Essay:Needed Constitutional Amendments (Researcher)

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Recently, RW began work on a list of amendments that the collective mob could get behind. I feel that many of these, while well-meaning, are bad ideas. Others are good ideas that are not fleshed out very well.

Submitted By others[edit]

Equal Rights[edit]

Men and women, and those of indeterminate or unnamed gender, shall be considered as equals under any law passed by the Congress, or any of the Nation's constituent states or local jurisdictions, including unincorporated territories. All descriptions of Personhood, as used in this Constitution, shall be considered to include all genders and sexes.

That last bit just states the whenever the Constitution uses the word "he", "him", or "his", it really means "everybody".

Researcher's note: There is an amendment that has been proposed multiple times called the ERA. I will support the ERA with my every breath. Rather than trying to confuse people, let's just get that passed.

Freedom to make lifestyle choices[edit]

The government shall pass no abridgments of lifestyle choices, should such choices have no violent consequences.

This is WAY too vague, and way too open to abuse. As written, this would nullify all noise ordinances, would allow people to violate all sorts of planning laws (my grass is ten feet tall? Too bad, my "lifestyle" does not include mowing my lawn. I have rusting pieces of junk sitting in my front yard, breeding disease and depressing home values? My lifestyle is "redneck". Can't touch me.) Moreover, "violent" depends on the person. Smoking in an apartment building, with the smoke wafting into my asthmatic neighbors rooms isn't "violent," but it still causes damage.

Freedom of expression[edit]

Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of expression except where physical or mental harm may result from such expression

This is already there, under freedom of speech. Only teenagers really have their freedom of expression curtailed, and the courts have long found that teenagers have less freedoms.

Right to privacy[edit]

No person shall, against his will, have knowledge of his lifestyle choices be collected or distributed in anyway without their express consent, or without due process of law

So...a store cannot collect information about what a person buys from them without that person signing a waiver? That would be circumvented in about 5 seconds.

Annulment of the Electoral College[edit]

The President and Vice President shall be chosen by the people through direct election without the intercession of Electors. The official certified results of the several States shall be confirmed and certified by a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives. Then, if one candidate has received a clear majority of the votes of the people, that person shall be the President elect. The Vice President shall run seperately, but shall be selected in the same method.

Just to add a bit more clarity to the above. This one I fully support.

Requirement for Compulsory voting[edit]

The determination of the true will of the people being paramount to the proper election of United States officials, all citizens over the age of eighteen on or before an Election Day will be required to cast a vote. Citizens will have the right to vote for any candidate, or to select a "none of the above" option. Election Day is hereby declared a national holiday and no citizen can be compelled to work on that day.

1) Some citizens HAVE to work that day. Hospitals and police stations need to run; soldiers will still need to be on guard. (How embarassing to be invaded or for crooks to take advantage of election day to go on a rampage.)

2) Currently, there are a few classes of citizens over the age of 18 who cannot vote. Felons and the severely mentally disabled are not allowed. Would this force a change in this?

3) I'm against compulsory voting on the principle that it might cause people who don't bother researching anything to go vote. I also believe in the right to abstain.

4) I am in favor of the national holiday; I just don't feel it should be THAT strict.

Instant Runoff Voting[edit]

All jurisdictions shall implement Instant Runoff Voting for any race in which more than two candidates present for the ballot.

I'm cool with this.

Clarification of Second Amendment[edit]

Version one[edit]

The right of the people to bear arms that must be loaded with separate powder, wadding, and ball via the barrel, and are ignited by a separate spark-making device, shall never be abridged in any way in any jurisdiction. Private ownership of cannon up to and including ten pounds throw weight shall also not be restricted, except inasmuch as said cannon may only be transported by the owner working alone. In similar manner, private ownership of sufficient powder and balls to get through at least one hunting season without starving shall be permitted. Such armed citizens will be required to assemble at beachheads and estuarial zones, properly armed and prepared, should the Nation find itself under attack by sea.

Ha, ha. Very funny.

Version two[edit]

The right of the people to keep and bear arms for the purpose of sport or self-defense shall be guaranteed. No such arms may be borne by the Public that are of inordinate power or designed for mass murder. The Congress, and below them the various States, shall have the power to define the terms in this amendment specifically.

Makes sense. Wouldn't object, but (as of right now) totally unnecessary, as it is fully within the traditional jurisprudence on the issue.

Version three[edit]

Firearms will only be held by state agencies.

I'm against this, very strongly. Gun culture may not be great, but it is ingrained in most of the culture.

Annulment of Corporate Personhood[edit]

Corporations, in that they are not human beings and as such may not be incarcerated for wrongdoing, or otherwise sensibly deprived of rights when they abrogate the laws of this or any other Nation, shall not enjoy the privileges of personhood such as: freedom of speech; freedom of assembly; and making political contributions. & cetera...

This amendment is intended to reverse decisions by the various Courts including: & cetera

No, no, no. NO. Greater restrictions on what a corporate person is, fine. Legislation doing this--sure. Legislation that allows for prosecution of individuals within corporations that make decisions that lead to law-breaking, to remove the ability to hide behind a corporation--also great.

However, in the economic realm the ability to form corporations that exist as "persons" is invaluable. It removes a great deal of the risk of failure from the individuals who create the corporation. If I and User:Bob want to start a business, and raise capital by selling shares, we need the protections of a corporation. Otherwise, no one will buy a share, since a share would then make them each individually responsible for all debts incurred by Bob and I. For all bad decisions made by us. A corporation is the only way for a shareholder to be protected against such things, as they can only lose up to the value of the shares they put in. Without that protection, any shareholder can lose their home if the business tanks. And that's NOT GOOD.

Conditions for Removal from Office[edit]

The President may be removed from office should he utterly fail his duty to protect and serve his country, or should he demonstrate willful and repeated gross incompetence.

Removal from office may be initiated by a majority vote in the House of Representatives, or a six out of nine vote in the Supreme Court, or by petition of 2/3 of the States. In all cases it must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the People.

I'm not in favor of putting the removal of the President up to a majority (or even super-majority) vote of the people. There should be a mechanism for the other branches of government to reign in someone who tried to usurp too much power, even if they were a popular demagogue. I rather prefer the system in place now.

Enshrinement of the Courts' Powers[edit]

The Judiciary of the United States shall hereby be empowered to interpret the Constitution and lesser laws of this Nation as best they can. While remaining true to the letter of the Law, the Judiciary shall interpret such laws as challenged before them in court, and fit them as best to the times and intent. Any such Opinion of the Law shall be considered to have the full authority of the Law. Willful defiance of such Opinions shall be considered a violation of the Law and this Constitution.

Any Presidential acts knowingly and willfully in violation of such a Ruling, shall be considered as qualifying under the Articles of Impeachment.

"This formally gives the Judicial branch the power of Judicial Review, which as anyone who took US Government class knows, was never actually in the Constitution—it's more tradition than law. This would also give it the force and backing of the law. The last part is there specifically to prevent the President from purposely defying the Court's orders, like Andrew Jackson did. However, this amendment is not necessary in most cases of the United States, as it is already based on a Common Law Legal System, which holds the most important parts of this amendments as necessary mechanics of law. While much of Common Law is not codified, it is just as strong as codified law. Changing to a Civil Legal System, where only codified laws and procedures can be considered, it would then strip the powers most commonly held to be the most important of the Supreme Court.

How about a way for Supreme Court (at least) review of a law without requiring someone be accused of breaking it and working through the lower courts? Such a granting of power would be against the designed passive nature of the courts. As courts have enormous power to invalidate laws, and actions, they must be restricted, in as such, they may not simply bring up an issue on their own. As well, the US Supreme Court has already stated that it will not hear any cases based on hypotheticals. The court is exclusively practical, and may only make judgments when a case exposing the failure or inappropriateness of the law presents itself. Skipping straight to the Supreme Court for such actions would overload the Supreme Court for many cases that simply do not need immediate or final court actions."

I have nothing to add to what others have already said.

My own proposed amendment[edit]

"For all posts requiring the advice and consent of the Senate, the President may not nominate the same person more than twice for the same position, if that person has been rejected by the Senate both times, until such time as a new Congress has been seated."

See Also[edit]