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Do I believe there is any chance, at this point in history, of something getting through a super-majority of both houses of Congress, and then agreed to by 38 state legislatures? I have but a razor-thin glimmer of hope.

However, it's worth putting some good ideas out there! Post your ideas for what we should enshrine in our Supreme Law in the comments.

As for mine, they are after the fold.

I have two ideas for what I think the 28th Amendment could be. One is rather straight forward, and one resembles the Kobayashi Maru scenario from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

AMENDMENT XVIII (2013)

The source of funds for all political campaigns, at the federal, state, or local level, whereby the stated goal is the election of one or more candidates for public office, or the proposed adoption of direct ballot measures; shall only be from individual citizens, duly registered political parties, or public institutions. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I am going this way because I believe that the unregulated flow of money to political campaigns is the seed from which most of our corrupt political fruit is grown. Take out the Heritage Foundations of the world and more gets done in Washington, guaranteed.
AMENDMENT XVIII (2013)

Article V of the Constitution is hereby amended as such:

The Congress, whenever a majority of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of a majority of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fifths of the several States or by Conventions in three fifths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Because the Constitution should be easier to amend. I've always felt that this is one of the major flaws in the original text. Amendment is the best check the legislative branch has against the Supreme Court. If we put it in the Constitution, then it's constitutional!

What are your ideas and priorities? Comment away!

Originally posted to Arbo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

    by Arbo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:52:52 AM PST

  •  ack! (3+ / 0-)

    The first one is well-intentioned though not, in my opinion, structured correctly.  Charities can not donate money?  It also does not address independent organizations like 501-c3's from running BILLION dollar campaigns against someone.  Nor does it stop Billionaire from personally bankrolling their hand-picked candidates over lesser funded candidates.  ..but I see where you are going.

    But the second... ACK!  Easily amended constitution?  Simple majorities on the founding document of the republic?  Good lord... if this is proposed I will be thankful that there is no way 38 states ever ratify it or else I'd feel compelled to work and volunteer to make sure it was defeated.

    Amendments are not a "check" they are a fundamental change to the identity of the United States.  Every law and right we have or dont have comes from or is proscribed from those pages. I do NOT want one ascendent party to secure a large enough temporary majority to reshape the entire NATION into its own image.

    It should take a massive near universal up-swell of public sentiment at an issue of such core criticality to the existential requirements of the Union to EVER allow someone to change the charter of the Nation.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:07:13 AM PST

    •  It's still not easy, (0+ / 0-)

      but easier. A simple majority is just to get it to the states, and I see dropping the requirement from 38 to 30 states as still being a high bar. The only reason we see amending the Constitution as a massive event like that is because it has been so rare!

      How do you expect the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of something like internet privacy when they are applying the principles of a document written in a 3-mph world? Thomas Jefferson wanted to tear up the Constitution every 19-20 years and draft a new one for each successive generation.

      Amendment is far easier to reverse than a Supreme Court decision if we were to get one wrong.

      Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

      by Arbo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:18:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  3-mph world... (0+ / 0-)

        The reason that making rulings in todays world based on an ancient document is valid is because the document (mostly) is simply an accounting of timeless human rights, with the remainder being rules on how to conduct government. Not a listing of privilages.

        Now granted, they did get a few things wrong. For example, black suffrage. I consider it a basic human right, that if you give a right to people of one color, than people of another color are entitled to the same right. I don't think that is a privilege given by a document, it is a right that exists outside of all legislation.

        Human rights don't change over time. My great-great-grandfather is entitled to the same human rights that my great-great-grandson is entitled to. Would you say that there may be a situation in the future where its ok to deny people of a certain color the right to vote? Or any right that another color enjoys? Because if we make it easier for a simple majority to amend it, abuse of that power will follow, making such an eventuality a possibility.

        This is the purpose of the Constitution; to remind people that certain rights that are outside the jurisdiction of lawmakers and the courts. Making it easier to change will simply erode that purpose, leaving those who hunger for power the ability to eliminate that safeguard.

        •  "Timeless human rights" - Except, of course, (0+ / 0-)

          none of them were really observed anywhere at the time.

          And then time moved more than two hundred years and the words of what was a Constitution forged in unholy compromise largely have not. Leaving our nation in a demonstrably very ugly place.

          And that's what you want to freeze frame?

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:24:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You might want to read closer... (0+ / 0-)

            Because I did mention that the writers of the Constitution did make mistakes. People always will. Ideas of right and wrong will change on some topics from time to time. However, some won't change.

            For example, if you take something that you had no right to from your neighbor in ancient Egypt, you would probably be punished for stealing. The right to be safe in your property has not really changed in the past several thousand years. On the other hand, it was perfectly legal two hundred years ago to own black slaves. Our society since realized that its a basic human right to not be discriminated against based on your color.

            I never implied I want to freeze "human rights" at a particular time, or into a certain persons definition, because some of them evolve. However, if we make the list easy to change, what difference is there between human rights and normal legislation? Who knows, next time the GOP gains control of the government they might decide to bring back slavery. If all it takes is to get a bill through Congress, whats to stop them? Not implying the GOP would, its just an example.

            But when society changes its definition of basic human rights, it is normally accompanied by a major event, i.e., the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, you know, overthrow of kingdoms type thing. So, to sum up my point - you must have the capability to change a "declaration of human rights" because our understanding of those rights evolve over time, but to make it easy to change eliminates the very purpose of it, and lowers it to the same level as your run-of-the-mill traffic law. Human rights changes are never easy.

            •  I was in law school in the early seventies when (0+ / 0-)

              Nixon, under fairly routine circumstances, "gave" us a revolution in"enviornmentalism".

              That whole experience was actually far more benign than the extraordinary circumstances that you postualte, and, especially when viewed from a current vantage point, supremely important.

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 07:17:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Revolution? (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think that you can compare what he did in environmentalism with the human rights revolution, anymore than you can say that Lyndon Johnson "gave" us a revolution in civil rights with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The revolution in civil rights had been ongoing for years, and it was a very painful transition for our society.

                The awareness of the issues concerning environmentalism has been growing, albeit slowly, for years in our society. Is a revolution occuring? Maybe. But if so, thus far it has been very slow. We may hit a flash point sometime in the future when everyone realizes the situation we're in (kind of like what happened in the 1960's for civil rights), but we're not there yet. When we hit that flash point, expect painful changes.

                And its not postulating when you are citing historical fact.

              •  Side note... (0+ / 0-)

                I did not know Nixon started all of those programs. Thanks for the education, I learn something new every day.

      •  Arbo - in your 28th Amendment draft (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        valion

        who are "public institutions"?

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:35:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •   "because it has been so rare" (0+ / 0-)

        As I just commented, 6 of the 17 non-original Amendments have been during my lifetime. Don't weaken the strength of your position by giving in to some commenters whose only contribution to your discussion is, basically, "we should be afraid, so afraid".

        When I was younger, I took hope from what turned out to be a fleeting reality that both constitutional correction and statehood additions seemed to be reliably routine.

        And these intervening years later, we're reached the point where it is reasonable to despair that we may never get things right in time to see either happen again.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:19:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Comments like this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...are the reason I dislike having NR status.  It should be rec'ed a thousand times.

      •  Oh really, it looks to me to be so patently (0+ / 0-)

        deficient that it should most reasonably (and logically, by the way), be retracted.

        Our nation is in a world of hurt right now exactly because of how our current Constitution is being interpreted and applied?

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:29:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hello! Our current Constitution has been amended (0+ / 0-)

      6 times (out of a total of 17 outside of the original 10) just during my lifetime, and all of them have been over pretty much pissant stuff.

      Meanwhile, things socially and politically are approaching meltdown, and you counsel more of the same.

      Brilliant, just brilliant!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:09:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The entire NATION (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler

      has been reshaped and much of the Constitution has been nullified.  Our RIGHTS are being stripped daily and if that isn't enough for a universal uprising of public sentiment, I don't know what is.  

      We are now living in much the same class system our forefathers fought to be free of and THAT must change. Now.  Since Washington is can't do the job, then we should and we can. Amendment Convention.

      Thomas Jefferson was concerned over the power of the dead over the living in an unchanging constitution.  He was right to be concerned.

      I do benefits for all religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality. Bob Hope

      by bluebuckeyewmn on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:50:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, the first one is self defeating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
    Power but not the duty. So basically sitting politicians could choose to shoot themselves in the foot, or not. I'm gonna bet they go with "not".

    Second one's a travesty. I look forward to our Fetal Personhood Amendment, which will follow on the heels of the Marriage Can Only Be Heterosexual Amendment. Trust me, their organization is way ahead of us on both those issues.

    This is the kinda dumb that I associate with Jury Nullification. You honestly don't see how this could blow up in our faces?

    •   (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler

      I am not thinking in the practical or strategic sense here, just throwing ideas out there.

      And remember, Fetal Personhood failed badly in Mississippi!

      Best race ever - MI-AG(2002) - Cox vs. Peters. Either way it's just a bunch of dicks.

      by Arbo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, except that on an issue by issue basis, the (0+ / 0-)

      U.S. is definitely a liberal country. I mean, who has been elected to the Presidency twice in a row?

      (And Jury Nullification happens to be established law, so if you want to see it changed, maybe you need to get on borad with THE SECOND AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:35:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)
    Because the Constitution should be easier to amend.
    •  How eloquent! Far from original, obviously, and (0+ / 0-)

      far from helpful in any sense, but simple, easy, and a great way to vent.

      Thanks.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:38:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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