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Justice Stevens' Six Constitutional Amendments. You're Welcome, America.

May 20, 2014, 2:00 PM

What's the Latest Big Idea?

In his new book, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens pens six new amendments to our Constitution. They are:

(1) The Second Amendment shall apply only to those who keep and bear arms "when serving in the Militia."

(2) Congress and state governments can impose "reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns."

(3) Capital punishment, because it risks killing innocent inmates, is not "tolerable in a civilized society."

(4) All congressional districts "shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory" to prevent racial gerrymandering.

(5) Eliminate the anti-commandeering rule, which prevents the federal government from requiring states to perform federal duties, possibly damaging "the federal government's ability to respond effectively to natural disasters that recur with distressing frequency."

(6) Deprive states of sovereign immunity for violating federal law, allowing private citizens to bring suit against state governments when federal statutes are violated. 

The common theme that binds Stevens' proposed amendments is his belief in the right of self-governance. With the exception of banning the death penalty, Stevens seeks to return devolve the authority assumed by the Supreme Court. 

Read it at the New York Review of Books



Justice Stevens' Six Consti...

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