Back when this was a blog focused on reform amendments - Amendments We Need - I had a list of them that were my primary, must-have, to-do set. I will add them here as an archival page.
I. Accountability Amendment
The President of the United States and all those who serve in the Executive Branch - including the military - are not above the law.
All Members of Congress - both House and Senate - and all those serving the Legislative Branch are not above the law.
All Judges serving the Judiciary Branch - from the Supreme Court to all federal district courts - are not above the law.
The system of checks and balances between all three branches of federal government as defined by the Constitution will remain in effect at all times.
II. Truth in Government
Lying, or any form of false testimony in public, is not protected speech.
Any elected official or person working for the government at the federal and state level found to have made a false statement regarding a public forum issue will be suspended from service without pay until a full investigation into their actions are completed. If the person is found to have knowingly made that false statement while in possession of the facts or with intent to confuse the public, that person will be removed from service and barred from any elected or nominated position with any level of government for life.
III. Regulations Required
Federal government shall regulate business and finance to ensure the protection of employees from unsafe or unhealthy workplaces, the protection of customers from fraud and questionable financial practices, and the protection of the nation's communities from large-scale accidents.
IV. Writ of Habeas Corpus and Fair Treatment
The right of any person held by authorities of federal, state, or local jurisdiction to petition for a writ of habeas corpus will not be suspended under any circumstance, even in time of war.
Any person detained by the military can apply for prisoner of war status and receive legal protections as such under treaties regarding treatment of prisoners, and be released from custody once Congress confirms the war has ended. A person not applicable for prisoner of war status must be tried fairly in civilian court for any criminal acts that made that person a danger to the safety of our nation's citizenry, and within no more than six months time.
The federal government and the states have the right to detain a person they have basic evidence showing in open court of law to be a clear violent danger to the safety of our nation's citizenry, until such time as can be proven in open court that person is no longer a threat or has served out the conditions of a prison sentence issued by the Judiciary.
V. War Powers
The power to wage war or any military action shall be held by the President as Commander-in-Chief. The power to call for war, to fund any war effort, and to oversee any military action shall be held by Congress.
If circumstance requires the President to act immediately on a military action outside of Congressional approval, the President is required to limit such military action to thirty days. The President must appear before a full session of both houses of Congress within three calendar days of initiating the military action to explain to Congress what transpired, why action was needed, and if such action raises to the need for Congress to declare war.
After the required presentation before Congress, the President is required to inform the appropriate Senate committee of the military's assessment for action, and the short-term plans that the military has for carrying out successful operations within another three days. A long-term military plan including any occupation of foreign territory and oversight of any nation-building must be presented to that Senate committee within thirty days only if Congress does vote for war. Any objective that requires occupation and nation-building requires a declaration of war by Congress.
Congress has the right to vote for war which can be deemed ended once established objectives are achieved, or can vote to extend the current military action for up to ninety days depending on the military situation. Congress cannot vote for military action extension more than twice: if action must continue Congress should vote for war or not.
The House of Representatives has the authority and requirement to oversee expenditures committed during the military action or war effort to ensure there is no fraud, embezzlement or theft of funds.
The Senate has the authority and requirement to oversee military conduct of the military action or war effort, and to receive regular updates from the President on the war's progress and ongoing military assessment.
Congress is require to raise funds through a war tax to pay for the both military action or war effort as needed. The tax must be progressive in nature based on tax burden. The war tax will remain in effect until all debts incurred by the military action or war are paid. The war tax will then remain in effect for an additional three years to pay for all veterans' physical and psychological health needs and for a normalization program to aid veterans towards civilian employment and housing.
VI. Executive and Judicial Vacancies
If the Senate refuses to advise and consent the President on even one Executive or Judicial nomination to serve the federal government, the President can fill ALL such vacancies however the President sees fit during that President's term of office without any further consent.
In short, stop wasting everyone's time with your f-cking Holds and Cloture votes.
VII. Right to Education
The States must uphold equal and fair access to public education - primary, secondary as well as higher education - as a right to the states' residents and their children.
All funding for state education must come from property and corporate taxation. The state shall collect revenues on a statewide basis and distribute funding to the county primary and secondary school systems balanced out to each child equally. Public higher education systems can receive a base revenue from the state as well as funding from the federal government and both non-profit and for-profit private foundations.
The States cannot endorse one religious belief over another within the states' public education system at the primary, secondary and higher education levels. And the states cannot endorse religion where it would interfere with the study of the humanities and the sciences.
Any private school applying for state funds must also submit to state rules and regulations protecting children and the state's citizenry to access to a fair and equal education.
VIII. Right to Vote
Every citizen of the United States shall have unimpeded access to the ballot and a right to vote in all elections at a local, state, and federal level.
Other amendments defining and upholding the right to vote shall remain in effect.
No Election can be closed or certified until a super-majority of registered voters have placed ballots to that election.
Any state requiring any form of documentation to file an election ballot will make such documentation free of charge to the citizenry, and shall secure such information from identity theft or tampering.
Any elected office open for ballot vote must include an open slot for a write-in candidate, as long as that write-in candidate is qualified and available to hold that office. The write-in space can accept and count any form of "None of the Above" as a viable option. If "None of the Above" tallies a majority vote count for that office, a special election must take place within 90 calendar days, where all previous names on that ballot will be barred from running again for that particular election cycle.
IX. Rules of Elections
All election campaigns - its running and its promotion - can only begin during the calendar year of the election itself.
All primary voting for parties, all forms of pre-election voting to confirm candidates for the general election, can only take place with that calendar year.
Any election for national office requires that candidates campaign in equal measure in all states and territories participating in that election cycle before any primary vote takes place. All voting for that primary must take place on the same day across the states and territories.
All fund-raising and expenditures for a political campaign can only take place within the calendar year of that election. No funds collected and held before the first day of that calendar year can go towards that campaign.
The general national election shall take place on a day towards the end of the calendar week - known as a weekend - and such day will be a national holiday during which banking, financial, and most public service providers and schools shall close to observe the day. All other businesses may stay open, but must provide all employees with enough time and availability to leave work to vote and then return to work.
Any political party found aiding or assisting candidates in violating election rules will be banned from submitting any further candidates for those offices affected for both that current election and for the next two elections scheduled for that office. That party cannot create a third party or support a third party in the running of any replacement candidate. If discovered after winning the election, the candidate found to have violated election rules shall be removed from office and banned for any elective or nominated office for life, and a special election held to fill that vacancy.
X. Changing the Vice Presidency to a Senate Consul
The office of Vice Presidency shall change to an office of nationally elected Senators, each elected during the three cycles of elections for terms of up to six years.
The first election cycle shall have three open seats for a nationwide vote. The second and third election cycles shall have two or four open seats for a nationwide vote. There must be an odd number of national Senators along with the even number of state-elected Senators.
Each term of Congress shall have the state-elected Senators determine among themselves by ballot which of the national-elected Senators shall serve as Senate Consul for that term.
Once the Consul has been determined, that Senator shall oversee the operation of the Senate. The Senate Consul may not serve on committee nor vote on any matters on the floor, except in matters where a tie-breaking vote is required. All other national Senators may serve on committees and vote on floor matters.
The placement of the Senate Consul in succession to the President, depending on the President's incapacity, death, or removal from office as determined elsewhere in the Constitution and its amendments, shall be immediate where the Vice-Presidency once held position. It shall be a requirement that the Consul chosen by the Senate fulfill the Constitutional obligations of serving as President of the United States. In all other duties the Consul serves separately from the President's office.
There are other ideas, natch. I will link as possible any new ones.
Update 7/25/15: Re-writing the Second Amendment into one that registers gun owners and regulates the use of firearms, because dammit too many people are dying because guns make it too damn easy to kill...