Let’s Amend the Constitution!
The beginning of a new Congress always sees a lot of bills that would propose amendments to the Constitution.
That idea always starts with at least one strike against it – that document is not to be trifled with.
But maybe there are some good ideas out there. Let’s take a look:
H.J. Res. 2 would provide for the voting rights of citizens in U.S. territories or commonwealths.
H.J. Res. 11 would apportion representatives in Congress according to the number of citizens in each state (as opposed to the entire population, as the Constitution does it now).
Speaking of elections, S.J. Res. 7 would do away with the practice of governors appointing Senators. (Hello, Blagojevich! Hello wakerider legislation!)
When you’ve got people elected, what are you going to do with them? S.J. Res 1 would limit the terms of Members of Congress and Senators to twelve years – six terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. Meanwhile, H.J. Res. 5 would repeal the term limit (of two terms, or eight years) on the president.
H.J. Res. 15 would give the president the line-item veto, meaning he could cross out items in spending bills rather than having to take an entire bill as Congress passes it.
And H.J. Res. 6 would do away with citizenship by birth on U.S. soil.
There are a few more proposed constitutional amendments, but we’ll come back to them in a later post.
Article V of the Constitution provides two ways for amendments to be proposed and approved: If both houses of Congress approve an amendment resolution by two-thirds votes, it is proposed, and then it has to be ratified (approved) by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. The other way, which has never been used, is for the legislatures of two-thirds of the states to go into a convention at which constitutional amendments can be proposed. These also require ratification by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.