"I do risk analysis for a living. . . . Modern language that is clear and concise and not easily "interpreted" would go a long way towards reigning in the federal government."
- - -
I manage insurance coverage litigation - lawsuits concerning what insurance policy language means.
There is no such thing as "language that is clear and concise and not easily "interpreted". All policy language ever used has been interpreted by judges to mean what the judges wanted it to mean.
We now have a huge body of law going back over two hundred years interpreting our Constitution's wording. What this means in a practical sense is that, thanks to stare decisis, while the interpretations might not come close to what you or I or one of the drafters might think the words mean, we've at least nailed down some of them with so many court decisions that there's no wiggle room for a judge to come up with novel and imaginative readings.
But any new language is going to be reviewed by the courts with absolutely nothing to constrain them but their own sense of discretion. No matter how tightly we word new amendments, we'll all be amazed at what those words "really" mean once the judges get hold of them.
Best not to mess with it. Pass laws - leave constitution-writing alone.
George Will said the general rule that should govern proposals to amend the Constitution is: Don't. We have made it worse with amendments.
I think we fix the problem by removing long tenured incumbents. We get this opportunity every 2 years. We should take advantage.
Simple - one six year term - No retirement for congress. Remove SSN from congressional control. No Earmarks, line item veto, cost controls, national sales tax, no income tax and one pipe dream.
Rather an open-ended proposition. Among potential others amendments, I would consider supporting term limits for congresscritters. Perhaps even a balanced federal budget.
I'm gonna have to go with "NO" on prohibition, though.
You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Several amendments to the constitution were "ratified" and implemented in very questionable circumstances. There are amendments where the original state votes records can't be found to verify that it actually had the 3/4 support. Even the amendments that exist are being interpreted beyond reason - such as the Interstate Commerce Clause that congress uses to pass almost any law they like.
I do risk analysis for a living. My assesment would be that it is a lower risk to hold a convention and update the constitution than it is to maintain the status quo. Modern language that is clear and concise and not easily "interpreted" would go a long way towards reigning in the federal government.
We could start with term limits and eliminating "immunity" for government officials, then move on to updating those clauses where arcane 17th century language is being interpreted incorrectly by using modern 21st century vocabulary. I've already got a number of clauses written, as I've considered the same thing. Several other states, or at last people in them, are likely to share the sentiment. Please, try to arrange it on your end and share the goals and processes that we may copy them.
I too like the Constitution as it is but how do we elect leadship who can be trusted to enforce it as written without going too far? Can the convention be limited in scope, like recalling the 17th admendment? That would solve the term limit issue and the party line issues.
Jaxman is correct. There is no way to control or limit the parameters of the convetion. Everything will be under review, and there will be no way to stop it. Instead of re-drafting the Constitution, how about if we try to live within it for a while and see how that works out.
The pendulum will soon swing massively in favor of conservatism in fiscal matters. It will also swing in favor of conservative social issues, but not as far. A Constitutional Convention will only allow the worst of the vocal minorities to vent and poison the system more. Our Constitution is not the problem. The problem is with people ignoring the Constitution.
a convention could go way beyond the intentions of the initiators and pass almost anything. look at how the original constitutional convention went beyond the original intent, which was merely to tweak the articles of confederation.