The resolution has only allotted two years for ratification, and 3/4 of the states must ratify within that time period for the amendment to become part of the Constitution. But most amendments have been ratified faster, and most Americans know how important this is.
We are in a time of extraordinary change. Civic engagement is more important than ever. Focus on our future: help remake the system to work better for us. This is the kind of future our kids deserve.
To ratify, we'll have to bypass our state legislatures. When this amendment passes Congress they will propose it to the states. When it comes to the state level, each state will use state Ratification Conventions with delegates nominated by popular petition and elected by popular ballot. Remember that opponents will have their petitions ready.
Law or political science classes can teach what is needed in your state, and how to draft the proposal and nominations for the Ratification Conventions and get them to your state legislature. Take care to find delegates who will be effective and faithful to the public's needs. The public can file to have the budget made constitutional from the date of ratification on.
Enacting It with Legislation
The difficulty of passage isn't the only reason amendment is a last resort. While the Constitution is law itself, it's mainly used as a source of legislation and can be hard to enforce without it.
Enacting legislation is discussed repeatedly in this proposal, but nothing it recommends is mandatory and legislators can extrapolate from the amendment's text. Some of it will be determined at the state level (see Redistricting for State Offices). But the Information Age is making it much easier for the public to take part in the legislative process, bringing us back almost to the town-hall environment of the early federal period.
To ensure smooth, immediate and nondefeating enactment, enacting legislation should be drafted in advance of ratification and posted online to be checked by the public. Ask any members of Congress or state legislatures who are interested, but knowledgeable members of the public can also draft it.
America will always act to assure free and fair elections. It's who we are. A new national effort to make our political process work better for us will get it done.
1. Introduction of Joint Resolution (with Constitutional Authority Statement, below)
Senate: any; or We the People petition
House: any; or We the People petition
2. Floor vote; assignment to Constitution subcommittees
3. Subcommittee hearings; subcommittee vote
Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, 116th Congress
Senators Cruz (TX), Cornyn (TX), Sasse (NE), Blackburn (TN), Lee (UT), Crapo (ID), Hirono (HI), Durbin (IL), Coons (DE), Whitehouse (RI), Harris (CA)
House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, 116th Congress
Reps. Cohen (TN), Raskin (MD), Swalwell (CA), Scanlon (PA), Dean (PA), Garcia (TX), Escobar (TX), Jackson Lee (TX), Johnson (LA), Gohmert (TX), Jordan (OH), Reschenthaler (PA), Cline (VA), Armstrong (ND)
4. Judiciary Committee hearings; committee vote
Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 116th Congress
Sens. Graham (SC), Grassley (LA), Cornyn (TX), Lee (UT), Cruz (TX), Sasse (NE), Hawley (MD), Tillis (NC), Ernst (IA), Crapo (ID), Kennedy (LA), Blackburn (TN), Leahy (VT), Durbin (IL), Whitehouse (RI), Klobuchar (MN), Coons (DE), Blumenthal (CT), Hirono (HI), Booker (NJ), Harris (CA)
House Judiciary Committee, 116th Congress
Reps. Nadler (NY), Scanlon (PA), Lofgren (CA), Jackson Lee (TX), Cohen (TN), Johnson (GA), Deutch (FL), Bass (CA), Richmond (LA), Jeffries (NY), Cicilline (RI), Swalwell (CA), Lieu (CA), Raskin (MD), Jayapal (WA), Denings (FL), Correa (CA), Garcia (TX), Neguse (CO), McBath (GA), Stanton (AZ), Dean (PA), Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Escobar (TX), Collins (GA), Sensenbrenner (WI), Chabot (OH), Gohmert (TX), Jordan (OH), Buck (CO), Ratcliffe (TX), Roby (AL), Gaetz (FL), Johnson (LA), Biggs (AZ), McClintock (CA), Lesko (AZ), Reschenthaler (PA), Cline (VA), Armstrong (ND), Steube (FL)
5. Floor Debate
6. Floor vote
Senate and House: full; may be joint session
Constitutional Authority Statement
When this amendment is officially introduced a document entitled, “Constitutional Authority Statement” will accompany it. That document will resemble the following but will be made at that time with the assistance of the Clerk of Congress to ensure proper procedure. No such document is required until the date of introduction.
In accordance with House Rule XII, clause 7(c) this document states the power granted by the Constitution to enact this joint resolution. Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following:
The Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Article V: "The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."
Article I, Section 8: "The Congress shall [...] make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States."