Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Amendment Amendment

Don't get me wrong, I have better things to do, but for some reason, after finding an old copy of the United States Constitution (old enough to be missing the 27th amendment), I just felt like writing an amendment to the method of proposing and ratifying amendments. Here it is, and any Senator or Representative can feel free to submit it to Congress (not that I have delusions that anything like that is going to happen):

Section 1. (1) Proposed amendments to this constitution may be proposed either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or by a Constitutional Convention called by Congress.

(2) A Constitutional Convention shall be called whenever the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states shall submit applications to Congress regarding a specific issue within three years of each other.

(3) The number of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention from each state shall be the same as the number each state in entitled to have in the House of Representatives and shall be elected by the same method as representatives by the people of each state. The qualifications to serve as Delegate shall be identical to the qualifications to serve as a Representative, as shall be the compensation each shall receive for their service. However, no senator, representative or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States shall serve as Delegate.

(4) The term of a Constitutional Convention shall not exceed two years. The Convention may dissolve itself earlier if, after proposing at least one amendment to the Constitution, a majority of Delegates so decides. If, after two years, a Convention fails to propose amendments, Congress may call a new convention, even without the application of the state legislatures. This right of Congress shall expire six months after the end of the Convention's term.

Section 2. (1) Amendments proposed by either method mentioned in Section 1 shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures, conventions, or the people of three-fourths of the several states, as whichever of these three modes the proposing body may direct, provided that no more than seven years shall pass from the date of proposal to the date of ratification, unless the proposing body shall specify otherwise when proposing the amendment; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

(2) Whenever conventions shall be chosen as the mode of ratification, the delegates thereof shall be specially elected for that purpose, by whichever method each state shall by law provide. No state delegate shall simultaneously serve in a state legislature, Congress, or any federal or state executive office.

Section 3. All amendments proposed to the several states more than seven years before the ratification of this article and which have not yet been ratified, shall expire one year after the ratification of this article.

Section 4. The Congress and the several states shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 5. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several states, as previously provided in Article V of the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

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