Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Following are my proposed Constitutional Amendments. Each is designed to address some facet of the federal government’s current structure and operation that I believe is directly contrary to the intent of the Founding Fathers, and to the spirit of the original Constitution. Adoption of these Amendments would drastically reduce the size and scope of government, rid us of career politicians and of law by executive department fiat, and prevent executive departments and agencies from sitting as judges in their own cases. Individual rights and liberties would be absolute as against governments at all levels, and the continued mortgaging of the fortunes of future generations would be eliminated.
- Repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments.
- An Amendment that places term limits on members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The Amendment should provide for a maximum number of years of service in the House and Senate combined of twelve (12) years. This would place a maximum combination of two (2) terms in the Senate and no terms in the House, or six (6) terms in the House and no terms in the Senate, or one (1) term in the Senate and three (3) terms in the House. These would be lifetime maximums, thereby preventing any person from reaching the twelve year maximum, leaving Congress for one House term, and then returning for another twelve years.
- An Amendment that requires reconfirmation of all members of the District Courts by the legislatures of the States wherein the District Courts reside; of all members of the Circuit Courts by a majority of the legislatures of the States over which the Circuit Courts have jurisdiction; and of members of the Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate, in each case after a fixed term of years. Included in the Amendment should be provisions for replacement of any judge or justice upon death, disability, resignation, or impeachment while in office. Further, the Amendment should include a mandatory retirement age, and a provision that no judge or justice shall be eligible for appointment and confirmation if s/he would reach the mandatory retirement age before completion of the term to which appointment and confirmation, or reconfirmation, is to be made.
- An Amendment giving to each State the right and power to elect three members of the United States Senate, with staggered terms such that one Senator from each State will stand for re-election in each biennial federal election. Provision should be made for election of the third Senator from each state upon passage and ratification of the Amendment, and the procedure to be followed in determining the initial term for each new Senator such that the third Senator’s term would expire at the end of a biennial period not corresponding to the end of the terms of either of the state’s two then existing Senators.
- An Amendment placing all rule-making by Federal Agencies under direct control of, and oversight by, the Congress of the United States; and removing from those Agencies: a) the power to enforce the rules or bring prosecution for violations thereof, such enforcement and prosecution to be the sole responsibility of the Department of Justice; and b) the power to act as judge in their own cases by assigning all enforcement and prosecution actions brought under such rules to adjudication by the Federal Courts using the same standards of procedure and proof applicable to criminal trials, including the right to trial by jury and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, thereby eliminating the role of Administrative Law Judges.
- An Amendment directing and requiring all courts to interpret the Constitution as granting to the Federal Government ONLY those powers EXPLICITLY granted to it by the Constitution, and further requiring that the presumption in each case shall be in favor of the States and the people of the United States, and against the Federal Government, where no such explicit grant has been made.
- An Amendment requiring the Federal Budget to be balanced in each fiscal year, and limiting total Federal Government expenditures, including interest and principal payments on Federal debt, to a fixed percentage (no more than 15%) of ACTUAL GDP as recorded in the prior fiscal year. An exception would be allowed in any fiscal year during which the United States is at war as formally declared by the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution; no other exceptions would be allowed.
- An Amendment limiting total Federal Debt in any fiscal year to no more than a fixed percentage of ACTUAL GDP (no more than 25%) as recorded in the prior fiscal year. An exception would be allowed in any fiscal year during which the United States is at war as formally declared by the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution; no other exceptions would be allowed.
- An Amendment guaranteeing to every citizen of the United States, and of each State thereof, the personal and inextinguishable right to protection against violation of any and all rights set forth in the Constitution, as Amended, or of any other rights not otherwise prohibited to its citizens by the Constitution.
- An Amendment strictly prohibiting the confiscation via administrative asset forfeiture of property of any kind; and further prohibiting the taking of property via eminent domain for other than public use, i.e., property taken via eminent domain may not subsequently be transferred to private parties, whether the transfer would be made by gift, rent, lease, or sale.
The first Congress passed and sent to the States for ratification twelve (12) Amendments. Asking the Congress elected as part of the next Presidential election cycle to pass ten (10) Amendments does not seem an unreasonable goal for people of good will and honest purpose. It can be done, and it should be done.