Free The Necessity For Amendment Essay Sample
Book Review: “Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.”
The book, ‘Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic’ is written by Mark Levin, who is a radio talk show host and lawyer in the year 2013. In the book, Mark Levin points out eleven constitutional amendments that in his opinion would reinstate the constitution’s moribund major components such as republicanism, federalism, and limited government. The eleven amendments that Mark Leven proposes include repeal of the Seventeenth Revision of the Constitution, imposing congressional term restrictions, and imposing term limits for Supreme Court judges and limit judicial review. The author of the book also suggests the definition of a deadline to file taxes, necessity for a balanced budget, and control federal government spending and taxation. Other suggestions of the amendment include subject federal government departments and bureaucratic procedures to reauthorization and evaluation and creation of a more precise definition of the commerce clause. Control distinguished domain powers, and allow states to amend the constitution easily were other suggestions for the amendment. The author also suggested creation of a process where two-thirds of the states can invalidate federal government laws and obligation of photo ID to vote and limit early voting.
In the first chapter, Mark Levin begins by stating that the Constitution of the United States is out-dated and outmoded as originally structured in consideration of the modern America. For this reason, he points out it is of great significance to the country to consider modernizing through amendments. Leven also suggests that the constitution needs reforms because the Statists, probably referring to politicians, have amended the constitution, hence disfiguring and mangling it to fit their personal interests. As a result of the Statists actions in disfiguring the constitution, it has led to an age of post-constitutional soft tyranny. Leven describes the current constitution by Alexi de Tocqueville’s words as a network of small convoluted rules that blanket the surface of the public, through which no individual can penetrate. In such a system, the will of a person is not shattered but softened, bent, and guided. He goes on to clarify that men are forced to act by the Constitution, but continuously restricted by it from acting. Levin’s description of the current constitution of the United States by Alexi’s words shows that the bureaucratic nature of the constitution has become a trap in itself to the society using it.
Amending the Constitution
An amendment of the constitution is an important practice since it ensures that the constitutional document remains relevant and up to date. Constitutional amendment involves the correction, revision and improvement of the original content of the constitution as approved in the year 1788. Presently, up to twenty-seven amendments have been ratified, six have been rejected, and thousands of amendments have been discussed.
In the United States Constitution, Article Five describes two ways how an amendment can be ratified to be part of the constitution. In the course of amending the constitution, there should be a proposal for amendment and successive ratification. As explained in both article 5 of the constitution and Mark Levin in his book, amendments to the constitution may be adopted and sent to the states for ratification by a supermajority of both the House of Representatives of Congress and the Senate, or by a countrywide convention assembled at the demand of the legislature of at least two-thirds. Though there are two ways through which the constitution may be amended, all the twenty-seven amendments have been ratified through the two-thirds of the House and Senate approval.
Term Limits for Members of Congress
Among the eleven amendments proposed by Mark Levin in his book, imposing congressional term limits is one of the most significant amendments that he suggests should be considered. In the student’s opinion, amending the constitution to enact term limits for the Congress is a great move towards constitutional reforms. The reason for this is, Congress has been vested with too much power that can be easily abused. The fact that the present constitution does not have a term limit for the members of Congress, this makes the congressmen feel powerful and can, therefore, easily abuse their positions. Their position of power also exempts them from some rules that govern most of the people. The unlimited terms of service also may act as an interruption to democracy and national development. For example, long-serving members of Congress stop providing new ideas for the interest of the nation and the development of democracy. Due to their inflexibility to new ideas, they may act as a hindrance to change. More precisely, the Congress may be inflexible to changes that threaten their powers such as the amendment of the clause that would result in limiting their term of service.
In his book, Mark Levin points out that Congress operates as a mechanism of setting oppressive laws, which in most circumstances they are not bound. Congress also in most cases, delegates unconstitutional law-making power to state governments, which in turn make oppressive laws that repress the society.
Congress and overturning Supreme Court Decisions
The Supreme Court is charged with the mandate of interpreting and explaining the meaning laws by the Constitution. Therefore, the Supreme Court has the legal powers to declare a law as unconstitutional under the principle of judicial review. Since the Supreme Court is the highest Federal Court, no lower court or even the Congress or the president has the power to alter, ignore or reject the Supreme Court’s judgement. The Congress cannot, therefore, change or alter the Supreme Court’s ruling. However, the Congress can take action to reduce or even refute the outcomes of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Congress can reduce the Supreme Court’s judgement or interpretation to obsolescence by either altering the old law to achieve its original purpose better or passing a new law. In one of Mark Levin’s suggestion of amendments, he recommended imposition of term limits for Supreme Court Judges and limiting judicial review.
Repealing the Seventeenth Amendment
In another proposal, Mark Levin suggests the repealing of the Seventeenth Amendment. The seventeenth amendment of the United States Constitution explains the direct election of the Senators by popular vote. One of the reasons that the student would recommend the repealing of the Seventeenth Amendment is because it supersedes Article one and three of Clauses one and two of the Constitution. The Constitutional clause explains Senators were to be elected by the legislature.
The seventeenth amendment was adopted in the year 1913 because of two main reasons. One of the reasons was the deadlock of the State legislature in the process of electing United States Senators. It solved the problems that could have arisen if they were elected by State legislatures by adopting the seventeenth amendment. The other reason for the adoption of the seventeenth amendment was a corruption of the State Legislators during the election of the Senator. It is significant to analyze if by adopting the seventeenth amendment solved the problem or created another problem altogether.
Amendment of the Constitution by States
In his book, Mark Levin also proposes allowance of States to amend the Constitution with ease. The federal constitution supersedes the state constitution. However, by allowing states to modify the Constitution, each state's constitution can be more aligned with the federal government’s constitution. By creating such allowances, there can be more coordination between the state and federal government, thus enhancing efficiency in governance and national development.
When considering streamlining the federal government constitution with the state constitution, it is important to either amend the federal constitution or the state constitution. It can, however, be easier to amend the state constitution than the federal government constitution. The reason for this is because states have a number of ways that can be used to amend their constitution. In regards to amending the state constitution, it can be done through parliamentary referred constitutional adjustment or through a direct act of the state parliament with no election of the public. The state constitution can also be amended through an initial statutory modification. Eighteen states have permitted this technique of alteration, although the requirements in a number of these states are so excessively challenging. A state constitution can also be amended by a constitutional agreement. In regards to this method, automatic election referrals allow electorates to choose at a consistent interval whether to have a settlement or not to have.