Senator Mike Gravel
Jeffrey Peters, right up here.
Jeffrey Peters from We the People, coming back to bootstrapping a government by the People, one of our speakers this morning brought up the subject of the constitutional amendment [Democracy Amendment] and whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to have a constitutional amendment here in addition to the federal act. And I think when possible simplicity is best. And so if we didn’t have to do a constitutional amendment, simplicity would be better. But there has obviously been some thought given by constitutional folks that we need a constitutional amendment. So I think before we go too far in this whole effort, it would be good to have the arguments on the side of why we need a constitutional amendment, because if we don’t, let’s keep it simple.
Senator Mike Gravel
I’d like to stay right on that thought, that, because he read my mind and that was the point I was going to try to bring us back to. The point was made, “Do we need it? These rights are there.” OK? But isn’t that the same question we faced back in 87  when they went for ratification. They said, “Well, where is the bill of rights? Where is our rights defined here?” And they said, “Well, we take it for granted. You know, you’ve got those rights. We don’t have to say it.” But then you look at the body of law, interpretive law of the Constitution that’s happened since then. My God, what would have happened to that interpretation had there been no rights? So the question becomes, “Should we have an amendment that states that the People will exercise their sovereign rights? Or do we not need an amendment? Is it, is it a given?” That’s the question.
My name is Sylvia Shih. I am from California. I want to go back to some of the sentiment and reservation presented. One sentiment is that there is inconsistency in our proclaiming that there is a natural right versus the fact we even have to put it and make a Constitutional amendment. To me, is quite straightforward is that even though there is the right, we still have the need to codify whatever action we take so that there is a record of it and since the change is so fundemental then the Constitution is the proper place to make the codification and therefore the amendment.
Also see the Democracy Amendment.