So there’s a thing called the National Constitution Center, and recently they assembled three teams to propose some new amendments to the Constitution.
Each team (Progressive, Conservative, and Libertarian) put together their own proposed Constitution, and while I’m not going to go over them here, they’re worth a read:
What I will go over are the proposed amendments (pdf) put up by a group consisting of members of all three teams. So, without further ado:
No person shall be eligible to the office of President, except a person who shall have attained the age of thirty five years, and been a citizen, resident in the United States, for fourteen years.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
See what this does? This amendment eliminates the requirement for a President to be a natural-born citizen. No thanks. Oh, look at that second paragraph; each of proposed amendments contain this ratification language, so henceforth I won’t include it.
Congress may by law provide for a veto, by majority votes in each of the Houses of Congress, of actions taken by the executive department, except actions adjudicating the applicability of a statute or regulation to a person. A failure by Congress to act pursuant to such a law shall not affect any judicial determination as to whether any law, or any actions of the executive department, are valid or enforceable.
I’m ambivalent about this one. I do like that it reinforces Congress’ role as a fully co-equal branch of government, which has been slowly slipping away since about 1860. I don’t like that it would be used by a Congress of one party to simply toss brickbats at a President of another party who is carrying out the legitimate functions of the Executive Branch. Consider if Congress had this power during the last two years of the Trump Presidency, for instance.
The following amendment shall supersede Article I, § 3, para. 6, Article I, § 3, para. 7, and Article II, § 4 of the present Constitution:
§ 1. The President and Vice President, the judges of the supreme and inferior courts, and all civil officers of the United States shall be subject to impeachment for serious criminal acts, or for serious abuse of the public trust. Impeachments may occur up to six months, and convictions may occur up to one year, of the person leaving office.
Note: This isn’t the entire amendment. It’s pretty long and I didn’t want to copy/pasta the whole thing. So go read! I am, again, ambivalent, although I can see some advantages. It seems as though it would make the impeachment process a bit harder, setting the bar for impeachment and conviction at three-fifths of the House and Senate, respectively. Since the House weaponized the impeachment process in 2019 and 2020, I’m kind of in favor of making it harder.
The following amendment shall supersede Article V of the present Constitution:
§ 1. The Congress, by three-fifths vote of both Houses may, or on the application of the Legislatures of a majority of the several States or by States representing two thirds of the population according to the latest national census shall, propose amendments to this Constitution, which shall be valid as part of this Constitution if ratified, within seven years of being submitted, by the legislatures or ratifying conventions of two thirds of the several States, or of States representing three fourths of the population according to the latest national census, in accordance with the constitutional processes of each State.
§ 2. Upon the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States or of States representing three fourths of the population according to the latest national census, there shall be a general convention authorized to propose revisions to the Constitution, to be conducted in accordance with procedures enacted by Congress, which revisions shall be valid as part of this Constitution if ratified in like manner as amendments.
Look at that last part: Upon the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States or of States representing three fourths of the population according to the latest national census…
No. Not with our ever-more-populated urban areas already dominating national politics. This is setting it up so that California, Illinois, New York and a few other blue states would effectively be able to piss in the Constitution as they please – at least, unless the current numbers drain on those blue states continues.
Go, then, and read the proposals in their entirety. I’m not very sanguine about any of these, and honestly they’re all hot air anyway; none of them are going anywhere. But it makes for interesting reading, and maybe fodder for the unlikely event that part of the country breaks off and goes their own way.