Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: How Would You Amend the US Constitution?
Almost four years ago, I had several posts on the topic of proposed amendments to the US Constitution. Recently, the New York Times “asked seven scholars and writers what they think needs amending next.” Today, a summary of three of the proposals submitted. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE RIGHT TO UNIONIZE — would you support this? why or why not? (proposed by Kate Andreas, a professor at Columbia Law School)
1. “Federal law purports to protect the right to unionize, but it does so weakly and only for some workers, excluding the millions who are classified as independent contractors, domestic and agricultural workers and many others, disproportionately women and people of color. Moreover the law has been eroded by hostile court decisions and anti-union legislation at the state and federal level.”
2. “The consequences are dire: Income inequality has soared. Many workers can barely make ends meet. Even more have little control over their everyday lives, with employers able to change schedules at any time and without explanation, to monitor workers’ every move using new technologies and to terminate workers for no reason at all.”
3. “The absence of strong unions harms not only the workplace and the economy but also American democracy. Without countervailing organizations of workers, big corporations and the wealthy exercise vastly more influence in politics at every level of government.”
THE RIGHT OF THE UNBORN — agree? disagree? (proposed by Alexandra DeSanctis, staff writer National Review)
1. “Unless the court overturns its decades of hazy and unworkable precedent protecting abortion, lawmakers who attempt to safeguard the equality of the unborn will remain unable to do so.”
2. “Even if the court changes course, without a constitutional amendment explicitly recognizing fetal personhood, states will maintain a maze of abortion laws, some of which will continue to allow abortion.”
3. “This amendment would affirm that, like each us, every unborn human being possesses the intrinsic right to life, while accounting for situations in which a woman might need emergency medical treatment that may have the foreseeable secondary effect of harming her unborn child.”
NO STATE OR CITY SHALL RESTRICT PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT — what do you think? (proposed by David Schleicher, professor, Yale Law School)
1. “American needs to get moving again. Over the past 40 years, Americans have moved from one state or city to another less and less frequently. This lack of mobility — and the lack of population growth in highly productive cities and regions — substantially harms the economy.”
2. “State and local laws clearly make it harder for people to move toward opportunity. Zoning regulations limit housing construction in many wealthy cities and regions, raising housing costs and limiting in-migration for those who don’t already have high salaries to take advantage of those strong economies. Land use regulations in the most productive regions have reduced economic output by 36% between 1964 and 2009. Occupational licensing regulations cover 25% of workers and limit the ability of people to move between states because their licenses do not travel.”
3. “The Constitution, through the dormant commerce clause, already bars state laws that discriminate against interstate trade. A new constitutional amendment could bar state and local laws that have the effect of limiting interstate population mobility, freeing the national economy from protectionist and non-in-my-backyard state and local regulation.”
For the last three years of posts, organized thematically:
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