Sanford Levinson, a prominent constitutional scholar at the University of Texas, Austin, blames a lot of our current problems in the United States on our flawed and “imbecilic” Constitution: For example, our so called “framers”:
- Helped to “entrench chattel slavery” until it was finally abolished by a “brutal Civil War.”
- Gave large states such as California and Texas the same amount of voting power in the Senate as Vermont and North Dakota
- Established an Electoral College which basically means that presidential elections get decided by “battleground” states and the three largest states get ignored by candidates.
- Created “checks and balances.” This means that we “rarely have anything that can truly be described as ‘government’ except for those “rare instances” when one party has “hefty control” over the House, Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court.
- Made a Constitution that is the most difficult to amend in the world.
And speaking of Constitutional reform, here are a few of Levinson’s thoughts
- We need to take lessons from the 50 state constitutions. Each state has had an average of three constitutions. Ohio is considering another one right now.
- To stop Congressional gridlock, a newly elected president would be permitted to appoint 50 members of the House and 10 members of the Senate. They would all serve four-year terms until a new president was elected. If this happened, “Presidents would be judged on actual programs, instead of hollow rhetoric.”
- Reduce the president’s veto power and return to true bicameralism instead of the “tricameralism” that we currently have in place.
- Allow some form of direct democracy. Maybe then we could really have a “national referendum on ‘Obamacare’ instead of letting nine politically unaccountable judges decide…”
- National legislation should only be allowed to be overturned by a “supermajority” (7 out of 9) of Supreme Court justices.
What do you think?