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Hypothetical 2017 Constitutional Convention


The 2017 Constitutional Convention  

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  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


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On 4/4/2017 at 11:20 AM, vcczar said:

Here are the current proposals, unless anyone is strongly desire to amend any of these, or propose others (we need all similar proposals to be compromised into a single proposal), then here are the proposals that are ready for a vote, which I will set up, hopefully, tomorrow: 

1. Abolish the Electoral College, in favor of the Popular Vote for Presidential Elections. 

3. Hold presidential elections every two years, for a total of eight years. 

4. President must request a declaration of war within 90 days of ordering a military action

4. The president can only veto law that is unconstitutional, rather than veto law because of ideological differences. The president vetoes the law, Congress can override the law as it is allowed to do so. I'd like to add that the SC can be counseled on the constitutionality of that law by Congress or the President. 

5. The Vice President is purely of the executive branch, and will not serve in the Senate. Additionally, the VP's duties are only those also of the president, and only those delegated by the president to him or her. 

6. Return to the original selection of the VP by which the VP is the second place finisher in an election, even if they are of separate parties. I don't believe in winner takes all systems, especially when a majority can lose an election. 

7. Allow citizens not born in the US to become president if they have been US citizens for 35 years. 

8. A president can be declared unfit and removed by a majority cabinet vote, followed by a 2/3 of the Senate. 

9. The president cannot pardon people that have committed major crimes or anyone attached to his or her own administration at anytime of his or her presidency. 

10. The president must fill all open vacancies in all areas in which he or she can make an appointment. The president has 90 days to make a nomination, and the Congress has 90 days to hear and confirm/deny the nomination. If the Congress does not hear or confirm/deny within that time, then the person nominated is automatically confirmed. 

11. Run-off round, with the top two candidates, in elections in which no candidate reaches over 50%.

12. Presidential recall: A recall would require at least one senator from a majority of states to present a petition signed by a certain % of the voting population.

1. No, no way, nilch, absolutely not!! 

3. You really want to repeat the events of 2016 every two years?  POTUS would spend all their time campaigning.  We already have Congressional elections every 2 years (and I even think House should be 4 years).

4. Then why bother with a President at all?  And how do you prove that a veto is due to ideological differences.  Despite popular belief, Constitutionality is sometimes a gray area.

5. ????

6. Four words: John, Adams, Thomas, Jefferson

7. I don't know what the original justification was for natural-born citizenship, but absent of a compelling reason I'd tend to leave it as is.

8. 2/3 senate vote?  We already have that, it's called impeachment.  Plus realistically since the cabinet is appointed by the President, I can't see that happening, and leaving the President's job in the hand of 8 unelected people opens a Pandora's box.  Nice try though ;)

9. I'd support possibly the removal of pardon power completely, but can't do it halfway.  Again see my answer to #7

10. Merrick Garland is NOT going to be on the Supreme Court, get over it. ;)

11. I might actually go with this one, of course how to do that with the electoral college?  I would absolutely support that for the individual states, but that's impossible to require without its own Constitutional Amendment, and you will never in hell get 38 states to sign off on that.  And no way are we electing by popular vote.  Side note:  I notice that calls for abolishing the EC went up exponentially AFTER November 8.  Where was this outrage when we had the "blue wall" that made it impossible for GOP to win?

12. We already have that.  In fact (roughly) 50% of the population already can remove a President.  They're called elections.

I think the reason that the Constitution is seen as outdated by some folks is that they feel that it has to encompass all facets of society and be able to solve every social problem on a whim.  It's not supposed to work that way - I think frankly a lot of these suggestions are reactionary and not wise in the long term, especially #1.

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35 minutes ago, pilight said:

The constitution isn't outdated, but the electoral college is

Please elaborate. 

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36 minutes ago, servo75 said:

Please elaborate. 

Allow me. If Alexander Hamilton could see Donald Trump's election, I'm sure even he would agree the Electoral College had failed in one of it's biggest intended purposes - which was to keep populists out of the White House!

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27 minutes ago, servo75 said:

Please elaborate. 

None of the purposes it was designed for exist in the nation today.  It no longer serves a bulwark against the uneducated masses choosing someone with skills in "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity".  With the current party structure and state laws prohibiting electors from voting for anyone other than the winner of the the popular vote in their state that purpose is moot.  With the abolition of slavery, the counting of slaves as 3/5 of a person without giving them 3/5 of a vote is also no longer relevant.  Hamilton suggested that electors would not be beholden to particular presidential candidates, which has turned out to be obviously false.  Madison's concerns about factionalism have vanished as he predicted they would with the growth of the population.

It serves no useful purpose in the modern USA, and delegitimizes presidents who "win" while losing the popular vote.

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5 minutes ago, pilight said:

None of the purposes it was designed for exist in the nation today.  It no longer serves a bulwark against the uneducated masses choosing someone with skills in "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity".  With the current party structure and state laws prohibiting electors from voting for anyone other than the winner of the the popular vote in their state that purpose is moot.  With the abolition of slavery, the counting of slaves as 3/5 of a person without giving them 3/5 of a vote is also no longer relevant.  Hamilton suggested that electors would not be beholden to particular presidential candidates, which has turned out to be obviously false.  Madison's concerns about factionalism have vanished as he predicted they would with the growth of the population.

It serves no useful purpose in the modern USA, and delegitimizes presidents who "win" while losing the popular vote.

You are forgetting the compromise between small states and big states in order to prevent the big states from ruling over the small states.

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19 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

You are forgetting the compromise between small states and big states in order to prevent the big states from ruling over the small states.

Actually, the original compromise was between Slave and Free States - the big and small state compromise was added later by revisionists after the Founding Fathers' deaths justified by supposed "implications." It wasn't originally protecting Rhode Island (whose compromise to rope them in was actually confirming a Bill of Rights would be written instead, not to mention the threat of naval and trade blockade) and Delaware (being fully recognized as a separate state from Pennsylvania was their big incentive, which was initially a grey area, as Delaware was an autonomous part of Pennsylvania in the colonial days, not a fully separate colony, legally) against New York and Virginia, but protecting Virginia against New York...

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19 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

You are forgetting the compromise between small states and big states in order to prevent the big states from ruling over the small states.

That's why the senate has equal representation, as it should.  In the presidential election, small states are just as irrelevant as they would be without the electoral college.  There was practically no campaigning in Alaska, Rhode Island, the Dakotas, or any other state with single digit electoral votes.

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1 hour ago, pilight said:

That's why the senate has equal representation, as it should.  In the presidential election, small states are just as irrelevant as they would be without the electoral college.  There was practically no campaigning in Alaska, Rhode Island, the Dakotas, or any other state with single digit electoral votes.

The compromise wasn't just regarding the legislature.  Big states cannot dominate elections as seen in the 2016 election.  California would have been the difference if popular vote was used.  You can cherry pick but that can go both ways.  States such as New Hampshire, Iowa, Maine, Colorado, and Nevada get attention.

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17 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

The compromise wasn't just regarding the legislature.  Big states cannot dominate elections as seen in the 2016 election.  California would have been the difference if popular vote was used.  You can cherry pick but that can go both ways.  States such as New Hampshire, Iowa, Maine, Colorado, and Nevada get attention.

Iowa, New Hampshire, and the like only get attention in the primaries, which has nothing to do with the electoral college.

Big states did dominate the 2016 election.  It was all about Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.  That's where all the campaigning was done and that's where the election was decided.  How is that any better than California and Texas dominating the election?

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14 minutes ago, pilight said:

Iowa, New Hampshire, and the like only get attention in the primaries, which has nothing to do with the electoral college.

Big states did dominate the 2016 election.  It was all about Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.  That's where all the campaigning was done and that's where the election was decided.  How is that any better than California and Texas dominating the election?

Iowa and New Hampshire got attention during the general election as well.  Ohio didn't really matter this time around.  New Hampshire had the closest margin of any of the states.  It had a close Senate, Governor, and Presidential race.  Iowa voted for Obama twice.  It was a state that swung this time.

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21 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

Iowa and New Hampshire got attention during the general election as well.  Ohio didn't really matter this time around.  New Hampshire had the closest margin of any of the states.  It had a close Senate, Governor, and Presidential race.  Iowa voted for Obama twice.  It was a state that swung this time.

If Iowa and or New Hampshire had gone the other way it wouldn't have mattered.  There was very little campaigning by either larger party candidate in those states, just as it would have been if the electoral college didn't exist.

And really, it's a poor justification for the electoral college.

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1 hour ago, jvikings1 said:

The compromise wasn't just regarding the legislature.  Big states cannot dominate elections as seen in the 2016 election.  California would have been the difference if popular vote was used.  You can cherry pick but that can go both ways.  States such as New Hampshire, Iowa, Maine, Colorado, and Nevada get attention.

This statement is so internally contrary, ambiguous, and unclear as to it's intent is or the point you're trying to get across, I'd say you were practicing to be a press secretary to an elected official. :P 

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39 minutes ago, pilight said:

If Iowa and or New Hampshire had gone the other way it wouldn't have mattered.  There was very little campaigning by either larger party candidate in those states, just as it would have been if the electoral college didn't exist.

And really, it's a poor justification for the electoral college.

State such as Nevada, Colorado, and Wisconsin had events in them, and they are not big states.  Also, New Hampshire could have made a difference if the state fell different ways.  As a result, the media focused on New Hampshire.  Iowa didn't get as much because polls swung heavily Trump's way during the general election like Ohio. But, it was still talked about because of the importance for Trump.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/28/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-new-hampshire/92860538/

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8 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

State such as Nevada, Colorado, and Wisconsin had events in them, and they are not big states.  Also, New Hampshire could have made a difference if the state fell different ways.  As a result, the media focused on New Hampshire.  Iowa didn't get as much because polls swung heavily Trump's way during the general election like Ohio. But, it was still talked about because of the importance for Trump.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/28/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-new-hampshire/92860538/

Since both became states in 1959, how many main party presidential candidates on the campaign trail have visited Alaska or Hawaii? I'm willing to bet the number's incredibly small...

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16 hours ago, Patine said:

Since both became states in 1959, how many main party presidential candidates on the campaign trail have visited Alaska or Hawaii? I'm willing to bet the number's incredibly small...

Only because they're not (currently) swing states and have few electoral votes.

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17 hours ago, pilight said:

If Iowa and or New Hampshire had gone the other way it wouldn't have mattered.  There was very little campaigning by either larger party candidate in those states, just as it would have been if the electoral college didn't exist.

And really, it's a poor justification for the electoral college.

1. The Electoral College was designed so that candidates had to appeal to all segments of the country.  Unless you completely sweep a region, you need to appeal to northeast, southeast, midwest, southwest, mountain west, and west coast voters (or at least most of them).  They benefit the smaller states that don't have large metropolitan areas.  Otherwise you'd have the electorate dominated by a few small cities.  So I think it's an essential justification for the EC.  Talk about votes not counting?  How about voters in rural midwestern and "flyover" states like me who don't have a voice in the popular vote.

2. "But the vote only 'counts' in swing states now."  Yes but those are the CURRENT swing states.  Those, unlike the relative populations, can change more readily.  At one time, NY and CA were swing states, FL & VA were reliable GOP, WV and a few southern states were solid Democrat.  Now it appears that WI & MI are swing states too, so no matter who's running, I guarantee the 2020 and 2024 elections are going to draw more events in those states.

3. No offense, but anyone who casually wants to end the electoral college needs to pick up a book on our history and Constitution and educate themselves.  We can have our varying opinions on most things, but I remain firm on this one.  The Electoral College is non-negotiable, period, end of sentence.  It represents our fundamental governmental structure, where the states form and cede power to the General Government, not the other way around.  That part is an absolute fact. We are NOT a democracy.  We're a Federal Republic - if you abolish the electoral college, you might as well abolish the White House, Supreme Court, and Congress too.  Then again, that's what many Progressive Democrats want.  And that business about it being "out of date" is a complete straw man.  I have yet to see an adequate explanation from anybody why that's the case.

4. In any event, ending the electoral college has less than a snowball's chance in hell of happening.  Here's why: As I said, it benefits the smaller rural states.  The electoral college gives electoral power to the states.  If a state ratifies such an amendment, it is effectively signing away it's own sovereignty.  This might not matter for the deep blue states, but no way in hell you get legislatures in rural right-leaning states like ID, WY, UT, MT, ND, SD, NE, KS, AL, MS, IN, IA would ever go along with that.  That's 12 states and it only takes 13 to kill an amendment.  So it's not gonna happen.

5. One compromise I could see is requiring more states to divide their electoral votes like ME & NE, that way you still get 2 votes to the overall winner and split the rest among the popular vote.  However that would ALSO require an amendment, since the Constitution doesn't specify how or if states split their votes.  An amendment abolishing the electoral college or requiring a vote split would be dictating to or taking power from the states.  Neither one of them will happen in my lifetime.

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20 hours ago, Patine said:

Allow me. If Alexander Hamilton could see Donald Trump's election, I'm sure even he would agree the Electoral College had failed in one of it's biggest intended purposes - which was to keep populists out of the White House!

No offense but that's complete rubbish.  I remember just before the election, everyone was talking about the "blue wall" how the electoral college was unwinnable for Republicans, how Trump had "no path to 270."  Only now that Trump has won, all the Democrats suddenly want to get rid of it.  Are you seriously suggesting that the Electoral College works as long as it elects people we agree with, but if we don't like the candidate, we can ignore the democratic process, declare an "emergency" and put the Presidency in the hands of 538 rogue voters?  The states elected Trump.  Fair and square.  That's the way it works, it's the way it worked for 240 years and to suggest that we can subjectively interpret it based on our own prejudices - That's PRECISELY how dictatorships get started!  You're suggesting that the solution to a "tyrant" President is to make things less democratic?  Are populists bad?  Maybe, it depends on the person.  There are things I love about Trump and things I dislike.  But you don't get to decide who "deserves" the White House and who doesn't!

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17 hours ago, Patine said:

Since both became states in 1959, how many main party presidential candidates on the campaign trail have visited Alaska or Hawaii? I'm willing to bet the number's incredibly small...

Nixon campaigned in both when facing JFK as part of his 50 state tour.

Alaska has been pretty reliable Republican since then.

Hawaii has been closer, but it is difficult to find any statistics on campaigning there in those closer years.

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23 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Once again, no changes.

You are too easily pleased with a broken system, @Reagan04. I believe in his day, in fact, Lord North (British PM for George III from the mid-1760's to 1780) had a very similar attitude to yours about change and reform when Benjamin Franklin personally delivered him the first set of grievances and recommendations from the First Continental Congress, before independence was declared, when many viewed a peaceful, amicable resolution to the issues as still possible.

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The Judiciary Act of 1790 (and the other subsequent Judiciary Acts) should be merged into the Constitution, to officially set the number of justices at 9, and so that Congress won't be able to pass a court-packing bill (like what FDR tried to get in 1937).

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