our broken constitution essay
3. It took the Civil War to end it, and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to overrule the three-fifths compromise. Later on, in Article I, Section 9, Clause 1, the Constitution explicitly allows for the slave trade’s continuation until at least 1808: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. I need it to be as short as possible, about one paragraph that responds to this 4 questions. filled Kennedy’s vacancy, bringing the caucus back to 60, though Byrd’s health continued to deteriorate. The Constitution may be amended, but the process is arduous. “This has never been a democracy,” Hatch said. The Constitution, Levinson wrote, places “almost insurmountable barriers in the way of any acceptable notion of democracy.” He acknowledged that the worst aspects of the eighteenth-century Constitution—the institutionalization of race and gender discrimination—had been corrected through the amendment process. In the Constitution, the framers revealed their strong belief in the idea of separation of powers. After the 2000 census, which cost the state of Pennsylvania two seats because of population loss, Republicans carved up the districts so that the G.O.P., which had formerly held ten congressional seats to the Democrats’ eleven, held a twelve-to-seven advantage, even though the over-all statewide partisan breakdown was basically unchanged. “You would not have any real representation of the people who are basically in the middle of the country,” he said. The Constitution offers only contingent answers to these questions. Above all, Levin would like to curb the power of the federal government. (Thomas Jefferson believed that any constitution should expire after nineteen years: “If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.”). It’s not a government that can solve problems.” Levinson elaborated on his misgivings in a 2006 book, “Our Undemocratic Constitution,” which laid out a comprehensive critique. “The Senate is an institution that stops change. The sixty-vote threshold to break Senate filibusters was soon to be challenged by the Democrats. In everything from television advertisements to law-review articles, they made the case that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms—a concept that the Supreme Court emphatically rejected in the past. Feel free to use qualitative data (personal stories, interviews, literature, historical examples), or quantitative data (statistics, numbers), or reasoning skills (maybe the author contradicts themself). There have been only twenty-seven amendments, and twenty-six of them are good. All supplemental readings take some sort of stance on a particular political issue or topic. Circuit ruled) can the President remain powerless in the face of this kind of obstruction? In fact, Toobin’s essay is itself just the latest in a series, all of which harp on the same general theme (a mostly justified one, to my eyes) that the Constitution is — to put it simply — overrated. More specifically, they try to explain some sort of political phenomenon. But what Randy finds himself defending is a veto by small, basically rural states, who ought not be subjected to majority rule by people who live in cities. Out of an abundance of caution — since Toobin had specifically compared the Democrats’ vote totals to those of their Republican opponents (emphasis mine) — I copied Wasserman’s Google spreadsheet and eliminated all House races in which either the Democrat or Republican candidate received 0 votes. Small-state senators still exercise disproportionate power. Levin and his Tea Party followers have shown that agitation about the Constitution can serve a conservative political agenda. Answer the “so what?” question; why does this stuff even matter? Figure out the author’s main argument. History 310 Book Review/Analysis Assignment. Later, alternately as the chairman and as the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, Hatch was a fierce advocate for Republican judicial nominees. They are majoritarians. The 16 smallest states by population have between them 16 Democratic senators (including independents who caucus with the Democrats) and 16 Republicans — and the Democrats actually represent fewer aggregate voters than the Republicans do. “Sandy and his group don’t like the form of government that the Constitution provides. Less than three months ago, in September, Kevin R.C. People get very upset, and they become vulnerable to extremist appeals. But the system is being abused. You are going to need sixty votes to get it passed. The real constitution is a living body of general prescriptions carried into effect by living persons. Article I says that members of the House shall be “chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,” but it doesn’t say how they should be chosen. © 2019 EssayPanthers. Article V specifies that while the Constitution can be amended in nearly all ways, there are exceptions, specifically: "[N]o state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.". Political change leads to constitutional amendments; amendments do not lead to political change. But as has been well-documented (here, and here, and here, to name a few places) — and especially visible, one would imagine, to a political junkie such as Toobin — Obama’s actual filibuster-proof Senate majority lasted only four months in reality. Midway through Toobin’s piece, a third flaw emerges. This is the real lesson of the past decade or so. )…In the midterm elections of 2010, Obama’s party lost control of the House and fell below the filibuster threshold in the Senate. The Bill of Rights, with its explicit defense of individual rights, did not become part of the Constitution until 1791. For him and the Tea Party as a whole, the meaning of the Constitution can be understood by any ordinary citizen, not just a small priesthood of lawyers and judges. Or all of the above! Drawing district lines has always been a deeply political undertaking, because elected officials in every age cultivate a strong instinct for self-preservation. The minority can’t fight back. Conclusion: Don’t simply re-summarize your paper. “This is a representative republic with heightened democratic principles.” After a pause, he added, “I never called it that before, but I think it’s right.”. Today, California has roughly seventy times more people than Wyoming. They want to change the Constitution to affect the situation in Washington so that it’s easier to get things done. They really didn’t have any confidence in citizens. Randy Barnett, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, was a principal architect of the lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, on the ground that Congress exceeded its powers under Article I of the Constitution. In 2012, House Democratic candidates across the country won about half a million more votes than their Republican opponents, but the G.O.P. Circuit sided with the company, striking down the board’s judgment in the case. The guard of federalism is shown one way in the constitution when they set up the compound government to make sure that the federal government doesn’t get too much power. He currently writes about domestic politics, foreign affairs, and journalism and continues to make painstakingly slow progress in amateur photography. To Levinson, the creation of the Senate was the original sin of the Constitution. But there is no doubt that state legislators devoted painstaking attention to designing districts for the sole purpose of taking partisan advantage. Of course, there’s a certain futility to disproving any theory that includes the phrase “everyone loves” — which, to his credit, Toobin couldn’t possibly have meant literally. Several times during the summer of 1787, the Convention nearly collapsed as the small states refused to yield the powers they enjoyed under the Articles. The delegates in Philadelphia gave the President the power to appoint many senior federal officials, but such appointments were subject to confirmation by a majority of the Senate. This, in a way, is the story of the Obama Administration. They started this crap.”, Hatch acknowledged that the poisonous political atmosphere within the Republican Party has also contributed to the breakdown in the Senate. Let me try to clarify and classify and systematize the arguments made by these and other essays. He also wants to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and return the election of senators to state legislators, rather than to voters. In order to understand the drafting of the two constitutions, it is essential to take their historical context into account. Prohibition was bad, and it was overturned.” For partisans on the left and the right, it’s tempting to see constitutional amendments as shortcuts to political gain. The Supreme Court will hear the case later this term. In Congress, a number of senators, including Tom Udall and Al Franken, have proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and allow legislators once again to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures. Because if the counter-majoritarian kludges of our system are the problem, there are hard limits to what we can do about it. Hatch’s long tenure suggests that the Constitution allows the Senate to evolve in keeping with the demands of its members—for better or for worse. The craziest ways the 2020 election might end, Trump is reportedly telling advisers if he loses, he expects intense scrutiny from prosecutors, The Latino-shaped hole in Joe Biden's electability argument, Trump starts Election Day by going on Fox News to complain about Fox News, Illustrated | Wikimedia Commons, jessicahyde/iStock, _human iStock. Obama was elected twice, both times by comfortable margins in the popular vote and by landslides in the electoral college. Still, Levinson signed. In our system, such a governing majority must be geographically broad, must overweight rural interests, and must overweight the interests of small states. But even neutrally-drawn districts would, in America today, probably result in a bias towards the Republicans because of the scale of Democratic majorities in uncompetitive urban districts. “Today’s pattern of obstruction, it just isn’t normal,” he said. Finally, towards the end of his article Toobin notes the undemocratic nature of the House of Representatives: “In 2012, House Democratic candidates across the country won about half a million more votes than their Republican opponents, but the G.O.P. Tea Party Republicans speak obsessively about how contemporary politicians, especially President Obama, violate the strictures of the Constitution. Judicial appointments played a role, but more important was the demand from an engaged populace. It’s done pretty well.”, During the shutdown crisis, it became apparent that the House of Representatives—the founders’ nod to proportional representation—had, in its own way, become dysfunctional as well. As Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson wrote, in “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism” (2012), “A persistent refrain in Tea Party circles is the scorn for politicians who fail to show suitable reverence for, and detailed mastery of, America’s founding documents”—documents that “are immediately accessible and obviously clear [and] can be understood by each person without the aid of expertise of intermediaries.”, Levin has proposed a series of Liberty Amendments, most of which reflect well-known aspects of the Tea Party agenda.
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