Amending the New Jersey Constitution

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Ralph
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Amending the New Jersey Constitution

Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:47 pm

Look, I certainly believe that the term "insane," a legal not a medical concept, be removed. But I would fight tooth and nail to keep "idiots" in the state's constitution. It needs to be redefined, that's all. :)

*****

Bill would remove offensive language from N.J. Constitution
1/8/2007, 6:41 p.m. ET
By BETH DeFALCO
The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Though it has been decades since people commonly referred to those with mental illness as "idiots" or "insane," the New Jersey Constitution still does.

A resolution introduced Monday by Senate President Richard J. Codey would remove the archaic language, inserted in 1844, by proposing a constitutional amendment. The measure would have to be approved by both houses of the Legislature and by voters in November.

"This is yet another big step toward removing the stigma of mental illness," said Codey, an ardent advocate for the mentally ill.

The source of Codey's ire is a section of the state constitution that addresses those who are eligible to vote. It states, "No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage."

Calling the phrasing "outdated, vague, offensive to many, and subject to misinterpretation," Codey proposed deleting "idiot or insane person" and replacing those words with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Luke Koppisch, a coordinator with the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, which brought the idea to Codey to sponsor, said the language is insulting and had no place cemented in state law.

"It harkens back to an era when people with disabilities were treated like second-class citizens," he said.

New Jersey is not alone in its political incorrectness. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C., six other state constitutions — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio — also contain the "idiots and insane" language pertaining to voting rights.

Codey said the fact that the language remained so long in the constitution was "a disgrace."

"Not only is it insensitive," Codey said, "but it does not take into account the individual circumstances of people with varying degrees of disabilities."

Codey and his wife, who suffered postpartum depression after giving birth to the first of two sons 22 years ago, have long been vocal advocates for mental illness awareness and treatment. He once went undercover to investigate conditions at Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital.
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jbuck919
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Re: Amending the New Jersey Constitution

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:03 pm

Though it has been decades since people commonly referred to those with mental illness as "idiots" or "insane," the New Jersey Constitution still does.

A resolution introduced Monday by Senate President Richard J. Codey would remove the archaic language, inserted in 1844, by proposing a constitutional amendment. The measure would have to be approved by both houses of the Legislature and by voters in November.

"This is yet another big step toward removing the stigma of mental illness," said Codey, an ardent advocate for the mentally ill.

The source of Codey's ire is a section of the state constitution that addresses those who are eligible to vote. It states, "No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage."

Calling the phrasing "outdated, vague, offensive to many, and subject to misinterpretation," Codey proposed deleting "idiot or insane person" and replacing those words with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Luke Koppisch, a coordinator with the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, which brought the idea to Codey to sponsor, said the language is insulting and had no place cemented in state law.

"It harkens back to an era when people with disabilities were treated like second-class citizens," he said.

New Jersey is not alone in its political incorrectness. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C., six other state constitutions — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio — also contain the "idiots and insane" language pertaining to voting rights.

Codey said the fact that the language remained so long in the constitution was "a disgrace."

"Not only is it insensitive," Codey said, "but it does not take into account the individual circumstances of people with varying degrees of disabilities."
I agree. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:10 pm

"No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage."
Now I know why Bush didn’t move to NJ

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:13 pm

Ted wrote:
"No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage."
Now I know why Bush didn’t move to NJ
But Nixon did.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ralph
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Re: Amending the New Jersey Constitution

Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:23 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Though it has been decades since people commonly referred to those with mental illness as "idiots" or "insane," the New Jersey Constitution still does.

A resolution introduced Monday by Senate President Richard J. Codey would remove the archaic language, inserted in 1844, by proposing a constitutional amendment. The measure would have to be approved by both houses of the Legislature and by voters in November.

"This is yet another big step toward removing the stigma of mental illness," said Codey, an ardent advocate for the mentally ill.

The source of Codey's ire is a section of the state constitution that addresses those who are eligible to vote. It states, "No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage."

Calling the phrasing "outdated, vague, offensive to many, and subject to misinterpretation," Codey proposed deleting "idiot or insane person" and replacing those words with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Luke Koppisch, a coordinator with the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, which brought the idea to Codey to sponsor, said the language is insulting and had no place cemented in state law.

"It harkens back to an era when people with disabilities were treated like second-class citizens," he said.

New Jersey is not alone in its political incorrectness. According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C., six other state constitutions — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio — also contain the "idiots and insane" language pertaining to voting rights.

Codey said the fact that the language remained so long in the constitution was "a disgrace."

"Not only is it insensitive," Codey said, "but it does not take into account the individual circumstances of people with varying degrees of disabilities."
I agree. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
*****

You have to use Justice Holmes's words? Buck v. Bell. "Buck?" Hmmm. Anything you want to tell us.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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burnitdown
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Post by burnitdown » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:33 pm

Thank god retards can vote! We're finally equal.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:36 am

Obviously, the NJ legislature is confident that the idiots will all vote Democratic.
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