Thursday, March 18, 2010

Five Proposed Amendments

(fm the BC thread "Unilateralism")

Guarding against things like the Slaughter maneuver is difficult because adding an Amendment to the Constitution that says "Read what it already says because we really mean it" does no good. I once heard a Justice explain that the Xth Amendment was a dead letter on arrival for that reason. Can anyone propose a set of Amendments that would work? Let us keep the list down to five. Maybe have a contest and vote for the top ones. The important thing is to emphasis practicality and eschew grandiose fantasies. Here are my Candidates to start.

sect. 1 A permanent Electoral College is established with the Chief Executive, Senior Judge of the Highest Court of Appeals and Speaker or equivalent of the most numerous branch of each state legislature in office ex officio and others selected by the legislature for terms of four years in two staggered sets as Congress may direct.

sect. 2 All vacancies for the Office of President or Vice President are to be filled by the Electoral College. All Presidential elections by the citizens are to be held under the supervision of Congress to advise but not compel the Electors in performing their duties. Such an election shall be held at least 10 days after the certification of the eligible candidates as described here. The determination of the eligibility of candidates seeking the offices of President or Vice President shall be submitted no later than 90 days before the casting of Electoral votes and shall be verified under the supervision of the Supreme Court. A certification of eligible candidates seeking the offices shall be delivered to the President of the Senate for distribution to the Electoral College no later than 60 days before they assemble to cast their votes. However in the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of the President then an expedited schedule for of no less than four days for determination of eligibility and no less than two days for dissemination to the Electors may be established by Congress.

sect. 3 The Electoral College shall also function as the final Court of Judicial Review for considering the Constitutionality of an Act of Congress. Such review to happen either by request of the Supreme Court or by petition of at least one fifth of the States.

sect. 1 No person shall vote in any election for Congress if they derive the majority of their income from funds drawn from the Federal Treasury but no such inhibition shall apply to an enlisted member of the armed forces who is otherwise eligible to vote.

sect. 2 No person shall vote for any State or local office if they derive the majority of their income from funds drawn from the treasury of that State.

No bill or resolution of one branch of the legislature that is not acted upon and sent either to conference, or to the President if and only if passed as described in the first article section 7 of this Constitution, shall be effective after the passage of ten days.

The 17th Article of Amendment is hereby repealed.

Please tell me what you think. Are there any better ideas out there?

(Regarding a confusion of names at the Belmont Club)
 How about one "Bob" and one "Bob's Your Uncle?"

Also for consideration on the list an amendment on citizenship.

sect. 1 No person shall be a citizen of the United States due to their birth to a parent who is not a citizen, lawful resident or lawfully admitted visitor, however the Congress may establish procedures to naturalize such persons.

sect. 2 No child fathered by a person unknown or not legally present as a result of an assault and whose mother is a citizen shall be deemed a non-citizen, provided that the the unlawful act was reported to the proper authorities within 30 days.

sect. 3 A natural born citizen shall be any person born within the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof or born to a parent outside of the United States due to service with the armed or diplomatic service, unless excluded under the first section of this article of amendment. Congress may establish the means for granting other children of US citizens naturalization at birth and making provisions for immigration and naturalization of all others. No person who is otherwise a citizen shall be deemed as natural born if they subsequent to their seventeenth year take an oath of allegiance to any foreign power or claim a benefit as a foreign resident.

I am rewording my original list to fold the first two together and keep my total at five.

(who had three ideas for amendments re:, taxation, pensions, reelection)
Your first I disagree with, your second I like and the third has arguments on both sides being a form of term limits. Central tax authority was needed as the Articles of Confederation did not work. If the States select prominent people as Senators and the Electoral College really chose the President then the problem of nest feathering would be held to the Congressmen, who everyone will have fun inspecting and arresting.

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