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U.S. Constitutional Amendment Proposal

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U.S. Constitutional Amendment Proposal

The founding fathers understood no document is infallible. The Constitution of the United States is a living document. As a living document, the Constitution can be changed when American society needs it to grow to meet the needs of the citizens. The authors of the Constitution cleverly devised a system to allow changes to be made to the Constitution by adding amendments. Amendments to the Constitution are necessary for the continued growth of the country. Amendments are not easily made and should not be an easy process. The road for a Constitutional amendment begins as a bill presented to a Houses of Congress where it must be passed with a two-thirds majority of both Houses (Patterson, 2009, p. 512). An amendment may also be proposed at a national convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures (Patterson, 2009, p. 512). Many bills die a timely death in a subcommittee of the Houses of Congress without ever making it to the voting stage. Once an amendment has made its way through Congress it is only half-way to ratification. The proposed amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states legislatures or by conventions held in three-fourths of the states (Patterson, 2009, p. 512). For the bill to make it through Congress, the need must be so great that the people of the country are crying out for a law to right an injustice. The process is long and drawn out and a better way may be possible.

In this paper Team C will discuss the pros and cons of amending the Constitution to give voters the power to enact or reject laws by a ballot initiative as a direct method in addition to the legislative authority of Congress. If this amendment were to pass, Amendment 28 of the United States Constitution would read:

A law enacted by Congress may be repealed by a call for a popular vote via ballot initiative if at least three quarters of the states first hold a ballot initiative to repeal said law, and if upon holding the ballot initiative three quarters of the states vote for repeal the law in question shall be repealed without further action by Congress.

A proposed law may be enacted if brought upon by a ballot initiative from three quarters of the states without need for passage or vote by Congress. The laws enacted by ballot initiative will hold the same weight and binding as those laws passed and enacted by Congress. At no time will a ballot initiative law be enacted that is in opposition to any existing amendment or tenet of the Constitution unless that amendment is repealed by Congress or a separate ballot initiative vote by three quarters of the states.

Arguments for the Amendment

It was the first form of government on this continent that allowed the people to speak on legislative issues through public vote. To bring forward this amendment to allow federal legislative issues to be voted upon will instill the very essence of democracy that Americans wish for. The proposed amendment will address the limitations that special interests can have by removing segregated legislature from public view. Through the diversity of the people, the growth of identity politics, and the social philosophies that can divide us, it will make it very hard to argue that there is a single voice (Rubin, 2009).

The implementation of this amendment will bring forth the awakening of the American people by allowing more control to be removed from closed doors or chambers of Congress, and place it in the main streets of America (Rubin, 2009). America can hold true that all men are created equal and that all men can have their say in their government through such action, the founding principle of which is through our freedoms described within the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. This amendment will amply those freedoms, mostly speech, through the demonstration of choice in approving or rejecting proposed bills before reaching the president. No elected official will be more willing to step outside societies norms or desirers if the fates of their proposals are published before the people.

Recently, we have witnessed the introduction of health care legislature where Congress, and the president were representing the issue of one side. No significant counter balance was installed on this issue until after the bill was changed in the recent elections. The question would be what would have been the outcome if the bill were subject to a popular vote. Given the latest election, it appears that our elected officials may not have taken the right steps toward universal health care, and this is the very essence that this proposal addresses.

Good Outcomes

A potentially good outcome of an amendment allowing voters the power to enact or reject laws by ballot initiative is avoiding lobbyist involvement. Lobbyists work to help pass legislation that benefits an organization, an individual, or the public. Unfortunately, their persuasion can involve favors and tailoring to appeal to a certain demographic, group voting blocs, and politicians. Passing this amendment, would make it difficult for lobbyists to do their job. Instead



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