Michael Moore subsequently gets to spend the next four years writing high-grossing books about how much Michael Moore dislikes the president.

Conclusion: No matter the outcome of the 2004 elections, Michael Moore wins.

In addition (2.75 / 4) (#36)
by Delirium on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 05:10:33 AM EST

These books will not be very good, but will far outsell many superior books about why the president is not really the best one ever.

[ Parent ]
I love you. [nt] (1.33 / 6) (#43)
by wji on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 11:07:42 AM EST



In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
This is actually pretty funny (2.33 / 6) (#25)
by notAcoolNick on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:11:09 AM EST

Are you going to continue further down the list?

Given my formal education on Constitutional law (2.42 / 7) (#27)
by bobpence on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 12:18:53 AM EST

No.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
A suggestion. (2.33 / 9) (#33)
by i on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 03:40:11 AM EST

Do an article on masculine pronouns in the US Constitution as applied to the President. There are some issues one could raise. Can a woman ever hold the office, given that the President is referred to as "he" throughout the text? Should the text be amended to reflect modern views on gender equality? And so on.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
+1 FP (1.62 / 8) (#31)
by fae on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 02:46:24 AM EST

Because I have a sense of humour.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
What about a standing military? (2.61 / 13) (#35)
by Peahippo on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 04:16:41 AM EST

In a kind of turnaround on the argument, what about taxing the populace to provide billeting for a standing army? Does it really make much difference that soldiers aren't quartered in your home, when your wealth is confiscated via taxes to build and maintain quarters for them elsewhere?


Well if the actual written words mean anything... (3.00 / 7) (#41)
by kerinsky on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 10:01:42 AM EST

Yes it does.  "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner"  The government owns the buildings on military bases that house soldiers and it clearly consents.  Furthermore article I section 8 states "The Congress shall have the power ... To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years" which clearly authorizes the expendature of government money to such ends.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Yes (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by nine4mortal on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:05:45 PM EST

At least as a practical matter, there is a huge difference. In the extreme case that all of "your wealth is confiscated via taxes" and you are put out of your home, I suppose the 3rd Amendment does not help you very much, but I think this case is pretty unlikely.

The reality is that being forced to quarter troops in your home is much more than an inconvenience; it is an invasion of privacy. In addition, while our current military is probably as disciplined as they come, the enlisted or conscripted personnel in a typical army are not the best behaved bunch when off duty. Think about a bunch of 18 year old boys with guns and the authority to occupy your home. Redcoats, specifically, were not country gentlemen. The soldiers your family put up were likely to be a bunch of dirty, foulmouthed jerks who leered at your wife and daughter (or worse.)

Also, note the prohibition is during time of peace. The reason is that half the point of quartering the troops during peacetime was to intimidate the populace. <sarcasm> Thankfully our government now has more acceptable ways to intimidate us. </sarcasm>


"Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die..."
[ Parent ]

Pays the piper (none / 2) (#49)
by bobpence on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:57:06 PM EST

How else would the military be funded? Thoreau might say that the standing army should not exist, in part because it tends to get antsy and look for things to do. (One could use the same argument against a standing war crimes triburnal.) But in time of war, the specialization inherant in an organized military sure beats millions of citizen soldiers with flintlocks being mowed down by AK-47's.

If then a military is needed, shall we have corporate sponsorship? Or base pay on a share of the loot, like pirates? The people should pay to fund it and the people should have their say in how that army is used.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]

Direct Responsibility (none / 3) (#66)
by Peahippo on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 03:01:45 AM EST

Bob, look at what you're saying.

The military could well be the militia. Each individual funds his own kit. From that, companies can form, and they can pool their wealth to obtain more equipment like transports. With enough companies, you get regional organizations, then State-level ones, and then super-State ones. By that time, things like tank divisions and battleships become affordable.

Now, your flintlock assertion ... that's a complete mystery to me. The standard military arm of today is the battle rifle (to use a Clintonesque term: "assault weapon"), not a flintlock. What idiot is going to use a flintlock or other black-powder gun on the modern battlefield? I have a battle rifle, and it only cost me $350. There's no reason other than liberal-political ones to have an automatic rifle cost much more than that. A gun show is coming up here next weekend, and I can get your feared AK-47 for a relative song.

No, Thoreau had it right. A standing army is a threat ... a threat to neighboring states and to its own populace. Another poster's quoting of Art I Sec 8 does show that an "army" was assumed to be a temporary thing; but we've steadily perverted that intent, in our transformation from Republic to Empire.


[ Parent ]
A part time army is only good for infantry (none / 1) (#73)
by scheme on Sat Jan 17, 2004 at 01:09:12 PM EST

The military could well be the militia. Each individual funds his own kit. From that, companies can form, and they can pool their wealth to obtain more equipment like transports. With enough companies, you get regional organizations, then State-level ones, and then super-State ones. By that time, things like tank divisions and battleships become affordable.

Sure pooling funds might be able get you tanks, aircraft, ships, etc. It doesn't give you skilled people to use those things. Take something simple like a tank. You need a crew of four (driver, commander, gunner, loader) and the crew needs to be able to work together. I don't think that a weekend a month and 2 weeks every year is going to be able to train people to be able to work cohesively as a tank crew. And this is ignoring the difficulties in getting several tanks to work together in an unit.

Now take this and example and figure out how well you can train people to work together as a crew for something like a sub or aircraft carrier. People training in their spare time isn't going to get you a skilled crew for things like that.


"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." --Albert Einstein


[ Parent ]
You'd be surprised (2.66 / 12) (#39)
by JayGarner on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 08:42:14 AM EST

How many soldiers get laid by taking advantage of ignorance of the 3rd Amendment.

and of the word 'billet' <nt>[tm] (none / 2) (#42)
by bobpence on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 10:43:51 AM EST


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
I've seen arguments . . . (2.44 / 9) (#40)
by acceleriter on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 09:32:54 AM EST

. . . that suggest that Palladium/TCPA/NGSCB/BIOS replacement/'name of the anti fair-use lockdown system this week' would be a violation of the 3rd, since it would require "quartering" a virtual agent of the corporate republic in their computers, which are in their home.

That sound you just heard... (none / 2) (#52)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 04:21:15 PM EST

...was the sound of the Constitution being stretched way beyond its breaking point.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
virtual agent != soldier (none / 2) (#55)
by kerinsky on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 05:15:03 PM EST



-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
shhh!!!! the walls have ears!!! (nt) (none / 2) (#57)
by llimllib on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 07:20:45 PM EST



Peace.
[ Parent ]
_nt_ (none / 1) (#58)
by llimllib on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 07:22:33 PM EST

The text in the last comment wasn't removed by me...I never leave nt messages...what the hell?...Oh no, who's that knocking!

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and also (2.57 / 7) (#60)
by cburke on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 09:16:14 PM EST

when I was in 4th Grade a police officer came into our class and told us all to be good citizens and not to break the law.  The memories in my head of this visit continue to exist to this day, reminding me not to commit crimes.  Is this not a virtual agent of the law quartered in my brain?  Have my rights not been violated for all these years?

Get out of my head!  Damn you, Officer Bob!

[ Parent ]

Uh huh (3.00 / 4) (#64)
by godix on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 01:33:59 AM EST

I've seen arguements that Elvis is alive and was kidnapped by aliens. Seeing arguements for an idea doesn't mean the idea isn't moronic ya know.

On the topic of stupid 3rd ammendment arguements, I found the case of Custer County Action Association v. Garvey quite funny. A lawyer argued, probably with a straight face, that flying a military jet over a house violated the third ammendment.

I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
- General Qaddafi
[ Parent ]

Dean's going to win the next election (1.75 / 4) (#46)
by simul on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:01:23 PM EST

I can't believe you don't see that happening. Every time someone attacks him, he just gets stronger.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
Not if Dean has anything to do with it. (none / 2) (#48)
by eht on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 01:49:05 PM EST

And every time no one attacks him and he continues to talk he just gets weaker.

[ Parent ]
Dean is GODZILLA!! (2.80 / 5) (#50)
by sllort on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 03:39:58 PM EST

Only short and powerless.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
More like the Hulk (none / 1) (#70)
by adrizk on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 01:07:29 PM EST

Doesn't he get stronger when people attack him? "DEAN SMASH!!"

[ Parent ]
The Living Constitution (2.50 / 4) (#56)
by Brandybuck on Wed Jan 14, 2004 at 07:06:32 PM EST

The Constitution is not a chain binding us to the ideals of centuries-dead statesmen. Instead, it's a living document, constantly reinterpreted in light of current cultural developments.

The actual text of the Third Ammendment does not imply its legal meaning. Stop interpreting these things so literally. This is 2004 for Pete's sake! Next thing you know you'll be arguing that the Second Ammendment refers to private citizens and not the army. Geez...

Unacceptable. (none / 1) (#65)
by qpt on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 02:23:41 AM EST


Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (none / 0) (#71)
by kitten on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 01:58:43 PM EST


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
The Constitution means whatever I say it means (1.75 / 4) (#68)
by John Asscroft on Thu Jan 15, 2004 at 03:10:30 PM EST

And if you disagree, you must be a terrorist!

So if I say the Constitution means that we should keep American citizens in jail without trial, without a lawyer, that's that, and you can't do anything about it, nyah nyah nyah! 'Cause I got all the police powers of the entire U.S. government on my side, and all you got is your prick. Lotta good that'll do against an FBI anti-terrorism task force!

Yours in Christ,
John Asscroft, Attorney General, Untied States of America.
We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
[ Parent ]

Declaration (none / 1) (#69)
by limekiller on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 05:00:57 AM EST

Brandybuck writes: "The Constitution is not a chain binding us to the ideals of centuries-dead statesmen. Instead, it's a living document, constantly reinterpreted in light of current cultural developments."

So ...you simply proclaim that this is so and *poof*, it's so?

That's wonderful!!

[ Parent ]

Not just a living document... (none / 1) (#72)
by Baldrson on Fri Jan 16, 2004 at 02:07:13 PM EST

The US Constitution has become a living, throbbing document spurting forth a veritable cornucopia of ecological foment rivaling the body of an AIDS patient in advanced stages of neuropathy.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

What the hell? (none / 0) (#75)
by Morimoto Masaharu on Sun Jan 18, 2004 at 08:15:25 PM EST

How, exactly, can the provided quotation be reinterpreted? It's pretty much flat out there, and to take a different meaning out of it would be to infer some kind of metaphorical meaning from it.

Sounds a bit like idiocy to me.
«This is Mr. Yoshida on your favorite vegetables.»
[ Parent ]
What Good is the Third Amendment? | 75 comments (50 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
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