Not long after the Framers of the American Constitution created it the debate about how to change it began. The so-called Originalists argue that it is a sacred document and therefore not subject to any need for revision. Others believe instead that the Constitution must be adaptable to meet the evolving needs of people now and in the future.
The argument for a Living Constitution can be found within the document itself. There are only seven articles and one, Article 5, enshrines the process for Constitutional Amendments.
Another argument for a Living Constitution is the fact that the Constitution has already been amended 27 times.
Three additional arguments for flexibility also suggest themselves for consideration. 1. The Framers wrote and submitted the Document during stressful and volatile times often choosing vague and non-specific language in order to mollify competing factions. 2. Even a cursory review of the 27 amendments reveals them to be overlapping and poorly worded. And 3. The fact that the Amendments are amendments and not Articles speaks to the possible perception that they are secondary and of lesser importance.
Articles 1, 2, and 3, which define the three branches of Government (Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts), establish the all-important principle of Separation of Powers and must stand as written!
Articles 4 and 6 establish the sovereignty of the states under the umbrella of the Federal Government and regulate the rights and responsibilities of each state as regards the others. Article 6 also speaks to the Separation of Church and State by stating that no religious doctrines will be used to qualify candidates for public office. Articles 4 and 6 could and should be combined but otherwise unchanged in order to protect the unity of the nation.
Article 5, as mentioned already, outlines the continuing necessity for amendment procedures in order to ensure the required flexibility of the Document.
Article 7, the ratification procedures Article, is woefully out of date. It was written at a time when the United States consisted of only the 13 original colonies.
All of the 27 massively overworded and redundant amendments do one of two things: restrict the power of government or protect the individual freedoms of the citizenry. With a few exceptions, a very short and succinct statement is all that is required.
Proposed: The American Constitution needs to be rewritten and re-ratified!
According to the vision outlined above, the Newly Revised and Improved American Constitution would retain the six original Articles, with the proviso that the original Articles 4 and 6 would be combined, and a new seventh Article would be added to replace the amendments. The New Article 7 could be as short as a sentence or two, such as: All American citizens, subject only to their continued obedience to the Law, shall retain sovereignty over their own personal freedoms, and the Local, State, and Federal Government’s sole responsibility will always be to protect and defend the Rights of its Law-abiding citizens equally and without favoritism, remaining always non-discriminatory, neutral, unbiased, and blind to considerations of power, wealth, or influence.