The Gaian Constitution (8/9) The Union

I love political science, and so for fun I decided to draft a modified version of the US Constitution to better reflect the new issues of a modern era. This project was not intended to be disrespectful to the current Constitution, it was meant as a tribute following in the same patriotic spirit.

The name comes from Gaius Gracchus, one of Ancient Rome’s greatest progressive reformers along with his brother, Tiberius. The header image for these posts comes from my love of rabbits. I thought a white rabbit would be an interesting symbol for a grassroots movement as a nod to Alice in Wonderland (“follow the white rabbit”), also rabbits eat grass (so grassroots), and are individually weak yet good at multiplying into something greater.

This is merely a first draft, and I’d love to get feedback for how to improve on it if anyone has any suggestions they’d like to share.

Cornelia Africana introducing her sons, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus

Article VII: On the Framework of the Union

DIVISION OF POWER AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The powers of the Federal Government are enumerated to it by the States and the People. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  1. The Federal Government: shall be responsible for the Union’s defense, foreign policy, armed forces, healthcare, basic income, transition to renewable resources, railroads and highways, airways, mail, telephone and internet lines, currency, trade, land value tax.

  2. Concurrent powers between Federal and States shall be maintaining law and order, coordinating elections and auditing, business regulation and consumer protection, marriage and divorce (these may not be withheld due to the orientation of the couple), education, nature conservation, land management, power lines.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land for the United States of America. However, it is explicitly meant to be a living document that evolves to serve the changing needs of future generations. It is also designed to be easier to amend so that no faction or branch of government may stand in the way of popular or necessary progress. The different amendment processes are as follows:

  1. To be introduced in Congress, a Constitutional amendment must have 150 co-sponsors in the Curiate or 30 in the Senate. The process of introducing Constitutional amendments to state legislatures are dependent on the respective state’s bylaws. All proposed Constitutional amendments must be devoid of any pork or measures unrelated to the amendment itself.

  2. Congress may pass an amendment without the State legislatures or populace if and only if it passes with a 3/4 supermajority in both Houses and is approved by any relevant colleges in the Tribunate.

  3. If passed via popular referendum, at least 51% of the voting age public must participate in order for the results to be valid. The voting period shall be less than one week and non-participation shall be considered a vote of “no opinion.”If the proposed amendment passes the referendum with a 3/4 supermajority vote, the amendment is adopted without any action by Congress or the State legislatures.

  4. Amendments may be passed by the State legislatures. If one state legislature passes an proposed amendment with 2/3 supermajority vote, the other legislatures are compelled to vote on it as well within two years. If 3/4 of the State legislatures pass the measure with 2/3 supermajorities, the amendment is adopted without any action from the population or Congress.

  5. If Congress passes a proposed amendment with a 2/3 supermajority, the amendment is adopted only if either: a popular referendum (with 51% of the voting age population participating) passes with a 2/3 majority OR 2/3 of the State Legislatures pass the amendment with a 2/3 supermajority.

  6. Similarly, if the popular referendum passes the proposed amendment with a 51% participation rate at a 2/3 majority, the measure may be adopted without Congress if 2/3 of State legislatures pass the amendment with 2/3 supermajority votes.

  7. Finally, if Congress passes the amendment with a 3/5 majority, a popular referendum (with at least 51% participation of the voting age population participating) passes it with at least a 3/5 majority, and 3/5 of the State legislatures pass it with 2/3 supermajority votes then the amendment passes.

ENSHRINED CLAUSES: However, some parts of the Constitution are permanently entrenched and cannot be altered or deleted by future amendments. None of the Rights, Protections, Securities and Sovereignties listed in Article I (The Declaration of Secure and Comprehensive Individual Autonomy) may be undone, however future rights may be added in should some unforeseen new technologies or circumstances demand it. Similarly, no new amendment may change the elected nature of Congress or the Executives, although the specific voting systems may be altered if a better method than Range voting is ever agreed upon. Finally, while new magistrates may be created or combined as future scenarios demand, the fundamental separation of powers into 4 branches, nor the ability of the Citizenry to directly intervene as a branch in itself, shall not change.

EMERGENCIES: There shall be no such thing as a national state of emergency except for a Civil War or invasion by a substantial, organized foreign power. States may declare a state of emergency and request assistance from the Directorate and/or funds from Congress. No law or executive order overriding Constitutional protections may be enacted in the name of an emergency, except in such cases where the country is in imminent danger of collapse. After a 6 month period, the magistrates responsible for extraordinary actions or rollback of rights must appear before at least one Popular Assembly in every state as well as the High Court of Integrity to defend their actions, and as soon as possible these extraordinary actions shall be voided and the status quo restored. If the High Court, or a 3/5 majority of Popular Assemblies determine the magistrates’ actions to have been unwarranted and/or inspired by selfish interests, they will be charged with treason. Terrorist attacks are not applicable reasons to roll back Constitutional protections or civil liberties.

SECESSION: The United States of America is a voluntary compact between the Free States towards mutual defense as well as furthering economic and social welfare between them. However, as a student of history, it’s clear that the opposite is often true, and the disparate cultural values and goals of the States have often held each other back. Rather than remain in an unhealthy bond due to the sunk cost fallacy of the Civil War, it may actually be healthier for all factions in the long run if certain States be allowed to go their own way should they wish to in the future. Furthermore, history and the Enlightenment philosopher Montesquieu teach us that larger empires and countries often tend towards mismanagement and losing touch with the people. It may well be the case where smaller regional seats of power serve the people better.

If any State feels their needs are not being met, they may secede peacefully from the Union as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. States wishing to secede must first have the populace force the issue in their state legislatures with a petition signed by 15% of adult citizens residing in that state.

  2. The state legislature must confirm the measure by a 2/3 supermajority vote.

  3. Then the initiative is put as a referendum to the voters of the state. 51% of the eligible voters must participate for the results to be valid, and a 3/5 supermajority must approve of secession.

  4. If secession is approved in the referendum by a 2/3 supermajority, the measure passes immediately. Otherwise, after the next election, the new legislature must make it their first priority to vote again on whether to honor or revoke the referendum’s results. Once again, a 2/3 supermajority vote is required.

  5. In addition, a system of Asymmetrical Federalism may be agreed upon between the states. For example, right-wing states may freely forgo participation in Positive Rights programs such as a national healthcare service or Basic Income. However, if this is undertaken, then their Senators and Septigents must abstain from voting on any legislation regarding the programs they’re opting out of. If a President or Consul is elected from any such state, their interference with any corresponding program will be considered an impeachable offense.
The death of Gaius Gracchus

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