Working Draft: A New US Constitution
last edited 3/23/2019
“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.
ARTICLE ONE: The Citizenry; Owners of Government.
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. (INSERT REFERENDUM) The exercise of this right shall not be abridged or curtailed. It is to remain independent of private wealth and commercial influence.
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.
The Role of National Referendum.
Issues of national importance shall be addressed directly by the people through a system of national referenda. Referenda shall meet legislative standards and demonstrate a basic level of support which shall be established by the Congress. Referenda must pass by a majority of 51% 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 it’s democratization. Transparency and equality must propell 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.
Convention Notes on Suffrage in the NL June 11, 1787
Suffrage in the National Legislature
Proportional representation in the first branch, one vote per state.
Proportional representation according to the fiscal contributions of the various states.
Some equitable ratio of representation ( in proportion to the whole number of white…)
Should representatives represent the whole of the nation or the state?
Smaller states may overwhelm the will of the larger states.
Equalizing the states. ( Why, when the NL represents the nation, not the states?)
The proportion established by the smallest state shall be the standard for all states. (money or force)
An equal number of delegates from each state, majority rule.
Articles: Each colony shall have one vote, so it should remain so or equal. Aye
According to the quotas of contribution.
A census every 5, 7 or 10 years.
On allowing each state one vote. Nea.
Both branches of the legislature should have the same suffrage rules. Aye
Voluntary junction or partition. Aye
On a republican form of government Aye.
Doing away with states altogether, and creating one “great society”
On amending outside the NL,
It would be improper to require the consent of the national legislature for amending.
Oaths required? State and national coincident?
IN 1789 REPRESENTATION WAS 1 PER 33,000. TODAY IT IS 1 PER 765,000.
WE WOULD REQUIRE ALMOST 10,000 REPRESENTATIVES TODAY TO ACHIEVE THAT LEVEL OF REPRESENTATION.
ARTICLE TWO: The Congress
By the Will of the People, a consensus democracy.
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall be a unicameral legislature.
The Congress shall be composed of 807 members chosen every fourth Year by the registered voters of the United States of America. The Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Each Congressional District shall nominate as many Party or Electorate candidates as necessary to maintain fair and representational elections.
Electors choose both by Party Vote and by Electorate Vote. States will comply with a standard format for all ballots and boxes.
The two votes shall be cast on a single paper ballot.
The Congress shall consist of 807 (See Formulation here:) representatives.
Members shall be allocated on a proportional basis 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 constituency only. 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 seats vacancy.
The Congress shall choose the Executive, who will preside over the Congress and in instances of a tie, shall cast the determining vote.
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 as defined in the Bill of Rights.
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.
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 national 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.
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.
Living expenses in the federal capital shall be provided by the government at the mean equivalence of the District of Columbia.
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 Members shall receive a Compensation for their Services of 150,000 per year, paid out of the Treasury of the United States. Expenses shall be approved by Congress.
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.
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.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts 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 United 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 people shall be the check on the assembly through elections.
Term Limits and elections.
The role of corporate influence and money.
Gerrymandering and Districts.
ARTICLE THREE: The Executive or Prime Minister
Terms, elections, recalls, limits on power.
Salary and privileges while in service.
Obligations as Commander and Chief
ARTICLE FOUR: The Courts
Twelve-year term limit
Justices retire at age 68;
Two or more justices are elected at the same time
ARTICLE FIVE: Climate Change
Recognizing the role of science
ARTICLE SIX: Energy Policy
Transitioning to 100% renewable s by 2040
The Green Communities Initiative.
ARTICLE SEVEN: The Economy
The role of Worker Cooperatives and other democratic endeavors.
The democratization of large fiscal enterprises.
Renewal of local economies.
ARTICLE EIGHT: Elections
Abolish 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 commissions
Limits on filibustering
Public financing of elections
ARTICLE NINE: Healthcare
Medicare for all.
Healthcare as a right.
Conception to Death.
The right to security.
ARTICLE 10: Firearms and Weapons
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
ARTICLE TWELVE: Peace
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.
Transitionsing Defence to Climate Stabilization.