Politics and Government
US Constitution

What are opinions on how to improve the US Constitution?

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2010-09-03 03:11:53
2010-09-03 03:11:53

This is far too broad a question to be effectively answered here. The Constitution is a very broad document, and when speaking of "improving" it, one must be more specific as to the goals to which the "improvements" are to strive for.

Additionally, virtually any answer here would be hideously partisan, and you would be far better off reading through scholarly and legal Constitutional law and critiques to get better ideas.

Here are at least some of the concepts that the Constitution addresses, which would be a starting point for research:

  • Delegation of powers between Federal and State governments
  • Rights specifically reserved for individuals
  • Design of the Federal system, including the establishment and composition of the 3 major branches, and their respective powers
  • Qualifications and limitations on members of the government
  • Process for changing and updating the Constitution
  • Definition of citizenry
  • Methods of taxation and apportionment thereof

Here are some possibly concepts which are NOT directly addressed in the Constitution, but might be considered as to whether some specific mention of the issue might be worthy of inclusion:

  • Rights and restrictions for "fictitious" people, e.g. corporations, unions, etc.
  • Methods for explicitly addressing the change in scope of old laws (e.g. can can the 4th Amendment apply to "personal privacy"?)
  • Should constitutional strictures apply not just to government, but also to private individuals (real or fictitious)?
  • Process for gaining statehood, and what/how are non-state territorial entities handled within the framework of the country
  • Details on rights and authority over non-citizen guests (legal aliens)
  • Reach of the US authority over actions taken outside US legal territory (both by or against US citizens/corporations)
  • Application and legal authority of international institutions and conventions in US legal code
  • Supremacy of group interest or individual interest in a legal context (i.e. which is of more importance: the protection of the group or of the individual)
  • More explicit details on defining how the Legislative and Judicial branches are to accomplish their tasks

I've missed many, and the above are overtly broad. The best method to start is to pick a specific Clause or Amendment, analyze its impact on modern society, then consider what improvements to that specific portion might be made. Also, consider whether these improvements can be made without having to change the existing text of the Constitution - most "reforms" are easily accomplished within the existing Constitutional framework, and thus most proposed Constitutional Amendments are frankly irrelevant or inapplicable (or, at best, redundant).

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