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Hypothetical 2017 Constitutional Convention

The 2017 Constitutional Convention  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. If sent as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, would your primary goal be to...

    • Preserve the Constitution as it is.
    • Amend the Constitution where it is unclear.
    • Amend the Constitution to make improvements, suitable for the 21st century and beyond.
    • Rewrite the Constitution, since it is archaic
    • Abolish the Constitution, because it's a hindrance
      0
  2. 2. Which of the following articles or amendments of the Constitution would you propose amending?

    • Article One, describing the Congress/legislative branch
    • Article Two, describing the President/executive branch
    • Article Three, describing the Supreme Court/Judicial Branch
    • Article Four, describing the relations between the states and the federal government
    • Article Five, describing the process for amending the Constitution
    • Article Six, establishing the Constitution, and all Federal laws made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land
    • Article Seven, describing the process for establishing the government
    • 1st Amendment -- Freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, of assembly and the right to petition
    • 2nd Amendment -- the right of individuals to bear arms
    • 3rd Amendment -- prohibits the government from forcing citizens to house soldiers during peacetime without consent
    • 4th Amendment -- protects against unreasonable searches and seizures of self or property
    • 5th Amendment -- establishes judicial protections and requirements for both accused and guilty; also has clause regarding eminent domain
    • 6th Amendment -- protections and rights of those accused of a crime
    • 7th Amendment - extends the right to a trial by jury to civil cases and prohibits a judge from overturning the decision of the jury
    • 8th Amendment -- protects against excessively high bails and from cruel or unusual punishments
    • 9th Amendment -- declares that individuals have other fundamental rights, in addition to those stated in the Constitution.
    • 10th Amendment -- that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    • 11th Amendment -- specifically prohibits federal courts from hearing cases in which a state is sued by an individual from another state or another country
    • 12th Amendment -- modifies the way the Electoral College chooses the President and Vice President.
    • None of the above
  3. 3. part 2 of the above

    • 13th Amendment -- abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
    • 14th Amendment -- granted United States citizenship to former slaves and to all persons "subject to U.S. jurisdiction".
    • 15th Amendment -- prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
    • 16th Amendment -- allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census.
    • 17th Amendment -- established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states.
    • 19th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
    • 22nd Amendment -- sets a term limit for election and overall time of service to the office of President of the United States.
    • 24th Amendment -- prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.
    • 25th Amendment -- deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities.
    • 26th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from using age as a reason for denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States who are at least eighteen years old.
    • I would also like to amend one of the "minor" Amendments not mentioned
    • I would like to add an amendment not purely amending an already existing amendment.
    • None of the above


Recommended Posts

1: Preserve

2: NO!

3: Life and Marriage Amendment, also get rid of the Fed.

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On 3/21/2017 at 10:28 AM, jvikings1 said:

Military grade weapons where what they required people to have at the Founding.  Also, guns  are still needed for self defense in places like the South Side of Chicago which is ruled by gang violence.

They required military grade weapons at founding because they expected people to bring their own guns when called to serve.

Carrying a gun on the South Side isn't going to make you safe, it's going to make you a target.

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@servo75 @pilight @Reagan04 @ThePotatoWalrus @Bruce Fischer @jvikings1 @vcczar @Patine @Sunnymentoaddict @MarcoCoolio @LokiLoki22 @CalebsParadox @michaelsdiamonds @SeanFKennedy @jnewt @chunkbuster11

Attention Delegates! We will now begin the process of proposing amendments the 1st Article of the US Constitution. The following are the rules:

1) Be respectful in both tone and language. If you think someone is flat out wrong or idiotic, just say, "I believe you are incorrect, sir." More personal rebuttals can go directing to PMs or on another comment thread. 

2) When posting in regards to Article One, please put "Proposals for Article One" at the very top of your comment, so people can clearly tell what your comment is in reference to. 

3) This first step is purely proposals, and whether or not you agree with them, do not comment on them. We should just get a flood of proposals, both sound and unsound, and free of commentary. 

4) In a few days, we will then comment on the collective proposals  in order to fashion them into better form as a group, so we can bring them to a vote. 

5) Prior to voting we will have an initial vote to move the 2/3 majority that is required to alter the US Constitution (for this fake Convention) reduced to a simple majority. This vote will require a 2/3 majority itself to reduce it. 

6) Once the proposals are done, and then commented upon and compromised, and then we vote over 2/3 or 51% on voting, then we will vote on Article one.

7) After Article One has been dealt with, we will move to Article Two. 

As I started this, I'll take the Convention Presidential chair, but I can be voted off if I don't do a good job. As president, I appoint Reagan04, Bruce Fischer and Patine to the committee to help keep the peace in this thread, and to keep people on track. 

Remember to put "Proposals for Article One" at the top of your comments. 

Who would like to begin?

 

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PROPOSALS FOR ARTICLE ONE

 

I would change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.  Anything that can be done on the open floor can be released to the public.

I would change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.

I would change Section 8 to require a balanced budget

 

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Requiring a balanced budget would be unfeasible, since it would put severe limitations on the US's economy. Here is a brief Forbes article describing why any attempt at a Balanced Budget provision will have unintended disastrous effects for the US.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2015/08/10/five-reasons-balanced-budget-is-lunacy/#c19189c5bbea

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11 minutes ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

Requiring a balanced budget would be unfeasible, since it would put severe limitations on the US's economy. Here is a brief Forbes article describing why any attempt at a Balanced Budget provision will have unintended disastrous effects for the US.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2015/08/10/five-reasons-balanced-budget-is-lunacy/#c19189c5bbea

@Sunnymentoaddict if you read my rules, above @pilight comment, then you'll see that we will reserve commentary until after all the proposals. 

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@vcczar , My bad

 

My proposals:

Each state should have two Senators. While we should have our House be based on its state population divided by 300,00; and how close the average district population deviates from 300,000 (SC would get 15 seats with an average constituency size of 308,358 because 16 seats would create an average size of 289,000; meaning that 15 is far closer to the ideal number of 300,000)
Both chambers should use IRV( Instant runoff voting)

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re: First Amendment Proposals

*Remember no commenting until after all proposals are in*

I propose that we increase the number of US Reps to better represent the population. And since, we are no longer attempting to bind sovereign states into a union, I propose that we make the Senate somewhat proportional, so that a combination of a few states, number less than 10 million people can't block about 300 million people. I propose that every state gets 2 senators, but that the top 10 states get 3 senators. I also propose that former presidents and VPs are automatically national senators, unattached to any state. I am also comfortable in keeping 2 senates per state, but just adding these national senators, who will consider votes at a national level, rather than for a specific state. 

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Article One Proposals:

 

Section 2, Clause 3: After every census, prior to reapportionment, the number of seats in the House of Representatives should be set equal to the ratio of the total population of all states, divided by the population of the smallest state, rounded to the nearest whole number.

**********************************************

Section 7, Clause 3: Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5.  Right now I think that the veto is too absolute and unless the majority party has a "friendly" President, it's almost impossible to get anything passed.

**********************************************

Section 8, enumerated powers "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence [sic] and general Welfare of the United States..":  Though I'm not normally a fan of over-defining terms, I think the term "general welfare" has been misconstrued so often that it needs to be defined slightly tighter.  From the Heritage Foundation's (no ad hominem please) report "Enough is Enough: Why General Welfare Limits Spending" 1/13/2011: "The contemporary view is that Congress’s power to provide for the “general Welfare” is a power to spend for virtually anything that Congress itself views as helpful... James Madison repeatedly argued that the power to tax and spend did not confer upon Congress the right to do whatever it thought to be in the best interest of the nation, but only to further the ends specifically enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, a position supported by Thomas Jefferson."

James Madison stated in 1792: "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare... in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."  In other words, General Welfare only applies to spending specifically authorized in the Constitution.  It's been abused time and again by Progressive Presidents as an excuse for wealth redistribution.  I think that Madison's position has to be included in Section 8 to read something like: "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution."

**********************************************

Section 9: Limits on Congress.  The following should be inserted: "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court." Too often lately we've seen Congress roll over and grant powers to the POTUS that he has no authority to wield, such as refusing to bring President Obama to heel when he started "ruling with a pen and a phone," and abdicating responsibility for legislation to the un-elected bureaucrats in government agencies like the FDA, EPA, DOE - agencies which are given judge, jury, and executioner power outside our judicial system.  For example, if you even have a puddle on your property that you want to drain, the EPA can decide that it is "navigable waters" and prevent you from doing so on private property, even finding you guilty in it's OWN administrative court and levying fines which you must pay even before bringing your case.  Only Congress can pass such laws, and only juries of your peers in criminal courts can find you guilty and assess punishment if needed.

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@vcczar

I must confess that the changes I would seriously consider proposing might mean that the current seven-article, twenty-three amendment structure of the document might not remain intact, as such, in my proposed draft, much like when many other countries - or even the majority of US states - write a whole new Constitution.

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2 hours ago, Patine said:

@vcczar

I must confess that the changes I would seriously consider proposing might mean that the current seven-article, twenty-three amendment structure of the document might not remain intact, as such, in my proposed draft, much like when many other countries - or even the majority of US states - write a whole new Constitution.

That's fine. You can propose a totally rewritten legislative article right now. 

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No Amendments at this time Mr. Chair.

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Update: Proposals will end on Sunday morning, and will will discuss the proposals brought fourth for Article One. 

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The proposal phase for Article One is now over. Let's now respectfully discuss the proposals before we go to a vote. 

@pilight  proposes:

I would change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.  Anything that can be done on the open floor can be released to the public.

I would change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.

I would change Section 8 to require a balanced budget

@Sunnymentoaddict proposes:

Each state should have two Senators. While we should have our House be based on its state population divided by 300,00; and how close the average district population deviates from 300,000 (SC would get 15 seats with an average constituency size of 308,358 because 16 seats would create an average size of 289,000; meaning that 15 is far closer to the ideal number of 300,000)
Both chambers should use IRV( Instant runoff voting)

@vcczar  proposes:

I propose that we increase the number of US Reps to better represent the population. And since, we are no longer attempting to bind sovereign states into a union, I propose that we make the Senate somewhat proportional, so that a combination of a few states, number less than 10 million people can't block about 300 million people. I propose that every state gets 2 senators, but that the top 10 states get 3 senators. I also propose that former presidents and VPs are automatically national senators, unattached to any state. I am also comfortable in keeping 2 senates per state, but just adding these national senators, who will consider votes at a national level, rather than for a specific state. 

 

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I throw my support behind Plight's proposal, as it addresses many issues that congress itself will never fix.

Sunny's system seems fair, and I would support it until anyone gives me a good reason not to.

I do not support VCCZAR's proposal, as the senate was designed as a compromise that would give smaller states a voice, and I don't believe that national senators are a good idea, as it would expand the chamber, would cement old ideas, and might not respect the wishes of those individuals to retire, or to move on to doing other things (Carter building homeless houses, etc). It would also break the senate's equal representation system, which is why we have it. I do not support this proposal.

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On 3/23/2017 at 4:58 PM, servo75 said:

Article One Proposals:

 

Section 2, Clause 3: After every census, prior to reapportionment, the number of seats in the House of Representatives should be set equal to the ratio of the total population of all states, divided by the population of the smallest state, rounded to the nearest whole number.

If you're talking about dividing each state by the number in the smallest state, the number of seats for each state would look like this...

 

by smallest state pop average.jpg

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11 minutes ago, pilight said:

If you're talking about dividing each state by the number in the smallest state, the number of seats for each state would look like this...

 

by smallest state pop average.jpg

I think this is the direction to go. I approve of this. Although, I'd like to increase the number of US Reps, since it's hard to represent a community when the districts are too large, and often gerrrymandered. Perhaps, double the number of reps. If this happens, I'll drop my proposal in regards to changes to the Senate (except for a proposal for term-limits). 

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If you wanted to divide the population of the entire country by the population of the smallest state you would end up with two more seats, a total of 547.  Using the Huntington-Hill method to apportion them, the results would the be the same as above except with Alabama and Vermont each getting one more seat.

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I support the section 1 and 3 recommendations made by @pilight.  They would promote openness in the government as well as help solve the debt crisis.

I support the first part of @Sunnymentoaddict's proposal but oppose the intent runoff requirement.  While a good idea, this should be done at the state level.

I oppose @vcczar's recommendation because I believe in the equal representation of the states in the Senate.  I also am not a fan of national senators because of the risk of uncontrolled growth in the Senate.

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5 hours ago, vcczar said:

The proposal phase for Article One is now over. Let's now respectfully discuss the proposals before we go to a vote. 

@pilight  proposes:

I would change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.  Anything that can be done on the open floor can be released to the public.

I would change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.

I would change Section 8 to require a balanced budget

@Sunnymentoaddict proposes:

Each state should have two Senators. While we should have our House be based on its state population divided by 300,00; and how close the average district population deviates from 300,000 (SC would get 15 seats with an average constituency size of 308,358 because 16 seats would create an average size of 289,000; meaning that 15 is far closer to the ideal number of 300,000)
Both chambers should use IRV( Instant runoff voting)

@vcczar  proposes:

I propose that we increase the number of US Reps to better represent the population. And since, we are no longer attempting to bind sovereign states into a union, I propose that we make the Senate somewhat proportional, so that a combination of a few states, number less than 10 million people can't block about 300 million people. I propose that every state gets 2 senators, but that the top 10 states get 3 senators. I also propose that former presidents and VPs are automatically national senators, unattached to any state. I am also comfortable in keeping 2 senates per state, but just adding these national senators, who will consider votes at a national level, rather than for a specific state. 

 

My delegation's internal organizing committee needs a few more hours to organize our proposals for presentation.

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17 minutes ago, Patine said:

My delegation's internal organizing committee needs a few more hours to organize our proposals for presentation.

Ok, we will wait for those before we move on. I'll comment on my own proposals, possibly amending them, or rejecting them within a day or so. 

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6 hours ago, pilight said:

If you're talking about dividing each state by the number in the smallest state, the number of seats for each state would look like this...

 

by smallest state pop average.jpg

That looks about right.  I only got around to the Hamilton method (yes I know Huntington-Hill is official and least prone to the Alabama and New State paradox.  But I don't imagine they'd be that different.  Again the main point is to have fewer citizens per congressperson.

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9 hours ago, vcczar said:

The proposal phase for Article One is now over. Let's now respectfully discuss the proposals before we go to a vote. 

@pilight  proposes:

I would change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.  Anything that can be done on the open floor can be released to the public.

I would change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.

I would change Section 8 to require a balanced budget

@Sunnymentoaddict proposes:

Each state should have two Senators. While we should have our House be based on its state population divided by 300,00; and how close the average district population deviates from 300,000 (SC would get 15 seats with an average constituency size of 308,358 because 16 seats would create an average size of 289,000; meaning that 15 is far closer to the ideal number of 300,000)
Both chambers should use IRV( Instant runoff voting)

@vcczar  proposes:

I propose that we increase the number of US Reps to better represent the population. And since, we are no longer attempting to bind sovereign states into a union, I propose that we make the Senate somewhat proportional, so that a combination of a few states, number less than 10 million people can't block about 300 million people. I propose that every state gets 2 senators, but that the top 10 states get 3 senators. I also propose that former presidents and VPs are automatically national senators, unattached to any state. I am also comfortable in keeping 2 senates per state, but just adding these national senators, who will consider votes at a national level, rather than for a specific state. 

 

Wait, I made proposals too.  Can someone please quote my entry to @vcczar he seems to have blocked my content.

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We could have computers draw up the districts these days, the software is out there, and better in every way than humans.

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