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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended? (Read 791 times)
Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #70 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 5:21pm
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ahhell wrote on Dec 2nd, 2019 at 4:30pm:
Seems unlikely, they'll mostly be in their late sixties when when they term out, if you want to be sure, make an age requirement, they have to be 45 when taking office or some such.  Though, I don't actually think you are right, I don't think that is a substantial risk.  I do value judicial indepenence though.
There is no reason to assume they will be of any particular age when they are appointed, and, if you look around, Congress is full of pretty ancient people.

The risk I see is that there will be political justices, planning to be part of the partisan team when they retire from the court, and how better to get an "in" with the team than to favor the team in your opinions from the Supreme Court.

I can't see any way to stop that.

In the days when the federal government was still seen as limited, Supreme Court Justices often retired when in the prime of life and went on to other careers. They felt no need to stay on the Court until they died or were assured that "their" team would get to appoint their replacement.

An unlimited government with an unlimited power to tax is why Justices no longer retire.
  

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Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #71 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 5:28pm
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ahhell wrote on Dec 2nd, 2019 at 4:30pm:
I think Jeff is basically right, if we actually demanded that the congress, president, and courts actually stick to the constitutional limits, then the courts wouldn't loom heavily over  every presidential election.  That chicken has flown the coupe though. 

The idea is to gather up the chickens and bring them back into the coop.

You seem to be saying "They've taken some of our rights, and are eating the fruits of our labor, and restricting our liberty, but that's just the way it is now, oh well..."
  

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Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #72 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 5:31pm
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ahhell wrote on Dec 2nd, 2019 at 4:30pm:
Edit, you have a valid point about Bork, Bork and conservatives were screwed on that one...
The consistent libertarian opinion of Bork was that he was a danger to our liberty.
  

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SkyChief
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #73 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 12:59pm
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Section 4 of Article 2 of the US Constitution:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Misdemeanors?   Really?

Spitting on the sidewalk is a misdemeanor.   Could a sitting president be impeached for that?

That word should be stricken.  It's much too subjective.  Loosely interpreted, it means a president could be impeached for virtually anything

The standard for impeachment needs to be better defined.
  

Governments will always devise ways to deprive an honest man of his money or property, and claim that it's legal.
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Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #74 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:41pm
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SkyChief wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 12:59pm:
Section 4 of Article 2 of the US Constitution:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Misdemeanors?   Really?

Spitting on the sidewalk is a misdemeanor.   Could a sitting president be impeached for that?

That word should be stricken.  It's much too subjective.  Loosely interpreted, it means a president could be impeached for virtually anything

The standard for impeachment needs to be better defined.
I like the idea of a President being impeached for any bad behavior that a majority of Representatives concur merits impeachment.

If you look further into the Constitution, Judges serve "during good behavior", which allows the same sort of discretion on the part of our Representatives.

I'd agree to Presidents, like Supreme Court Justices and Judges serving "during good behavior".  Smiley

Edit: If you think it's too easy to make impeachment simply a political act, to be engaged in by the faction in the majority in the House, why not suggest that a 2/3 majority agreement is required?

Anyway:

"The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the context of impeachments has an ancient English history, first turning up in the impeachment of the Earl of Suffolk in 1388. Treason is defined in the Constitution. Bribery is not, but it had a clear common law meaning and is now well covered by statute. “High crimes and misdemeanors,” however, is an undefined and indefinite phrase, which, in England, had comprehended conduct not constituting indictable offenses. Use of the word “other” to link “high crimes and misdemeanors” with “treason” and “bribery” is arguably indicative of the types and seriousness of conduct encompassed by “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Similarly, the word “high” apparently carried with it a restrictive meaning."

From here:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-2/section-4/impeachment
  

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ahhell
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #75 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:47pm
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It is my understanding that "High crimes and misdemeanors" at the time the constitution was written was an stock phrase that basically meant, "misusing authority".  Which makes perfect sense as a standard for impeachment.

The current usage to mean basically any minor crime came later.
  
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #76 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:57pm
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ahhell wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:47pm:
It is my understanding that "High crimes and misdemeanors" at the time the constitution was written was an stock phrase that basically meant, "misusing authority".  Which makes perfect sense as a standard for impeachment.

The current usage to mean basically any minor crime came later. 

So then you agree with me that it should be amended to reflect the current usage of the word misdemeanor?

Jeff wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:41pm:
If you think it's too easy to make impeachment simply a political act, to be engaged in by the faction in the majority in the House, why not suggest that a 2/3 majority agreement is required?

That would be helpful, but tossing out the word misdemeanor would be better, IMO.
  

Governments will always devise ways to deprive an honest man of his money or property, and claim that it's legal.
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Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #77 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 3:06pm
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SkyChief wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 2:57pm:
So then you agree with me that it should be amended to reflect the current usage of the word misdemeanor?

That would be helpful, but tossing out the word misdemeanor would be better, IMO.
Leaving "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misusing their authority"?
  

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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #78 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 3:10pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 3:06pm:
Leaving "treason, bribery, or other high crimes"?
The terms Treason and Bribery are explicit, but "high crimes" leaves too much room for interpretation - too much "wiggle room".
  

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Jeff
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Re: How should USA (United States of America) Constitution be amended?
Reply #79 - Dec 12th, 2019 at 3:19pm
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SkyChief wrote on Dec 12th, 2019 at 3:10pm:
The terms Treason and Bribery are explicit, but "high crimes" leaves too much room for interpretation - too much "wiggle room".
You want a specific and comprehensive list of reasons for impeachment.

I remember you saying that once before. It's a bad idea.

"Misuse of authority, abuse of power"... Things like that should be impeachable, even though they leave room for interpretation. "Treason" is also subject to interpretation.

Edit:

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/treason

Giving "aid and comfort to the enemies of our country" constitutes treason...
  

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