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Essay:Alternate Constitution of the United States
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
- 1 Article I
- 2 Article II
- 3 Article III
- 4 Article IV
- 5 Article V
- 6 Article VI
- 7 Article VII
- 8 Article VIII
- 9 Article IX
The legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, which shall consist of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The National Assembly shall be composed of members chosen once every two years by election of the people of the United States. The total number of members in the Assembly shall be determined by law, but must remain in proportion to the total population of the United States, at a ratio to be determined by law.
- Interesting choice to leave the number & proportion open -- why? It could expand to thousands of representatives, conceivably, or just a couple dozen, depending on what was determined; most likely (because of precedent) it will be around 435, the current total.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
One-half of the members of the National Assembly shall be chosen in a national election of ranked-choice balloting. The other half of the members of the national Assembly shall be chosen in each district in each of the several states, from which one member shall be elected.
- What is a ranked-choice ballot? How does it work?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No person shall be a member of the National Assembly who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, or is not a citizen of the United States. No person shall be chosen by a district in which he or she has not resided for five years.
No person shall be a member of the National Assembly for more than six cumulative years.
When a vacancy occurs in the National Assembly of a member elected from a district, the government of the state in which the district is located shall direct the district to elect a new member. When a vacancy occurs of a member elected from the national ranked pool, the government of the state or territory in which the absent member has resided shall appoint a new member.
The National Assembly shall choose their officers and establish rules for doing business. No member of the Assembly shall be expelled before the expiry of his or her term except with the concurrence of two-thirds of all members.
The Senate shall be composed of two Senators from each state; as well as one Senator from each territory or district subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which shall not have attained statehood and is not part of a state. The representation in the Senate of each aforementioned territory or district shall be determined by the Senate; however, no Senator shall be expelled before the expiry of his or her term except with the concurrence of two-thirds of all Senators.
- So the District of Columbia would get a US Senator, right? If so, I approve. What about Guam? Puerto Rico? US Virgin Islands?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The delegation of each state, territory or district to the Senate shall be chosen by election, every six years, of the people of each state, territory or district. The governments of the several states, territories or districts shall determine by law the method of balloting for the election of Senators.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year.
When a vacancy occurs in the Senate, the government of the state, territory or district shall direct its people to elect a new Senator.
No person shall be a Senator of the United States who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, or has not resided for seven years in the state, territory or district from which he or she is chosen.
No person shall be a Senator of the United States for more than twelve cumulative years.
- Again, term limits. I approve. Although one of the tradeoffs is that experienced, capable Senators may be forced to resign after the 12-year limit, that is, there may be a downside to the turnover in terms of loss of continuity and experience, although it would lessen the chances for corruption and make Senate races more competitive and fair.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Senate shall choose their officers and establish rules for doing business.
The National Assembly shall have the sole power of impeachment of any executive or judicial official of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the National Commission or the President of the Council of State is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present.
Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.
The times, places and manner of holding elections, including campaign periods and finances, for members of the Congress shall be prescribed in each state, territory or district in which elections shall take place by the governments thereof: but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.
- So essentially Congress determines how elections are held, right? Why did you make this choice?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Congress shall assemble at least four times in every year, and the dates of such meetings shall be ascertained by law.
Each house of Congress shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, except in the case of a suit against electoral regulation that is brought before the Guardian Court.
A majority present for each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
Each house shall keep an official record of its proceedings, both while in session as a whole and during meetings of any committee; but the President of the National Commission or the Director of National Defense may authorize the Congress to withhold the record of specific meetings of specific committees. The official votes of members of Congress must be entered onto the record.
Neither house, during the session of Congress, shall, without consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.
The members of Congress shall, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the members of the Congress, shall take effect, until an election of the National Assembly shall have intervened.
No member of Congress shall, during his or her elected term, be appointed to any civil or military office under the authority of the United States. No person holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either house during his or her continuation in office.
Every bill which shall have passed the National Assembly and the Senate shall become law.
Every bill which shall have passed the National Assembly by the concurrence of two-thirds therein may be presented by the Assembly to the President of the Council of State, who shall direct that Council to vote on the bill: if it shall pass the Council of State, it shall become law without the consent of the Senate.
The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the following powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof:
- to lay taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, including taxes on income without apportionment among the several states or regard to any census or enumeration or on exports;
- to pay the debts and borrow money on the credit of the United States;
- to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, territories and districts;
- to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
- to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
- to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
- to establish post offices and post roads;
- to secure for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
- to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court and Guardian Court;
- to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
- to declare war;
- to grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land, water, air and space;
- to raise and support armies, and to provide and maintain a navy;
- to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; and
- to provide for the general welfare by transferring income, wealth or property between persons in the United States.
- This is a momentous change. It means this whole constitution is essentially a socialistic left-leaning one. If you wish libertarians, conservatives, Republicans and others of a right-leaning disposition to sign on to your constitution, this one provision, alone, will probably cause them to withhold support. You understand that transfers of wealth are in direct opposition to property rights. My suggestion here is if you are serious about putting forward your constitution, that you strive to make in nonpartisan, and not take a stand in the continuing never-ending battle between haves and have-nots which, according to Thomas Sowell, will forever battle on.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to one state over another.
No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time, except when the President of the National Commission or the Director of National Defense shall command the Treasury to withhold specific information on certain expenditures.
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States. No person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall accept any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatsoever, from any foreign state.
No state, territory or district shall have the power to enter into treaties, alliances, or confederations; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; and emit bills of credit.
No state, territory or district may, without consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports; lay duties of tonnage; keep troops or ships of war in time of peace; enter into any agreement or compact with a foreign power; or engage in war.
The executive power of the United States shall be vested in the National Commission and the Council of State.
The National Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of all domestic laws made by the Congress; it shall be composed of the Board of Commissioners and the Civil Service.
- Wondering what is the difference between the Bd of Commissioners & the Civil Service.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Board of Commissioners shall be comprised of the several High Commissioners for each of the executive departments. Each High Commissioner shall be appointed by the President of the National Commission, subject to the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators.
If, at any time, the National Assembly shall pass a vote of no confidence in the body of the Board of Commissioners, the President shall secure new appointments for each High Commissionership, according to the procedure later described.
- Question: How is the President of the National Commission selected?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
- I like the whole no confidence approach, meaning the government can quickly fix itself if problems result, although I would kind of prefer a situation in which a confidence vote happens automatically, and if a certain level of confidence was not achieved, then the officials would be dismissed automatically. In this instance, it requires a special vote to oust the Board of Commissioners, meaning it is more unlikely to happen by the principle of inertia.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The President of the National Commission shall appoint the Secretary-General of the Civil Service. The High Commissioners shall direct the activities of the Civil Service: but neither the Council of State nor Congress shall have power to appoint Civil Servants. Civil Servants of the United States shall advance in their respective departments by merit; the Congress may, by law, prescribe a test by which the appointment and advancement of Civil Servants shall occur.
The President shall direct the executive activities of the Board of Commissioners and the Secretary-General. The President shall initiate all proposed legislation for the allocation of funds from the Treasury for the National Commission each year; but the Congress may prescribe, by law, annual funding for the Commission to take effect if the Congress fails to confirm the proposals of the President by the conclusion of the year.
- Wording note -- (after first read-through, I'm a tad confused by the new departments and names).--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Council of State shall be responsible for the defense of laws made by Congress; the implementation of laws concerning foreign affairs and security; the appointment of the President of the National Commission; the creation and implementation of short-term foreign policy; and recommendation of the strategic direction of new legislation to the Congress.
The Council of State shall be composed of sixteen Councilors elected every four years by a national ranked-choice ballot. The Congress shall be the judge of elections of the Council.
- I think that more clarification is needed about requirements, the ranked-choice ballot, and how these elections are supposed to happen. And I guess I would prefer it if you would introduce each new office one by one, and give some idea of the office's purpose and scope of authority.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
For the purpose of the defense of laws, the Council must elect, by simple majority, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General of the United States. For the purpose of the implementation of foreign policy and security, the Council must elect, by simple majority, the High Representative of the United States for Foreign Affairs. The Council must elect, by absolute majority, the President of the National Commission.
The candidate elected first to the Council shall serve as President of the Council of State, until such time as his or her term shall expire; or he or she shall leave office, at which point the next-elected Councilor shall assume the office of President. The President shall, from time to time, convene both houses of Congress, and give to them information of the state of the Union, and thereby deliver the recommendations of the Council of State.
All appointments made by the Council of State shall be subject to the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators.
The Council of State shall have the sole power to choose its Clerk and other officers and establish rules for doing business.
All appointments made by the Council of State, except that of the President, and by the President of the National Commission, shall expire at the conclusion of two years, provided that such officials are not removed on impeachment beforehand. If, at that time, no replacement for any appointed official shall have been appointed, the Senate may select and confirm its own replacement.
- My general preference is for longer terms for people who work in foreign relations, since it takes time to become thoroughly familiar with the world situation and for the institution as a whole to have a collective memory.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The aforementioned officials may retain their offices for two months after the expiration of their terms, or until such time as the Senate has confirmed their replacements. If, after two months, the Senate shall have failed to confirm a replacement, the official in question shall retain his or her office for a consecutive term.
- Interesting choice. If the Senate fails to act, then they're back in the saddle. So, in a way, the Senate may decide to keep people for long periods of time if they think they're doing a good job.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
In the case of resignation or removal of the aforementioned officials, the duties of the office in question shall be exercised by the next-highest-ranking official, until such time as the office shall be re-appointed and confirmed by the Senate.
Should a vacancy occur in the Council of State due to the premature exit of any Councilor, the President of the Council shall appoint a replacement.
Neither the President of the National Commission nor the Council of State shall have power to remove the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, the High Representative, the High Commissioners, or the President of the National Commission. Such officials shall only be removed on impeachment by the Congress.
- General sense is there are too many officers to keep track of. What is the difference between the Solicitor-General and the Attorney-General? Also remember wording -- impeachment only means a trial process; so you mean "removed after being convicted after impeachment" or something to that effect.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The High Representative of the United States for Foreign Affairs shall have power, with the consent of a majority of the Senators, to make treaties and appoint ambassadors. The High Representative shall appoint all other members of the Foreign Service, or delegate the appointment of such officials to others in his or her employ.
- The wording High Representative suggests an aloof too-perfect individual (to American ears).--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The High Representative shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers, and shall be responsible for the execution of the foreign policy of the United States as prescribed by the Congress.
- So Congress makes US foreign policy; but the High Representative carries out foreign policy, right?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Attorney-General shall represent the United States before the Supreme Court of the United States in all cases, or shall delegate that responsibility to a temporary replacement in the event he or she is unable.
The Solicitor-General shall defend the United States before the Guardian Court in all cases, or shall delegate that responsibility to a temporary replacement in the event he or she is unable.
- I'm still not clear about difference between Attorney-General & Solicitor-General.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The judicial power shall be vested in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Guardian Court of the United States, and any inferior courts as the Congress may ordain and establish. The Judges of all courts of the United States shall hold their offices for a maximum of ten cumulative years, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
- Term limits for judges. I like this idea. My only concern is that the limits are not long enough.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No case shall be tried by both the Guardian Court and the Supreme Court.
The power of the Supreme Court shall extend to all cases arising under the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies between people or classes in the United States; between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state or the United States and foreign states or the citizens or subjects thereof.
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
- The exception is an important one -- if Congress decides, for example, that the Supreme Court could not rule on abortion cases, then the Supreme Court would have less power. So I am wondering what is to prevent Congress from restricting the power of the Supreme Court totally?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.
The power of the Guardian Court shall extend to all cases, in equity, arising under the Constitution of the United States; to controversies between a state and the people of the United States, and to controversies between the United States and the people therein, in which a person of the United States shall allege a violation of substantive due process of law enshrined by this Constitution; or of this Constitution directly, or of fundamental, human rights, commonly defined.
- So the idea of the Guardian Court is as a guardian of individual liberties, of citizenship, and that sort of thing?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Guardian Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, from an inferior court, in all cases, except when the Congress or the Council of State shall direct the Guardian Court to take up a case out of the regular order of appellation.
The Guardian Court shall have power to invalidate forthwith any law made by the United States, the several states, territories, or districts; to compel any civil or judicial official in the United States to forbear from executing any instruction or statute made by any governmental official or institution, and to issue writs of mandamus to any executive official in the United States.
The Supreme Court shall be composed of nine Justices, and shall have power to choose its Chief Justice every five years: though they may refrain from choosing a new Chief Justice; and after the end of the tenure of the Chief Justice, if it shall fall before his or her five years are completed, the new Chief Justice shall be chosen from among the remaining Justices.
Justices of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President of the Council of State, subject to the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators.
The Guardian Court shall be composed of thirteen Justices. For the election of the Court, the government of each state shall appoint three electors, each of whom shall cast a ranked-choice ballot of thirteen candidates from a pool of at least fourteen. Candidates must be of sound moral character, have qualifications suitable for high judicial office, or be a jurisconsult of recognized competence. The candidate elected first from the ranked-choice pool shall serve as Chief Justice, until such time as his or her term shall expire; or he or she shall leave office, at which point the next-elected Justice shall assume the office of Chief Justice.
- What does jurisconsult mean? "Sound moral character" might be hard to define legally, or may be interpreted as code for religion. I like the idea of limited terms for Chief Justice; there have been problems with the US Supreme Court in which the Chief Justice was a bad administrator, and caused a slew of problems as a result.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Should a vacancy occur in the Guardian Court due to the premature exit of a Justice, the government of each state shall appoint one elector for each vacancy, each of whom shall cast a ranked-choice ballot of a number of candidates equal to the number of vacancies, from a pool at least one more than the size of the number of vacancies. The National Commission shall implement the election of new Justices of the Guardian Court.
Should a tie occur in the election of the Chief Justice, the Senate shall determine the Chief Justice. Should a tie occur in the election of the last Justice, the National Assembly shall determine the victor.
- Let me see if I understand this correctly. The Supreme Court in your view will handle the international & military type cases, while the Guardian Court will handle civilian domestic cases? What if there is a dispute about which court decides a case -- how is such a dispute settled?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The National Assembly may, at any time, by concurrence of three-fourths of the members thereof, cause the entirety of the Supreme Court or the Guardian Court to be removed forthwith, and for a new Court to be appointed or elected, respectively.
- Boom. Wiped out. The three-fourths test means it will probably be unlikely to happen, but there is that power if there was huge corruption. Does this mean that the National Assembly could remove only one Justice at a time? Or is that what you are saying, that the only way the court could be dealt with is if all of the Justices were fired at the same time?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attained.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state; and the Congress may by law prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
The people of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of people in the several states.
A person charged in any state, territory or district with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, territory or district, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state, territory or district from which he or she fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the area having jurisdiction of the crime.
New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence or insurrection.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds 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-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no state, territory or district, without its consent, shall be deprived of its suffrage in the Senate.
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
The members of the National Assembly, the Senators, the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officials, both of the United States and of the several states, territories and districts, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in the United States, nor shall any religious oath be taken alongside the aforementioned oath to support this Constitution.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
A person who is a citizen of the United States, who shall have been a citizen of the United States for twenty years and is otherwise eligible to any civil office in the United States or the several states, is not ineligible to that office by reason of not being a natural-born citizen.
Citizenship of the United States and of the several states shall only be relinquished voluntarily, except in cases of high treason against the United States; and any person, properly documented, may possess citizenship of the United States in conjunction with citizenship of any foreign nation, singular or multiple.
- This is the present model. A person can be a dual citizen of the US and another country (depending on the other country's laws.)
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote in the election of any public official, or primary for the same, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any governmental authority therein, on account of:
- race, color or previous condition of servitude;
- sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity;
- failure to pay any poll tax or other tax; or
No governmental authority within the United States shall compel any citizens of the United States to vote in any election.
- In essence, then, citizenship is what it is today -- a birthright legal relation without any duties or responsibilities. What you are arguing, in effect, is that you like the present arrangement, and for you, citizenship means a right to be left alone, to avoid political participation, to be free to go about one's business, somewhat along the lines of John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty. I agree there are benefits to this when things are working well, when rights are respected and when jobs are plentiful and technology expanding; but there are huge downsides, in my view, when whole swaths of the public do not participate in the political sphere in any meaningful way, since it means that citizens are no longer watching their elected representatives, and all kinds of ills can result -- corruption; career politicians; lobbying out of control; attack ads; the America of today. And, what if there is a war? How will you handle conscientious objectors -- imprison them? That's why I feel it is important to offer people a choice, namely, do they want to be a citizen (with its rather weighty responsibilities, such as possibly serving in the military) or do they wish to not be a citizen -- let the person choose. If a person chooses citizenship, then if a war happens and they decide to not fight, then they can rightfully be punished for breaking their earlier promise. If a person chooses to not be a citizen, then it would be immoral for the government to force them into becoming soldiers. It's all based on a model of choice.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
- Speaking as one of those pesky youth rights activists, would it be a major problem to include an "ability not age" clause? (This message brought to you by His Reasonableness The High Chancellor Eddie Monah, Champion of Rationality. Sing songs of praise to me or simply worship my genius.) 08:03, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
All persons residing in the United States who are not citizens of the United States shall enjoy the same protection under this Constitution, except when otherwise specified, and under the laws of the United States or any state, district or territory, except when otherwise specified, as citizens of the United States.
- This is another major provision likely to disqualify your constitution in the eyes of people opposed to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants, then, would have so-called rights to free services? Health care? Education? To the transfer payments you were mentioniong earlier? And who would pay for all this -- the existing citizens? So my general question is -- why bring up the issue of citizenship at all, since there is basically no difference between a "citizen" and a "non-citizen"? And, if some person can slip into the country illegally, then they automatically have the rights of citizenship, so this constitution would practically encourage all kinds of people to try to enter the country by any means possible.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No governmental authority in the United States shall deprive any person of life, liberty, health, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
- Again, as I said, depending on how one reads this, there is possibly a built-in contradiction in the above wording. If persons have a "right to health" (meaning: health care services? free immunizations? subsidized hospital care?) then such a right may conflict with a "right of property" (since other persons assets may have to be transferred to pay for the health care costs of the first.) To cure Peter, you'd have to rob Paul.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
No governmental authority in the United States shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, of the press, or of expression; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the legal inhabitant, nor in time of war, except in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him or herself; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
- Good one (I think I forgot to add this to my draft.)--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against of the several states by citizens of another state, or by the citizens or subjects of any foreign state.
- Amendment 11. Yes I need to add much of the amendments to my draft (haven't done that yet).--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
All executive agencies ordained for the furtherance of the security of the people of the United States, including the national military forces and investigative and intelligence agencies, shall be under the administration of the Directorate of National Defense.
- Again, another office -- how is this different from the other ones?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Director of National Defense shall chair the National Defense Committee, composed of at most seven members, each of whom shall lead one of the aforementioned agencies. The President of the National Commission, the High Representative, and the Clerk of the Council of State shall be ex officio members of the Committee.
The maximum-seven official members of the Committee shall be appointed by the President of the National Commission, subject to the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators; but the Director shall be appointed by the President of the Council of State, subject to no such restriction.
- General comment -- this is hard to keep track of. Who chairs what; what officials sit in which committees; why not let the officials decide themselves how this might be organized?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The Director of National Defense shall have the sole power to initiate legislation concerning the funding from the Treasury for the Directorate each year; but the Congress may prescribe, by law, annual funding for the Directorate to take effect if the Congress fails to confirm the proposals of the Director by the conclusion of the year.
The National Defense Committee shall have power to create and implement short-term security policy; and to interpret, in the short term, pertinent laws made by the Congress, until such time as the Supreme Court shall resolve any controversies.
The Director and any other of the maximum-seven members of the National Defense Committee shall be removed from office upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the Congress. Any of the maximum-seven members of the Committee may be removed at the pleasure of the President of the National Commission; and the Director may be removed at the pleasure of the President of the Council of State.
The several states shall be divided into districts of equal populations, or of populations as near equal as possible, for the purpose of the election of members of the National Assembly. No state shall have less than one district. The Congress shall, by law, ascertain the approximate size of district.
- Wording question -- are some things Congress does which are not laws? As a writer, I'm tempted to remove the phrase "by law" above, but is there some special legal meaning? Or is what you are trying to say that a simple vote by Congress is not enough, but rather, a law must be passed for this provision to hold?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
The division of districts shall not be done by the legislatures of the several states, nor by the executive authorities thereof, nor by any governmental authority of the United States; but the legislatures of the several states shall select independent agencies to draw up district divisions. The decisions of such independent agencies must be as fair as possible, and shall be transmitted, upon their completion, directly to the Commission for Elections.
- An excellent idea and clear improvement to try to get away from gerrymandering. Remember the word fairness is vague and subject to misinterpretation. Also, I don't think the subject of "districting" should get its own article (Article IX) but should be included somewhere else.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
After the publication of the divisions, the people of any state may challenge the fairness of the districting; in such cases, the court superior to any state court shall have original jurisdiction, in law and fact.
- What does "the court superior to any state court" mean?--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)