America’s national government is one of the most successful on Earth. The United States had had the same constitution for 229 years and it has worked well.
However, almost all Americans agree there are a few problems with the Constitution. Obviously, some provisions of that document are not applicable to 21st Century life.
The essence and spirit of the Constitution are fine; it is the details of government administration that need updating. For example, the Constitution makes no provision for the operation of elections.
Why the Constitution needs updating
Note: this is no criticism of the Founding Fathers. When they drafted the Constitution in 1789 nobody had ever carried out a national election in an area beyond a compact city state for example.
Therefore, the Founders did not understand elections. Obviously, we have a lot of experience and knowledge of elections we should add to the Constitution.
Here are a few Tweeks to Constitution that might improve government functions and increase Americans’ freedoms. In particular, elections, Congress, and the Supreme Court stand out as areas that need improvement.
America’s election system desperately needs reform. Here are some obvious electoral improvements.
- Abolish the Electoral College and implement direct popular election of the President and Vice President.
- Hold a one-day national primary election for federal offices in August of even-numbered years.
- To get on the federal primary ballot a presidential or vice-presidential candidate will have to collect authenticated signatures from 5% of her or his party’s voters in every state of the union.
- To take part in the federal presidential primary, a party will need to receive 30% of the popular vote nationwide in the last federal election.
- To take part in a federal primary a Congressional candidate will need to get authenticated signatures from 5% of his or her party’s voters in his or her district or state.
- To participate in a federal primary election in a region; a party will need to get 30% of the vote in the last federal election in a district or state.
- The winning candidates from the federal presidential primary will participate in the presidential election during the first Tuesday of November.
- If no candidate receives over 40% of the vote in the presidential election. All presidential candidates that win over 30% of the vote in the presidential election will take part in the presidential runoff in the first week of December.
- If the winning candidate in the primary dies or drops out before the general. The primary candidate with the second largest percentage of the primary vote shall take her or his place on the ballot.
- All U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives elections shall follow the same rules.
- Mandate automatic voter registration nationwide.
- Mandate mail-in ballots nationwide.
- Require all polling places stay open for 10 hours a day, for seven days during federal elections.
- Have a uniform set of voter standards nationwide.
- Create a Federal Elections Agency that will oversee all elections.
- Make it a felony for any election official to prevent any individual with a valid federal ID from voting.
To clarify gerrymandering is the drawing of electoral districts in such a way as to suppress votes.
- The Federal Elections Agency (FEA) Districting Office will determine the boundaries of House of Representatives district based solely on population.
- The U.S. Districting Review Court shall review all decisions of the FEA for Constitutionality and legality by.
- The U.S. Districting Review Court will be a panel of US Appellate Courts Judges that reviews districting decisions.
- The U.S. Supreme Court shall choose the U.S. Districting Review Court’s members from the Appellate Courts.
- Litigants can appeal Any U.S. Districting Review Court ruling to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can decide whether to review Districting Review Court Decisions.
- All House of Representatives Districts shall be as geographically compact as possible.
- Each House of Representatives district shall represent one state or one million people. Depending on population.
- Each House District shall have two representatives elected proportionately.
- If a state’s population is between 1.5 million and two million people; the FEA Distrricting Office shall divide it into House of Representatives districts. In that case each House District shall contain half the state’s population
- The two Representatives shall be the individuals that get the two largest percentages of the vote in the federal election.
- U.S. Representatives shall serve a four year term.
- U.S Representatives shall be elected during the midterm nonpresidential elections.
Improved US Senate
- The Filibuster shall be banned in the US Senate.
- All votes in the US Senate shall be made on a straight percentage basis. Therefore, a vote of 51% of Senators shall be needed to approve any bill, resolution, treaty, measure, or nomination.
- Each state shall receive one additional Senator for each 10 million people in population.
- Therefore California shall have five US Senators. California has 39.145 million residents according to the US Census Bureau.
- Texas and Florida which have four US Senators. Specially, Texas has 27.469 million residents and Florida has 20.271 million residents the Census Bureau estimates.
- Six states; New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia will have three U.S. Senators. Each of those states has over 10 million residents.
- The US Census Bureau lists nine states; California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina. as having over 10 million residents.
- Therefore, it will add 23 additional members to the U.S. Senate.
Improved Supreme Court and Federal Courts
- All U.S. Supreme Court justices, Appellate Court justices, and federal judges shall serve a 22-year term.
- At the end of the 22-year term a judge or justice must be re-nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve another term.
- All Supreme Court and appellate court justices with over 22 years of service shall be subject to re-nomination and confirmation.
- Congress shall expand The U.S. Supreme Court to 15 members.
- The U.S. Supreme Court shall have to the ability form panels of three to five justices to decide on cases.
- The complete U.S. Supreme Court must affirm Any decision made by a panel of three to five justices.
- Litigants can appeal decisions made by such panels to the full U.S> Supreme Court.
- Panels of law professors, attorneys, and jurists selected by US Appeals Courts shall make all nominations for federal judges.
- The President and U.S. Senate shall confirm all nominations made by such panels.
- The US Supreme Court must approve all Presidential Nominations for Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Assistant Attorney General before they are confirmed by the Senate.
- Congress shall create an additional US Circuit Court of Appeals for each state with over 10 million people in population. That court will only handle cases in that state.
- The US Circuit Court of Appeals must review and confirm all presidential appointments for US Attorneyfor that region.
These suggestions are just a thought experiment. Do as them as you wish they are merely suggestions.