General Question

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Is the Constitution in need of revision?

Asked by HolographicUniverse (1665 points ) February 9th, 2013

Is the US constitution an outdated document that needs revision? What rights need to be reformed or no longer apply to modern society?
If not, do you think there will come a time where it will need to be altered in favor of new development, or will our changing civilization (or rather govt) always revolve around it?
Under what circumstances should changing the U.S constitution be acceptable?

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15 Answers

DrBill's avatar

No, the amendments are in place to allow changes without doing a complete rewrite.

chyna's avatar

Seriously, can you ever see our government agreeing on another constitution?

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@chyna
I would hope your government leaders are bright enough to agree on terms that influence their nation…. By your logic, the forefathers were one of a kind

SuperMouse's avatar

I do not think the Constitution is in need of revision. I do not think that it is outdated. For issues that need to be readdressed as we as as a society evolve, there are amendments. @chyna is absolutely right, Congress can’t even agree on a way to avoid the upcoming sequester. Every single thing becomes a fight and an excuse for talking heads to pontificate about their agenda. There is more hope of Glenn Beck actually making sense then we have of our lawmakers ever agreeing to a new constitution.

wundayatta's avatar

I just wanted to say that I first read this question as saying, “Is the constitution in need of revulsion.”

I think a little bit of revulsion revision would help. We need to get rid of that second Amendment, for one. Also women need equal rights. We should probably make citizenship a right for anyone who lives here for five years no matter how they got in.

I think we should think about perhaps changing the democracy to a proportional representation system. Not sure how I feel about that, but I’d be interested in studying it.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@SuperMouse
A sub question would be, hypothetically, is it possible that we, today, could create a constitution that applies to a future society? Was the constitution made to fit all future civilizations or just the one they were establishing in that era?
I wouldn’t say Congress can’t agree on policies that pertain to pertinent issues, if they can’t then there are far larger issues with these immature cretins in power.

LostInParadise's avatar

1. ERA
2. Scrap the electoral college
3. Amendment overturning the Citizens United ruling

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I do not think they will change, they have been in place for so long. They may be revised a little but that is usually to add to it. @HolographicUniverse I do not think they will revise the amendments for laws like a vegan only society or regulated reproduction. Some things are just not feasible. The amendments protect your rights.

This offers some great opinions on the debate.

ETpro's avatar

I’ve got the same list as @LostInParadise but I’d ad in public finding for elections. NO outside money. As far as the process to amend the constitution, I think that’s just fine as it is. It’s relatively onerous as it should be, but not so difficult to that it cannot happen when the public realizes it is needed.

Having to amend the Constitution to fix the outrage of the Citizen’s United travesty is OK if that’s what it takes, but a better approach would be to amend the makeup of the court so idiots who think corporations are people because they have people in them are no longer around. I mean,commercial airliners have people in them too. Yet we all would understand how asinine it would be to claim that airplanes are people. Individuals bogged down in such a ridiculous of critical analysis have no place on the highest court of the land.

dabbler's avatar

I’m on the same page with @LostInParadise and @ETpro.

We’re overdue for a constitutional convention. It’s been way too long and we all need some clarity on what we intend the government to do.

The electoral college is a mad anachronism left from a time when there was no telegraph and transportation was horses.

The second amendment certainly needs clarification. It was intended for the defense of our government (not against it!!) because it was also intended there would be no standing army. The “well_regulated” militia could take up arms as needed to defend the country in case of foreign attack. Current interpretations do no good unless you’re a weapons manufacturer.

Corporations are not people, money is not speech. The original basis of the latest current misinterpretation (Citizens United) is a Supreme Court clerk’s comment in the margin of a case that twisted a law (14th amendment) meant to aid freed slaves into a judgement for a railroad company (Union Pacific vs Santa Clara County).
Let’s straighten that out for good, on the way to campaign finance reform.

Jaxk's avatar

Seems like we have a means to change if needed. There is no question that some of the supreme court rulings have altered the meaning of some of it but in general it has allowed us govern within our principles. The amendment process is difficult but that is as it should be. Changes to the Constitution should not be made on a whim or recklessly. They should be hard and require an overwhelming majority.

The Constitution was written to define what the government could and could not do to us. Not to define some social agenda. The arguments for rewriting the constitution are simply another attempt to manipulate the country in ways that can not be supported by the majority of voters and states. You don’t like the Citizens United decision, so change the constitution. If you don’t like corporations would you eliminate their right to own property? How about your right to sue them? You don’t like the idea that when congress writes legislation to cripple or destroy an industry, that they may speak out against it. Like the Queen of hearts, you scream ‘off with their heads’.

Remember that rewriting the constitution means revisiting Roe v Wade and Obamacare. How about the drone strikes that are assassinating anyone deemed unsavory by the administration. If you only want to change the citizens United decision or the second amendment, you already have that ability in the amendment process. Lot’s of luck on that one.

delilah75's avatar

I think changing the constitution would be like rewriting the bible. It would not likely make any sense and the whole constitution would stray from it’s original purpose. I don’t think it should ever be changed. That is why we have new and old laws and amendments.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I’m on the same page with you re keeping the existing Amendment process. I have no interest whatsoever in tossing out the whole document and starting anew.

@delilah75 Amendment IS the Constitution being changed. It’s just changed in very measured steps, and only when a super-majority of the electorate becomes convinced it should be changed.

mattbrowne's avatar

Absolutely, especially the gun part.

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