October Huddle with Meg Mott, Sunday, Oct. 20th, 1:30-3:30 at the Putney Public Library
Meg Mott, retired Professor of Politics, Marlboro College and Town Moderator for Putney, Vermont will lead us in a discussion on amending the constitution…
“Although the United States Constitution is a historical document, it was designed to accommodate the lessons learned under a constitutional democracy. Article V lays out the specific steps for amending the original document, a process that is cumbersome but surprisingly broad. As far as the Framers were concerned, only two items were no longer up for debate: the trafficking in enslaved person could not be extended beyond or halted before 1808; the Senate must be always be comprised of two Senators from each state, regardless of the state’s population. Beyond those two items, everything else was fair game.
Since the Constitution was signed in September of 1787, there have been twenty-seven amendments. The most recent was ratified on May 7, 1992 even though the original language was presented to the States as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on September 25, 1789. Other Amendments, such as the Equal Rights Amendment, have gotten almost to the finish line before a legislative clock ran out.
We’ll consider the logistics of passing an Amendment and some of the difficulties of governing by constitutional fiat. For instance, the Eighteenth Amendment was a well-intentioned effort to reduce dissolute behavior and crime by prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Fourteen years later it was repealed by the 21st Amendment. What makes for a good amendment, and what would be better addressed through policy or case law? Feel free to bring a proposed Amendment that you think deserves to be ratified.”
There will also be a Local Love Brigade action, Announcements, and Sister District update.