xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Michael Zimmer: Changes needed to Constitution

Transformational leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Ronald W. Reagan are rare. Perhaps even rarer is a transformational book on a national scale. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" would seem to fit that category.
I'm beginning to wonder whether Mark Levin's latest book, "The Liberty Amendments," may hold the potential of transforming our nation's politics and government on an epic scale.
Levin is a nationally syndicated radio host. He's an attorney who worked in the Reagan Justice Department.
Levin makes his purpose in writing this book quite plain in his opening sentence, "I undertook this project not because I believe the Constitution, as originally structured is outdated and outmoded, thereby requiring modernization through amendments, but because of the opposite - that is, the necessity and urgency of restoring constitutional republicanism and preserving the civil society from the growing authoritarianism of the federal Leviathan."
Following an introductory chapter, the author shares several amendments to the Constitution. The first proposed amendment would impose term limits on Congress. It would limit total membership in either body of Congress or a mixture of the two at 12 years total.
His second suggested amendment would repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and empower state legislatures to select U.S. Senators as originally established in the Constitution.
The third amendment would be for term limits on Justices of the Supreme Court. It would further empower Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions by a three-fifths vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Levin addresses limitations on taxes and spending in his fifth chapter. The next chapter suggests an amendment to limit the federal bureaucracy. This would place a three year sunset on the existence of departments and agencies absent individual reauthorizations by Congress. In addition, regulations adding large economic burdens would be subject to a review by a permanent joint committee of Congress.
The author next promotes an amendment to reign in what he would consider abusive and overly broad interpretations of the commerce clause. Chapter 8 addresses property rights, which Levin views as coming under threat by federal regulations.
Levin proposes an amendment composed of four sections that would allow state legislatures a mechanism to directly amend the Constitution. In this same light, Chapter 10 of the book contains an amendment granting state legislatures essentially a veto over bills passed by Congress and regulations of executive agencies and departments.
The author suggests that a vote by three fifths of the states would be required to exercise this veto.
The final amendment relates to voting security, including such elements as requiring a photo identification to vote.
In our divided nation, it is hard to know which of these ideas would be the most difficult to pass.
It does seem clear that something has got to give. Continuing down a path of consistent erosion of fundamental constitutional limitation would seem to be a recipe for disaster.
We have only to consider the upheavals of Greece in recent years to give us a taste of what may be in store for us absent a serious course correction.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement