After the Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 it had to be approved by 2/3 of the states to become law.
To amend the Constitution the Founding Fathers required 2/3 of both Houses of Congress to approve an amendment. But instead of also requiring 2/3 of the state legislatures to approve amendments to the Constitution they set a higher standard of 3/4 of the state legislatures to approve amendments.
Our Founding Fathers set a high bar to amend the Constitution to protect it from being changed too easily by political factions. This is exactly what happened in Turkey in 2017 when they changed their constitution by a simple majority referendum vote and replaced their democracy with what amounts to a dictatorship.
Clearly a simple majority is too low a bar to change our Constitution. But requiring 3/4 of the state legislatures to approve an amendment is too high a bar. As a result 3/4 is so difficult to achieve that needed and necessary amendments to our Constitution sometimes can’t get passed.
Requiring 2/3 of the state legislatures to approve a Constitutional amendment is just the right level: not too low and not too high. 2/3 is enough and would make our Constitution better by allowing more needed and necessary amendments to be passed.
If 2/3 of the states were good enough in 1787 to approve the original Constitution then requiring 2/3 of the states to approve future amendments should also be good enough.
To make our democracy better we should propose a “2/3 is Enough” amendment to the Constitution that in addition to requiring approval by 2/3 of both houses of Congress we should also require 2/3 of the state legislatures to ratify new amendments to the Constitution. Ironically it would require approval by 3/4 of the states to become law.
“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them…too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it….But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind…and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances; institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.”
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Kercheval, June 12, 1816.
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