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Home is where the heart is. It's not where soldiers should be. The latest Amendment ranking is here!
It’s Friday, once again, my friends. Thank you for reading Okay History, presumably from the comforts of your home.
You could read these posts anywhere. Maybe you skip work, scroll through the latest Ask Me Anything, and dream of questions you need answered. Or maybe while you’re with your loved ones out at dinner, and keep wondering what I did at Arlington since most of the good stuff is behind a paywall.
It’s just a wild guess, but I will say you read Okay History from your house.
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The United States has the largest economy in the world, something we achieved around the 1920s. In Okay History terms, it means we produce a lot of stuff, and we can purchase a lot of stuff. We have tons of natural resources, are highly productive, and have a transportation infrastructure that quickly gets goods and people from one place to another.
Despite this wealth, the United States has an affordable housing issue.
According to a 2023 International Housing Authority survey, the United States produces four of the world’s least affordable housing markets.
Affordable housing extends behind just ordinary citizens. The housing market for our military is embarrassingly bad. We ask people to serve and then provide them with housing that is full of mold, rodents, leaks; you name it.
After many scandals, Congress finally stepped in this past year to pass reforms in their latest version, the National Defense Authorization Act, but much work still needs to be done.
Lack of affordable housing leads to poor health, mainly because you can’t afford food or medical care. Children who live in inadequate housing do poorly in school.
Housing is a big deal and has always been in our history.
Before we became the world’s economic power, we had to deal with housing issues, specifically with our military. After winning the French and Indian War, our British Overlords decided to keep a standing army in the colonies. They needed housing for about 1,500 troops and wanted the colonists to pay for it, so they passed a bunch of laws called the Quartering Acts that began in 1765.
The 1774 version stated that if the barracks built for British troops were full, they would be allowed to stay in uninhabited houses, barns, or other buildings on residences.
The Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly said this was not okay and passed a law that stated all British troops would be housed in public establishments. British military leaders asked the governor to intervene, which he did, and then all heck broke out.
Tensions between the colonies and the Overlords boiled over. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson added content that specifically mentioned how King George III forced soldiers to stay in colonists’ homes. Then we went to war.
And created our own home.
This brings us to the Third Amendment. Let’s take a look at it like an Open House.
21: Amendment III
Its purpose: 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.
Year proposed: 1789
Year Ratified: 1791
We shouldn’t be putting soldiers in the homes of people who did not consent. In the Civil War, the government repaid those forced to house soldiers for damages and expenses. Since it’s unlikely we will see another Civil War soon because those who hate guns will be immediately picked off by those who don’t, I don’t see this becoming an issue anytime soon.
It's not like the United States Military will put a few soldiers in our house. Nobody would want to live with Blue in the first place.
One reason no one took it to court is probably no one could answer the question - how do you challenge the need to house your military in civilians’ homes when you are the world's biggest military?
There’s not much ugly around this Amendment.
So instead, I will fill this space with a Supreme Court case referencing the Third Amendment in a ruling that ultimately led to the Roe vs. Wade decision.
In 1965, the Court ruled that the state could not pass laws that prevented married couples from using contraceptives.
Griswold vs. Connecticut was one of many Comstock laws passed during the Ulysses S. Grant administration that wanted to end anything deemed obscene. This included contraceptives but, for some reason, excluded Shakespeare.
The point here is that the Court determined, in part, that we couldn’t house troops in married couples’ houses while they were having sexual relations that they hoped would not end in conception.
After reading this case, this is the best conclusion I can come up with regarding why the Third Amendment is mentioned here.
Griswold would be the basis for the Roe decision about a decade later. Then in 2022, the Dobbs decision overruled Roe.
Neither used the Third Amendment to justify anything.
Who proposed it?
James Madison compiled a list of Twenty Amendments during the Constitutional Convention, and the First Congress passed it with little debate.
They really did not want troops in their outhouses.
Why did I rank it here?
I can’t think of another Amendment irrelevant to what we experience today. The Civil War was the last time we fought battles on American soil, minus the war we raged against Indigenous people, but those weren’t on the same scale.
The Third Amendment has never been the primary source of a Supreme Court decision. You would think the third amendment would garner more passion.
The closest we got to passion was the Griswold case.
It’s not terrible, but it’s also not great. You could say, it’s okay. So I put it right outside the 20s.
Okay, let me know what you think of my ranking.
Anonymous and I are traveling a ton during the month of May. Last weekend we were in Florida; this weekend, we are in Virginia. I mean deep Confederate Virginia. The following weekend we are in Pittsburgh.
We are popular.
Finally, my buddy Blue turned ten yesterday. Please hit the like button and wish him a happy birthday if you can!
Back on Monday doing our thing. At home.