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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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14257 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2012 at 11:51 AM (1 year 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.
 
2012-07-04 12:45:26 PM
Which is funnier, the people raging about the headline, or the headline trolling people into rage?
 
2012-07-04 12:47:07 PM
Hit "Add Comment" too soon..

The US Constitution actually draws a lot of ideas from the Grand Council and Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois League. Iroqouian law contains the words, "we, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order . . ."

The League was seen as both an inspiration for the framers and an example of how things can get mired in infighting when governance "suffers from too much democracy."
 
2012-07-04 12:47:36 PM
Summary:

The Constitution needs to be changed...

...as long as I am the one that gets to change it.
 
2012-07-04 12:48:19 PM
"The Framers created a system that was fundamentally designed to make it difficult for government to respond effectively to the great issues of the day. For a bill to become a law, for example, requires the assent not only of a House of Representatives and Senate that may be in fundamental conflict, but also the signature of the president, who may have equally fundamental differences even with a relatively united Congress. To be sure, vetoes can be overridden, but they rarely are, given the difficulty of gaining the constitutionally required two-thirds vote in each house of Congress."

yes we should throw out the checks and balances, so the prez can pass any damn well law he pleases! Parliamentary dictatorship for all!
 
2012-07-04 12:48:38 PM
Yes lets make it so easy to change the Constitution, that it will get trashed every time some politician gets a bug up his butt.
 
2012-07-04 12:49:23 PM
So...treason?
 
2012-07-04 12:50:06 PM
I remember back when the courts ruled that the states could allow same-sex marriage that Bush went out and said we needed to amend the Constitution to ban it everywhere, in a way the courts couldn't overrule. It seems like he was "putting out some feelers" on the idea to be his next big project to define his administration, but he didn't get enough of a bite. They was Ultracon outrage over the whole same-sex marriage thing but it wasn't popular enough overall, and he backed off.

Still, that's the closest thing to an Amendment that's come up in recent times. Banning gay marriage for all Americans, forever. Yeah. That's the purpose that actually came up.

What's odd is the 18th Amendment (Prohibition). I mean, since then we've banned a LOT of things throughout the country- pot, cocaine, etc. And those bans are pretty much total, final, complete, and in fact has been MORE final and enduring than the 13-year span of the 18th Amendment until its repeal.

The type of prohibition in the 18th Amendment is common now, just done through the Legislature without involving the Constitution. Perhaps you could say the Legislature has so much power you don't NEED to use Amendments, which require ratification by states and is thus more difficult and destined to be far more controversial and divisive.

Holy crap, Wikipedia:
To date, all amendments, whether ratified or not, have been proposed by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress. Over 10,000 constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress since 1789; during the last several decades, between 100 and 200 have been offered in a typical congressional year. Most of these ideas never leave Congressional committee, and of those reported to the floor for a vote, far fewer get proposed by Congress to the states for ratification.

Wow, 100-200? Geez... that's gotta be legislative natter and bullshiat right there.
 
2012-07-04 12:51:58 PM
Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.
 
2012-07-04 12:53:48 PM

Lando Lincoln: 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.


Indeed, I have said many times the only way to right the sinking ship is to take money out of the equation.

Let's find an agreed upon salary for a politician. Something good enough to bring the best and brightest from around the country.

Then set single term limits.

Then make ALL elections publicaly financed. Television and Radio ads are placed evenly in the canidates' markets like PSAs are.

Eliminate PACs

Elminate lobbying in it's current form. I've always thought that there should be city, county, and state councils quarterly where the public can present issues, ideas, and concerns and it sorta goes up through an elimination bracket up to the government level.

EX: A bunch of people present their issues at a city council meeting.
Those issues are brought up along with the other cities in the county and are voted on.
The "winning" issues from the counties all over the state are presented at a state council meeting where they're voted on by the state reps.
The winning issues at the state level are then presented in the house for vote/consideration.

Once you remove all the dirty money and career politics out of the equation this will naturally weed out the scumbags as there's nothing in it for them anymore.

/get's me all weepy on the 4th...
 
2012-07-04 12:54:08 PM

Gwyrddu: 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.



There is no reasonable, workable, or rational way to ban flag burning, but I wish there was for one reason and one reason alone:

It would give us an easy way to separate the real protestors from the wannabees.

Seriously.. if you're going to make a symbolic statement that shows rejection of the US and everything for which it stands, why stick at civil disobedience? People who only have the courage to reject a government with that government's consent are the yappy dogs at the end of a leash who have no greater faith in anything than the strength of the leash.
 
2012-07-04 12:54:47 PM
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

forum.cheatengine.org
 
2012-07-04 12:55:06 PM
 
2012-07-04 12:57:01 PM

hogans: [upload.wikimedia.org image 300x289]

Hey, she may only leave her berth once a year, but she's still a crowd pleaser!


And she's only about 10 minutes from me. Love it!
 
2012-07-04 01:00:42 PM
Damn....I'm gonna have to ask every lawyer I ever hire if they have heard of or read anything by this moron. If so, I'll fire 'em out of hand and find someone who can write and who has more respect for our gov't. This guy is a bonehead, I don't care what culvert he oozed out of.

/Cause if we start to fark with the foundation
//how do you keep the house of cards up?
///do you really want the party of
////"Hell No" to write away the remaining freedoms you enjoy
//Happy 4th!
 
2012-07-04 01:00:59 PM

Oznog: I remember back when the courts ruled that the states could allow same-sex marriage that Bush went out and said we needed to amend the Constitution to ban it everywhere, in a way the courts couldn't overrule. It seems like he was "putting out some feelers" on the idea to be his next big project to define his administration, but he didn't get enough of a bite. They was Ultracon outrage over the whole same-sex marriage thing but it wasn't popular enough overall, and he backed off.

Still, that's the closest thing to an Amendment that's come up in recent times. Banning gay marriage for all Americans, forever. Yeah. That's the purpose that actually came up.

What's odd is the 18th Amendment (Prohibition). I mean, since then we've banned a LOT of things throughout the country- pot, cocaine, etc. And those bans are pretty much total, final, complete, and in fact has been MORE final and enduring than the 13-year span of the 18th Amendment until its repeal.

The type of prohibition in the 18th Amendment is common now, just done through the Legislature without involving the Constitution. Perhaps you could say the Legislature has so much power you don't NEED to use Amendments, which require ratification by states and is thus more difficult and destined to be far more controversial and divisive.

Holy crap, Wikipedia:
To date, all amendments, whether ratified or not, have been proposed by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress. Over 10,000 constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress since 1789; during the last several decades, between 100 and 200 have been offered in a typical congressional year. Most of these ideas never leave Congressional committee, and of those reported to the floor for a vote, far fewer get proposed by Congress to the states for ratification.

Wow, 100-200? Geez... that's gotta be legislative natter and bullshiat right there.


You nailed it basically. Its not an oddity of the power of amendments in general, but a shift in Constitutional theory peculiar to that time period. When the 18th was passed the USSC was using Substantive Due Process to strike down government regulations. After the switch in time that saved nine (1937), and especially after Wickard v. Filburn (1942), legislators have had more direct access to the power to regulate through the Commerce clause, and fewer constitutional limits to that power.

The failure of prohibition had nothing to do with it being an amendment. An act would have met the same end in the same amount of time. You just can't take the booze away from Americans.
 
2012-07-04 01:02:28 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.


One problem with your nondenominational theocratic interpretation that springs immediately to mind: From the Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11. "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],-and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." Ratified unanimously by the U.S. Senate. This would suggest that at the around time of the Constitution's ratification, nobody thought that was what the Constitution was supposed to mean at all.
 
2012-07-04 01:03:56 PM

KingPsyz: 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...


First we'll push-poll the target area using automated survey systems, then we'll carpet bomb the area with fliers, then we'll use a prison-sourced telemarketing firm to make basic inquiries for donations.

It's one of my four-hour-workweek plots. I don't want any actual employees or staff. That's too much like work. I could also gear this model as an end-times ministry.
 
2012-07-04 01:04:21 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Secede you f*ckers

/please
//ASAP


Who exactly? Constitutional scholars?
 
2012-07-04 01:05:35 PM

Aar1012: 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?



Quoted for Great Justice and ultimate truth.

It would be nigh impossible to arrive at an agreement at even the smallest points for a new Constitution, and to be perfectly honest i would fear for this country if it was tried.
 
2012-07-04 01:05:51 PM

Lando Lincoln: 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.


Exactly. Money has so corrupted politics, that no one even blinks when representatives/their staff get cushy jobs with companies 6 weeks after pushing through whatever legislation said companies wrote up. Money so completely controls everything in Washington that we all just accept it, when in reality almost nothing could be further from true Democracy.
 
2012-07-04 01:07:19 PM
FTA: Moreover, the 1787 Constitution is basically the most difficult-to-amend constitution in the world. Moreover, for better and, possibly, for worse, state constitutions are far easier to amend. Most state constitutions are, inevitably, living constitutions, updated to meet what are deemed to be pressing challenges.

Since this guy is at UT-Austin, maybe he should take a look at the wonderful Constitution of the State of Texas, which has been amended 474 times and is probably one of the dumbest state constitutions around.
 
2012-07-04 01:10:38 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.


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-04 01:13:56 PM
The Constitution was designed to prevent exactly the kind of thing the article speaks about.
 
2012-07-04 01:15:34 PM

Giant Clown Shoe: /if the process for amendment was a ridiculously undue burden it wouldn't have happened so many times


Yep. One every 14 years, on average, since the Bill of Rights was set (I'm not counting the original 10 in my calculation, obviously). I don't think that's too shabby for such an important document.
 
2012-07-04 01:20:47 PM

KingPsyz: Lando Lincoln: 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.

Indeed, I have said many times the only way to right the sinking ship is to take money out of the equation.

Let's find an agreed upon salary for a politician. Something good enough to bring the best and brightest from around the country.

Then set single term limits.

Then make ALL elections publicaly financed. Television and Radio ads are placed evenly in the canidates' markets like PSAs are.

Eliminate PACs

Elminate lobbying in it's current form. I've always thought that there should be city, county, and state councils quarterly where the public can present issues, ideas, and concerns and it sorta goes up through an elimination bracket up to the government level.

EX: A bunch of people present their issues at a city council meeting.
Those issues are brought up along with the other cities in the county and are voted on.
The "winning" issues from the counties all over the state are presented at a state council meeting where they're voted on by the state reps.
The winning issues at the state level are then presented in the house for vote/consideration.

Once you remove all the dirty money and career politics out of the equation this will naturally weed out the scumbags as there's nothing in it for them anymore.

/get's me all weepy on the 4th...


I half expected popular vote to be in there somewhere. That way minority parties can get into congres and put their ideas on the table. People will hear about them and then they can grow, possibly even nominate a candidate for president.
 
2012-07-04 01:22:44 PM

bmwericus


Damn....I'm gonna have to ask every lawyer I ever hire if they have heard of or read anything by this moron. If so, I'll fire 'em out of hand


That is a ridiculous position to take. I have heard of Rush Limbaugh; that does not mean I agree with him or even think he's any better than whale droppings.
 
2012-07-04 01:26:50 PM

ciberido: 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!


Justice Scalia, everybody! Glad you could make it, Sir.

Let's give him a big hand, Farkers!

/golf clap
 
2012-07-04 01:28:45 PM
Here is a new idea:
Follow the original Constitution, with it's current amendments and give back to the people the right to create their own state constitutions that recognize federal roles in the numerated roles it has and leave everything else to state government. If a person does not like what the state is doing or requires then they are FREE to move to another state or work within their state to change things.
See that way the gays can all live in Cali,the jews in NY, the blacks in Illinois with the mooslems, the mexies in Cali with the gays since they all like those pretty colors, and the normal people can have the rest of the country back.
Simple.
 
2012-07-04 01:30:06 PM

MachineHead: 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.


Well, Jefferson managed to have a lot of do as I say, not as I do moments when he was president and played loosey-goosey with the Constitution then.

/whar authority for Louisiana Purchase whar
 
2012-07-04 01:32:44 PM

wildcardjack: KingPsyz: 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...

First we'll push-poll the target area using automated survey systems, then we'll carpet bomb the area with fliers, then we'll use a prison-sourced telemarketing firm to make basic inquiries for donations.

It's one of my four-hour-workweek plots. I don't want any actual employees or staff. That's too much like work. I could also gear this model as an end-times ministry.


See, that's the beauty of a system like this, once you get a target base you can use that customer data for nearly everything.

Stop islamo-facism
Stop the war on Christmas
Start the war on Christmas (nega-troll level)
End times
Rapture chamber fund
etc.

And you need someone like me with experience crafting convincing phone scripts.
 
2012-07-04 01:35:12 PM

DerAppie: KingPsyz: Lando Lincoln: 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.

Indeed, I have said many times the only way to right the sinking ship is to take money out of the equation.

Let's find an agreed upon salary for a politician. Something good enough to bring the best and brightest from around the country.

Then set single term limits.

Then make ALL elections publicaly financed. Television and Radio ads are placed evenly in the canidates' markets like PSAs are.

Eliminate PACs

Elminate lobbying in it's current form. I've always thought that there should be city, county, and state councils quarterly where the public can present issues, ideas, and concerns and it sorta goes up through an elimination bracket up to the government level.

EX: A bunch of people present their issues at a city council meeting.
Those issues are brought up along with the other cities in the county and are voted on.
The "winning" issues from the counties all over the state are presented at a state council meeting where they're voted on by the state reps.
The winning issues at the state level are then presented in the house for vote/consideration.

Once you remove all the dirty money and career politics out of the equation this will naturally weed out the scumbags as there's nothing in it for them anymore.

/get's me all weepy on the 4th...

I half expected popular vote to be in there somewhere. That way minority parties can get into congres and put their ideas on the table. People will hear about them and then they can grow, possibly even nominate a candidate for president.


Yeah I do think a popular vote is needed, but one thing at a time. If you eliminate the money from politics, it would take little to no effort to disolve the electoral college system.
 
2012-07-04 01:43:42 PM

But Wait There's More: ...says apparent teenaged article writer

I'll just leave this here.
.


Brilliant google-fu there. Subby just got told, I believe a "Oh Snap" is in order. Any seconds?
 
2012-07-04 01:46:45 PM
I think the problem with rewriting the constitution now would be that it would be filled with politics from whichever party that would happen to have control of congress at the time of the rewrite. When it was originally framed it was done so against the backdrop of British tyranny. Since we don't currently have a overwhelming enemy that both sides can rally against, any re-framing would most likely break down into petty politics
 
2012-07-04 01:47:40 PM
Let's be honest, some parts could use some updating for the modern age. BUT, once you start doing that, it's only a small step to make changes that are ideal to your party. THAT is why we shouldn't revise the constitution outside of amendments.

There are plenty of things that could be reformed without it,

1) Postal system. Ok, so it's antique, but it still beats the private couriers in pricing. Go to 4 day per week delivery if you have to, but some changes are needed.

2) Patents. Invalidate all software patents, and possibly all vague "method" patents. Make it a million-dollar-plus penalty to buy up a patent simply for the purpose of patent trolling.

3) Welfare- add drug testing and intrusive stop-by welfare use checks. This will both weed out the folks misusing the money, and make it unpleasant to be on so that the folks on it have an incentive to actually try to find work. BUT, rework the catch-22 that removes their benefits when they get lower-paying unsurvivable jobs, and supplements that accordingly to their welfare income level instead.

4) Lobbying - Make corporate lobbying illegal, and bar industry groups . There's no constitutional right to buy off candidates, and it should be treated as semi-treasonous for giving an obvious route for corruption. Make any violations of this immediately-terminable ethics breaches, and bar anybody caught from practicing law for at least 1 year.
 
2012-07-04 01:48:14 PM
dl.dropbox.com

eggrolls: So...treason?


You get the tar, I'll get the feathers.
 
2012-07-04 02:06:12 PM

Somaticasual:

1) Postal system.

[...]

3) Welfare


Reforming the postal system and welfare ought to be approximately numbers 2,842 and 1,634 on the Grand List Of Problems With The Federal Guvmint, not first and third. And it precisely because of the prospect of having the process diverted into such picayune, hobbyhorse issues that I fear the idea of a new Constitutional Convention.

However, TFA makes an excellent point -- something ought to be done to reform our public institutions to the point where we have some modicum of trust in them.
 
2012-07-04 02:08:03 PM

Somacandra: But a lot of perfectly sane Americans fear that the current one is the last bastion against the Tide of Derp.


This. At a time in our history where we are more so extremely polarized politically and we're face with a level of blind stupidity, ignorance and bald-faced lies being spouted by our elected leaders (and the media) that even 5 years ago would have seemed outrageous, I do not think that now is the proper time to be discussing whether we need to make the Constitution easier to change.

/State Constitutions are easier to change and we're ending up with bullshiat like "marriage can only be between a man and a woman" and State legislatures trying to bring back sodomy laws
 
2012-07-04 02:26:21 PM
Since the leaders of our US America haven't been following the Constitution for dozens of years, does it really matter what the f*ck we think?

/ Maybe they need maps.
 
2012-07-04 02:32:58 PM
The Constitution was designed to protect the rights of the people, not the government. The Constitution was designed to emphasize the supremacy of the rule of law and the equality of everyone before the law. Laws were not easy to pass because laws dictate how people live; capriciously changeable laws make society unstable. One of the beauties of the American Experiment is that we can have a change in leadership with no upheaval. The politburo had no restrictions on the laws it could pass and enforce, at times very capriciously. No change in leadership took place without upheaval, without party members on pins and needles wondering if they would survive the change. No such problems here.

Where our Constitution fails us today is in our lack of adherence to it. When Congress can pass a law and exempt themselves from it, we are not equal before the law. When laws are written to apply to only a narrow segment of the citizenry, we are not equal before the law. When some members, segments, or groups are routinely allowed or even encouraged to flout the law, we are not equal before the law. When President's and Governors write executive orders with the effect of law but none of the process, we have lost the stability inherent in the Constitution. When unelected bureaucrats can impose regulations that can deprive law-abiding citizens of property, we have lost government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Should the Constitution be changed? Why not. We can write any damned thing we like but if we're not going to follow it, it won't make a pinch of coonshiat's difference.
 
2012-07-04 02:38:30 PM

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.


See there is a process by which the Constitution may be changed. It was used as recently as the 1990's and while difficult...IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. And it is supposed to prevent fly by night changes and indeed prevent repeal of constitutional amendments as much as prevent addition of new ones without thorough discussion.
 
2012-07-04 02:39:44 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.


First, you need to dump the labels...It should start with who is a 'citizen'. Then, anything that doesn't fit the description wouldn't be afforded the "rights and privileges".

/Ya know they'd argue that they not a corpoation, that they're a company..
//or that they're a committee supporting themselves with marketing.
///but...they should have to declare themselves an American enterprise, of suffer tariffs.
 
2012-07-04 02:40:23 PM

dandude28: I think the problem with rewriting the constitution now would be that it would be filled with politics from whichever party that would happen to have control of congress at the time of the rewrite. When it was originally framed it was done so against the backdrop of British tyranny. Since we don't currently have a overwhelming enemy that both sides can rally against, any re-framing would most likely break down into petty politics


Keeping in also that, at the time, there were no "sides", as parties had not been formed, and the Framers (at least some of them) actively discouraged the formation of them. I believe the attitude at the time was that while we could disagree on things, we were all Americans, period. That's an arrangement I could get behind.
 
2012-07-04 02:43:23 PM

Mr. Right: The Constitution was designed to protect the rights of the people, not the government. The Constitution was designed to emphasize the supremacy of the rule of law and the equality of everyone before the law. Laws were not easy to pass because laws dictate how people live; capriciously changeable laws make society unstable. One of the beauties of the American Experiment is that we can have a change in leadership with no upheaval. The politburo had no restrictions on the laws it could pass and enforce, at times very capriciously. No change in leadership took place without upheaval, without party members on pins and needles wondering if they would survive the change. No such problems here.

Where our Constitution fails us today is in our lack of adherence to it. When Congress can pass a law and exempt themselves from it, we are not equal before the law. When laws are written to apply to only a narrow segment of the citizenry, we are not equal before the law. When some members, segments, or groups are routinely allowed or even encouraged to flout the law, we are not equal before the law. When President's and Governors write executive orders with the effect of law but none of the process, we have lost the stability inherent in the Constitution. When unelected bureaucrats can impose regulations that can deprive law-abiding citizens of property, we have lost government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Should the Constitution be changed? Why not. We can write any damned thing we like but if we're not going to follow it, it won't make a pinch of coonshiat's difference.


Damn. That's too bad, buddy - what an awful "reality" to inhabit. Must suck to be you.
 
2012-07-04 02:47:49 PM

jimmajim: Somaticasual:

1) Postal system.

[...]

3) Welfare

Reforming the postal system and welfare ought to be approximately numbers 2,842 and 1,634 on the Grand List Of Problems With The Federal Guvmint, not first and third. And it precisely because of the prospect of having the process diverted into such picayune, hobbyhorse issues that I fear the idea of a new Constitutional Convention.

However, TFA makes an excellent point -- something ought to be done to reform our public institutions to the point where we have some modicum of trust in them.


Oligarchy countermeasures, sunshine laws, and forcing elected officials to respect the existing laws and constitution would go a long ways towards that.
But since none of this is on the table and our parliamentarians are all about screwing us over, making the constitution more malleable is probably counter productive to the whole "building trust" ideal.

They've pretty much spat on the first, second, and forth amendments.
Letting them alter those rules easily just screams of being a bad idea.
 
2012-07-04 02:49:18 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.


www.changingworld.com
 
2012-07-04 02:54:52 PM
The Constitution is hard to amend because it's meant to be a simple framework for what is a mostly symbolic entity. The states were designed to be run like nation-states that are members of an overarching federal government that had very limited and enumerated powers, somewhere close to what the EU is today. The problem today is that the authoritarians in both major parties(including this guy) want more federal power, which is precisely what the Constitution is designed to restrict.
 
2012-07-04 02:58:50 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.


Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.
 
2012-07-04 03:03:05 PM

yingtong: 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?


because I was wrong.

/hadn't had coffee and was sure i was right so I didn't check it
//how many people here even knew france went through that many constitutions in a short period of time? it was more like a foul tip than a swing and a miss
 
2012-07-04 03:15:49 PM
"We the THE CORPORATIONS of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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."
 
2012-07-04 03:20:50 PM

Lando Lincoln: 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.


This


MachineHead: 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.


Citation?

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.


Citation?
 
2012-07-04 03:21:19 PM
It's not like re-writing the constitution would have any affect on 200+ years of legal precedents or that there might be any unforseen adverse consequences. And I'm sure that the reasonable men and women in the congress today would be admirably suited to crafting a new framing document that would form the foundation of our society.

I, for one, welcome our new batshiat crazy dinosaur riding Jebus inspired constitution.
 
2012-07-04 03:24:59 PM
How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
 
2012-07-04 03:25:49 PM

bhcompy: Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.


I saw nothing in the proposed text about changing the legal concept of the corporate veil. I think you're talking out of your ass.
 
2012-07-04 03:26:30 PM

LadySusan: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.


Well, that's just gonna lead to unisex bathrooms and rioting in the streets.
 
2012-07-04 03:31:00 PM

theorellior: bhcompy: Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.

I saw nothing in the proposed text about changing the legal concept of the corporate veil. I think you're talking out of your ass.


Without those protections, a business cannot have rights and protections against things like unreasonable search and seizure, due process, property rights, etc. Limited liability exists because a business can have rights and thus have liability.
 
2012-07-04 03:31:38 PM

theorellior: LadySusan: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Well, that's just gonna lead to unisex bathrooms and rioting in the streets.


OMG, I do remember the dreaded unisex bathroom arguments.
 
2012-07-04 03:33:06 PM

bhcompy: Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.


Not only that, but allowing the government to simply walk in and search the premises of any corporation anytime without reason, seize their assets whenever convenient, fine and punish on a whim, etc. is truly unamerican.
 
2012-07-04 03:33:31 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.


as soon as this passes we need to drag a corporation out into the street and execute it, as an example to let the others know we are serious and keep them in line.
 
2012-07-04 03:40:01 PM
Maybe the framers of the Constitution preferred future governments made via the Constitutional Convention process (aside from it legitimizing the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by that method), so they deliberately made it easier to replace than amend willy-nilly?

I suspect that there are Farkers who would argue Constitutional Conventions would be illegitimate simply because they do not like the procedure set forth in the document itself.
 
2012-07-04 03:44:37 PM

theorellior: FTA: Moreover, the 1787 Constitution is basically the most difficult-to-amend constitution in the world. Moreover, for better and, possibly, for worse, state constitutions are far easier to amend. Most state constitutions are, inevitably, living constitutions, updated to meet what are deemed to be pressing challenges.

Since this guy is at UT-Austin, maybe he should take a look at the wonderful Constitution of the State of Texas, which has been amended 474 times and is probably one of the dumbest state constitutions around.


thanks, you made me point and had a great example to boot.
 
2012-07-04 03:45:33 PM

Mr. Right: The Constitution was designed to protect the rights of the people, not the government. The Constitution was designed to emphasize the supremacy of the rule of law and the equality of everyone before the law. Laws were not easy to pass because laws dictate how people live; capriciously changeable laws make society unstable. One of the beauties of the American Experiment is that we can have a change in leadership with no upheaval. The politburo had no restrictions on the laws it could pass and enforce, at times very capriciously. No change in leadership took place without upheaval, without party members on pins and needles wondering if they would survive the change. No such problems here.

Where our Constitution fails us today is in our lack of adherence to it. When Congress can pass a law and exempt themselves from it, we are not equal before the law. When laws are written to apply to only a narrow segment of the citizenry, we are not equal before the law. When some members, segments, or groups are routinely allowed or even encouraged to flout the law, we are not equal before the law. When President's and Governors write executive orders with the effect of law but none of the process, we have lost the stability inherent in the Constitution. When unelected bureaucrats can impose regulations that can deprive law-abiding citizens of property, we have lost government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Should the Constitution be changed? Why not. We can write any damned thing we like but if we're not going to follow it, it won't make a pinch of coonshiat's difference.


Oh, so very much this.
 
2012-07-04 03:46:47 PM

SwiftFox: Maybe the framers of the Constitution preferred future governments made via the Constitutional Convention process (aside from it legitimizing the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by that method), so they deliberately made it easier to replace than amend willy-nilly?

I suspect that there are Farkers who would argue Constitutional Conventions would be illegitimate simply because they do not like the procedure set forth in the document itself.


Reading into the requirement for a Constitutional Convention (or even an Amendment), in the current political climate in this country how is it even remotely possible to get enough states to ratify what would surely be the product of either? Three-fourths? Are you kidding me? (You can argue that it has been done, and I would counter that these things were done in the past, not so many years chronologically, perhaps, but light years away in terms of where we've come.)
 
2012-07-04 03:48:58 PM

Giant Clown Shoe: yingtong: 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?

because I was wrong.

/hadn't had coffee and was sure i was right so I didn't check it
//how many people here even knew france went through that many constitutions in a short period of time? it was more like a foul tip than a swing and a miss

Uh....
Me, and probably a few others. But, I know french history better than the french.
/not joking
 
2012-07-04 03:51:30 PM

Lando Lincoln: 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.


Let us repeat this as much as possible.
If I remember correctly (through this haze of alcohol) it was our dear first pres Washington that refused a 3rd mandate, because he didn't want to become the new king George.
 
2012-07-04 03:52:50 PM

LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sexbeing cisgender, transgender, pansexual demiromantic otherkin.


Just trying to be more inclusive, here.
 
2012-07-04 03:53:42 PM

LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.


I'll vote for it!
/short
//sensible
///too the point
////you just got fav'ed as a smart cookie
 
2012-07-04 03:54:34 PM

Fano: LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sexbeing cisgender, transgender, pansexual demiromantic otherkin.

Just trying to be more inclusive, here.


To detailed for the constitution
 
2012-07-04 04:06:34 PM
i1.ytimg.com
 
2012-07-04 04:13:21 PM
I'm all for replacing the Constitution....it was poorly designed and poorly written. But I do not think it should be made easier to amend.
 
2012-07-04 04:13:46 PM

TenJed_77: LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

I'll vote for it!
/short
//sensible
///too the point
////you just got fav'ed as a smart cookie


upload.wikimedia.org

...but juuuust a little too 'out there' for Mormons and some Southerners, apparently.
 
2012-07-04 04:15:21 PM

TenJed_77: LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

I'll vote for it!
/short
//sensible
///too the point
////you just got fav'ed as a smart cookie


You'll have people fighting over the definition of "sex."
 
2012-07-04 04:16:13 PM

bhcompy: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.


Um...WHAT???
 
2012-07-04 04:39:54 PM
Unbelievably juvenile d**kheads write vile tripe like this nonsense every freaking year completely clueless how much their maudlin mewlings telegraph the mush between their ears.

You don't like the Constitution as it's written? There're two answres ...

1. GTFO of the USA, or

2. Study enough history and live enough life to finally understand how brilliant the men were who authored it and how all-encompassing and life-affirming this document is.

No third answer
 
2012-07-04 04:49:29 PM

Clemkadidlefark: Unbelievably juvenile d**kheads write vile tripe like this nonsense every freaking year completely clueless how much their maudlin mewlings telegraph the mush between their ears.

You don't like the Constitution as it's written? There're two answres ...

1. GTFO of the USA, or

2. Study enough history and live enough life to finally understand how brilliant the men were who authored it and how all-encompassing and life-affirming this document is.

No third answer


Right. A bunch of guys who figured individual rights were not necessary to define because the States would take care of protecting them. Brilliant indeed.

Then, when the nation complained, and after boiling down the 100 or so proposed individual rights amendments to 10, they wrote the amendments so poorly that we've spent that past 240+ years trying to make sense of them. Again, brilliant.

If we as a people decide to throw out the Constitution and rewrite it, will you GTFO then?

// I hate GTFO arguments
 
2012-07-04 04:59:09 PM

LoneWolf343: TenJed_77: LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

I'll vote for it!
/short
//sensible
///too the point
////you just got fav'ed as a smart cookie

You'll have people fighting over the definition of "sex."


How would such an amendment apply to the right to hire such as at Hooters? How would such an amendment apply to current issue with Title IX (I.e. would there have to be true matching funds in sports)? Would men have to get 50% custody of children by quota? Would men get true paternal leave? There are lots of intentional/unintentional consequences with such a simple wording.
 
2012-07-04 05:01:37 PM

LadySusan: How about this amendment?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.


Don't be silly. That's so 1923.
 
2012-07-04 05:06:01 PM
Ugh, article fail - I didn't even get past the first sentence.

The Declaration of Independence was ratified by voice vote on July 4th. No one signed it that day.
 
2012-07-04 05:38:28 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.


Fortunately, the world doesn't work based on what "seems more reasonable" to you. How about a citation to back up your claim?
 
2012-07-04 05:40:57 PM
excellent article!

And all you online idiots disparging the articles are, well, online idiots.


The illegal installation of the present day constitution was a COUP by the rich against the burgeoning and highly democratic state goverments that were strongly controlled by the majority of the citizens in the several states.

Put me in the SCOTUS along with 4 other likeminded people and we will declare the constitution void and we will rule for a return to the articles of confederation.

/proud leftist.
 
2012-07-04 05:44:33 PM
if any of you online idiots can actually read more an a page of text at a time, which I doubt, here is a free online book written by a PhD in political science that explains the ideas put forth in the article linked by this thread:

http://cyberjournal.org/authors/fresia/

if you are able to read that and want more, get Dr Woody Holton's book UNRULY AMERICANS for more truth about our elite-friendly constitution.
 
2012-07-04 05:46:54 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.


You just got my vote!
 
2012-07-04 05:53:22 PM
Pretty sure Thomas Jefferson advocated a 19yr life span on any sort of constitution because he felt the living shouldn't be bound by the laws of the dead.

I think that's a bit impracticable but I can see maybe 50 years reworking the whole thing while in time frame in between it can still be amended.
 
2012-07-04 07:42:55 PM

Rincewind53: 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.


ATM, I'm kind of glad it's so hard to amend. For example, I can freely worship as a Pagan. And if I want to have sex with a girl, I can.

When the Tea Party fad fades out, our civil liberties will be partially intact. It'll make it easier to rebuild. That's a good thing.

/I hate thinking of the Constitution as perfect either, but I'm not about to chuck it. We need the slowness.
 
2012-07-04 08:03:02 PM

chaosweaver: 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.


Bob Saget!!!
 
2012-07-04 08:11:12 PM
Well, it's just a piece of paper after all...
 
2012-07-04 08:15:12 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


I realize that this IS the internet and that folks feel free to list whatever "quotes" they wish without doing any verification. The legitimacy of this "quote" is in serious doubt and there is NO document written by Jefferson that says any such thing. And no, I will not provide any citations. If Google is my friend it can be yours also.
 
2012-07-04 09:10:22 PM

But Wait There's More: ...says apparent teenaged article writer

I'll just leave this here.

[www.utexas.edu image 167x200]
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. [more words].


All that may be true, but that article reads like his submission to his 1981 application for entry into the Law Review.
 
2012-07-04 09:16:52 PM

Hot Carl To Go: 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.


This. If you want a flexible constitution or none at all, so, ya know, you can implement whatever you wish without that silly framework, I hear Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea are nice this time of year.
 
2012-07-04 09:22:40 PM
Two words: Supremacy Clause. Trumps the Declaration and the previous Articles of Confederation. These guys weren't as stupid as the writer of TFA.
 
2012-07-04 09:37:06 PM

jimmy2x: "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

I realize that this IS the internet and that folks feel free to list whatever "quotes" they wish without doing any verification. The legitimacy of this "quote" is in serious doubt and there is NO document written by Jefferson that says any such thing. And no, I will not provide any citations. If Google is my friend it can be yours also.


He did write the letter to the Danbury Baptists, though. Far more important than what opinion he held of the Christian religion in general.
 
2012-07-04 10:30:13 PM

jimmy2x: "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

I realize that this IS the internet and that folks feel free to list whatever "quotes" they wish without doing any verification. The legitimacy of this "quote" is in serious doubt and there is NO document written by Jefferson that says any such thing. And no, I will not provide any citations. If Google is my friend it can be yours also.


According to Monticello.org, the above is not known from any of his known writings. However, a different version of it IS:

"Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
~ Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII
 
2012-07-04 11:18:09 PM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: jimmy2x: "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

I realize that this IS the internet and that folks feel free to list whatever "quotes" they wish without doing any verification. The legitimacy of this "quote" is in serious doubt and there is NO document written by Jefferson that says any such thing. And no, I will not provide any citations. If Google is my friend it can be yours also.

According to Monticello.org, the above is not known from any of his known writings. However, a different version of it IS:

"Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
~ Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII


I believe the following quote sums it up best:

"The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity." ~ Abraham Lincoln
 
2012-07-04 11:48:37 PM
or we could just ignore it, right barry?
 
2012-07-05 01:46:51 AM

bhcompy: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.


A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

B.) Killing "business as we know it" would be a good thing.
 
2012-07-05 01:57:31 AM

EyeHateOnlineIdiots: Put me in the SCOTUS along with 4 other likeminded people and we will declare the constitution void and we will rule for a return to the articles of confederation.


So 50 loosely bound nation-states operating together only for self-defense and commerce protection in the 21st Century sounds like a good idea to you?
 
2012-07-05 02:00:16 AM

Eddie_Dean_NY: bhcompy: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.

A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

B.) Killing "business as we know it" would be a good thing.



I know it's fictional... but look at the TV series "Jericho" to see what happens when corporate personhood is take the the extreme, and given 2nd Amendment rights.
 
2012-07-05 02:33:57 AM

Vacation Bible School: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

as soon as this passes we need to drag a corporation out into the street and execute it, as an example to let the others know we are serious and keep them in line.


I already have a list.
 
2012-07-05 03:29:27 AM

Eddie_Dean_NY: bhcompy: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.

A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

B.) Killing "business as we know it" would be a good thing.


How about this: In all cases where individuals choose to use their right to free association to work with others toward a common purpose, and, who choose to formally organize such association by passing along rights and responsibilities onto the organization itself, the organizing participants must declare 5 individuals under the jurisdiction of the US as primarily responsible parties, and 1 as ultimately responsible party. In any case (such as a corporation) where one group of individuals (investors) and another group of individuals (employees) work together toward a goal, each of these groups must separately declare primary responsible parties and ultimately responsible parties.

If the organization is found to be civily liable, and unable to pay for their liability, the primarily responsible parties WILL become jointly and severably liable for those damages. If the organization is found to criminally liable or guilty of a felony or misdemeanor, the ultimately responsible party will be punished as the individual responsible for the action, unless, by a preponderence of the evidence, they can show another individual was responsible for the action, in which case that other individual will be punished.

Its not a perfect solution, but I imagine you'd see much better corporate behavior if the top people knew they would be held personally liable if the company was unable to pay for damage it caused, and the CEO would be serving an extended prison sentence for any criminal action.
 
2012-07-05 08:36:32 AM

tgambitg: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: jimmy2x: "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

I realize that this IS the internet and that folks feel free to list whatever "quotes" they wish without doing any verification. The legitimacy of this "quote" is in serious doubt and there is NO document written by Jefferson that says any such thing. And no, I will not provide any citations. If Google is my friend it can be yours also.

According to Monticello.org, the above is not known from any of his known writings. However, a different version of it IS:

"Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
~ Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII

I believe the following quote sums it up best:

"The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity." ~ Abraham Lincoln


Oh, I totally agree with you there. Abe was a very wise man, he was.

And I can't promise that the people who run the online portal of the private foundation in charge of Jefferson's former estate on the Potomac aren't just sitting there lying through their teeth. But it does seem less likely to me than many other available sources, such as those with a dog in the fight over religion and the Constitution. The fact that they specifically disclaim the popularly shared quote as unattributed, yet supply something similar along with an original source reference also speaks confidently of an attributed quote: I could go the library right now and check their claim, if I so choose. So, they seem to have no motives, they disclaim the popular claim, and they supply a referenced attributed source.

It's not the same as tacking a dean man's name onto a would-be-witty retort. But it's all digital text, so have at it. For all you know, I'm a fembot or FBI plant, right?
 
2012-07-05 09:10:16 AM

Eddie_Dean_NY: bhcompy: Eddie_Dean_NY: Let's start proposing Amendments here and now:

Amendment 28 - Corporations are not citizens and therefore are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to the individual citizens of The United States of America.

Just to clarify, when you do this you essentially kill business as we know it. Every person investing or working at a business would have full liability for the actions of the business, both criminal and civil.

A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

B.) Killing "business as we know it" would be a good thing.


Agreed. Rationally, corporations are not subject to the same mortifications as human citizens. A corporation cannot be jailed, physically restrained, personally humiliated, frog-marched, or anything else like that. (I'm not saying I support all those actions; my point is that a corporation is unable to fear them, because it is not a human being subject to fear and personal mortification.) Corporations do not age and die, and do not plan for inevitable and necessary retirement. A corporation does not ponder spending its last days in an institution hooked up to machines with no visitors, or being physically mistreated or neglected, left to suffer in silence until released by death. A corporation cannot sustain a debilitating physical injury, and be told to do no work until it heals, whether or not it can afford to. A corporation cannot accidentally overdose on a drug, suffer the ill effects of prescription or medical errors, or become addicted to a drug. A corporation is not subject to debilitating mental illness, or the social deprivations that may come with it. A corporation does not need to get to work, it's already there. It doesn't need to maintain a home, as it requires none. You get the idea.

Yes, a corporation is run by people, who as human beings are subject to all that. But a public stock corporation, at least, is not synonymous with the people who run it, and I use that word "run" partly to enforce that clarification: The corporation is not them, they do not own it, and it can survive without them. It is, rather, the total of its stock shares, and is actually composed of whoever owns those -- and their liability and exposure is strictly fiscal, never personal. In the sum, a corporation simply isn't subject to the vast majority of personal liabilities that all our laws surrounding personal liberty, responsibility, and liability are built around. To treat corporations as legally equal to people makes as much sense as placing people under laws intended for dogs or horses. (Just imagine if there was a law saying that a horse could be held liable for slander.)

In the old days, any public enterprise had to be chartered by the governing authority under which it operated. (Some, such as "banks," still do.) The chartered company was expected to operate in the public good, and if it did not, its charter could be suspended or revoked. That kept them in line, and inherently inferior to The People who ostensibly own and operate the country they all operate under. See, back then, there was absolutely no question about who was in charge in this country -- it was us, and there were no arguments about it. We held the power at all times, over government and business alike. And it more or less worked, with only one little hitch: a chartered company has more difficulty capitalising its equity. Changes in the law after the Civil War made that easier, which made corporations potentially more profitable (for themselves, anyway). The tradeoff was that that was the start of what turned out to be a slippery slope that took us to now, when corporations are functionally more powerful than national citizens, because although subject to most of the same laws, they are not vulnerable to most of the same individual liabilities that those laws assume, as they were devised for human beings only.

The Supreme Court has ruled more than once in their favour, and I want to be clear, the Surpremes are not (at least in theory) to 'blame' for this: As much as it makes my skin crawl to agree with Scalia, he's right when he says that it's not their job to write the law or make it work in a way that they think is best. (Never mind that how he actually conducts himself on the bench is not always consistent with his flowery rhetoric.) If The People see fit to populate the Constitution with odious provisions, it is the Supreme Court's obligation to uphold and defend them, no matter what they are. In these cases, we may assume that the Court upheld laws in favour of corporations that they may not have personally agreed with. It is in any case The People's obligation to ensure that the Constitution does what they want it to do, and if it does not, that it not the Court's fault, nor its obligation to correct.

So, here we are, a couple footsteps into the new millennium, and corporations own and control more than ever, including, it often seems, the very laws that are partly intended to protect us against them sitting on us and squashing us. What can we do?

For starters, very aggressive reform of lobbying might help. At this point, there are some 20 lobbyists for ever federal legislator, and most of them work for corporations. That's not good for democracy, or for the long-term interests of national citizens (the human ones). The catch is, if you try to do anything about it, those same creeps are there to fight you, and they have more money and endurance (since they are not subject to the same privations we are, as human beings: if a lobbyist dies, another takes his place right away). So I'm forced to agree that at this point, an Amendment clarifying the inherent legal inferiority of non-human entities to human citizens is in order. It's not like me to propose such dramatic remedies, but I think this situation calls for it.

And as for 'dramatic,' that's part of TFA's point: This is not so 'dramatic' for most other Western entities, including the several States that make up the nation. And it shouldn't be. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't want a Wiki Constitution, either, and I've said many times on Fark and elsewhere that I do not believe in the 'wisdom of the masses' (I've met them, and they are dumb), and therefore not in 'pure' democracy (or anything with similar effect, such as ballot initiative). I believe very strongly in our republican process, and its innate means of insulating the levers of power from our lowest and meanest human natures. But I also do not believe the damn thing is etched in stone, or that anyone but We The People owns or controls it. It's ours to change, as we see fit, and we should be courageous enough to do so when it's called for.

I'm not any kind of lawyer, and certainly not a constitutional scholar, so I won't pretend I have a full understanding of the difficulties TFA describes. I don't. But if that's true, and it can't be amended to solve those problems, and they are real problems, then the only other solution I can envision is for the country to break up into several smaller regional constituencies that may govern themselves better, or at least in better interest to their human citizens.
 
2012-07-05 11:05:08 AM
Agree with most of the comments that the constitution is designed to be hard to change, and that generally, that is a good thing.

That said, there are a few structural problems that I think go beyond minor grievances, and need to be solved at a constitutional level:

1) mandate Cordocet or similar rank-voting scheme, which takes away one of the big arguments against third part voting. I think this is the single biggest change we could make to break the red/blue stranglehold on our government.

2) the judicial branches of government on all levels must be chosen in a non-partisan manner. Can vote to uphold or retain.

3) similarly, district lines must be drawn impartially. Gerrymandered districts encourage extremism, instead of compromise. Legislators can draw maps, but judges should decide whether or not they are valid and impartial. Otherwise, you end up with the legislative branch deciding their own operating conditions, which is against the principle if checks and balances.

4) some sort of limits on money in politics. The current interpretation that money = speech is absurd. Unless you want to say that I have a First Amendment right to free money?

Off the top of my head, I would day that a better stand-in is time. Any person can spend as much time as they like advocating for a particular candidate. But they can't just cut a check, they have to be out there manning booths, knocking on doorknobs, etc. That is speech, yet everything else is just marketing.
 
2012-07-05 12:07:31 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)


Interestingly enough, the 1st amendment does not confine the right of free speech to people:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This would mean that Congress cannot (nor can the states-see 14th amendment) abridge free speech, for anyone/anything. If cats, dogs, apes, whatever learn to talk, their freedom of speech cannot be abridged. If aliens land, Congress will not be permitted to silence them.

The 1st would seem to explicitly protect corporations as an entity no differently then it protects the individuals that compose that corporation.
 
2012-07-05 12:29:54 PM

pedrop357: Eddie_Dean_NY: A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

Interestingly enough, the 1st amendment does not confine the right of free speech to people:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This would mean that Congress cannot (nor can the states-see 14th amendment) abridge free speech, for anyone/anything. If cats, dogs, apes, whatever learn to talk, their freedom of speech cannot be abridged. If aliens land, Congress will not be permitted to silence them.

The 1st would seem to explicitly protect corporations as an entity no differently then it protects the individuals that compose that corporation.


Which is why we need an Amendment to define a corporations person-hood differently than that of the individual citizens. As S_B elaborated, corporations are not limited by certain realities as human beings are. There need to be separate conditions for corporations to operate under the law other than as protected citizens in order for citizens and government to be protected from corporations.
 
2012-07-05 01:18:04 PM

Eddie_Dean_NY: pedrop357: Eddie_Dean_NY: A.) No it wouldn't and no they won't. LLCs, LLPs, and Incorporated organizations could still retain certain legal protections, just not equal to the rights of the individual citizen. You know, like "Free Speech" (I can't wait till our Supreme Court gives corporations the right to keep and bear arms.)

Interestingly enough, the 1st amendment does not confine the right of free speech to people:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This would mean that Congress cannot (nor can the states-see 14th amendment) abridge free speech, for anyone/anything. If cats, dogs, apes, whatever learn to talk, their freedom of speech cannot be abridged. If aliens land, Congress will not be permitted to silence them.

The 1st would seem to explicitly protect corporations as an entity no differently then it protects the individuals that compose that corporation.

Which is why we need an Amendment to define a corporations person-hood differently than that of the individual citizens. As S_B elaborated, corporations are not limited by certain realities as human beings are. There need to be separate conditions for corporations to operate under the law other than as protected citizens in order for citizens and government to be protected from corporations.


I personally agree that corporate influence in politics is creating something truly awful... but... any amendment that you put forth that contradicts parts of the first would create a potential quagmire of twisted law that will no doubt be used incorrectly.

The "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is the right to corporate free speech and the reason they are allowed to try to influence Congress. Ok, so let's theoretically take that out of the picture through an amendment. Well, now protests can be said to be illegal. And how do you balance that against the right of the press to have free speech? Then every corporation could claim that since they publish a newsletter, they are now part of the press.

We need to find a way to pull money out of politics. I like the idea of public financed campaigns, everyone gets a pool of money they can pull from and that is it. Anyone who serves in Congress has to submit all of their income to the public (being the price you pay for public service, don't like it? Don't run) and anyone caught trying to hide money that they receive from lobbyists is removed from office, banned from all future public service, and jailed for no less than the remainder of their term of office. Anyone caught lobbying via money to any member of Congress will have their representative corporate charter revoked, the company fined 100x what they were attempting to bribe (let's face it, lobbying is bribery) and the board of directors jailed for no less than the remainder of the term of the politician they were trying to bribe.

Harsh? Yes. It needs to be.
 
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