If I had the power to magically rewrite the Constitution, and I wanted to keep it simple, I’d only offer a few amendments:
- Overturn Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo and implement a system of public financing for all Federal elections;
- Mandate non-partisan redistricting for the US House of Representatives;
- An explicit Constitutional Right to Vote. This should already exist via the Fifteenth Amendment, but apparently it’s vague enough to allow SCOTUS to sign off on all manner of restrictions;
- Term limits for Federal judges, probably 12 years with the possibility of re-appointment;
- Explicitly overturn Corporate personhood;
- Explicitly recognize tribal sovereignty.
If I had the chance to go radical, I would change us to a Federal Semi-Presidential System, based on Germany and France.
- The President would be responsible for national security and foreign policy, would still serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and would have the power to appoint the head of government (with the consent of a majority of the House) and dismiss the House of Representatives to call new elections. His only significant role in domestic policy would be the veto.
- Domestic policy would be the responsibility of the head of government (the Chief Executive Officer) who would hold power as long as s/he commanded the confidence of the House.
- The House of Representatives would be expanded so that each Member of Congress would represent 500,000 people (making 638 members), elected via single transferable vote proportional representation. Their terms would last no longer than four years.
- The Senate would still be elected from each state, but with each Senator representing 2,000,000 people (which would make for 160 Senators at the present), to allow some rough proportionality between the states. Every state would have at least one senator. States would have the power to directly elect Senators or have them chosen by their legislature. The Senate would have the same power to ratify treaties and advise and consent on appointments (except for the Cabinet, which would be chosen by the House) but the filibuster would only enable the Senate to delay passage of legislation for a full debate, not kill it. Former presidents and CEOs would automatically serve as non-voting Senators for life.
- The judiciary would remain the same, but with 12 year terms. I would expand the Supreme Court to 15 members, to allow for more diversity.
- Rather than “reserve powers,” the states would have explicit powers over areas like policing and education. Federal powers would be explicitly listed and include areas like the environment.
What do you think?