“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.”
In all honesty this has taken me quite a while to think about in order to see what the purpose today is of this Amendment. At the time this was written the King of England would have been able to have his soldiers stay in ANYONES house and receive all the benefits of not having to pay for lodging and meals etcetera. In our time Soldiers live on bases, NOT in camps. I finally took this amendment apart and thought about why the framers would have wanted to not have a person quartered in their house and then had my EUREKA moment.
“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without consent of the owner…” This is allowing the sovereign person in the sovereign state to DECIDE that they wish to help a soldier. If the framers of this Amendment had said nothing of the owner of the property the effect would have been very different. This allows a CHOICE. In my opinion what the framers were trying to say with this portion is that the sovereignty of the individual land owner is paramount. Remember property ownership is the most treasured RIGHT that anyone in the US can enjoy.
I would also assume that this would allow the property owner to work out whatever deal they see fit as payment for this act, further limiting the intrusion of government. That being said it doesn’t say that anyone is required to furnish monetary or other consideration for the action. Interesting that they did that, as it almost seems that they wanted any business to be conducted privately. *being sarcastic*
“…, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” *sound of screeching tires* Now HOLD ON one second. Now the framers are saying that there is a way to quarter soldiers in time of war. BUT not really. Please indulge me for a minute. The president would be the person that controls the military so therefore the president would be the one that, if this amendment didn’t exist, would say that an individual would have to give a soldier room and board. This amendment specifically says that the commander-in-chief has NO ability whatsoever to force soldier quartering (no not pulling them apart with horses). It says that it must be prescribed by law which means WHO gets to decide? Well let’s go back to our 7th grade civics classes. Laws are created in the House/Senate of the United States. Once a bill passes one chamber then the other gets to vote on it. So that means the Representatives of the states and the people get to decide if that is going to happen under law. That FURTHER means that one person or entity is unable to impose their military on the population for support.
I think that this amendment is still as important as it was in the past just for the simple fact it further re-enforces the sovereignty of the states and the individual over the power of the central government. It ensures that even in a time of war the individual rights and privileges of the land owner are not infringed on by one body or person. If this amendment was NOT in the Bill of Rights how would you feel about being forced to quarter soldiers and do you think this amendment is still relevant today?