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Opinion

September 6, 2013

STEPHEN M. KING: Strengthening our national character

America has left her roots of religious faith and moral foundation.

Mark Levin, lawyer, radio host and out-spoken libertarian, recently published “The Liberty Amend-ments” (2013), a book that undertakes the challenge to, as Levin puts it, “[restoring] constitutional republicanism and preserving the civil society from the growing authoritarianism of a federal Leviathan.” This challenge is met through instituting the second method of amending the Constitution, which is found in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

This method stipulates application to Congress of two-thirds of state legislatures to call for a convention to propose amendments, and three-fourths ratification vote by all states. Levin contends this second method, which has never been used to successfully amend the U.S. Constitution, provides significant authority to states to “rebalance” the constitutional structure, and restore the founding principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Levin, however, is only one of many who have called for significant changes or challenges to government largesse, bureaucratic bungling and inefficient governance.

Larry Sabato, nationally recognized American politics scholar at the University of Virginia, published in 2007 “A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country.” Sabato, like Levin, argues, first, that the Constitution needs to be changed, and, second, the changes wrought are not to disturb the fundamental governing principles instituted by the Founders.

Interestingly, despite Levin’s and Sabato’s personal ideological and political differences, both agree to constitutional changes in the Senate, limiting the overt political and policy influence of the Supreme Court, and restricting federal financial and debt obligations.

Not to be outdone, Cass Sunstein, author of the 2004 “The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need it More Than Ever,” also argues that the Constitution must be amended to provide for greater fairness and equality. For Sunstein this is accomplished by adopting FDR’s 1944 proposed “Second Bill of Rights,” a document that declares every American is entitled to a litany of “rights,” including an occupation, education, health care and home, among others.

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