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View Diary: Should we amend the US Constitution? Justice Stevens thinks so, incl. 2nd Amendment (new book) (321 comments)

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  •  Constitution was formally amended 1x since '71 (12+ / 0-)

    which is why Roberts Court is so determined to informally amend it.  There simply isn't the ability in the current political climate to ratify a substantive amendment.

    The 27th Amendment (which took 202 years to ratify) is fairly innocuous--it deals w/ Congressional pay increases.  The 26th Amendment (lowering the voting age to 18) was the last meaningful amendment.  Were it not for the furor over the Vietnam-era draft, I'm not sure it would've been adopted.

    As a point of contrast, prior to the current 43 year (and counting) drought, the Constitution was amended 7 times in 40 years from 1932-71.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:14:50 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Those droughts are typical (7+ / 0-)

      Amendments 1-12 were ratified between 1791 and 1804, then nothing until the Civil War; that brought three amendments in five years (13-15 between 1865 and 1870).

      Nothing again until 1913, when the 16th and 17th were ratified, followed by 18 and 19 by 1920.

      After that, there were shorter time periods between amendments, and they didn't tend to be blocks of amendments as before (e.g., two in 1933, one in 1951, etc.)

      So the 40-year drought you refer to is pretty much in line with the overall history of amending the Constitution. The post-WWII period is more the exception.

      But my mind won't really be blown ... like the blow that will be mine when I get my sig line in a front page Cheers & Jeers post.

      by VetGrl on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What else tops your "wish list," if any? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh

        E.g., do you support ratification of the 28th, Equal Rights Amendment, per the Democratic party platform?

        Or clarification of the 14th, denying corporations legal personhood?

        Or an amendment clarifying campaign finance and the role of money in free speech?

        Or an amendment on privacy?

        Or on executive authority? Or matters of war? None? All? Others?

        Maybe some of these would come together in a cluster, during some critical-juncture in the coming decades?

        •  Is this reply in the right place? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, happymisanthropy

          My comment didn't weigh in, opinion-wise, on anything, so I'm not sure I understand the reference to a wish list or the questions about what I support that follow.  I was merely giving some historical context to the parent comment.

          Maybe the reply was intended for someone else?

          But my mind won't really be blown ... like the blow that will be mine when I get my sig line in a front page Cheers & Jeers post.

          by VetGrl on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:00:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Smoh

            (I'm a bit busy replying. Interesting discussions! :-) )

            I appreciate your info on the historical context, that's helpful.

            And I'm curious to hear your opinion (on 2A, and on various other proposed amendments, perhaps including though not limited to the ones I listed). Are there any amendments you'd be pleased to see ratified?

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