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(Arizona Star)   The Constitution's final boss is too hard so we should reset it to easy level where we can change it every other week to make it work says apparent teenaged article writer   (azstarnet.com) divider line 154
    More: Asinine, consent of the governed, Articles of Confederation, Gettysburg Address, political structure, Emancipation Proclamation, unanimous consent  
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14263 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2012 at 11:51 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-04 09:10:54 AM
...says apparent teenaged article writer

I'll just leave this here.

www.utexas.edu
Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, joined the University of Texas Law School in 1980. Previously a member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, he is also a Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. The author of over 350 articles and book reviews in professional and popular journals--and a regular contributor to the popular blog Balkinization--Levinson is also the author of four books: Constitutional Faith (1988, winner of the Scribes Award); Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (1998); Wrestling With Diversity (2003); and, most recently, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It)(2006). Edited or co-edited books include a leading constitutional law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (5th ed. 2006, with Paul Brest, Jack Balkin, Akhil Amar, and Reva Siegel); Reading Law and Literature: A Hermeneutic Reader (1988, with Steven Mallioux); Responding to Imperfection: The Theory and Practice of Constitutional Amendment (1995); Constitutional Stupidities, Constitutional Tragedies (1998, with William Eskridge); Legal Canons (2000, with Jack Balkin); The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion (2005, with Batholomew Sparrow); and Torture: A Collection (2004, revised paperback edition, 2006), which includes reflections on the morality, law, and politics of torture from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association in 2010.

He has been a visiting faculty member of the Boston University, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, and Yale law schools in the United States and has taught abroad in programs of law in London; Paris; Jerusalem; Auckland, New Zealand; and Melbourne, Australia. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1985-86 and a Member of the Ethics in the Professions Program at Harvard in 1991-92. He is also affiliated with the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jewish Philosophy in Jerusalem. A member of the American Law Institute, Levinson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. He is married to Cynthia Y. Levinson, a writer of children's literature, and has two children, Meira, a member of the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (after teaching in the Atlanta and Boston public school systems), and Rachel, a lawyer with the American Association of University Professors in Washington, D.C.
 
2012-07-04 09:15:42 AM
 
2012-07-04 09:33:14 AM
So will the preamble just consist of the Konami code?

It was incredibly difficult to compromise on the Constitution in 1787. Could you even FATHOM how impossible it would be to create a new one in this day and age?
 
2012-07-04 09:53:06 AM
Secede you f*ckers

/please
//ASAP
 
2012-07-04 10:10:47 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Secede you f*ckers

/please
//ASAP


I may have to RTFA again, but it didn't seem too unreasonable. Except, of course, that most people treat the Constitution as if it were a set of rules written by Jesus himself and even a discussion of reworking or replacing it is tantamount to heresy.

Also, subby is a moron, since the article clearly states that making amendments too easy would also be a mistake.
 
2012-07-04 10:14:55 AM
Professor Levinson has a point. Many perfectly sane nations regularly update their Constitutions. Canada's Constitutional history is radically different from the USA's. Not to mention Iceland. But a lot of perfectly sane Americans fear that the current one is the last bastion against the Tide of Derp.
 
2012-07-04 10:16:18 AM
Subby is a complete and total idiot. The article is about how Americans don't remember that the Constitution was preceded by the Articles of Confederation and is a document that is creaky with age and is too hard to amend. These are statements that are widely accepted by constitutional scholars.

Veneration of the Constitution as a sacred and perfect document is just stupid and uneducated.
 
2012-07-04 10:16:31 AM

skinnycatullus: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Secede you f*ckers

/please
//ASAP

I may have to RTFA again, but it didn't seem too unreasonable. Except, of course, that most people treat the Constitution as if it were a set of rules written by Jesus himself and even a discussion of reworking or replacing it is tantamount to heresy.

Also, subby is a moron, since the article clearly states that making amendments too easy would also be a mistake.


I think the derpstorm the past week has begun to get to me

/out of patience
//sorry
 
2012-07-04 10:22:26 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I think the derpstorm the past week has begun to get to me


I know how you feel.
 
2012-07-04 10:43:55 AM

Somacandra: Professor Levinson has a point. Many perfectly sane nations regularly update their Constitutions. Canada's Constitutional history is radically different from the USA's. Not to mention Iceland. But a lot of perfectly sane Americans fear that the current one is the last bastion against the Tide of Derp.


This. As someone above pointed out, though, this is how a lot of people imagine the constitution:

i76.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-04 10:58:38 AM
Did that article actually make any kind of point? Because I gave up about 6 or 7 paragraphs in, and found myself wishing I'd left myself a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way out.
 
2012-07-04 11:17:13 AM
Take that, William Blount! *pew pew pew*
 
2012-07-04 11:55:14 AM
 
2012-07-04 11:59:22 AM
I was thinking about starting a Constitutional Convention PAC, based on the idea that if you could get two-thirds of the state legislatures to agree to one then you could override congress.

Completely impossible but I'd have a well paying job for life.

/More fleshed out idea in my Sisyphus files
 
2012-07-04 11:59:35 AM
Many other polls could be cited
 
2012-07-04 12:00:07 PM
Some people think that the contract that we have with our government is sacrosanct. The framers did not think so.
 
2012-07-04 12:00:47 PM
I would answer with a resounding YES! We need to separate government and corporations in the same way the founding father separated church and state over 200 years ago. Capitalism is a great driver for the economy but it is a horrific form of government.
 
2012-07-04 12:01:05 PM
Don't like the constitution? Amend it.

/the document isn't designed to enforce majority rule but most often protect us from it
 
2012-07-04 12:03:10 PM
Not to mention people like Jefferson said we should make it easier to change our government and (most ironically) NOT be ruled by the dogmatic principals of centuries ago.
 
2012-07-04 12:03:57 PM
The Constitution is for the most part a nice theory but in the modern age it really has little to no effective power aside from the bill of rights. The whole idea of "federalism" and a clear division of powers between the federal government and the states is all but gone, now. Between the commerce clause apparently covering every possible business transaction (even intrastate!) to tax penalties that can be used to force individuals to purchase products to the nationalized state guards reporting to Washington to undeclared wars in foreign lands, the founders would be rolling in their graves.

If it weren't that hard to amend, maybe it wouldn't be so consistently ignored. But what's the point of changing the document if you can just circumvent it?
 
2012-07-04 12:06:17 PM
The Constitution isn't that rigid. It includes two means- Amendment and Convention- by which it can be altered as necessary. Of course, Amending the Constitution was much easier when doing so required only 10 states to agree (75% of 13).
 
2012-07-04 12:06:31 PM
"I don't like the very thing the makes the United States viable".

Rigid rules everybody has to play by, No coups or Leaders changing the laws
every week to suit their wants
 
2012-07-04 12:07:00 PM
Yeah, let's turn our Constitution into Wikipedia format. Think stuff is getting slipped into laws in the dark of night now? WooHoo! Let's go full retard!
 
2012-07-04 12:07:40 PM
No, Mr. Levinson, that's exactly what the Constitution does not do. Just another thing for pundits to pontificate on who have never bothered to read it.
 
2012-07-04 12:07:41 PM

Somacandra: Professor Levinson has a point. Many perfectly sane nations regularly update their Constitutions. Canada's Constitutional history is radically different from the USA's. Not to mention Iceland. But a lot of perfectly sane Americans fear that the current one is the last bastion against the Tide of Derp.



With the full consideration of the fact that that is an Onion article, it is practically impossible to tell (given the current level of knowledge about the Constitution amongst the derpy right wing dominionist set) whether this is an actual interview or something pulled out of the authors ass.

In this "modern" day and age, the parody is almost impossible to tell from the truth. I know people that say exactly what is printed in that article. The folks who were saying in 2008 that putting Sarah and Johnny in the white house would return Jesus to his rightful place as the leader of the free world.
 
2012-07-04 12:08:03 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: Did that article actually make any kind of point? Because I gave up about 6 or 7 paragraphs in, and found myself wishing I'd left myself a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way out.


I bailed after glossing it. Why do professors write like they are paid by the word?
 
2012-07-04 12:08:07 PM
It's supposed to be hard so hiat eating pig fark circle jerk fark cum dumpster douche nozzle licking pseudocons can't fark with it.
 
2012-07-04 12:09:38 PM
Problems with amending the Constitution is low on the list of problems facing our government.

Problem #1: Career politicians that care only about keeping their job than actually being a servant of the people and governing effectively.
 
2012-07-04 12:10:59 PM

Catlenfell: Rigid rules everybody has to play by, No coups or Leaders changing the laws every week to suit their wants


Our constitution was hammered out with the constant writing and rewriting of the French constitution in mind.

/if the process for amendment was a ridiculously undue burden it wouldn't have happened so many times
 
2012-07-04 12:12:16 PM
The Founders meant for the First Amendment neither to impose a strict separation of church and state nor to prohibit Federal support for religious institutions, but only to prevent government from favoring one Christian denomination at the expense of others.

This seems more reasonable than the zealot talking point for either side of the debate.
 
2012-07-04 12:13:28 PM
His basic idea isn't so far out.

I've said for said years, that people who keep running around ranting that "the government doesn't work anymore", have no idea what the Constitution says. Yes, our Federal government is slow, indecisive & usually in constant opposition to itself.

Because that's exactly what it was designed to be.

It was written as a compromise, largely by people who feared a strong central government. So, it's operating more or less as it's supposed to.

Now, whether we need to change it, is a whole other debate. Certainly, the amendment process is difficult, but then given the political flavors-of-the-week playing out these days, it's probably not such a bad thing.
 
2012-07-04 12:15:46 PM

Somacandra: Professor Levinson has a point. Many perfectly sane nations regularly update their Constitutions. Canada's Constitutional history is radically different from the USA's. Not to mention Iceland. But a lot of perfectly sane Americans fear that the current one is the last bastion against the Tide of Derp.


Anybody point out that we are in the longest post-Civil War era of not changing the Constitution yet?

I think I have that right.
 
2012-07-04 12:16:19 PM

diaphoresis: The Founders meant for the First Amendment neither to impose a strict separation of church and state nor to prohibit Federal support for religious institutions, but only to prevent government from favoring one Christian denomination at the expense of others.

This seems more reasonable than the zealot talking point for either side of the debate.


Hrm, I wonder how one can prevent the government from favoring one religion over another? If there were only some way, some.... preventative measure we could employ to keep government away from religion.
 
2012-07-04 12:19:29 PM

skinnycatullus: Also, subby is a moron, since the article clearly states that making amendments too easy would also be a mistake.


clearly states? not in this sentence: "Moreover, for better and, possibly, for worse, state constitutions are far easier to amend." even having no more than a passing familiarity with some states constitutions i will state unequivocally that constant revision is worse.

or maybe you think that MS personhood amendment was worth voting on.
 
2012-07-04 12:20:26 PM
"Constitution's final boss is too hard... "
What is it that I am reading, apparent teenmitter?
 
2012-07-04 12:22:26 PM
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."

- Thomas Jefferson
 
2012-07-04 12:22:52 PM
This is a plot by Obama to get rid of the 2nd amendment so he can take our guns away.
 
2012-07-04 12:27:48 PM
Think of it this way: if you make the amendment process easier, you're increasing the chance of bad amendments getting in, like that Defense of Marriage one that the cons were pushing for during Bush's administration. Heck, we even had a bad one get through our process (remember Prohibition, anyone?) Simply put, the amendment process is the way it is because the Framers knew one undeniable axiom: People are stupid.
 
2012-07-04 12:28:51 PM

MachineHead: diaphoresis: The Founders meant for the First Amendment neither to impose a strict separation of church and state nor to prohibit Federal support for religious institutions, but only to prevent government from favoring one Christian denomination at the expense of others.

This seems more reasonable than the zealot talking point for either side of the debate.

Hrm, I wonder how one can prevent the government from favoring one religion over another? If there were only some way, some.... preventative measure we could employ to keep government away from religion.


Shhh, you see that "either side" stuff? He thinks nobody can see him. Shhh.
 
2012-07-04 12:30:47 PM

Gregosaurus: Yes, our Federal government is slow, indecisive & usually in constant opposition to itself.

Because that's exactly what it was designed to be.

It was written as a compromise, largely by people who feared a strong central government. So, it's operating more or less as it's supposed to..


Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a g-dd-mn-d piece of paper!
 
2012-07-04 12:31:40 PM

LoneWolf343: Simply put, the amendment process is the way it is because the Framers knew one undeniable axiom: People are stupid.


This.

Also greedy, and seek to subject others to rules they make because what they feel must be true.
 
2012-07-04 12:34:03 PM

cretinbob: It's supposed to be hard so hiat eating pig fark circle jerk fark cum dumpster douche nozzle licking pseudocons can't fark with it.


Not sure if trolling, pants on head retarded, or just a severe case of tourettes.
 
2012-07-04 12:35:46 PM
The concern I have is that once the floodgates of constitutional rewrite are opened, two things will happen immediately. The left will finish stripping the second amendment, and the right will finish stripping the fourth amendment.

Serious question: what would a more malleable constitution buy us, the American People? What safeguards would we have against that power being stolen for private interests?
 
2012-07-04 12:37:03 PM

Giant Clown Shoe: Our constitution was hammered out with the constant writing and rewriting of the French constitution in mind.


Erm, the US Constitution was ratified in 1787. It went into effect in 1789. During that time, France was an absolute monarchy (now known as the Ancien Regime).

The French revolution was 1789-99. The French went through a series of Consitutions in 1791, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1802, 1804, and then lapsed back into monarchy.

How, exactly, did the framers remain mindful of something that didn't happen until after the US Constitution went into effect?
 
2012-07-04 12:38:06 PM
This guy completely misses the point.

Okay...*deep breath*

Thomas Jefferson himself said he anticipated each generation would craft its own constitution to better suit the needs of their society. And, frankly, that's what we've had. We didn't do away the fundamental structures of our government each time, but we have re-drawn the lines of government power twice, and are due for a fourth-generation soon.

The first is the Civil War, and specifically the 13th-15th amendments. Not only do they completely re-construct what a citizen is, but it redefines the relationship between state and federal governments in terms of the fact that now the federal government would play big brother, and wouldn't let the states trample all over their people while the feds turned a blind eye. And this extended to other areas.

The second major revision, of sorts, would have been the New Deal. Much was struck down by the SCOTUS, but it definitely changed and repurposed the -function- of the federal government. Combined with the Progressive movement amendments, that of women's suffrage and the right to elect senators, it also redefined federalism in America.

This isn't to say that changes haven't been down the pipeline between these periods, but honestly, those are where the preponderance of the changes in the governing of the Union has been.

And of course, if you're doing the math, 90 years, and 70 years, and now we're sitting at 80 years without a very big sweeping change of that kind.

So, what he says is true, in a sense, but for completely the wrong reasons he thinks. I'm banking on a return to more state control of things, to leave the drama of special interest politics to the local level (maybe Citizens United will convince everyone that putting all the power in one spot is a dumb move right now), but who knows.
 
2012-07-04 12:38:30 PM
So... the Constitution was a God-gifted, infallible, wholly-holy-sanctified document without error, right up until a blaDemocrat president crafted a law that arguably fit within its bounds?
 
2012-07-04 12:39:31 PM
The Constitution was designed to provide a framework for a small class of land owning white males. The size and substantially similar interests of this voting class made the amendment provisions difficult, but surmountable. The authors and signers did not design the system to be rigid and unchanging. They lived through the excesses of George III's parliament and through 10 years of stagnation under the Articles of Confederation. They had a good understanding of how important Federal power would be to resolving the existing, the future, and the unforseeable conflicts between the states, as well as the dangers of giving unrestrained power to the Federal body outright. The authors and signers of the Constitution were a generation of men who questioned the wisdom of their forebears and rejected the society their fathers handed to them. It is nigh on ridiculous to view their foundation of our government as an attempt to create something unchanging or rigid.

The rigidity of our Constitution has come from the expansion of the voting franchise. It has come both from willful misinterpretation that protects the status quo (substantive due process, originalism) and it has come from the inability of a nearly universal voting class with substantially diverse interests to assemble the political will required to breach the requirements of the amendment process.
 
2012-07-04 12:41:48 PM

wildcardjack: I was thinking about starting a Constitutional Convention PAC, based on the idea that if you could get two-thirds of the state legislatures to agree to one then you could override congress.

Completely impossible but I'd have a well paying job for life.

/More fleshed out idea in my Sisyphus files


I want in, my job consists of convinving people over the phone and selling them on the intangibles.

I think 100k/yr isn't unreasonable...
 
2012-07-04 12:43:05 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

Hey, she may only leave her berth once a year, but she's still a crowd pleaser!
 
2012-07-04 12:43:22 PM
I'm an amendment-to-be, yes an amendment-to-be,
And I'm hoping that they'll ratify me.

There's a lot of flag-burners,
Who have got too much freedom,
I want to make it legal
For policemen to beat'em.

'Cause there's limits to our liberties,
At least I hope and pray that there are,
'Cause those liberal freaks go too far.
 
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