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A Proposed 28th Amendment That Says ‘Congress Will Make No Laws That Does Not Apply to Them’?

Fact Checks Politics Viral Content

A Proposed 28th Amendment That Says ‘Congress Will Make No Laws That Does Not Apply to Them’?

A rumor that has been around for years periodically finds new life in email forwards and on social media — but it’s still not true.

Truth or Fiction
United States Constitution over an American flag.

Claim

More than half of the United States has signed on to a proposed "28th amendment" to the Constitution.

Rating

Not True

Reporting

A forwarded-email-turned-social-media-post about a proposed “28th amendment” to the United States Constitution pops up periodically as a viral rumor. There are variations, but the gist of it goes something like this:

Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

The email then asks readers to forward the message, a demand that should always spur further fact-checking.

The Truth:

There is no official campaign for a 28th amendment beyond its being proposed in this forwarded email (or social media post.) Some versions of this rumor were lent credence by phony numbers, when they began circulating with the allegation that 35 states have filed sued against the government while proposing a “28th amendment.”

That number is not accurate. States had actually filed suit against the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, claiming at the time that the health care law was unconstitutional and violated the rights of individuals by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties, as articles from 2011 explained:

There have been at least 26 federal lawsuits seeking to overturn the health reform law. In the six biggest decisions, three panels of judges have supported the constitutionality of the law, and three have ruled against it — with one major appellate decision expected any day from an appeals court in Richmond, Va.

Both sides pledge to take the issue all the way to the Supreme Court, which may decide to take up the case as early as this fall.

The 11th Circuit Court sided with 26 states — mostly led by conservative governors and attorneys general — who are asking for the law to be blocked in its entirety. Their primary argument is that that forcing Americans to buy health insurance oversteps the bounds of the Commerce Clause in the Constitution, which allows the government to regulate economic activity. But the decision to forgo health insurance is not an economic activity and can’t be regulated, they say.

Somewhere along the line, the reportage about the ACA was folded in with this chain email, likely to lend it more weight and spread it farther. However, the two issues are not related.  The viral posts and chain emails begin by claiming that members of Congress do not pay into Social Security. As we have previously reported, that is a rumor so outdated as to attain full “hoax” status.

The email also said that congressional members would exempt themselves from any proposed healthcare reform package.  Members of Congress and most government full time workers already have a healthcare package. The proposed healthcare reform began with the purpose of offering healthcare for those not already covered.

For all these reasons, we rate this claim Not True.


A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

 

For too long we have been complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens have no idea that members of Congress can retire with full pay after only one term, that they don’t pay into Social Security and that they have specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment). “Ordinary” citizens must live under all those laws.

The latest travesty is that Congress will exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered…in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem quite right. We do not have an elite class that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents or whatever.  The self-serving must stop.

This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.  Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States “.

Each person contact a minimum of twenty people on their email address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In approximately three days, all people in the United States of America will have the Message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Other Version:

Subject: 35 STATES SO FAR AND GROWING!

I hope you will all send this to as many people as you can. Thanks.

35 States So Far & Growing

SOUNDS LIKE WE’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH—FINALLY!

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.
This is an idea that we should address.
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that passed .. in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever . The self-serving must stop.
If each person that receives this will forward it on to 15 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States …”

You are one of my 15

And another version with celebrity endorsement:

Just 3 States short!

This is what Mark Levin has been talking about a constitutional convention by the states to get back to the laws of the Constitution.
This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on. I believe this is an idea that we should address.

35 STATES SO FAR…..IT’S GROWING

One message to forward!

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them.
It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.
Their latest stunt is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that they passed … in all of its forms.
Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite ruling class that is above the law.
I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 15 people, in three days,
most people in The United States of America will have the message.
This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators, Representatives of Congress; and,
Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States…”

You are one of my 15 (or more).
Please keep this going.

 

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Revision History

12/29/2018, 11:12am: Reformatted and updated with details throughout; added sources. –bb