For all the love directed at the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers by politicians, there’s rarely a time when several groups aren’t proposing changes to the document in search of “a more perfect union.”
As mass shootings continue, don’t be surprised to see several gun-control amendments emerge. People opposed to abortion would like to outlaw that through a “Human Life Amendment.” People opposed to deficit spending would like to stop that through a “Balanced Budget Amendment.”
And a group in Washington is nearing its goal for signatures to push reforms on campaign finance. Initiative 735 wants to overturn Supreme Court rulings that equate corporations with people and regard campaign contributions as constitutionally protected free speech. It’s called the “Government of, by and for the People Act.”
This proposal envisions change through the standard route: An amendment is passed by two-thirds of each chamber of Congress, goes to the states, and is added to the Constitution if three-fourths say yes. It’s a process that usually winnows out ideas impractical or faddish, although Prohibition managed to sneak through for Amendment XVIII, only to be repealed by Amendment XXI.
Constitutional articles and amendments are so important that they are enumerated in the Roman style, making them roughly equal in importance to another American institution, the Super Bowl. The NFL has apparently abandoned the practice, at least for Super Bowl 50, perhaps for fear of jokes being made about an L of a Super Bowl.