Our Draft Constitution
A Third U.S. Constitution, working draft.
Last edited 5/04/19
Table of Contents
ARTICLE THIRTEEN: Departments, Agencies and Committees Redefined
“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to
make and to alter their Constitutions of Government” George Washington
We the people of the United States stand united to the unfinished work begun with our second constitution and our first Civil War by dedicating this new constitution for the living, those yet unborn and those Americans departed. The Democratic experiment that began in 1776 is rekindled in this third constitution of the United States. We the people assert the authority, as affirmed for all Americans by George Washington, to maintain a free, democratic and just society, adverse to corruption and to authoritarianism, despotism and every form of party manipulation. Our values are herein enshrined in this constitution, making us one people, creating a more democratic form of government capable of responding to the growing threats we face as a nation and a species. We assert our hope for a great reconciliation as we forge a new alliance with truth and science for the wellbeing of our planet, and all life upon it.
The People are the owners of their government and as such retain the ultimate authority to improve upon the design of their political institutions. It shall be incumbent upon the people to assemble and to deliberate upon their constitution whenever they feel necessary to make changes to their political system. The exercise of this right shall not be abridged or curtailed. It is to remain independent of private wealth and commercial influence. Initiative and or referendum shall be the processes allowed for amending as defined within this Article.
Sovereignty shall not be divided. It rests completely in the people of America. This was established in 1787 when the states acceded to the national government and sovereignty was transferred to the national government. The settlement of the Civil War has established we are one people, living in one nation. States are regions of the same nation.
Our Charge as Citizens, and how we Fulfill that Promise
Civic knowledge is essential to any functioning democracy. It is how we the people collectively understand the government and society we create. It is only through our understanding of our political system that we arrive at any complete understanding of ourselves.
In order to create the society we want, we must first be attentive to the kind of political system we as one people may utilize. These changes can from time to time be relatively large and all-encompassing, at other times small and simple in nature.
Our charge is to remain vigilant over the effects of the system we then continually perfect.
Our Divisions and Cleavages, Strengths and Potential
Americans form a diverse heterogeneous population with a wide spectrum of ethnic, cultural and religious origins, beliefs, practices, and customs. Diversity has long been acknowledged as our core national strength and has historically been the source of both deep divisions and innumerable remarkable achievements. This diversity has a darker history as well, which must be confronted. Beginning with the mass extermination of over 100 million native Americans, the conditions for animosity between enslaved groups of people and free Americans were firmly established. Over 10 million slaves lived in subjugation for over a century. As the current epoch unfolds, we will undoubtedly face new challenges as diverse segments of our population continue to assimilate. Racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobia, the fear of the other, must be eliminated and replaced with genuine care for each other. Compassion, kindness, patience, and respect must become our core national values.
The Role of the National Referendum
The citizenry shall have the power to repeal legislation and to recall elections. Issues of national importance shall be addressed directly by the people through a system of national referenda. Referendums shall meet legislative standards and demonstrate a basic level of support which shall be established by Congress. Referenda must pass by a majority of 50 +1% of the popular vote.
The Global Citizens Clause
As citizens of the United States, we acknowledge our role as global citizens and as such we support the global rule of law, the international standards for human rights and the world criminal court. We stand with our fellow global citizens to protect and nurture the earth, it’s resources and its ecosystems. We are also committed to the United Nations Charter and to its further democratization. Transparency and equality must propel all global organizations, including a broader swath of humanity from all sectors of the economy. We respect and recognize the laws of science and are dedicated to using our knowledge for the betterment and wellbeing of every human and every life form. We grant rights to nature as defined by our Congress and pledge to coexist in peace with all peaceful nations.
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances
State Defense Forces shall operate within the guidelines established by the various state legislatures and shall
comply with standards and guidelines established by the national legislature.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of
the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless
on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or
naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;
nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of
life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor
shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime, shall have been
committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the
witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars,
the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be
otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules
of the common law
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments inflicted. The death penalty, solitary confinement, and other forms of torture
as defined by the United Nations Convention against Torture are hereby abolished, and all rights
and prohibitions within are hereby incorporated into this constitution.
Universal Human Rights are hereby incorporated into this constitution without alteration and these rights shall be extended to every person living in the United States, it’s foreign territories and bases, without exception.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
By the Will of the People, a consensus democracy.
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, which shall be a unicameral legislature.
Section 2, Members.
Members of the Congress shall be elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections.
They shall be representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders or instructions, and responsible only to their conscience.
Any person who has attained the age of eighteen shall be entitled to vote; any person who has attained the age of majority may be elected.
The Congress shall consist of 807 (See Formulation) representatives.
Details shall be regulated by federal law.
Section 3, Terms.
Save the following provisions, the Congress shall be elected for four years. Its term shall end when a new Congress convenes. New elections shall be held no sooner than forty-six months and no later than forty-eight months after the electoral term begins. If the Congress is dissolved, new elections shall be held within sixty days.
The Congress shall convene no later than the thirtieth day after the elections.
Congress shall determine when its sessions shall be adjourned and resumed. The President of may convene it at an earlier date. He shall be obliged to do so if one-third of the Members, and or the Federal Executive so demand.
The Congress shall elect its President, Vice-Presidents, and secretaries. It shall adopt rules of procedure.
The President shall exercise proprietary and police powers in the Congressional building. No search or seizure may take place on the premises of Congress without his permission.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective residents.
Section 4, Elections
Each Congressional District shall nominate as many Party or Electorate candidates as necessary to maintain fair and representational elections.
Two votes shall be cast on a single paper ballot, including one party vote and one electorate vote.
Members shall be allocated proportionally based on the Party Vote and the Electorate Vote.
Congressional Districts shall contain an equal number of electors, to maintain equality of representation within the United States.
Congressional districts shall be drawn by the state legislatures and where appropriate, by any number of them together. Districts of representation shall be drawn irrespective of State boundaries and drawn to reflect a fair mix of rural and urban areas.
Representatives shall represent their voting constituency. Lobbying regulations shall be strictly enforced.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any District, the respective District shall hold a special election within 3 months of the seat’s vacancy. Should vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
The Congress shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States. The Congress shall choose the Executive, who will preside over the Congress and in instances of a tie, shall cast the determining vote.
Section 5, Scope of Obligations
The Congress shall enact laws which uphold the Bill of Rights of Citizens. It shall elect officers and create Committees as needed for each term, have the power to impeach and remove elected officials for just cause in all branches of government, and shall take an oath to preserve the natural and civil rights of all citizens and nature as defined in the Universal Declarations of RIghts.
Congress shall have the Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: No Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of 51% of the electorate.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not be limited to disqualification from Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: The party is also liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law. No public official shall be above the law.
The times, places and manner of holding elections for Members, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Members.
The Congress shall affirm the result of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business.
A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as Congress may provide.
Section 6, Remuneration and Benefits
Congressional Members shall receive in compensation for their service $___per year, paid out of the Treasury of the United States. Expenses per district shall be approved by Congress. OR- Living expenses in the federal capital shall be provided by the government at the mean equivalence of the District of Columbia.
Members elected to Congress shall have their jobs secured for their return at government expense. They may not accept compensation from any related political sources during their term or thereafter until 2 years have passed.
The term of the Congress shall be from Jan 15 of each year, ending on December 15, with a 4-week break in the summer months to be determined by the Congress in each term.
Elections shall be held, organized, and directed by the Federal Election Board comprised by a rotating panel appointed jointly by the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branch.
The Congress shall review and enact specific methods and regulations pertaining to all Federal elections.
Congress shall provide the same healthcare for all Americans as provided to Congress as a minimum standard of coverage.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.
Section 12, Legislation
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the Congress.
Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Congress may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two thirds of the Congress, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 13, Congressional Powers
The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States: but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the states:
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with all Native American tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
Section 13, Taxes, titles and appropriations
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Section 14, Treaties
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
The people shall be the check on the assembly through elections
The role of corporate influence and money
Gerrymandering and Districts.
Public sittings and scrutiny
1. Sittings of the Congress shall be public. On the motion of one-tenth of its Members, or on the motion of the Federal Government, the public may be excluded by a two-thirds majority. The motion shall be voted upon at a sitting not open to the public.
2. Decisions of the Congress shall require a majority of the votes cast unless this Basic Law otherwise provides. The rules of procedure may permit exceptions with respect to elections to be conducted by the Congress.
3. Truthful reports of public sittings of the Congress and of its committees shall not give rise to any liability.
4. The Congress and its committees may require the presence of any member of the Federal Government.
5. The members of the Congress and of the Federal Government as well as their representatives may attend all sittings of the National Legislature and meetings of its committees. They shall have the right to be heard at any time.
Committees of Inquiry
2. The rules of criminal procedure shall apply mutatis mutandis to the taking of evidence. The privacy of correspondence, posts, and telecommunications shall not be affected.
3. Courts and administrative authorities shall be required to provide legal and administrative assistance.
4. The decisions of committees of inquiry shall not be subject to judicial review. The courts shall be free to evaluate and rule upon the facts that were the subject of the investigation.
Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defense.
1. The Congress shall appoint a Committee on Foreign Affairs and a Defence Committee.
2. The Defence Committee shall also have the powers of a committee of inquiry. On the motion of one-quarter of its members, it shall have the duty to make a specific matter the subject of inquiry.
3. Paragraph (1) of Article 44 shall not apply to defense matters.
Commissioner for the Armed Forces
A Congressional Commissioner for the Armed Forces shall be appointed to safeguard basic rights and to assist the Congress in exercising parliamentary oversight over the Armed Forces. Details shall be regulated by federal law.
1. The Congress shall appoint a Petitions Committee to deal with requests and complaints addressed to the Congress.
2. The powers of the Committee to consider complaints shall be regulated by federal law.
Oversight of Intelligence
1. Congress shall appoint a panel to scrutinize the intelligence activities of the nation, including the fair and beneficial uses of technology.
2. Details shall be regulated by a federal law.
2. No one may be prevented from accepting or exercising the office of Member of the Bundestag. No one may be given notice of dismissal or discharged from employment on this ground.
3. Members shall be entitled to remuneration adequate to ensure their independence. They shall be entitled to the free use of all publicly owned means of transport. Details shall be regulated by federal law.
President, Rules, and Procedures
2. The President shall convene the Congress. He shall be obliged to do so if the delegates of at least two States so demand.
3. Decisions of the Congress shall require at least a majority of its votes. It shall adopt rules of procedure. Its meetings shall be open to the public. The public may be excluded by court order only, for which the Congress must agree to secure.
ARTICLE 53. [ATTENDANCE OF MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT]
The members of the Federal Government shall have the right, and on demand the duty, to participate in meetings of the Bundesrat and of its committees. They shall have the right to be heard at any time. The Bundesrat shall be kept informed by the Federal Government with regard to the conduct of its affairs.
IVA. THE JOINT COMMITTEE
ARTICLE 53A. [COMPOSITION – RULES OF PROCEDURE]
1. The Joint Committee shall consist of Members of the Bundestag and members of the Bundesrat; the Bundestag shall provide two thirds and the Bundesrat one-third of the committee members. The Bundestag shall designate Members in proportion to the relative strength of the various parliamentary groups; they may not be members of the Federal Government. Each Land shall be represented by a Bundesrat member of its choice; these members shall not be bound by instructions. The establishment of the Joint Committee and its proceedings shall be regulated by rules of procedure to be adopted by the Bundestag and requiring the consent of the Bundesrat.
2. The Federal Government shall inform the Joint Committee about its plans for a state of defense. The rights of the Bundestag and its committees under paragraph (1) of Article 43 shall not be affected by the provisions of this paragraph.
Terms, elections, recalls, limits on power
Salary and privileges while in service
Obligations as Commander and Chief Defined.
Twelve-year Term Limit
Justices Retire at Age 68
Two or More Justices are Elected at the Same Time
Recognizing the role of science
Transitioning to 100% Renewables by 2040
1. Collection of Carbon Fees/Carbon Fee Trust Fund: Upon enactment, impose a carbon fee on all fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases at the point where they first enter the economy. The fee shall be collected by the Treasury Department. The fee on that date shall be $15 per ton of CO2 equivalent emissions and result in equal charges for each ton of CO2 equivalent emissions potential in each type of fuel or greenhouse gas. The Department of Energy shall propose and promulgate regulations setting forth CO2 equivalent fees for other greenhouse gases including at a minimum methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride. The Treasury shall also collect the fees imposed upon the other greenhouse gases. All fees are to be placed in the Carbon Fees Trust Fund and be rebated to American households as outlined below.
2. Emissions Reduction Targets: To align US emissions with the physical constraints identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to avoid irreversible climate change, the yearly increase in carbon fees including other greenhouse gases, shall be at least $10 per ton of CO2 equivalent each year. Annually, the Department of Energy shall determine whether an increase larger than $10 per ton per year is needed to achieve program goals. Yearly price increases of at least $10 per year shall continue until total U.S. CO2-equivalent emissions have been reduced to 10% of U.S. CO2-equivalent emissions in 1990.
3. Equal Per-Person Monthly Dividend Payments: Equal monthly per-person dividend payments shall be made to all American households (½ payment per child under 18 years old, with a limit of 2 children per family) each month. The total value of all monthly dividend payments shall represent 100% of the net carbon fees collected per month.
4. Border Adjustments: In order to ensure there is no domestic or international incentive to relocate production of goods or services to regimes more permissive of greenhouse gas emissions, and thus encourage lower global emissions, Carbon-Fee-Equivalent Tariffs shall be charged for goods entering the U.S. from countries without comparable Carbon Fees/Carbon Pricing. Carbon-Fee-Equivalent Rebates shall be used to reduce the price of exports to such countries. The State Department will determine rebate amounts and exemptions if any.
The Green Communities Initiative
Fee and Dividend.
The role of Worker Cooperatives and Other Democratic Endeavors
The Democratization of Large Fiscal Enterprises
Renewal of Local Economies
Universal Basic Income
Discontinuance of Primary Elections
Top Four or Instant Runoff Voting
Proportional Representation for Congressional Elections
Full representation for the District of Columbia
Abolish the Filibuster Rule
Voter Registration is the Government’s Responsibility
Instant Runoff Voting
Nonpartisan Districting Commission
Limits on Filibustering
Public Financing of Elections
1. Political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people. They may be freely established. Their internal organization must conform to democratic principles. They must publicly account for their assets and for the sources and use of their funds.
2. Parties that, by reason of their aims or the behavior of their adherents, seek to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany shall be unconstitutional. The Federal Constitutional Court shall rule on the question of unconstitutionality.
3. Details shall be regulated by federal laws.
1. Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution which is submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people shall be held to have been approved by the people, if, upon having been so submitted, a majority of the votes cast at such Referendum shall have been cast in favor of its enactment into law.
1.A. Every proposal, other than a proposal to amend the Constitution, which is submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people shall be held to have been vetoed by the people if a majority of the votes cast at such Referendum shall have been cast against its enactment into law and if the votes so cast against its enactment into law shall have amounted to not less than thirty-three and one-third percent of the voters on the register.
1.B. Every proposal, other than a proposal to amend the Constitution, which is submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people shall hereof be held to have been approved by the people unless vetoed by them in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing sub-section of this section.
3. Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil Éireann shall have the right to vote at a Referendum.
4. Subject as aforesaid, the Referendum shall be regulated by law.
Medicare For All
Healthcare as a Right
Conception to Death
The Right to Security
All adult citizens 18 years or older are eligible for state and national licensing for use and ownership of legal firearms. All citizens wishing to own and or use a firearm must pass a comprehensive background check and psychological evaluation, as well as a written test and field test before being issued a license. In addition, members of the State Defense Forces must adhere to regulations and procedures under State Defense Force’s policy established by the State legislature. An individual right for a U.S. citizen to possess firearms is established upon meeting the above requirements. Assault weapons of _____ caliber are hereby banned for public use. ? (Needs work for sure)
Universal background check
State and National licensing
Mental Health Assessment
Buy Back Programs
ARTICLE ELEVEN: Immigration
The rule of law
The end of the death penalty
Distribution of resources and power
Cooperation between states and other nations
The Global Citizen Clause
The International Criminal Court
The Environmental Works Dept
International Monetary Fund
Transitioning from Defence to Climate Stabilization
ARTICLE THIRTEEN: Departments and Agenices
Department of Habitat Restoration
Department of Aquifer Management
Department of FIsheries Restoration
Department of Sustainable Energy
Department of Public Education
Department of Sustainable Housing and Communities
Department of Rural Renewal
Department of Peace