Friday, December 5, 2008
National Repeal Day
In case you didn't already know, today is National Repeal Day. It was seventy five years ago today that the 21st Amendment was ratified, putting an end to prohibition. This amendment was historic for two reasons. First, by nullifying the 18th Amendment, it was the first (and to date the only) time a Constitutional amendment had been repealed. Second, it was the first (and to date the only) time a Constitutional amendment had been ratified by means of state conventions, rather than by state legislatures. By utilizing state conventions, the federal government was able to by-pass state legislatures who were believed to be too afraid to stand up to temperance advocates, essentially using a back door voting process already built into the Constitution. While the argument could be made that Prohibition was a noble social experiment, the reality is that Prohibition was a success only in its utter failure. It proved that legislating morality by simply outlawing activities does nothing but push them even farther to the fringes of society (something we could learn with our modern war on drugs). So raise a glass and celebrate your Constitutionally-protected right to drink!