Will the US ever pass another Constitutional Amendment?
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  Will the US ever pass another Constitutional Amendment?
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Author Topic: Will the US ever pass another Constitutional Amendment?  (Read 1921 times)
electionsguy259
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« on: February 11, 2024, 04:06:32 PM »

Based on my previous thread, it seems that the last time a constitutional amendment got even close to being approved by Congress was the Flag Desecration Amendment in 2006. With that in mind, do you think that the US will pass a 28th Amendment any time soon? What would it be about?

For one, I think it might be the pending Child Labor Amendment, as it has already been ratified by 28 states, making it only 10 states short of ratification (especially since some of the non-ratifying states tend to be liberal "blue states", such as New York or Hawaii). Child labor has become an increasingly controversial topic, with some states passing laws that make it easier for minors to work.
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2024, 05:13:59 PM »

"Ever" is a long time, but likely not anytime in the near-future; it'd be easier to invent time travel than to get 2/3rds of each chamber of the modern Congress & 38 contemporary states to agree on something.
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MarkD
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2024, 05:14:14 PM »

The U.S. BETTER pass my proposal for rewriting the 14th Amendment to make its meaning narrower and clearer, before I die. That is what I strongly hope for. I don't know whether it will happen, but if it doesn't, I will certainly die an unhappy man.
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H.E. VOLODYMYR ZELENKSYY
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2024, 05:15:37 PM »

The U.S. BETTER pass my proposal for rewriting the 14th Amendment to make its meaning narrower and clearer, before I die. That is what I strongly hope for. I don't know whether it will happen, but if it doesn't, I will certainly die an unhappy man.

Im sorry to hear that.
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Open Source Intelligence
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2024, 12:23:06 PM »

I see zero reason why good governance constitutional amendments could not be passed by bipartisan majorities other than Congress are lazy and have no interest.

To the question, yes. At current rate an Article V Convention will take place in my lifetime (at least 40 years I hope) if Congress take no action.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2024, 01:14:39 PM »
« Edited: February 12, 2024, 08:09:32 PM by Skill and Chance »

I see zero reason why good governance constitutional amendments could not be passed by bipartisan majorities other than Congress are lazy and have no interest.

To the question, yes. At current rate an Article V Convention will take place in my lifetime (at least 40 years I hope) if Congress take no action.

I highly doubt this.  Given the attitude toward 14th Amendment Section 3 and the purported 2020 ERA ratification, it seems abundantly clear that the current SCOTUS would rule that an Article V convention can't be surprisingly or cumulatively invoked counting ratifications from the distant past, but would require 34 states calling it for the same reason at the same approximate time.

Edit: Oops, 34 state threshold for this one
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2024, 01:16:08 PM »

I think a maximum age to run for president of 70 or 75 is a very plausible next amendment to pass with bipartisan support after 12 years of the Trump/Biden debacle.
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TML
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2024, 03:26:27 PM »

Remember that there was a four-decade gap between the 15th and 16th Amendments. I'm sure during the intervening time period not many people would have imagined four amendments passing within 10 years. Although I can't say for sure when a future amendment will pass, we shouldn't automatically assume that it will never happen (and when it does happen, it could be such that the majority of people didn't expect such a year before hand).
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dead0man
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2024, 03:39:35 PM »

the odds are in favor of one (or 5) passing before the end of the US as a unique entity.
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Open Source Intelligence
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2024, 04:03:09 PM »

I see zero reason why good governance constitutional amendments could not be passed by bipartisan majorities other than Congress are lazy and have no interest.

To the question, yes. At current rate an Article V Convention will take place in my lifetime (at least 40 years I hope) if Congress take no action.

I highly doubt this.

We'll see in the next 40 years then.
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Spectator
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2024, 04:09:56 PM »

Probably not. The closest we could have come would have been if Hillary had narrowly won 2016. Republicans at that time had Congress plus control of 2/3 of the state houses, and I imagine a 2018 midterm under Hillary would have seen the GOP approach 60 Senate seats.
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darklordoftech
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2024, 04:34:20 PM »

It depends on whether or not there's bipartisan support for a Constitutional Amendment.
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Blue3
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2024, 07:54:11 PM »

Not for a very long time unless there's a universally-condemned crisis due to clear constitution weakness.
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Ferguson97
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2024, 11:17:21 PM »

Probably not within my lifetime.
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Gass3268
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2024, 11:28:48 AM »

You need a situation where both Democrats and Republicans got burned by an issue in a very short time period. Like I think we could have gotten rid of the Electoral College if Bush would have lost to Kerry, while winning the popular vote.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2024, 11:57:31 AM »

You need a situation where both Democrats and Republicans got burned by an issue in a very short time period. Like I think we could have gotten rid of the Electoral College if Bush would have lost to Kerry, while winning the popular vote.

That's why I suggested it would be an upper age limit on the presidency!
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President Johnson
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2024, 03:18:56 PM »

You need a situation where both Democrats and Republicans got burned by an issue in a very short time period. Like I think we could have gotten rid of the Electoral College if Bush would have lost to Kerry, while winning the popular vote.

That's why I suggested it would be an upper age limit on the presidency!

I think such a movement could gain steam if the president, Biden or Trump, were to die in the next presidential term. Or if even both died before 2029.
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NYDem
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2024, 06:28:49 PM »

It's possible. If Republicans lose the EC and win the popular vote at some point an Amendment providing for direct presidential elections could be on the table at some point.

If any sort of court packing actually happens maybe a constitutional amendment is passed to keep things from spiraling, strictly defining the number of judges on and powers of the Supreme Court (I could see this happening at some point just to hold up the status quo).
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Blue3
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2024, 08:59:17 PM »

For max age we are increasingly getting much better at pushing back the general age for incompetency.

In 20 years, Id bet most people who make it to 50 will make it to 100, and that mental and physical competence of the average 60 year old will then be the same as the average 85 year old.

Really, a max age limit does not make sense, considering this trend. Its obviously a visible election issue, but it is clearly our choice that were getting Biden and Trump for 2 cycles.
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SWE
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2024, 07:46:51 AM »
« Edited: February 15, 2024, 08:16:20 AM by SWE »

It has been 32 years since our last Constitutional amendment. That's long but not that long as far as Constitutional amendments go - this is only the second longest dry spell of no amendments in US history as there were 61 years between the ratification of the 12th and 13th amendments (making Abraham Lincoln the only president who never saw the Constitution amended in his lifetime, having been assassinated 8 months before the ratification process of the 13th amendment was complete). It's always been a rare thing that generally takes either a crisis, an unworkable situation that demands an immediate remedy, or an absurdly long time:

1-10: necessary to get the constitution adopted in the first place
11th: adopted to overturn Chisholm v Georgia. Given how shortly after the ratification of the Constitution this was, I imagine this was an oversight that would have been included in the original document had the framers anticipated Chisholm
12: necessitated by the Constitutional crisis created by the 1800 election
13-15: I shouldn't have to explain this one
16th: having no income tax became increasingly unworkable over time, as tariffs provided a much less reliable source of revenue which disproportionately harmed the nation's poor, which wasn't going to cut the mustard as attitudes shifted in favor of a larger government and military
17th: the old system was blamed for a considerable amount of corruption and deadlock in the Senate and created the problem of state legislature races becoming completely dominated by Senate elections at the expense of local issues. Plus it's original justifications didn't really make sense in the post-Civil War order between the states and federal government. Even fixing this flawed relic of a pre Civil War Constitution took reformers decades to pass
18th: culmination of a decades long temperance campaign, which heavily benefit from WWI-era desires to preserve grain
19th: culmination of another decades long movement, which also benefited from changing attitudes prompted by WWI
20th: necessitated by the Great Depression and the desire to get FDR into office sooner
21st: corrected the disastrous consequences caused by the 18th
22nd: a response to FDR's controversial decision to break Washington's two term president
23-24: both products of the long civil rights movement
25th: prompted by the JFK assassination. It took 4 presidents getting murdered and 4 more dying randomly before we decided to write down rules about what to do when that happens
26th: the movement to lower the voting age gained steam because of the Vietnam War alongside the general mobilization of youth activism at the time. When Congress tried to do this by legislation, it led to an unworkable situation in which states had to maintain separate vote rolls for state and federal elections, because Congress could only set the age for federal elections, necessitating a Constitutional amendment settling the question one way or the other
27th: took literally two centuries and was only passed to dunk on some random political science professor

It takes either extreme circumstances or literal decades (sometimes centuries!) of advocacy to build a broad enough consensus to amend the Constitution. It's intentionally a difficult process. We are currently not in a position to pull that off, which has been the case at moments in US history. Polarization makes it particularly unlikely in the immediate future, just as the idea of an amendment garnering support to pass probably seemed unthinkable during the pre-Civil War sectional crisis or the Gilded Age. Notably, both eras were followed by eras of pretty quick change in a short period of time in which a bunch of amendments were in a row. I doubt we're at the end of history, I'd expect something to happen within my lifetime, although it's virtually impossible to imagine what
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Open Source Intelligence
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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2024, 11:48:52 AM »

For max age we are increasingly getting much better at pushing back the general age for incompetency.

In 20 years, Id bet most people who make it to 50 will make it to 100, and that mental and physical competence of the average 60 year old will then be the same as the average 85 year old.

Really, a max age limit does not make sense, considering this trend. Its obviously a visible election issue, but it is clearly our choice that were getting Biden and Trump for 2 cycles.

That is like arguing the 22nd Amendment should not exist if it's the people's choice a President should serve a 3rd term and that if a President for Life (modern-day term for de facto monarch) occurs, it's the people's will.

The flip side of this is if you don't think a max age limit should be implemented because people are living longer and being competent longer, so should the Social Security age increase for the same reason.

I think as it comes to the elderly serving, one of the most underrated worst things that ever happened in this country was Woodrow Wilson sitting on a couch for a year while his wife and Cabinet - none of whom were elected - actually ran the country. The reason that happened was none of them liked the Vice President, so for that reason democratic will of the people in the 1916 election was thrown in a trashcan and the President did nothing for a year other than be a rubber stamp while his true health was concealed from the public and the rest of the government. There's much more examples in the Senate of the real Senator that people on Capitol Hill dealt with was not the person elected. Strom Thurmond had an aide that was really the Senator from South Carolina as far as actual discussion of policy even if Strom cast the votes. This past year it was Nancy Pelosi's daughter that was really the Senator from California, not Dianne Feinstein. We have a mandatory retirement age for federal judges that we do not apply at the Supreme Court. If you don't want a max age limit, I disagree but fine, but a person should be required to pass some sort of a simple competence test without aid of others to serve in public office. Which would require a constitutional amendment to pass.
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electionsguy259
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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2024, 12:05:44 PM »

One idea: maybe a future constitutional amendment will simply lower the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments (such as requiring only 2/3rds of the states to ratify as opposed to 3/4ths).
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2024, 03:27:05 PM »

One idea: maybe a future constitutional amendment will simply lower the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments (such as requiring only 2/3rds of the states to ratify as opposed to 3/4ths).

Federal constitutional amendments by initiated referendum that passes in 3/4ths of the states?
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MarkD
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2024, 08:24:20 PM »

~~~~~

1-10: necessary to get the constitution adopted in the first place
11th: adopted to overturn Chisholm v Georgia. Given how shortly after the ratification of the Constitution this was, I imagine this was an oversight that would have been included in the original document had the framers anticipated Chisholm
12: necessitated by the Constitutional crisis created by the 1800 election
13-15: I shouldn't have to explain this one
16th: having no income tax became increasingly unworkable over time, as tariffs provided a much less reliable source of revenue which disproportionately harmed the nation's poor, which wasn't going to cut the mustard as attitudes shifted in favor of a larger government and military
17th: the old system was blamed for a considerable amount of corruption and deadlock in the Senate and created the problem of state legislature races becoming completely dominated by Senate elections at the expense of local issues. Plus it's original justifications didn't really make sense in the post-Civil War order between the states and federal government. Even fixing this flawed relic of a pre Civil War Constitution took reformers decades to pass
18th: culmination of a decades long temperance campaign, which heavily benefit from WWI-era desires to preserve grain
19th: culmination of another decades long movement, which also benefited from changing attitudes prompted by WWI
20th: necessitated by the Great Depression and the desire to get FDR into office sooner
21st: corrected the disastrous consequences caused by the 18th
22nd: a response to FDR's controversial decision to break Washington's two term president
23-24: both products of the long civil rights movement
25th: prompted by the JFK assassination. It took 4 presidents getting murdered and 4 more dying randomly before we decided to write down rules about what to do when that happens
26th: the movement to lower the voting age gained steam because of the Vietnam War alongside the general mobilization of youth activism at the time. When Congress tried to do this by legislation, it led to an unworkable situation in which states had to maintain separate vote rolls for state and federal elections, because Congress could only set the age for federal elections, necessitating a Constitutional amendment settling the question one way or the other
27th: took literally two centuries and was only passed to dunk on some random political science professor

~~~~~

A couple of thoughts about the highlighted portions.
The 14th, Section 1, second sentence actually requires a LOT of explanation. Was that sentence intended to convey the idea that all of the laws adopted by the state and local governments must be just laws? Because that is pretty much the way the SCOTUS has decided to interpret it, whether that was intended by the nation in the late 1860s or not. The vast majority of the Justices in the last 150 years have treated that sentence as if they must strike down all unjust laws (with that phenomenon increasing drastically starting approximately about 30 years after the 14th was adopted).
The 24th was rendered moot and a waste of time and effort only two years after it was ratified by the SCOTUS's decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections. And I don't see what the 24th has to do with the "civil rights movement," given that poll taxes were not racially discriminatory. The Court's opinion in Harper never said anything at all about there being any racial discrimination present when poll taxes were administered.
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Samof94
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2024, 07:17:56 AM »

I think a maximum age to run for president of 70 or 75 is a very plausible next amendment to pass with bipartisan support after 12 years of the Trump/Biden debacle.
That seems like the kind of amendment I could see passing. Especially if Biden dies before January 20th, 2029(in office) and Trump is also gone by that point.
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