Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson, bicameralism, tricameralism, American polity, Supreme Court Justices, American way of life, American Constitution, the Iron cage, article V
In "Our Undemocratic Constitution" by Sanford Levinson, the author argues that the Constitution has become outdated, and that it must be changed. His basic premise is that our nation was not the same as it was during the Constitutional Convention in the late 18th century, and in order to remain effective and democratic, it must be updated to suite the modern needs of our time. In the book, Levinson criticizes the difficulties posed by the structure of the U.S. Senate, the life tenure of Supreme Court Justices, the creation of Second Class Citizens in our nation, the difficulty of passing Constitutional Amendments as a result of Article V, as well as many other issues he considers undemocratic.
[...] I think that if the Constitution is changed, a good idea would be to lessen the number of States that agree to the Amendments, and make the majority of States instead of three fourths of States enough to amend the Constitution. This would make amending the Constitution much more possible, it would more or less eliminate the problem of only small States getting together to block an Amendment, and it would be more in line with the democratic spirit of our country and the ideal of majority rules. With three fourths of States necessary to ratify, it seems as though the minority rules. Levinson makes many excellent points regarding our current Constitution. [...]
[...] He argues that a life tenure is completely unnecessary, and that it is idea whose time has passed” (Levinson, 123). One of the main problems is that life tenure encourages very old and often extremely “traditional” justices who do not see eye to eye with much of the American public. Many of these justices tend to be very conservative, and given their old age, they value things that were popular during their experiences while growing up rather than looking at modern day experiences. [...]
[...] Sometimes, a change to our Constitution is necessary, but it can take a very long time for an Amendment to go through such a process, and it will almost inevitably fail. In our nation's history, after the Bill of Rights, very few Amendments have been passed. Such a rigorous and difficult process, according to Levinson, makes modifying the Constitution seem “almost utopian with regard to anything that is truly important” (Levinson, 165). This difficulty stifles our imagination and forces us to accept the status quo and not even consider the possibility of improving the Constitution. In this regard, I will for the most part agree with Levinson. [...]
[...] Our Undemocratic Constitution by Sanford Levinson In Undemocratic Constitution” by Sanford Levinson, the author argues that the Constitution has become outdated, and that it must be changed. His basic premise is that our nation was not the same as it was during the Constitutional Convention in the late 18th century, and in order to remain effective and democratic, it must be updated to suite the modern needs of our time. In the book, Levinson criticizes the difficulties posed by the structure of the U.S. [...]
[...] He encourages us to open our minds up to the idea, he encourages us to engage in debate and stop accepting things the way they stand today, and I personally believe in this philosophy and find that such a movement may be healthy for our country. Bibliography Levinson, Sanford. Undemocratic Constitution.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. [...]
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