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Silent3

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Gender: Male
Hometown: New Hampshire
Home country: USA
Member since: Sun Oct 3, 2004, 04:16 PM
Number of posts: 10,981

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We need a whole raft of amendments, and unfortunately they're almost impossible to get enacted

Where we have depended on "norms" being respected, there are now gaping holes in our system of government.

Your amendment (with an even shorted time period, like 90 days) is just a start.

My other suggestions would be, completely ignoring that they just aren't going to happen:

* Finally pass the ERA, expanded to cover all gender and racial issues.

* Give Congressional oversight of the President and the executive branch real teeth, so endless court battles to "play out the clock", or plain outright refusal to comply with subpoenas, can never again hamper oversight as Trump has done. I'd even go so far as to make the Sergeant-at-Arms someone with real enforcement power, with a small police force in his/her charge, capable of confiscating documents and arresting non-compliant subpoenaed witnesses to haul them before the House and/or Senate.

* A general "all laws must have teeth" provision. We've often passed laws that are unenforceable because there is no specified penalty for breaking these laws, and no specified remedies when these laws are broken. This is another "just expecting norms to be followed" problem. (Maybe this can be fixed by ordinary law, without Constitutional changes.)

* While not going so far as to create a fourth branch of government, establish Constitutionally-protected independence of the DoJ so it can never again be used as a President's personal legal defense for themselves, or a cudgel against the President's enemies.

* States now have enormous Constitutionally-granted freedom in how they run elections. It might only be by Constitutional amendment that we can enact solid federally-mandated minimum standards to ensure free and fair elections.

* Judicial term limits, including the Supreme Court.

* Abolish the Electoral College, and apportion the Senate by population too.

* Ban gerrymandering. Voters must choose politicians, not politicians choosing their own voters. This one change could greatly relieve the polarization of American politics which has so poisoned our system.

* Explicitly end corporate personhood, and make corporations, in exchange for the benefit of limited liability they receive, have a much stronger legal commitment to serving the public good, and upholding for their employees many of the same rights government grants citizens. (Businesses could still have much greater freedom than this, but they wouldn't get limited liability either if they want all of that freedom.)

* Reverse Citizens United by making an explicit legal distinction between campaign spending and free speech.

* (Very carefully!) create a legal distinction between "freedom of speech" and "freedom of reach", so that we can legally require large media platforms to minimize the spread of disinformation.

* Limit the pardon power of the President (and state governors too) in ways that clearly prevent outright abuse of that power.

* While still respecting state's rights to some extent, grant a little more power to the federal government that the Founders did. We live in a totally different reality now, where people much more identify with the United States than they do with their individual states. We're already playing stupid games to get this end result in many cases, like denying federal highway funds to states that won't go along with certain terms of federal laws.

* I could go on if I keep thinking about this!

It's a good thing, actually, for the Constitution not to be too big or too explicit, giving judges some flexibility of interpretation as times change. But even with current amendments added on, the whole Constitution is shorter than a lot of stupid click-through agreements on apps and web sites. While being careful to not overdo amendments, "norms" just don't cut it.
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