A New Constitution for the United States

Democracy: A Journal of Ideas today published a new draft constitution for the United States.

Editor Michael Tomasky describes this special symposium as “probably the most ambitious project ever undertaken by this journal.”

This was an extraordinary endeavor that brought together legal academics, political scientists and some journalists to return to the fundamentals and rethink the American political order and the role the present Constitution plays in generating or enhancing the political pathologies now gripping the United States.

I was one of the 55 delegates to this drafting convention that spent the last year deliberating — and I have an essay included in this symposium — a dissent.

One thought on “A New Constitution for the United States

  1. Well, the whole thing will be worth study. There’s bound to be quite a few good ideas in there, and I see lots of interesting ideas a quick skim. But my God, look at the amendment clause: simple majority vote!!! Because the insanity there is not 100%, they stagger it out, requiring two votes in two sessions of Congress, and then a nationwide vote of the citizens w/i 90s days. I think even Herbert Croly’s recommended amendment procedures posed more hurdles. So in other words, this is constitution that is actively anti-deliberation, and more than that, actively anti-constitutionalist. It has removed any and all super-majority requirement, or any regional authority requirement, for the making of fundamental law. Thus the sense of written constitutionalism assumed by the Founders, but especially captured by certain key sentences of Federalist 78, has been jettisoned. What a disgrace. “Dissent” is far too weak a word. The scholars who have come out for this document are anti-constitutionalist, period. It will be interesting if the main writers for this site, will openly call them out on that. I do not yet see a clear statement of who voted for the final result, and who did not. But I stand by my statement here: if there was a simple up-or-down vote for this anti-constitutionalist constitution–and how anti-transparent and CYA if they did not hold such a vote!–then those scholars who voted for it, I don’t care who they are, have declared themselves outright enemies of the American political tradition.

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