New US Amendments



  • I heard a few people talking about this on the radio last week, and I thought it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of you folks, here.

    If you were guaranteed their passage, what three amendments would you propose for the Constitution of the USA? (Existing amendments start here.)


    Please clearly label all trolling or keep it to the discussion thread.



  • One to clarify the intent of the Second Amendment. Another to clarify/rebalance the Electorial College process.

    That's pretty much the only ideas I have. I'm sure a lot of tech-y people think that "privacy" should be in the Constitution, but that's crumcrap IMO. The US doesn't need new laws, especially at the Federal level, but it does need some clarification and re-evaluation of the laws we currently have.



  • Amendment 1: Don't be a dick.
    Amendment 2: Seriously, don't be a dick.
    Amendment 3: e4tmyl33t gets free ice cream anywhere they go.



  • @e4tmyl33t said in New US Amendments:

    Amendment 1: Don't be a dick.

    Would be a law.

    Amendment 2: Seriously, don't be a dick.

    Same

    Amendment 3: e4tmyl33t gets free ice cream anywhere they go.

    Same. 0/3 Z- see me after class


  • Fake News

    Golden Rule / Non-Aggression Principle: You're free to do whatever the fuck you want, as long as you don't fuck with someone else's life, liberty or property.



    1. Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators).
    2. Explicitly reduce the scope of the Commerce Clause (I don't know what the details should be, but they should be something that wouldn't give Congress the power to keep a person from growing wheat for personal use because that would affect the interstate market for wheat)
    3. All executive rule/lawmaking requires a Congressional vote before taking effect.


  • @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    Explicitly reduce the scope of the Commerce Clause (I don't know what the details should be, but they should be something that wouldn't give Congress the power to keep a person from growing wheat for personal use because that would affect the interstate market for wheat)

    That's a good point. The voters of Washington State have said they want legalized marijuana, what the hell business is it of the Feds if we have it?

    (Commerce Clause! A.k.a. the Feds can do anything anytime as long as they can creatively come up with some reason it might cross a State line somewhere, hypothetically. "Oh look, Ted was smoking pot on the border with Idaho and statistically 0.0002% of that smoke crossed into the other State, let's truncheon him.")

    @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    All executive rule/lawmaking requires a Congressional vote before taking effect.

    How about a waiting period for legislation so we stop having "you have to vote on this legislation you haven't had time to read and the CBO hasn't had time to evaluate!!!" bullshit?



  • @blakeyrat said in New US Amendments:

    That's a good point. The voters of Washington State have said they want legalized marijuana, what the hell business is it of the Feds if we have it?

    And that gets tricky because what you have going on now where banks won't touch anyone doing that business since if they do they can't be FDIC insured. I'm not sure how you prevent something like that in the Constitution, but this might be another area where having Senators beholden to a state legislature comes in handy.



  • @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    And that gets tricky because what you have going on now where banks won't touch anyone doing that business since if they do they can't be FDIC insured.

    Just means we need a Washington State banking legislation too. Hell, let's secede! Viva la Washington State!



    1. The president has a single 8 year term instead of up to two 4-year terms.
    2. Marriage is between any group of one or more adult humans.
    3. Rename the country to "America" to make discussions about which America you're talking about even more confusing.


  • @lolwhat said in New US Amendments:

    Golden Rule / Non-Aggression Principle: You're free to do whatever the fuck you want, as long as you don't fuck with someone else's life, liberty or property.

    While that sounds nice, it is somewhat hard to define what actually is meant by "fuck with".



    1. Restrict multiple-subject legislation. Only allow riders on a bill if they directly address some aspect of it or its enforcement. Indirect effects are not sufficient grounds for inclusion.
    2. Introduce subsequent-term limits for Congress. (I.e. a congressperson can serve only # many terms, and then must "sit out" for one or more terms before being eligible for re-election.)
    3. Remove legal exceptions for government officials in any branch (executive, legislative, judicial) that do not directly affect ability to perform responsibilities of position.


  • @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    Remove exceptions for government officials in any branch (executive, legislative, judicial) that do not directly affect ability to perform responsibilities of position.

    Exceptions from what?



  • @blakeyrat said in New US Amendments:

    @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    Remove exceptions for government officials in any branch (executive, legislative, judicial) that do not directly affect ability to perform responsibilities of position.

    Exceptions from what?

    One example that may have reason to be kept (although I don't even know if it's still in existence) would be right-of-way for congresspersons who are traveling to meet in a congressional session.

    Another topic that this is meant to address is the idea that members of congress are exempt from legislation that affects everyone else, like the personal mandate portion of the ACA.



  • @lolwhat said in New US Amendments:

    You're free to do whatever the fuck you want, as long as you don't fuck with someone else's life, liberty or property.

    IOW, your liberty stop where everybody else's start.



  • @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    Explicitly reduce the scope of the Commerce Clause (I don't know what the details should be, but they should be something that wouldn't give Congress the power to keep a person from growing wheat for personal use because that would affect the interstate market for wheat)

    Shouldn't that be covered by the definition of "commerce"?

    I don't see anything in that definition about the production or consumption of goods or commodities.

    One of the guys on the radio program suggested a new glossary section for "Terms and Definitions".



  • @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    Shouldn't that be covered by the definition of "commerce"?

    Not according to the Supreme Court.



  • @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    One example that may have reason to be kept (although I don't even know if it's still in existence) would be right-of-way for congresspersons who are traveling to meet in a congressional session.

    Right-of-way on... a public road? The hallway of the building? You're answering vague with more-vague. Be specific.

    Let's assume you mean on public roads. Is that a thing Congresspersons have now? I can't find any reference to it. (I know it was a semi-scandal in India, government officials putting police car lights on their vehicles to bypass traffic. I've never heard of anything like that in the US.)

    @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    Another topic that this is meant to address is the idea that members of congress are exempt from legislation that affects everyone else, like the personal mandate portion of the ACA.

    Except that's a myth. (They are "exempt" in that their employer, the Federal Government, pays their healthcare for them, but by that logic something like 150 million people are also "exempt".)



  • @blakeyrat said in New US Amendments:

    Right-of-way on... a public road? The hallway of the building? You're answering vague with more-vague. Be specific.
    Let's assume you mean on public roads. Is that a thing Congresspersons have now? I can't find any reference to it. (I know it was a semi-scandal in India, government officials putting police car lights on their vehicles to bypass traffic. I've never heard of anything like that in the US.)

    Stuff like this:

    It all comes down to language in the State Constitution that's a throwback to centuries ago, when politicians in England would try to arrest opponents to prevent them from voting in parliament.

    I've heard similar stories regarding Congress in the past.



  • @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    @blakeyrat said in New US Amendments:

    Right-of-way on... a public road? The hallway of the building? You're answering vague with more-vague. Be specific.
    Let's assume you mean on public roads. Is that a thing Congresspersons have now? I can't find any reference to it. (I know it was a semi-scandal in India, government officials putting police car lights on their vehicles to bypass traffic. I've never heard of anything like that in the US.)

    Stuff like this:

    It all comes down to language in the State Constitution that's a throwback to centuries ago, when politicians in England would try to arrest opponents to prevent them from voting in parliament.

    I've heard similar stories regarding Congress in the past.

    I assume that comes from Article I, Section 6:

    They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same



  • @boomzilla good luck asking them to vote this law out



  • @wharrgarbl Congress is not the only body that can amend the constitution:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.



  • @boomzilla Communication is so much easier when people don't assume telepathy.

    I've honestly never heard of that before. Hm. It seems like there's a valid reason for it if US politics ever gets as chaotic as, say, Venezuela's. I guess I have no opinion on the matter.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @blakeyrat said in New US Amendments:

    How about a waiting period for legislation so we stop having "you have to vote on this legislation you haven't had time to read and the CBO hasn't had time to evaluate!!!" bullshit?

    That would be a very good amendment:

    No bill shall be voted upon by the body of either house of Congress if it has not been read aloud, in its entirety, in the exact form of the bill being voted upon, before that house of Congress in session with a full quorum in attendance.

    (The "exact form" bit is a bit awkward. Can anyone think of a better way to express the idea that they have to vote on exactly what was read, and adding any revisions starts the whole thing over and requires a fresh reading?)



  • States can leave if they want to.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @djls45 said in New US Amendments:

    I heard a few people talking about this on the radio last week, and I thought it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of you folks, here.

    If you were guaranteed their passage, what three amendments would you propose for the Constitution of the USA? (Existing amendments start here.)


    Please clearly label all trolling or keep it to the discussion thread.

    I should probably answer this, as I'm already otherwise participating. Amendment pseudo-text in bold, comments in italics.

    1. Changes to the election and apportionment of Congress:
      • The House of Representatives shall have a fixed number of representatives, somewhere in the range 200-500. In combination with the next bullet, I favor either 200 or 500, meaning each seat represents approximately .5% or .2% of the population. More specifically, I prefer 200 because it keeps the number more manageable while still allowing for groups under 1% to get representation.
      • The House of Representatives shall be elected by a nationwide vote, with each party receiving a number of seats in proportion to the percentage of votes received. Individuals may register as a party. This acknowledges two things no longer consistent with the ideals of the founding: we're not really a group of independent states who need rough tallying to get reasonable apportionment, and parties don't appear to be avoidable. It's purpose is to make sure the House is actually representative, by allowing a multitude of parties to represent different interests and priorities and by allocating seats by real vote percentage.
      • Seat apportionments for the House of Representatives are rounded down to the nearest whole number. Excess seats/votes are awarded to the next largest parties, or left empty if no remaining party has more than .1% of the vote. This is to allow smaller groups just on the edge of representation a chance at a seat, while also slightly diminishing the strength of the majority parties and preventing really small groups from having inordinate power and influence.
      • Each individual qualified to vote in the election of Representatives may place two votes, which need not be placed for the same party, nor for two different ones. Voters may have interests best represented by several different parties (say, personal vs. business), and this is intended to somewhat alleviate the forced choice that occurs in having only one vote.
      • Each state shall, by two-thirds majority vote of their respective state congress, parliament, or equivalent, elect 1 senator to represent their state in the Senate.
      • Each state shall, by their respective head(s) of government (i.e., the state's head(s) of executive power), elect 1 more senator to represent their state in the Senate. These two are intended to roughly align with @boomzilla's argument for the return to state-elected senators rather than populace-elected senators. My first modification is to require a large majority consent in order to dilute the ability of a single party to control that power. My other modification is to split the power between the state's law-making and law-enforcing bodies, to represent both concerns.
    1. Election of the President and Vice President of the United States:
      • The electoral college is abolished. Obvious thing.
      • The president and the vice president shall be elected in a direct nationwide instant-runoff election. Direct: no intermediates, popular vote only. Nationwide: again, we're not really individual countries trying to retain autonomy in a greater collective. Instant-runoff: allows third party candidates an actual chance, and hopefully helps prevent disasters like this last election.
      • There must be a "None of the above" option. If this wins, no candidate is elected. Instead, a new election is to be held in {6 months or 1 year} from the failed election, and no candidate that lost to "None of the above" may run for this next election. Sometimes there just isn't any good choice. This is for those times.
      • In the event of a failed election, the Senate may choose persons to temporarily take the place of the current president and vice president when their term has ended. These persons must meet all the other requirements and restrictions of their position, and neither can have been a candidate in any failed presidential or vice presidential election. Seems like the sanest choice for this event. I'm open to alternatives.
    1. Federal Welfare Benefits: Like I wasn't going to say something at least a little Socialist
      • The federal government of the United States may, but is not required to, enact and administer programs to provide for the general welfare of its citizens, such as universal health care and universal retirement pay. This may be considered redundant, depending on how you read Article I, section 8. My intent is to make it not questionable.
      • In enacting these programs, the federal government must not require any lower levels of governments, such as states or municipalities, to shoulder the burden. Federal program, federal responsibility.
      • The federal government may not prohibit private entities or state programs from offering welfare benefits/programs in addition to an existing federal welfare program or in lieu of an absent federal welfare program. Federal government doesn't have a monopoly on such programs, and can't prevent others from offering them.


  • Here's one:

    The House shall ratify a Budget for each fiscal year on or before the start of said fiscal year. If the House fails to ratify a Budget in time, the compensation of Representatives will be forfeited for the duration of the time there is no ratified Budget. Funds that would otherwise be spent on their compensation will be directed into an account. Funding from this account will then be distributed as needed to cover the salaries of Federal employees who would otherwise be placed on furlough.


  • :belt_onion:

    @dreikin said in New US Amendments:

    There must be a "None of the above" option. If this wins, no candidate is elected. Instead, a new election is to be held in {6 months or 1 year} from the failed election, and no candidate that lost to "None of the above" may run for this next election. Sometimes there just isn't any good choice. This is for those times.

    i would like your post if it were only this (i have posted that idea myself a few times.)



  • I forked a bunch of stuff here: https://what.thedailywtf.com/topic/23489/more-amendment-discussion

    I would have moved it to the discussion thread but that has to be done one post at a time.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @boomzilla said in New US Amendments:

    I forked a bunch of stuff here: https://what.thedailywtf.com/topic/23489/more-amendment-discussion

    I would have moved it to the discussion thread but that has to be done one post at a time.

    Bugs category is :arrows:


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.