Constitution II: Preamble and Stipulations

Constitution II for the United States of America

Preamble[1]

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution II[2] for the United States of America.

This Constitution II replaces the United States Constitution of 1787, as amended.

Stipulations[3]

  1. All laws, treaties, responsibilities, regulations, debts, and other obligations of the United States, undertaken under the Constitution of 1787 as amended, continue in full force and effect, except where specifically contravened by this Constitution II.[4]
  2. Each of the 50 states existing at the time of the creation of this Constitution II are invited to conduct a plebiscite to ratify this Constitution II within ten years of its submission to the states. This Constitution II will become effective in those states ratifying same, provided it has been ratified by a plebiscite in 30 or more states, whose total population constitutes at least 60% of the population of the United States according to the most recent decennial census.[5]
  3. The first elections conducted under this Constitution II will take place in the first presidential election year that begins at least 12 months following ratification.[6] This first election will include the President, Vice President, House of Representatives, and one Class of the Senate. (The existing President, Vice President, and Congress will continue to serve until those newly elected under this Constitution II begin their terms of office.)
  4. This Constitution II establishes a Federal Government consisting of three co-equal branches: the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch.[7]

[1] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Preamble.

[2] The revised constitution is referred to as “this Constitution II” throughout.

[3] These ideas need to be stated at the outset, though the ideas themselves are not new and in fact exist (with different wording) in the 1787 Constitution.

[4] Adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article VI, first paragraph.

[5] Adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article VII. The two new ideas here are (1) that ratification by each state depends on the will of the people (a plebiscite) rather than by an act of a legislature or convention and (2) ratification and implementation of the whole document depend on the approval of states that comprise at least 60% of the United States population. Of course we could choose a lower bar for putting this Constitution II into effect. We could accept the bar of 9 states from the 1787 Constitution. Note: the 9 most populous states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina) hold 51% of the US population; hence the notion that any collection of nine or more states that constitute a majority of the US population can put this new Constitution II into effect in those states that have approved it is not really too far-fetched. Nevertheless, this first very rough draft specifies 60% of the states comprising 60% of the population. (Note that, if Amendment NNN to the 1787 Constitution is adopted, then this stipulation is not needed.)

[6] That is, a year evenly divisible by 4.

[7] While we have always talked about the three co-equal branches of the federal government, the 1787 Constitution does not explicitly state this. Perhaps it is a good idea to stipulate that this Constitution II prescribes three co-equal branches.

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