Summary Of A More Perfect Constitution By Larry Sabato

1230 Words 5 Pages
In the book “A More Perfect Constitution”, Larry Sabato argues that certain parts of our constitution are out of date and could use an update. He states that the founding fathers never meant for our constitution to lay stagnant and unchanged for so many years, they knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. They wrote the constitution in such a way that it would create a “foundation up which changes would be constructed regularly”, since the constitution was signed in 1787 there have been 11,000 amendments brought before congress with only 27 successfully making it to a state vote. He states that the “United States has one of the lowest rates of constitutional amendment of any democracy worldwide” which is likely due to the cumbersome process. He …show more content…
The current Constitution allows for an amendment to be passed with ⅔ votes from both chambers of Congress and also with ¾ of the state’s approval or with ⅔ of the state legislatures calling for a convention. Sabato’s view on calling a convention is interesting in that his interpretation of a state’s petition to call a Constitutional Convention never dies as well as the visual of a light on, light off policy. Proposed amendments that a state switches it’s light on for will remain on until they reach 34 states with their lights on or until the state shuts it’s light off. This visual allows for a Convention to be called the moment the 34th state light went on, meaning a Convention could be called promptly. The one area Sabato says needs to be addressed is the lack of a standardized way of submitting applications for an amendment or convention. This could help streamline the submission and further assist in processing the amendment or proposed constitution in a timely …show more content…
Having the internal procedures of the convention left completely up to the delegates allows for a system that works well for those in attendance and not the rules of Congress. Sabato suggests using the Chief Justice as the initial presiding officer at the Convention with his position eventually being replaced with an officer elected by the delegates in attendance. This allows for an official officer at the opening of the Convention to help work out the kinks of the process in an orderly manner. One of the largest issues presented to the delegates at the beginning of the Convention would be that of voting. Sabato discusses a system of “unit voting” that allows the state’s to come to one consensus before casting their vote, this keeps a majority vote from being overruled and allows for a clear decision from each state. Since the Convention would fall under the federal government, Congress would be in charge of appropriating money to run the convention. Knowing full and well that Congress could stop providing funds if a disagreement were to arise, Sabato offers up the idea that states would take up the responsibility on such an occasion. The Convention must also hold subpoena power over the federal government in order for amendments to be passed that could potentially affect the federal government. If they were not given this power any work at the Convention could be overturned and

Related Documents