Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 19, 2014, 05:01:26 am
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Discussion
| |-+  Constitution and Law (Moderator: True Federalist)
| | |-+  An Amendments Amendment
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Poll
Question: Is the amendment process, laid out in Article V of the Constitution, in need of reform?
Yes   -5 (35.7%)
No   -9 (64.3%)
Show Pie Chart
Total Voters: 14

Author Topic: An Amendments Amendment  (Read 5118 times)
A18
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 23836
Political Matrix
E: 9.23, S: -6.35

View Profile
« on: June 19, 2008, 07:27:39 pm »
Ignore

My reluctant answer is yes.

Our Constitution has twenty-seven amendments, most of them of little consequence. Article V supermajorities can be assembled to patch things up here and there, but fundamental reform has proven to be almost entirely out of reach.

The first ten amendments were of course passed by Congress at the dawn of the new federal government (along with what became the Twenty-seventh Amendment), essentially as a minor concession to the Constitution's critics. After that, the Fourteenth and Seventeenth Amendments are the only revisions of great importance. And even the Fourteenth Amendment--likely the most dramatic constitutional change (of the formal sort, anyway)--would not have been adopted without a number of legally-questionable antics on the part of its supporters.

This might be fine and well, if it actually entrenched the original constitutional regime. But that is mere theory, rather than practical effect. Instead, the near-impossibility of formal amendment has led to general ambivalence toward constitutionalism generally, followed by outright disregard of crystal-clear text. At the same time, blatant judicial overreaching has been shielded from any prospect of political correction.

So what should the rule be? I don't have a definitive answer. But perhaps a mere three-fifths of each house of Congress should be required for proposal, and ratification by two-thirds, rather than three-fourths, of the states should be sufficient.
Logged
Mideast Assemblyman Ben
benconstine
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 30380
United States


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 08:23:00 pm »
Ignore

I've noticed that, generally, Amendments are passed in spurts, so when we want to pass Amendments, most of the time we can.

I voted no, in case that wasn't clear.
Logged

Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
Miamiu1027
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 35357
United States
View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 09:15:06 pm »
Ignore

I've noticed that, generally, Amendments are passed in spurts, so when we want to pass Amendments, most of the time we can.

or when there is one-party domination of government (such as, post-Civil War)
Logged
IDS Attorney General PiT
PiT (The Physicist)
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 22338
United States


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 02:10:58 am »
Ignore

     I am personally opposed to making it easier to pass constitutional amendments. Prohibition already made it through under the current rules. Making it easier to amend the Constitution could easily lead to the passage of similar garbage amendments. I tend to prefer a streamlined document.

     Also, I consider the 13th, 15th, & 19th amendments to be changes of great importance, since they were instrumental to securing individual rights for everyone.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 02:15:04 am by PiT (The Physicist) »Logged

farewell
Lewis Trondheim
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 58527
India


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 01:28:52 pm »
Ignore

Philip is right, basically.
Couple of quibbles. An easier amendment process will probably not stop activist judges, if Germany is anything to go by.

Logged

I may conceivably reconsider.

Knowing me it's more likely than not.
Mideast Assemblyman Ben
benconstine
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 30380
United States


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 01:53:23 pm »
Ignore

I've noticed that, generally, Amendments are passed in spurts, so when we want to pass Amendments, most of the time we can.

or when there is one-party domination of government (such as, post-Civil War)

True, but look at the Progressive Amendments.
Logged

Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
King
intermoderate
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 23680
United States


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 10:10:07 pm »
Ignore

No.  Amendments should just be put in willy-nilly.  If we want to pass laws, we just pass laws.  If we want to change the way the backbone of the government works, then we pass an amendment.

Prohibition shouldn't have been an amendment.
Logged

farewell
Lewis Trondheim
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 58527
India


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 05:00:25 am »
Ignore

You're missing the point a bit, which is not so much that it's too hard to pass amendments, but that it's almost impossible to pass comprehensive amendments that actually change the fundamentals of how the country is governed... resulting in such change occurring anyway without strict basis in constitutional text. Silly things like prohibition or a flag burning ban or whatever are much easier to pass in part because they can be put into a simple amendment that can be slapped onto the end of the text, and that every voter can understand. Putting all the "unwritten Constitution" about the exact role of the Senate in confirmation votes, the way the Hosue and Senate interact, the way presidential electors are chosen and the way they vote, etc etc etc into the written document would be much harder.


Logged

I may conceivably reconsider.

Knowing me it's more likely than not.
King
intermoderate
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 23680
United States


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 04:07:22 pm »
Ignore

But lack of detail and wide open to interpretation is what makes the Constitution fun!
Logged

Jacobtm
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 3054


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2008, 12:27:59 am »
Ignore

My reluctant answer is yes.

Our Constitution has twenty-seven amendments, most of them of little consequence. Article V supermajorities can be assembled to patch things up here and there, but fundamental reform has proven to be almost entirely out of reach.

The first ten amendments were of course passed by Congress at the dawn of the new federal government (along with what became the Twenty-seventh Amendment), essentially as a minor concession to the Constitution's critics. After that, the Fourteenth and Seventeenth Amendments are the only revisions of great importance. And even the Fourteenth Amendment--likely the most dramatic constitutional change (of the formal sort, anyway)--would not have been adopted without a number of legally-questionable antics on the part of its supporters.

This might be fine and well, if it actually entrenched the original constitutional regime. But that is mere theory, rather than practical effect. Instead, the near-impossibility of formal amendment has led to general ambivalence toward constitutionalism generally, followed by outright disregard of crystal-clear text. At the same time, blatant judicial overreaching has been shielded from any prospect of political correction.

So what should the rule be? I don't have a definitive answer. But perhaps a mere three-fifths of each house of Congress should be required for proposal, and ratification by two-thirds, rather than three-fourths, of the states should be sufficient.

The whole point is that amendments shouldn't be made lightly, and regular laws, which can be rescinded easily, should be used to deal with most issues.
Logged

Why do so many people here cheer on war crimes?
Israel and the United States "killing dozens of civilians with explosives", as you phrase it, has, throughout history, almost always been a good thing.
Albus Dumbledore
Havelock Vetinari
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1943
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the


Political Matrix
E: -0.71, S: -2.17

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 09:30:20 am »
Ignore

If you're so concerned about activist judges why not weaken the courts instead of the amendment change?
Logged

"348. The rest of the party appreciates it if I don't start the game in Cyberpsychosis."
"I will kill 120,000 people" ~ Barack Obama
The United States is not only the world's first suburban nation, but it will also be its last. The world cannot sustain any more economies like ours. - Kenneth T. Jackson
DownWithTheLeft
downwithdaleft
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18880
Italy


Political Matrix
E: 9.16, S: -3.13

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2008, 09:44:27 pm »
Ignore

Not a good idea in my opinion, the Founding Fathers knew how hard it would be to amend the constitution, and that was the point
Logged

Gov. Christopher J. Christie
Franzl
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 21409
Germany


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2008, 03:34:41 am »
Ignore

Not a good idea in my opinion, the Founding Fathers knew how hard it would be to amend the constitution, and that was the point

No offense DWTL....but I'm starting to really hate any explanations that use supposed "Founding Father" wisdom or intent as the main line of argument.

I don't care, and I don't think it should matter what exactly the founding fathers thought. Of course...when the constitution was drafted, they made the right decisions and everything....but look people, it's more than 200 years later. Laws written today should reflect current issues and problems...NOT what a group of men 200 years ago thought would be best.

______________________________________________________________

Yes, I support making it easier to amend the Constitution. Not quite sure how easy I'd make it...but anyway.
Logged
DownWithTheLeft
downwithdaleft
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18880
Italy


Political Matrix
E: 9.16, S: -3.13

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2008, 07:55:59 am »
Ignore

Not a good idea in my opinion, the Founding Fathers knew how hard it would be to amend the constitution, and that was the point

No offense DWTL....but I'm starting to really hate any explanations that use supposed "Founding Father" wisdom or intent as the main line of argument.

I don't care, and I don't think it should matter what exactly the founding fathers thought. Of course...when the constitution was drafted, they made the right decisions and everything....but look people, it's more than 200 years later. Laws written today should reflect current issues and problems...NOT what a group of men 200 years ago thought would be best.
My point is that the Founding Fathers had a good idea that I agree with, not as much that it is what the Founding Fathers said so it must be.  The idea of changing the constitution, something much, much more powerful than a law cannot be something that is just flaunted around.  It has to be really, really uber-popular and necessary.  If we made amendments easier, a slew of them would pop up dealing with things that shouldn't have constitutional amendments involved at all.
Logged

Gov. Christopher J. Christie
Luis Gonzalez
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 95
United States


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 10:00:03 pm »
Ignore

Never make it easier for the Federal government to give itself more power.

Vote "NO" on the Amendment Amendment idea.
Logged


“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear... by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165)
Luis Gonzalez
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 95
United States


View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2008, 10:02:45 pm »
Ignore

BTW....I am originally from Miami-Dade County in Florida. Doesn't that give me the right to vote at least twice in these polls?
Logged


“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear... by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165)
IDS Judicial Overlord John Dibble
John Dibble
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18784
Japan


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 09:33:08 am »
Ignore

No, the amendment process was designed specifically to make it difficult to pass amendments, as it should be - if we made it easy our federal constitution would become like Alabama's.
Logged

Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines