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Old 06-25-2019, 12:03 PM
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American Dopers: Would You Support A New Constitution?


The Constitution is at once sacrosanct, and deeply flawed. Much of it is vague, ambiguous, or outdated. What's more, the system of government that we have stands in sharp contrast to the parliamentary system employed by every (or almost every) other First-World democracy.

Suppose the pieces are set in motion to write a new Constitution (doesn't matter how those pieces are set in motion). The new Constitution installs a parliament, based on the best practices of the European parliamentary model. It also retains the essence of the Bill of Rights, BUT: those freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights (press, religion, etc.) are written in such a way as to be modern, relevant, and less ambiguous. For example: the clause outlining freedom of religion would include language that precisely and unambiguously lays out the Separation of Church and State, such that the meaning of the phrase won't, in future generations, be subject to conflicting court decisions. Or to put it more succinctly, it would be written in such a way that there would be no need to go to court to determine whether or not it's Constitutional for a public high school coach to lead his team in prayer before a football game, for example.

I, for one, would be all for it. The Constitution, as it exists now, has largely served its purpose, and not always to great effect. What's more, the Parliamentary model, though far from perfect, is leaps & bounds better than the disaster we have now. It's resulted in, among other things, a two-party stranglehold on our democracy, whereas the parliamentary model allows for third parties, and fourth and fifth and sixth parties, to have a voice. For another thing, the current system allows for gridlock and government shutdowns; in the parliamentary model, if the government can't or won't govern, elections are held and a new government is put into place.

So, American Dopers: has the time come for a new Constitution?
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:13 PM
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I second the motion.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:29 PM
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... It also retains the essence of the Bill of Rights, BUT: those freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights (press, religion, etc.) are written in such a way as to be modern, relevant, and less ambiguous. For example: the clause outlining freedom of religion would include language that precisely and unambiguously lays out the Separation of Church and State, such that the meaning of the phrase won't, in future generations, be subject to conflicting court decisions. Or to put it more succinctly, it would be written in such a way that there would be no need to go to court to determine whether or not it's Constitutional for a public high school coach to lead his team in prayer before a football game, for example.

...
Tell me more about this. What happens to the right of the people to keep and bear arms under this new constitution? Is it "retained"?
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:34 PM
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Tell me more about this. What happens to the right of the people to keep and bear arms under this new constitution? Is it "retained"?
Of course. But if I were in charge of writing that clause, I would allow for some limitations, such as background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, that sort of thing.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:41 PM
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I'm all in favor of a new Constitution that says what I want it to, of course. And I might be reasonably happy with your version.

Is that what we'd get, though? Putting up amendments one at a time risks, at worst, the downside of the specific amendment (or of not getting it.) Setting up to rewrite the whole thing at once entails way more risk than I'd be willing to take.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:00 PM
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Could not this be accomplished with amendments to the current constitution? (Presumably any congress motivated enough to throw out and rewrite the constitution would also be amenable to significant amendment.) If there are unamendable parts of the constitution, which of those parts would you find problematic?
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:11 PM
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There are changes I'd like to see in our Constitution. But I'd rather see them enacted through amendments than through a complete re-write.

I see our current Constitution as a document that's around 90% good and 10% flawed. And I'd worry that a re-write would be more likely to mess up the good parts rather than fix the flaws.

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Old 06-25-2019, 01:14 PM
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If I get to write the new Constitution, of course I'm all for it. If a bunch of other clowns (and let's face it, that's who'll be writing the thing) get to write it, I'm out. It's a minor miracle that our current Constitution was written in the first place, and despite all its faults, it's still better than any other Constitution I can think of, written or otherwise. Certainly it could be improved, but like using a claw hammer to fix a watch, almost anything anybody tries will make things worse, not better. Considering the few ways it could be improved, and the almost infinite number of ways it is likely to be ruined, I doubt I would ever support a Constitutional Convention.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:29 PM
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For sure - but I want to know what's in it first.

No need to bear arms, but free speech, free religion, 4th/5th Amend. rights must stay - indeed, be expanded.

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Old 06-25-2019, 01:31 PM
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It also retains the essence of the Bill of Rights, BUT: those freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights (press, religion, etc.) are written in such a way as to be modern, relevant, and less ambiguous. For example: the clause outlining freedom of religion would include language that precisely and unambiguously lays out the Separation of Church and State, such that the meaning of the phrase won't, in future generations, be subject to conflicting court decisions. Or to put it more succinctly, it would be written in such a way that there would be no need to go to court to determine whether or not it's Constitutional for a public high school coach to lead his team in prayer before a football game, for example.
WADR I don't think this kind of rewording is possible.

You could rewrite the First Amendment to be twenty volumes long, and there would still be fringe cases. What counts as "leading"? What if the students requested it? What if only one of the students objects? Etc.

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Old 06-25-2019, 01:48 PM
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WADR I don't think this kind of rewording is possible.

You could rewrite the First Amendment to be twenty volumes long, and there would still be fringe cases. What counts as "leading"? What if the students requested it? What if only one of the students objects? Etc.

Regards,
Shodan
"No government agency will endorse, favor, or promote any religion or religious organization; in the eyes of the government religions and religious organizations shall be considered private civil organizations and treated accordingly. (This includes regarding taxation and financial disclosure.) No government agent will act in a way that endorses, favors, or promotes a religion or religious organization while acting in their capacity as an agent of the government. Religious, philosophical, and atheistic beliefs, and membership in organizations centered on such beliefs, are considered protected classifications. (See protected classifications.)"

So "leading" would be problematic when the coach promotes religion (by, for example, telling people to "pray"). And it doesn't matter if the students request it, in the same way a student request to buy them beer doesn't make buying them beer legal.

If only one student objects, then the other students don't care about the law. Doesn't make the other students right.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:50 PM
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The OP’s suggestion would be akin to trying to right a policy manual for citizenry. There’s no way you could take into consideration every type of situation that citizens would face. And your attempt would be so large and voluminous and would quickly become outdated as society and technology evolved. The idea is myopic and not well thought out.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:54 PM
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Of course. But if I were in charge of writing that clause, I would allow for some limitations, such as background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, that sort of thing.
SCOTUS has already said those are Ok.

I have to say no. Too much weird meddling. And letting the GOP have a hand could be disastrous.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:19 PM
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What's more, the Parliamentary model, though far from perfect, is leaps & bounds better than the disaster we have now. It's resulted in, among other things, a two-party stranglehold on our democracy ...
Would you prefer a one-party stranglehold like Japan? Do you think UK's government is working well these days?
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:23 PM
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Do you think UK's government is working well these days?
It does have the advantage of being able to get rid of unpopular leaders more easily.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:29 PM
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The OPís suggestion would be akin to trying to right a policy manual for citizenry. Thereís no way you could take into consideration every type of situation that citizens would face. And your attempt would be so large and voluminous and would quickly become outdated as society and technology evolved. The idea is myopic and not well thought out.
Well said. I prefer more succinct writing which is re-interpreted for changing circumstances.

The trend in legislation for some time has been to have every specific duty, obligation, and prohibition spelled out. This leads to more and more voluminous legislation, with protection for every moneyed interest, which instantly becomes obsolete, and which is too cumbersome to allow consistent application/enforcement.

In our recent society, we are shying away from many shared values such as "decency." "Don't be a jerk" works pretty well around here, but not out there. And entities seem to try to style their actions into the gaps. You can act in a way ANY decent person would know to be dickish, but so long as you can claim, "It isn't specifically precluded..."

As others have said, whatever the shortcomings of our existing Const, I cannot imagine trusting that anything NEARLY as good would result from the actors/institutions/forces I perceive to be influential today.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:30 PM
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"No government agency will endorse, favor, or promote any religion or religious organization; in the eyes of the government religions and religious organizations shall be considered private civil organizations and treated accordingly. (This includes regarding taxation and financial disclosure.) No government agent will act in a way that endorses, favors, or promotes a religion or religious organization while acting in their capacity as an agent of the government. Religious, philosophical, and atheistic beliefs, and membership in organizations centered on such beliefs, are considered protected classifications. (See protected classifications.)"
Is there going to be anything in this new version of the First about government not interfering with the free practice of religion?
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So "leading" would be problematic when the coach promotes religion (by, for example, telling people to "pray").
He wasn't telling anyone to pray - he was leading them.
Quote:
And it doesn't matter if the students request it, in the same way a student request to buy them beer doesn't make buying them beer legal.
That's begging the question. Buying beer for minors is illegal regardless of their consent. If the students consent, and want the coach to lead them, isn't that interfering with the free practice of their religion?

Unless, as I said, there isn't going to be anything in the new First to protect free exercise of religion. If that's the case, then no, I would not support a new Constitution that said that.

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Old 06-25-2019, 03:21 PM
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In our recent society, we are shying away from many shared values such as "decency." "Don't be a jerk" works pretty well around here, but not out there. And entities seem to try to style their actions into the gaps. You can act in a way ANY decent person would know to be dickish, but so long as you can claim, "It isn't specifically precluded..."
Society didn't use to be based on decency. If you don't believe me, ask a woman or a black person or a gay person.

Most of the problems we're experiencing now come from people being told that they have to start acting decent towards people who are different from them. And they resent having to show this decency.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:28 PM
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The Constitution is at once sacrosanct, and deeply flawed. Much of it is vague, ambiguous, or outdated. What's more, the system of government that we have stands in sharp contrast to the parliamentary system employed by every (or almost every) other First-World democracy.

Suppose the pieces are set in motion to write a new Constitution (doesn't matter how those pieces are set in motion). The new Constitution installs a parliament, based on the best practices of the European parliamentary model. It also retains the essence of the Bill of Rights, BUT: those freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights (press, religion, etc.) are written in such a way as to be modern, relevant, and less ambiguous. For example: the clause outlining freedom of religion would include language that precisely and unambiguously lays out the Separation of Church and State, such that the meaning of the phrase won't, in future generations, be subject to conflicting court decisions. Or to put it more succinctly, it would be written in such a way that there would be no need to go to court to determine whether or not it's Constitutional for a public high school coach to lead his team in prayer before a football game, for example.

I, for one, would be all for it. The Constitution, as it exists now, has largely served its purpose, and not always to great effect. What's more, the Parliamentary model, though far from perfect, is leaps & bounds better than the disaster we have now. It's resulted in, among other things, a two-party stranglehold on our democracy, whereas the parliamentary model allows for third parties, and fourth and fifth and sixth parties, to have a voice. For another thing, the current system allows for gridlock and government shutdowns; in the parliamentary model, if the government can't or won't govern, elections are held and a new government is put into place.

So, American Dopers: has the time come for a new Constitution?
My biggest question would be...why? To what end? I get it...you want to live in a European style parliamentary system. Presumably with European type parliamentary citizens who think like you do. This begs the question...why not move to Europe, instead of try and make the US like Europe?

The thing is, our Constitution isn't written in stone. There is no reason to write a new one...we have the mechanisms to change the one we have. Assuming you have enough support to do so. So, a couple of things that leap out at me. If you DO have such support, then you can change the Constitution using the mechanisms we already have. You could basically re-write the entire thing in fact, over time (well, you could write a series of Amendments that change the parts you don't like or added on features you want). If you DON'T have the support (which you wouldn't to do what you are proposing) then this seems to be a case of what you really want is to make the US as you would like it to be...i.e. your ideal of what a European style democratic country is, complete with happy, European type citizens doing what you want them to do and being what you want them to be.

To answer the question in the title, no...I'm not into that. If we, the people want to change the Constitution then we can. If we want to do away with any of the Amendments or make them say something different then we can do that. Anything COULD be changed in there, if there is a will to do so. This isn't even something that's theoretical....it's happened throughout our history as society changes. Hell, this is a feature of the thing...it's what was intended. There is no reason to write a new one.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:56 PM
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Agree completely with XT. This is a horrible, needless idea.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:08 PM
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While you're at it ban referendums. They've proven a dreadful idea.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:33 PM
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You asked to very different questions

1. Would You Support A New Constitution? The way you describe it, yes, probably.

2. Has the time come for a new Constitution? No. Not nearly.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:40 PM
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Only once we have a sane conservative wing again.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:44 PM
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Is there going to be anything in this new version of the First about government not interfering with the free practice of religion?
He wasn't telling anyone to pray - he was leading them.That's begging the question. Buying beer for minors is illegal regardless of their consent. If the students consent, and want the coach to lead them, isn't that interfering with the free practice of their religion?
Nope! Bwahahaha!

I considered adding such protections, but on reflection I don't see why the religions need special protection - once we've prevented the state from favoring another religion instead, that is. Absent state pressure to crush them because the state is a theocracy and sees the non-state religion as competition, why would the religious institution need any more protection than, say, a Gold's Gym? Vandalizing a Gold's Gym is illegal. Harassing the members of a Gold's Gym is illegal. Private organizations in general already get all the protections a religion needs.

Adding special delineated protections just seems like a way to open up loopholes for corrupt religions (or "religions") to abuse to try to hide finances, evade the law, etc.

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He wasn't telling anyone to pray - he was leading them.
That sounds worse actually, but in any case the school did not hire him to be a religious leader and he shouldn't be leading anybody in prayer.

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That's begging the question. Buying beer for minors is illegal regardless of their consent. If the students consent, and want the coach to lead them, isn't that interfering with the free practice of their religion?
Under separation of church and state, where schools are considered agents of the state, leading the students in prayer is possibly already illegal - and would be clearly illegal under my proposed rewrite. Even if the students consent. That's how the law works - if something is illegal, it's illegal even if everyone present is willing to be a co-conspirator. (And I don't know what question you think I was begging.)

And yes, if the students' religion dictates that they should be able to enslave their coaches and force their coaches to lead them in prayer, a law that prevents their coaches from leading them in prayer would be interfering with the free practice of the student's religion. Similarly, making the students refrain from bursting into hymns and speaking in tongues in class. So much interference with the free practice of religion!

I'm not concerned with it. If their religion has a problem with them being on a sports team, then the students have avenues other than bending the whole damn world to their will.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:51 PM
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My biggest question would be...why? To what end? I get it...you want to live in a European style parliamentary system. Presumably with European type parliamentary citizens who think like you do. This begs the question...why not move to Europe, instead of try and make the US like Europe?
I can see some advantages to a parliamentary system. It forces political parties to take responsibility for their actions.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:22 PM
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That's why it's called responsible government. Of course, in Britain, Cameron mucked it up and then quit, which helped leaded to the pig's mess that they're currently dealing with.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:23 PM
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Maybe yes. I am beginning to suspect we have ridden this horse too long.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:35 PM
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I can see some advantages to a parliamentary system. It forces political parties to take responsibility for their actions.
Well, that's not really the point. Basically, you could have any political system if you could get enough people behind it to make the proper changes and Amendments to the Constitution, and vote in the politicians at a national level to do it. What the OP wants is to toss it out and make a new one, but the only real reason to do that is by fiat, since, well, you don't need to write a new one when we have the mechanisms to change the old one. Unless, of course, you can't get enough people behind your idea. That's why it's a bad idea, since it would only be necessary if you wanted to do something that the majority of Americans don't want to do.

I'm not a huge fan of most of the European parliamentary systems. They seem generally even more dithering and broken than our own, especially if you step back and look at what real Americans vote for and how they would vote in such a situation. I seriously doubt the outcome would be what you or the OP would want. But regardless, if you can get enough Americans behind the idea to make the proper Constitutional changes then my approval doesn't really matter. It's like the endless 2nd Amendment debates. The real issue that the OP has, and many 'dopers too, isn't with the system...it's really with the voters. The voters don't vote for or aren't enthusiastic about the stuff the OP wants to change on the national level. You probably could get majorities for some of the things the OP wants in local states or parts of states, but not nationally. So...the obvious answer is to propose a brand new Constitution that is done by fiat! Then you don't have to worry about those pesky voters...you can fix things for the voters own good! I'm not a big fan of that sort of thinking. YMMV of course...the OPs obviously does.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:51 PM
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I would...if I could trust the people alive in this country to get it right.

Not sure that I can.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:44 PM
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I would like more than 2 viable parties, but that does not require a complete rewrite of the Constitution. As to whether I would like a complete rewrite of the Constitution? Hell no, and I'll leave it at that.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:46 PM
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There are changes I'd like to see in our Constitution. But I'd rather see them enacted through amendments than through a complete re-write.

I see our current Constitution as a document that's around 90% good and 10% flawed. And I'd worry that a re-write would be more likely to mess up the good parts rather than fix the flaws.
This is pretty much my view. I admire the Constitution but it's certainly not perfect.
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:01 AM
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This is pretty much my view. I admire the Constitution but it's certainly not perfect.
I always get a kick out of the Preamble to the US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...." Um ... if it's perfect already, how can you make it more perfect?

Note, however, that no snark is intended by my remark, and as one who has studied the US Constitution, I admire it as well. The Founders included an amending formula, and the document has been amended many times since its ratification, by Congress and the necessary number of states. I don't believe that the current US Constitution should be scrapped and begun again; given that amendments that can shape it towards today's issues and challenges are possible.

I don't think that the United States becoming a parliamentary democracy would be feasible. I doubt that Americans, being as used as they are to a two-party system, with a definite winner and loser; would or could accept a five or six or seven party system where minority governments are possible, where the governing party may have to join with another party in order to command the confidence of Parliament, and where as little as 40% of the popular vote is enough to form a government.

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Old 06-26-2019, 05:40 AM
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Tell me more about this. What happens to the right of the people to keep and bear arms under this new constitution? Is it "retained"?
Well...

Quote:
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
This is confusingly written. I see it as every state is allowed a well-regulated militia with the right to bear arms, not an individual right to bear arms.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:45 AM
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Nope! Bwahahaha!

I considered adding such protections, but on reflection I don't see why the religions need special protection - once we've prevented the state from favoring another religion instead, that is.
Then as I mentioned, the question becomes, not how we should reword the Constitution to avoid conflicts or ambiguity, but "should we remove the clause protecting the free exercise of religion"? And no, I don't support that. I believe that both clauses of the First are important.

Regards,
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:10 AM
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Is there going to be anything in this new version of the First about government not interfering with the free practice of religion? ...
Sure, so long as they also include an express right to be free FROM religion!

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Fair enough. Always difficult when trying to paraphrase something dimly remembered. But even if you limit the discussion to groups which were NOT traditionally disrespected, I think there previously was a commonly held idea that laws could be written somewhat more generally, and then applied "reasonably." As opposed to the more recent trend of anticipating and specifically delineating each specific application.

Yes, to a degree, modern society is becoming more "complicated." But I think at least some portion of today's longer, more complicated laws reflects a changed philosophical perspective.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:25 AM
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...This is confusingly written. I see it as every state is allowed a well-regulated militia with the right to bear arms, not an individual right to bear arms.
That is, in fact, how it was long interpreted. A conservative majority on the Roberts Court saw things differently eleven years ago, however.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distri...mbia_v._Heller
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:34 AM
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I'd rather amend than replace. I'd take most legislative power from the Senate, create a number for how many Supreme Court Justices we have, and give them a 12 year term with a two term limit. I'd also add a version of the ERA, and make it inclusive of just about everyone.

ETA: And get rid of the Electoral College.

Last edited by l0k1; 06-26-2019 at 08:35 AM.
  #38  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:50 AM
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Well, that's not really the point. Basically, you could have any political system if you could get enough people behind it to make the proper changes and Amendments to the Constitution, and vote in the politicians at a national level to do it. What the OP wants is to toss it out and make a new one, but the only real reason to do that is by fiat, since, well, you don't need to write a new one when we have the mechanisms to change the old one. Unless, of course, you can't get enough people behind your idea. That's why it's a bad idea, since it would only be necessary if you wanted to do something that the majority of Americans don't want to do.

I'm not a huge fan of most of the European parliamentary systems. They seem generally even more dithering and broken than our own, especially if you step back and look at what real Americans vote for and how they would vote in such a situation. I seriously doubt the outcome would be what you or the OP would want. But regardless, if you can get enough Americans behind the idea to make the proper Constitutional changes then my approval doesn't really matter. It's like the endless 2nd Amendment debates. The real issue that the OP has, and many 'dopers too, isn't with the system...it's really with the voters. The voters don't vote for or aren't enthusiastic about the stuff the OP wants to change on the national level. You probably could get majorities for some of the things the OP wants in local states or parts of states, but not nationally. So...the obvious answer is to propose a brand new Constitution that is done by fiat! Then you don't have to worry about those pesky voters...you can fix things for the voters own good! I'm not a big fan of that sort of thinking. YMMV of course...the OPs obviously does.
I'm not necessarily saying I would like to see a parliamentary system enacted in this country. Certainly not enough to support the constitutional convention such a change would require.

But our government was set up with a system based on checks and balances, which I think is causing problems. Politicians have gotten into the habit of running for office on far-reaching promises in the knowledge that they won't be held to account for them. Once they're in office, they just claim the other party is blocking them in the House or the Senate or the Supreme Court or the Oval Office or the states.

A parliamentary system essentially gives a party the power to enact its agenda. If it fails to do so or if it does so and the agenda turns out to be a bad idea, the voters have the power to replace the government. So politicians avoid making dumb promises.

The downside of a parliamentary system is that it's based a lot more around parties than our system is. We tend to prefer to vote for individuals rather than parties.
  #39  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm not necessarily saying I would like to see a parliamentary system enacted in this country. Certainly not enough to support the constitutional convention such a change would require.

But our government was set up with a system based on checks and balances, which I think is causing problems. Politicians have gotten into the habit of running for office on far-reaching promises in the knowledge that they won't be held to account for them. Once they're in office, they just claim the other party is blocking them in the House or the Senate or the Supreme Court or the Oval Office or the states.

A parliamentary system essentially gives a party the power to enact its agenda. If it fails to do so or if it does so and the agenda turns out to be a bad idea, the voters have the power to replace the government. So politicians avoid making dumb promises.

The downside of a parliamentary system is that it's based a lot more around parties than our system is. We tend to prefer to vote for individuals rather than parties.
In the context of this thread, we have the ability to do this already. We don't need a new Constitution to do it. We might need a shake up of our system. There are certainly some broken parts of it. But we can do that if enough of us want too. We don't need to toss the baby out with the bath water. We can just chuck out the baby.
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  #40  
Old 06-26-2019, 12:28 PM
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That is, in fact, how it was long interpreted. A conservative majority on the Roberts Court saw things differently eleven years ago, however.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distri...mbia_v._Heller
That is not true. What is true is that SCOTUS more or less made almost no 2nd Ad rulings until Heller, where it clarified it was a individual right. So, until Heller, it wasnt clear whether it was individual or state.
  #41  
Old 06-27-2019, 04:54 PM
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"No government agency will endorse, favor, or promote any religion or religious organization; in the eyes of the government religions and religious organizations shall be considered private civil organizations and treated accordingly. (This includes regarding taxation and financial disclosure.) No government agent will act in a way that endorses, favors, or promotes a religion or religious organization while acting in their capacity as an agent of the government. Religious, philosophical, and atheistic beliefs, and membership in organizations centered on such beliefs, are considered protected classifications. (See protected classifications.)"

So "leading" would be problematic when the coach promotes religion (by, for example, telling people to "pray"). And it doesn't matter if the students request it, in the same way a student request to buy them beer doesn't make buying them beer legal.

If only one student objects, then the other students don't care about the law. Doesn't make the other students right.
I agree with the others. You cannot write something that will get rid of court cases and disputes about its meaning. There are debates about statutory construction all of the time.

Your modified First Amendment might get rid of some problems but create many more others. Apart from eliminating church tax exemptions (but do they get exemptions for being non-profit charitable groups or is that "endorsing" religion?) the law is pretty much the same today. What is the point of this new amendment?
  #42  
Old 06-27-2019, 06:51 PM
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Of course. But if I were in charge of writing that clause, I would allow for some limitations, such as background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, that sort of thing.
Background checks *ALREADY EXIST*, Firearms purchased at an FFL (including at the "gun shows") require the filling out of Federal Form 4473 before any purchase, the form is entered into the NICS (National Instant Criminal background check System), and in 15 minutes to an hour depending on backlog), the ATF will return the results;
Pass; background check passed, sale may proceed
Delay; (More info is needed, can take up to 3 days for enhanced check, if after 3 days no results, it is considered a Pass)
Fail; background check failed, sale denied

the only "loophole" is a person-to-person sale and even that has a limitation that both people must live in the same state, and the seller does not suspect the customer is a prohibited person

Mental illnesses, controlled substance use, domestic violence, and violent criminal offenses/felonies are all disqualifying conditions and covered on the 4473, falsifying responses/info on a 4473 is a Federal crime.

there is no "gun show loophole", that's misinformation peddled by idiotic politicians and the media.
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Last edited by MacTech; 06-27-2019 at 06:52 PM.
  #43  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:48 PM
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For sure - but I want to know what's in it first.

No need to bear arms, but free speech, free religion, 4th/5th Amend. rights must stay - indeed, be expanded.
The Bill of Rights was written specifically because even the authors of the Constitution weren't quite sure the original document would protect individual rights. I'd be really interested in seeing the "modern, relevant, and less ambiguous" wording that deals with whether taxing religious organizations is or isn't a tool to drive them out of business.

By the way, the right to abortion (to birth control, for that matter) is due to a rather stretchy interpretation of the 14th Amendment. And up until a Supreme Court decision in 1967, my wife and I couldn't have gotten married in our home state.

But what's so great about a parliamentary system. If one side wins, they run everything; if the other side wins, they run everything; and if a third-party gets enough votes you end up with a coalition faster than you can say "Italy."
  #44  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:56 PM
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there is no "gun show loophole", that's misinformation peddled by idiotic politicians and the media.
There may not be a specific exemption for gun shows. But there is a much broader exemption which applies everywhere, including gun shows. That's the one you mentioned; person-to-person sales generally don't have to comply with the regulations that apply to professional sales. So people can sell guns at a gun show by doing so as a private individual rather than as a licensed dealer. And a lot of people are doing this; government reports say that these private sellers make up 25-50% of the sellers at gun shows in states that don't have a state law prohibiting them.
  #45  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:19 PM
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There may not be a specific exemption for gun shows. But there is a much broader exemption which applies everywhere, including gun shows. That's the one you mentioned; person-to-person sales generally don't have to comply with the regulations that apply to professional sales. So people can sell guns at a gun show by doing so as a private individual rather than as a licensed dealer. And a lot of people are doing this; government reports say that these private sellers make up 25-50% of the sellers at gun shows in states that don't have a state law prohibiting them.
Yes, and that can be fixed in five minutes by the ATF defining what a "dealer' is, say by anyone selling more than 12 guns* a year. or 25. or any reasonable number. But they flat out wont.

* not counting curios and relics, of course.
  #46  
Old 06-28-2019, 07:13 AM
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I think trying to make policy decisions in a new constitution is a mistake. What we most need to decide is how to decide things better. In other words, how do we choose people to best represent us? That's the area where the current constitution fails us most. Our electoral processes are a mess and perceived to be unfair to many, if not most, voters. You can not manage a country's affairs effectively if so many don't think their representation is fair.
  #47  
Old 06-28-2019, 08:50 AM
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I think some of y'all are associating parliamentary systems with multi-party systems a little too much. As I understand it, it's more a question of the specifics of how members of the legislature are elected (stuff like "first-past-the-post" voting and single-member districts) that produces a two-party system, as opposed to the difference between a presidential system vs. a parliamentary system. Parliamentary systems are not at all incompatible with two-party systems, and historically there have been parliamentary democracies with two-party systems.
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  #48  
Old 06-28-2019, 11:42 AM
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Horrible idea, filled with naive notions.

First, there is no way to draft such a document to avoid future litigation. You will leave something out, or the document will be longer than the Bible and the Kama Sutra combined, without all the naked pictures.

Second, and most importantly, attempting to draft a new constitution in the current political atmosphere will end in either civil war or theocracy. Given that choice, I'd prolly have to start singing the songs of angry men....
  #49  
Old 06-28-2019, 12:48 PM
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That is not true. What is true is that SCOTUS more or less made almost no 2nd Ad rulings until Heller, where it clarified it was a individual right. So, until Heller, it wasnt clear whether it was individual or state.
Also not true, for certain values of "more or less": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...me_Court_cases.
  #50  
Old 06-28-2019, 01:53 PM
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Also not true, for certain values of "more or less": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...me_Court_cases.

Five decisions in a hundred years, none of which really did anything. Compare to how many 1st Ad dec there have been, literally hundreds if not thousands.
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