Draft Amendments to U.S. Constitution

This is a collection of draft amendments to the Constitution for the United States. These should be regarded as short position statements on constitutional construction. It is subject to frequent additions and revisions, so readers may want to revisit often.

There are three groups of amendments: Clarifying, Remedial, and Substantive. The Clarifying are intended only to return legal practice to original understanding. The Remedial are intended to correct errors and omissions. The Substantive are intended to add some additional powers that many people might think the national government should be authorized to exercise. They are intended as much as anything to highlight that the national government presently does not have such powers.

It is not proposed that state legislatures petition Congress to call a constitutional convention, but rather that they propose identical amendments to Congress to be adopted as proposed amendments and sent back to the states for ratification. The task for reformers would be to unite behind identical versions and not accept variations. However, the main focus is not, for the clarifying amendments, on actually getting them ratified, but on using them to drive reform in legal practice.

Such proposed amendments provide a way to allocate our efforts and measure our progress. Using them, we can determine which officials can be redeemed and which must be replaced, at both the state and federal levels. We can also determine what we have to do to get enough public support, by measuring how much support each has among which groups of people. It may happen that with enough support by enough people in the right places, the amendments will not have to actually be adopted, but we may also be able to determine which need to actually be adopted to prevent backsliding. During the course of debate we can also discover weaknesses in the language of the amendments requiring further clarification, to avoid future misinterpretation.

We will be adding pages with links and white papers explaining and discussing each amendment, linked from the title.

Some may prefer not to advance these statements as amendments, but as positions to be demanded of decisionmakers and fellow citizens. Preambles for each purpose will be provided for each by clicking on its title. Just prepend the preferred preamble to the text of the amendment before asserting it.

Strategy. Discussion of the way these amendments and the reforms they represent might be advanced.


Clarifying amendments — These do not make substantive changes in what was originally understood:

Clarification of "right"
In this Constitution all rights are immunities against the action of government officials, not entitlements to receive some service or benefit. Every immunity is a restriction on delegated powers, and every delegated power is a restriction on immunities. Delegated powers and immunities partition the space of public action. The exercise of a right is not subject to regulation, except to allocate use of a scarce resource, or to taxation, and only to insignificant incidental burdens by government actions at any level, unless there is an explicit exception to the contrary, in this Constitution.

Prerogative writs
All persons have the right to a presumption of nonauthority. Any person may file, without prior consent of any court, as demandant, in the name of the people, in a court of competent jurisdiction, a writ of quo warranto, habeas corpus, prohibito, mandamus, procedendo, certiorari, scire facias, or other prerogative writ, including a demurral, and upon service of notice to respondent, respondent shall have three days, and not more than 20 days with cause, to prove his authority to do or not do what the writ demands. The writ filed shall be the summons, with no further action needed by the court, which shall not treat the writ as a petition or motion for injunctive relief. The burden of proof shall rest solely on the respondent. The court shall hold a hearing within five days of receipt of the response from the respondent, and ahead of any other business before the court except another prerogative writ. Either demandant or respondent shall have the right to trial by a jury of at least twelve, with twelve required to sustain the claim of authority of the respondent. On a writ of habeas corpus the respondent must produce the individual held regardless of the legal or factual issues, and failure to do so, unless the medical condition of the subject requires otherwise, shall result in immediate release. The order granting the relief demanded shall issue by default if a hearing is not held or a decision not made. Only the Supreme Court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to decide a writ of quo warranto, upon impeachment, to remove from office for perjury of oath, fraud, or ineligibility, or restrict the exercise of power, of the President or Vice-president, a member of Congress, or a judge of the United States, but any United States court of general jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction for lesser officials, subject to appeal to higher courts, and the President and Vice President shall have the right to a verdict by a jury composed of two adult citizens selected at random from each state.

Clarification of "regulate"
The power to regulate shall consist only of the power to restrict the attributes or modalities of the object regulated, and not to prohibit all attributes or modalities, or impose criminal penalties.

Clarification of "commerce"
Commerce shall consist only of transfers of equitable interest and possession of tangible commodities, for a valuable consideration, from a seller or lessor to a purchaser or lessee. It shall not include transport without such transfer or interest, nor extraction, primary production, manufacturing, possession, use, or disposal, nor shall it include the other activities of those engaged in such transfers. It shall not include energy, information, or financial or contractual instruments. Commerce among the states shall not include sales or leases within a state.

Clarification of Article I Section 8 Clause 18
Article I Section 8 Clause 18 of this Constitution shall be construed to include only enablement of the completion of duties by duly elected or appointed officials, to make a limited, reasonable effort strictly necessary to exercise an express power narrowly construed, and not to go beyond completion of the duty or to do whatever might be deemed convenient to get an outcome or result for which the effort might be made.

Rules of construction
Section 1. The judicial decisions in every court of the United States and of every state shall be made under the common law terms and rules of due process and construction in effect in the United States as of 1787 that do not conflict with this Constitution or statutes enacted within its authority.

Section 2. If there is any significant doubt concerning whether an official has a power, or a person has an immunity from the exercise of a power, the presumption shall be that the official does not have the power, or conversely, that the person has the immunity.

Section 3. On all constitutional issues precedents may only be regarded as persuasive and never binding, and binding stare decisis shall not be used as a rule of construction.

Section 4. Constitutional text shall be construed only on historical evidence of the meaning and understanding of the terms for, first, their ratifiers, and second, their framers.

Section 5. Equity and prudential decisions shall not be regarded as precedents.

Section 6. The powers to tax, spend, promote, regulate, and prohibit (or punish), shall each be construed as distinct, with none derivable from any of the others, and none shall be exercised as a way to avoid the lack of a power to do one of the others.

Section 7. No power applicable to an object, or any necessary and proper power derived from it, shall be extended to other objects with which it may be aggregated or causally connected, except to separate the applicable objects from the others.

Standing
No person shall be denied standing to privately prosecute a public right for at least declaratory or injunctive relief, even if he or she has not incurred, or does not expect, personal injury resulting from the failure to grant such relief.

Fully informed jury
In all trials in which there are mixed questions of law and fact, including all criminal jury trials, and all jury trials in which government officials or agents, whether general, state, or local, shall be a party, parties shall have the right not to have decisions by the bench on questions of law made before all arguments can be made before the jury, excepting only arguments on defense motions in limine that cannot be made without disclosing evidence properly excluded. Jurors shall receive copies of all applicable constitutions, statutes, court precedents, and legal arguments, including those of intervenors and amici curiae, and access to an adequate law library in which they can do research.

Access to grand jury, appointment of prosecutors
No person shall be unreasonably impeded from access to a randomly selected grand jury of 23, who, if they should return an indictment or presentment, may appoint that person or any other to prosecute the case, and shall decide which court, if any, has jurisdiction, and whether any official shall have official immunity from suit.

Clarification of "militia"
The primary meaning of "militia" shall be "defense activity", and only secondarily those engaged in it, or obligated to engage in it. All citizens and would-be citizens have the legal duty to defend the constitutions of the United States and their state, and the members of society, from any threat to their rights, privileges, or immunities, in response to a call-up by any person aware of a credible threat. Any call-up that does not require everyone to respond shall select those required by sortition. Jury duty shall be regarded as a form of militia duty. Militia may not be kept in a called up status beyond the duration of an emergency. Congress and state legislatures shall have the power to enforce this duty by appropriate legislation.

Readiness of "militia"
Militia shall be maintained in a state of readiness sufficient to overcome any regular military force it might encounter. Those who may engage in militia shall have any weapons in common use by regular military, subject only to the directives of local elected unit commanders during operations while called up. If Congress or any state or local legislative body shall fail to provide for organizing, training, or equipping militia units, persons shall not be impeded from organizing, training, and equipping themselves independently.

Clarification of "bill of attainder"
A bill of attainder shall consist of any legislative disablement of an immunity, either for an individual, group, or the people in general, without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, decided by a jury in each individual case, that he or she has committed a crime or is dangerously incompetent.

Clarification of "title of nobility"
A title of nobility shall consist of any legislated or judicially conferred privilege or immunity, not enjoyed by all, or to the detriment of others, that is not essential for the performance of legitimate official duties, and a grand jury may authorize civil or criminal prosecution of an official for exceeding his jurisdiction or abusing his discretion.

Clarification of "declaration of war"
A declaration of war shall specify the state or organized body that is the enemy, the casus belli or casus foederis requiring its issuance, the commencement date, and the terms for its conclusion. The identification of the enemy shall be sufficiently explicit to allow persons of common understanding to recognize them, and not be left to executive officials to#8212 define the boundaries of who is included.

Clarification of "piracy"
"Piracy" shall consist only of warlike acts committed by a nonstate actor against persons or property of a country foreign to him. Letters of marque and reprisal make the person to whom they are issued a state actor, and under a declaration of war all citizens are to be regarded as state actors with respect to the foreign state defined in the declaration.

Clarification of "trial by jury"
Trial by jury in criminal cases is not a right that may be waived by the defendant. It is a mandate even if the defendant pleads guilty. The number of jurors in all cases must be twelve. They must be randomly selected from the general body of citizens. They may not be asked about their knowledge, experience, or opinions about the law in voir dire. They must be unanimous to convict but not to acquit, and failure to convict shall be deemed acquittal, unless there is a mistrial. There shall be no more than three re-trials of the same case when mistrials occur. This provision applies to all civil or criminal cases, national, state, or local.

Powers in nonstate territories
Congress shall not have power within nonstate territory in excess of powers provided by the constitutions of at least three-fourths of the states, being those that delegate the least power to their governments on the same subjects.

Disablement of rights
Congress shall not have power to disable a right or penalize any person on the basis of an administrative or due process proceeding in another jurisdiction, or lack thereof, or an administrative or due process proceeding in the same jurisdiction that does not explicitly disable the right as part of the final order of the court, upon conviction by a jury for a crime or a unanimous jury verdict finding dangerous incompetence.

Clarification of "speech" and "press"
"Speech" and "press" shall include the production and distribution of any communication, private or commercial, other than inducement to immediately commit a crime or act of war, or to give aid and comfort to a declared enemy.

Clarification of general welfare
The term "general" in "general welfare" in Article I Section 8 means "not special", and it is not a delegation of power but a restriction on the power to tax and spend, meaning that government shall exercise no power in ways designed or intended to burden or benefit one part of the population over another, except in minor ways incidental to the proper exercise of delegated powers.

Clarification of "exceptions" to appellate jurisdiction
The exceptions to appellate jurisdiction of Article III Section 2 Clause 2 only mean original jurisdiction, not no jurisdiction. There must always be some court somewhere open to hear and justly decide any judicial question, original or appellate.

Clarification of "cases" and "controversies"
The terms "cases" and "controversies" used in Article III Section 2 shall not be limited to parties with a direct stake in the decision, but shall include any case for which the court can grant relief, including declaratory and injunctive relief, private prosecutions of public rights, trustees representing their trusts, and prerogative writs.

Clarification of treaty power
Government shall exercise no power within the territory of the United States, based on a treaty, not otherwise delegated to it by this Constitution, other than powers to administer trust territories or protectorates.

Clarification of pardon power
A person may be pardoned only after conviction, and the pardon does not nullify the conviction. It is only a declaration that the executive will not enforce it. A declaration by a president or state governor that he will not enforce a criminal conviction against a person, does not bar enforcement by another person to whom a warrant to do so may be issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Clarification of sovereign immunity
Sovereign immunity of a state or the nation shall not be a bar to suit, only to execution of judgment against assets not provided by an act of Congress or the state legislature for payment of claims.

Direct and indirect tax
  1. A tax shall be considered direct if under the totality of circumstances in which it is applied, less than half of it is likely to be passed through to a further individual purchaser of the thing taxed as a higher cost of purchase, and indirect if half or more of it is likely to be thus passed through.
  2. An indirect tax may only be imposed on a profitable transaction or use the profit on which is or is readily convertible into a monetary equivalent.
  3. A direct tax may not be imposed on being or having something without a profitable transaction involved.
  4. No tax shall
    1. unduly burden the exercise of a natural or social right, or
    2. be imposed on not doing something, or
    3. offer a deduction for doing something there is no power to compel one to do, or
    4. be to regulate something not otherwise subject to a power to regulate, or
    5. be at a rate beyond the point of diminishing return of revenue.
  5. When in doubt, a tax shall be considered direct.
  6. Taxes on corporate entities or trusts shall be considered indirect.

Location of jurisdiction for crime
A crime, whether under the laws of the United States or a State, shall be considered to have been committed at the point in space and time where mens rea and actus reus concur, not where the harm is caused. Territorial jurisdiction for treason, piracy, and offenses against the law of nations is not confined to the territory of the United States, but personal jurisdiction for treason is confined to United States citizens.

Limited application of regulation
No regulation, ordinance, or other rule issued as anything but an act of Congress shall have the force of law on the general public, but may be applied only to government agents.

Trust Law
The law of trusts as of the date of ratification of this Constitution is hereby recognized as part of the common law that preceded this Constitution and was incorporated into it. The settlor, trustee, beneficiary, and the trust itself shall each be deemed as distinct persons in any court of law of the United States and any State, the trust represented therein by the trustee.

Power to raise army
The power to raise an army, navy, or other military force, other than militia, is only to hire volunteers, not to conscript the unwilling.

Power to investigate
Congress has power to authorize itself or committees of itself to operate as a grand jury for the investigation of public matters, including the issuance of subpoenas, and to authorize courts to enforce its subpoenas and orders to provide information.

Privilege from arrest
Members of Congress shall not be exempt from noncustodial arrest for a crime while Congress is in session, but may not be detained in a way that prevents them from debate or voting on a bill.

Clarification of appropriation
No expenditure shall be made, or obligation incurred or committed, by or for the government or any activity under its supervision, except within appropriations enacted by Congress, which shall specify the amount and the department or activity it may support, and which shall not exceed six years.

Clarification of Article I Section 7
The word "bills" shall include proposals within bills, and any proposal for raising or receiving revenues or disbursing funds, including for borrowing or lending, shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall specify rates, amounts, objects, and purposes.

Constitutional allegiance
All United States citizens and nationals, and all non-citizens while they are on the national soil of the United States, except for duly certified foreign diplomats, are subject to this Constitution and constitutional laws, and shall be deemed as having taken a oath or affirmation to "Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic".

No plenary powers
All powers delegated in this Constitution are constrained to be exercised only for a proper, or reasonable, rational, and legitimate, public purpose, as a fiduciary trust for the general benefit of all the people and not for the special benefit of any part of them, partially but not completely stated in the Preamble. No power is plenary or without limits, and no power may be extended to accomplish a purpose without amendment.


Remedial amendments — These correct omissions or mistakes:

Contumacy
Congress shall have power to prescribe the penalty for contumacy, but no judge shall have power to punish by fine, imprisonment, or other penalty, other than by incarceration for a period not to exceed ten days per court session, without conviction by a jury in a trial in which another judge shall preside.

Income tax amendment
The amendment proposed by congress in 1909 to "have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration", was never ratified, or if it was, is hereby repealed and rescinded retroactively. Taxes on equal exchanges, such as on the recipient of salary or wages for labor, shall not be taxable to a party who may not pass on the cost to a buyer.

Official misconduct
Congress shall have power to enact statutes to punish official misconduct, including the violation of the rights, privileges, or immunities of any person, abuse of discretion, violation of any oath or affirmation, dereliction of duty, failure to supervise, or conduct unbecoming.

Judicial officers
Section 1. Judicial officers shall consist of all persons sworn to duty in a court of the United States or subdivisions thereof, including but not limited to court presidents, judges, magistrates, clerks, bailiffs, attorneys, witnesses, trial jurors, or recorders.

Section 2. Subsequently appointed presidents, judges, magistrates, and clerks shall not be appointed permanently to a particular court, but periodically reassigned to courts and cases by sortition, with presidents or judges reassigned at random to courts each year, and at random to cases, other officials other than jurors assigned to courts for up to four years, and trial jurors selected at random to each case.

Interventions in court
Intervenors in cases who argue in defense of the Constitution shall not be excluded or impeded, in trial or appeal, in the courtroom or outside it, or in presenting legal arguments to juries.

Ceded parcels
Parcels ceded to the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress by consent of a state legislature must be specifically described by metes and bounds at the time of cession, and all state citizens of such parcel shall remain citizens of the ceding state for all elections to offices of the state or the Union. The boundaries of such parcels shall be clearly marked to give notice to any person entering or leaving which jurisdiction he or she is in.

Impeachment of Vice-President
In a trial on impeachment of the Vice-President he shall not preside over the Senate.

Original jurisdiction
Article III Section 2 Clause 2 is amended to allow lower courts to have original jurisdiction for cases in which a state is a party.

Removal Power
Congress shall have power to prescribe the terms of removal of individuals holding offices created by specific statute, and requiring the consent of the Senate for appointments, including standards of good behavior for judges, but the President or other executive officers shall have power to remove officers they have the exclusive authority to appoint for positions for which there is no specific term of service.

Initial terms of senators
Terms of admission of new states, agreed by Congress and the legislature of the new state, shall provide for terms of six, four, or two years for the initial senators, to comply with staggered terms according to Article I Section 3.

Enforcement of court orders
Congress shall have power to authorize officials of the United States to execute court orders.

Detaining of witnesses
It shall be a violation of due process to indefinitely detain a person who may be a witness.

No oppressive surveillance
The people shall be secure against general and pervasive surveillance in private and public places, whether done by government or private actors, that has a chilling effect on their private and civic activities, without specific public court orders pursuant to acts of Congress for national security.


Substantive amendments — These are mainly to delegate powers that would be denied by the clarifying amendments, but which some think the central government should have:

Volume of legislation
The total size of all current statutes, measured in bytes of text, shall not exceed that as of 1900, and for any act which adds text, an equal quantity of text must be repealed. The total volume of all regulations shall not exceed six times that of all statutes. Congress shall not adopt more provisions per year than can be adequately heard and decided by United States courts within two years of enactment, and if more are adopted, courts shall have authority to summarily strike them.

Judicial appeals
At each level of appeal a case shall first be heard by a randomly selected panel of three, appealable to a randomly selected panel of nine, and thence appealable to either a randomly selected or en banc panel of twenty-seven, depending on the number of judges assigned to that court.

Rule of decision in judicial panels
Any multimember judicial panel must be unanimous to sustain a claimed power of government against the claim of a citizen that the government lacks such power. If there is any doubt concerning whether an official has a delegated power, the presumption shall be that he does not. Courts shall not defer to the judgment of legislative or executive officials, but shall require strict proof of their findings or authority, with a presumption of nonauthority.

Decision of jurisdiction
Any question of which court, national, state, or local, shall have jurisdiction, shall be decided by a grand jury of citizens selected at random, if possible, from outside the jurisdictions of the courts in contention.

Pollution
Congress shall have power to regulate or prohibit substances or actions which are likely to cause resource degradation or depletion or injury to people across state, territorial, or national borders, but not those confined within the borders of a state or territory.

Coastal waters and airspace
Congress shall have exclusive legislative jurisdiction over coastal waters from the low tide mark out to a distance of three miles, and over airspace at or above 1000 feet above terrain features, including the power to regulate the movement of vessels through such territory. States shall have jurisdiction for land above the low tide mark.

Broadcast bands
Congress shall have exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the allocation of broadcast bands for transmissions in excess of 1 watt.

In rem forfeitures forbidden
Any claim against a nonperson must specify an owner, even if it is initially an unknown owner, and the last possessor shall be presumed the owner unless title to another is proved. No asset shall be forfeited except to pay a lawful fine, imposed by verdict of a jury, by selling at public auction.

State secrets
Congress shall have power to punish for disclosure of state secrets properly so designated by a court of competent jurisdiction, but it shall also have power to punish the concealment of official misconduct under the guise of state secrecy.

Court opinions
Opinions of all courts, majority, concurring, or dissenting, shall be signed by each judicial officer participating, and all decisions and opinions shall be published except for state secrets. The summary, findings, orders, and commentary shall be clearly separated and labeled as such.

Recording of legal proceedings
Except in an emergency in which recording is impossible, all legislative, judicial, and administrative proceedings, other than trial jury and grand jury meetings, shall be recorded with current state of the art audio and video technologies, archived, and released as Congress, for federal proceedings, or a state legislature, for state proceedings, or a court of competent jurisdiction, shall direct. Persons present in a legislative conference or court shall not be barred from recording the proceedings except to forbid them from disclosing the members of the jury before the trial is concluded.

Supermajority for criminal penalties
Congress or a state legislature shall not enact legislation with criminal penalties without support by a vote of 94% of the members, not just of the members present and voting.

Proxy voting in legislative bodies elected by population
Members of the United States House of Representatives, and houses of state legislatures whose members represent political subdivisions that elect a number of representatives in proportion to their population, shall elect representatives at large, and the number of allocated representatives receiving the most votes shall be declared elected.
  1. Each such member shall cast a fractional vote equal to the number N of members allocated to that state or subdivision, multiplied by the number of votes he or she received in the election, divided by the total number of votes cast in the state or subdivision for the N candidates receiving the most votes, in all proceedings of the house to which elected.
  2. Each candidate shall, prior to election, declare a list of successors if he or she becomes unable to serve, or is removed from office, who shall be appointed to replace him or her.
  3. If the chain of successors is exhausted the State Governor shall appoint the successor.

Selection of members of legislative bodies not elected by population
Members of the United States Senate, and houses of state legislatures whose members represent political subdivisions not based on population, shall be selected by a multi-stage nominating process that first randomly selects precinct panels of twenty-three, who then elect a person from each precinct, from among whom are randomly selected twenty-three persons for the next higher jurisdiction or district, and thus by alternating random selection and election to the next level, when they reach the top level, the number of randomly selected candidates shall be two, who shall be the nominees on the ballot for the final election by general electors, except that general electors may write-in other persons.
  1. Electors may vote for more than one nominee, using the method of approval voting.
  2. There must also be an alternative of "none of the above".
  3. The nominee receiving the most votes shall be declared elected, unless "none of the above" wins, in which case the position shall remain vacant until the next election.

Firearm exclusion zones
Congress shall have power, on territory under its exclusive jurisdiction, and state legislatures, on territory under their exclusive jurisdiction, to forbid weapons within penal facilities, courthouses, and government offices, provided that they provide for a secure system for checking in weapons on entry, and return on leaving, and guarantee the safety of persons within against all injury they might be able to avoid by having the means to defend themselves or others.

Weapons of mass destruction
Congress shall have power, on territory under its exclusive jurisdiction, and state legislatures, on territory under their exclusive jurisdiction, to forbid unsupervised possession of destructive devices or weapons each discharge of which can produce the death or injury of more than 1000 individuals over a space of 1000 square meters and a time of one hour.

Eminent domain
Congress shall have the power of eminent domain only on territory for which it has exclusive jurisdiction, and state legislatures only on exclusively state territory. State legislatures must consent to Congress taking by eminent domain any parcels within their territory. No taking by either Congress or a state legislature shall be for any purpose other than public use for a period of at least 20 years.

Legal tender
Congress shall have the power to define legal tender only on territory for which it has exclusive jurisdiction, and state legislatures only on exclusively state territory. Neither Congress nor the states may make anything legal tender that does not consist of, or is backed by, gold, silver, or energy, nor use anything but legal tender to pay its debts, or accept anything but legal tender for the payment of taxes.

Occupational licensing
There shall be no occupational licensing, formal or informal, national, state, or local, especially of lawyers by lawyers or judges.

Constitutional authority for legislation
No legislative act or provision thereof shall have the force of law unless the constitutional authority for it is explicitly cited, verifiable by proving an unbroken chain of logical derivation.

Violation of the Constitution
It shall be a capital offense for any official at any level of government to violate this Constitution.

Sunset of legislation
Every bill enacted by Congress shall expire two years after enactment, unless re-enacted, or unless it is constitutionally mandated.

Number of members of the House of Representatives
The number of members of the House of Representatives shall be two hundred eighty-five plus three times the number of states.

Selecting electors for president and vice-president
The electors for president and vice-president shall be selected in each state by the following procedure:
  1. An initial panel of citizens qualified to vote in that state equal to one hundred times the number of electors to be selected from that state shall be selected at random, in a process that shall be supervised by a randomly-selected grand jury specially empaneled for that task;
  2. Members of this initial panel shall take an examination in which each shall recite from memory 20 randomly selected clauses of this Constitution, and shall receive a score of one for each clause he or she is able to recite without error;
  3. A second panel shall be selected from the first, consisting of ten times the number of electors to be selected, with the odds of selecting each weighted by the score he or she received in the examination, and with exclusion of any who scored zero;
  4. Members of the second panel shall meet, and each shall rank all the others in descending order of civic virtue, giving a score indicating the rank consisting of the number of panelists for the highest down to one for the lowest;
  5. The electors shall then be selected from this second panel at random, but weighted by his or her average rank from the previous round of peer assessments.

Aboriginal American rights
Treaties with Native American tribes shall be honored, either with the original land taken from them being returned to them, land of equivalent value deeded to them, or money equal in current value to the land taken paid to them. Conveyance or payment shall be to a trust for each tribe controlled by that tribe. Administrative supervision of tribes shall be terminated.

Power to punish perjury
Perjury shall consist of the violation of any oath or affirmation, including that made for public office, and Congress shall have authority to criminally punish it only when made in a forum of the United States, or by an officer or agent of the United States.

Power to punish fraud
Congress shall have authority to criminally punish fraud only when committed on territory of the United States over which it has exclusive jurisdiction.

Certification of amendments
To be deemed ratified, the results of votes of the legislature or convention in each state shall be reviewed and verified by a vote of at least 18 of a randomly selected grand jury of 23 from citizens of that state who are not dependent on public funds for their support; and the reports of all such grand juries shall be reviewed and verified by a vote of at least 18 of a randomly selected grand jury of 23 from citizens of the United States who are not dependent on public funds for their support.

Certification of eligibility to hold office
To be deemed eligible the qualifications of any candidate shall be reviewed and verified by a vote of at least 18 of a randomly selected grand jury of 23 from citizens of the United States who are not dependent on public funds for their support.

Unfunded mandates, abuse of spending power
Congress may not require any state or local official, or private person, of the United States of America, to expend any resources without providing such resources, or make the provision of resources conditional on performing actions Congress does not have the power to command, except for militia organization, training, and operations, or for specific performance on a voluntary contract.

Amendments without Congress
Whenever the legislatures or conventions called by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states shall adopt an identical proposal for an amendment to this Constitution within a four-year period, such proposal shall be submitted to the legislatures of all the states, and the proposal shall be deemed ratified if the state legislatures, or state conventions called by the legislatures, of three-fourths of the states shall ratify it within two years from submission.

Power to cancel or suspend economic activity
    Congress shall have, and with a treaty with other nations collectively producing more than half of the world's tangible goods, shall exercise, power to do the following for each year evenly divisible by seven, for a shmita period at least three and not more than nine months:
    1. Cancel all debts, securities, fiat currencies, and derivatives thereof;
    2. Liquidate or break up all for-profit corporate entities and activities into organizations comprised of not more than 300 individuals and investors;
    3. Regulate emergent behavior that might act in concert like a corporate entity;
    4. Suspend all extraction, including mining planting, harvesting, and fishing, all manufacturing, and all transport beyond 100 kilometers of durable goods, other than those essential for defense, justice and law enforcement, water, power, or medical services;
    5. Promote storage systems to enable persons to endure the shmita period;
    6. Forbid the importation of goods subject to the shmita during the shmita period;
    7. Call out militia to enforce the shmita.

Advocate for the Constitution
In any judicial or administrative case in which there is a constitutional issue, it shall be deemed reversible error if there is no adequate advocate for the Constitution as originally meant and understood.

Challenges to debt
No debt by the United States or any department thereof shall be incurred or held valid that funds consumption by other than military personnel and militia personnel in federal service, or funds payment of principal or interest on existing debt; and any person may challenge the validity of any debt, whereupon the government shall have 20 days to prove it is authorized by law and not for consumption except as provided above, failing which the debt shall be deemed null and void.

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Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/reform/us/con_amend.htm
Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 2009/4/13 —