The Big Idea (8/22)

Hi, America! I have developed a constitutional amendment proposal to:

  • provide congressional representation to D.C. and the territories.
  • end the Electoral College,
  • make the U.S. Senate proportional to population, and
  • provide for future constitutional amendments by referendum.

There is a common theme here: all voters should have an equal say over the law.

I think this proposal is more likely to succeed in its goals than any other.

Here is the big idea. We are not going to use Article V of the Constitution: two-thirds of both houses or an Article V Convention to propose, three-fourths of the states or state conventions to ratify. Not going to use it.

We are not going to use it because Article V is not exclusive. The text of Article V does not declare that it is the exclusive means to amend the Constitution, despite the conventional wisdom.

We are not going to use it because it is impossible. Two-thirds of the states are small states, and small-state citizens have for over 200 years given very little evidence that they are willing to give up their disproportionate power over the law.

We are not going to use it because it is illogical. It does not make any sense to declare that equal state suffrage and non-representation of D.C. and the territories in the Senate and Article V is wrong, while agreeing to use the equal state suffrage processes of Article V.

We are not going to use it because it is not binding in conscience. Article V provided for high thresholds for ratification in part to protect slavery-protecting constitutional provisions (the Three-Fifths clause, the Fugitive Slave clause, and the continuation of the slave trade through 1808, among others) and in part to protect equal state suffrage in the Senate.

We are not going to use it because belief that all voters must have equal voting power over the law ultimately means that the people have the inalienable right to amend the Constitution by simple majority vote.

We are going to do something else. We are going to define a new method of amendment proposal and ratification. At the heart of this process will be a two-phase national referendum initiated by the states/D.C./territories.

  • This amendment will be formally proposed by a simultaneous majority vote of the people of a group of states/D.C./territories that comprise a majority of the population of the United States.
  • This amendment will be ratified six months later, provided that the states/D.C./territories that did not vote the first time have an opportunity to do so, and that the overall vote remains a majority vote of the people.

This is going to work.

This procedure is as consistent with the principle of political equality over the law as our current institutions will allow for reasons that I explain in other pages. Don’t worry for now about what other people think, or about how many election cycles this might take. Read more about the process here.

FAQ, Read the Proposal