The Instigator
TheDemosthenes
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
tylergraham95
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Should The Constitution of the United States be changed?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
tylergraham95
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,026 times Debate No: 37626
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

TheDemosthenes

Pro

Simply stated, The Constitution is a very old document. This Great Country has changed so much over the course of its 237 year history that, I believe, it would be naive of us to not start thinking about some changes. My personal opinion lies on the mindset that all man are evil at heart and apt to corruption. Therefore, my proposed changes deal primarily with power and are as follows: (1) add a provision ending lifetime tenure for the Supreme Court & House of Representatives, (2) Guarantee a Federal right to vote, (3) Balance the primary budget, & (4) provide a source of authority that would guide individuals with the interpretation of The Constitution.
The Supreme Court shall follow suit with the terms of their positional power. Justices of the Supreme Court shall have their service terminated no more than 8 years after the date of their Judicial Oath. This will ensure the concept that positions of power within the Federal Government are a responsibility and not a luxury. Furthermore, it has proven time and time again that remaining in a high position of power often leads to corruption; thus, this provision shall encompass the U.S. House of Representatives. Secondly, The Constitution shall guarantee a Federal right to vote. I, however, did not come up with this on my own. Yet do I believe that it should be added to further protect America and its Citizens while reinforcing and encouraging our rights and responsibilities as U.S. Citizens. My third provision is that the Primary Budget shall be balanced. This is not to take effect immediately however, a plan shall be made to put this into effect during the year of 2014 and shall take effect no later than January 1st, 2020. I chose this date as to not cause further economic anxiety while still forcing fiscal responsibility. In a business point of view, America is comparable to a poorly ran company. I"m not saying it that America is an Enron by any means but a financial reform inevitable if we truly (and unselfishly) want to survive as a country. Last but not least, a guide shall be produced by a source of authority that shall be newly established for this sole purpose. Once The Constitutional Guide is created and agreed upon by way of vote it shall be distributed free of charge electronically and to all government and educational institutions for mass distribution to the commonality. Citizens shall also be able to purchase The Constitutional Guide at the price of actual cost as to not cause a further financial deficit on the nation. Educational Institutes should encourage the utmost comprehension and understanding of the U.S. Constitution to its" students as it is the Heart of our Great Nation and We are the Soul, simply stated.
tylergraham95

Con

I accept my opponents challenge and thank him for the excellent debate topic!
I would also like to say that I appreciate the Ender's Game reference.

I will being by pointing out that the changes (aside from the first) are all fairly small changes and would not require an overhaul for the constitution, only an amendment.

I will begin by refuting my opponents proposed changes, then defending the status quo.

First off, my opponent contends that lifetime tenure should be denied for members of the supreme court and house of representatives. The average tenure for a member of the house of representatives as of 2013 is only 9.1 years-hardly a lifetime tenure (1). Furthermore, lifetime tenure in the supreme court is not simply beneficial, it's almost a total necessity. First of all, lifetime tenures reduce corruption and partisan bias, due to the lack of need to campaign for support. This creates a mostly unbiased branch of government to interpret law. The purpose of the judicial branch is to interpret law as created by the legislature, and protect the rights given by the constitution. The Judicial branch then dispenses justice accordingly. If a new justice was elected every 8 years for each seat on the supreme court, the baseline that all law is interpreted through would be totally skewed. Lifetime tenure ensure a more constant and stable interpretation of law, and therefore a more fair and just Judiciary branch. Clearly, an 8 year tenure would only serve to weaken the judiciary branch (2).

Second, my opponent says that the constitution should guarantee the federal right to vote, what he doesn't know is that it already does. The 15th amendment to the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1982 both guarantee all citizens of the United States of America a federal right to vote (3).

My opponent goes on to claim that the constitution should balance the budget, but this claim is just downright silly. The purpose of the constitution is to provide a baseline for all laws to be created upon, to protect the rights, and establish a more perfect union. Economic expenditures change through time. Wars, depressions, recessions, economic booms, and inflation all demand that a budget be flexible, changeable, adaptable, and not set in stone by a document such as the constitution.

Finally, my opponent calls for a simplified explanation of the constitution be distributed nationwide. First of all, this hardly requires an amendment to the constitution its self. Second of all, this kind of information is readily available in public libraries, the Internet, and in public education. In states like Alabama, all students are required to take part in a course on the US government. In this course they learn all about the constitution and how the government is supposed to work.

I believe I have shown my opponents proposed changes A) to be harmful, or B) to be unnecessary, sufficiently. I urge that you vote negative.

I await my opponents response eagerly.

1. http://www.fas.org...
2. http://www.whitehouse.gov...
3. http://www.justice.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
TheDemosthenes

Pro

I respectfully retract my argument. My opponent made a well stated argument that brought to light that an amendment or change to The Constitution would be drastic and unnecessary. I do still believe that my proposed changes would still be a feasible proposal to the legislative/Judicial branch to be put in federal law (maybe not specifically what I stated in my first statement but I would like to see this as somewhat of a guideline to be considered). Thank you for providing me with further aspects to research, think about, discuss, and ultimately learn from.
Well said, Sir!
tylergraham95

Con

I thank my opponent for the interesting topic of debate! I am glad you enjoyed it! I enjoyed the debate as well! I urge that the voters base their votes not on the conceded rounds but instead only upon the debated rounds.
Debate Round No. 2
TheDemosthenes

Pro

TheDemosthenes forfeited this round.
tylergraham95

Con

I again thank my opponent for his time.
Debate Round No. 3
TheDemosthenes

Pro

TheDemosthenes forfeited this round.
tylergraham95

Con

I again thank my opponent for his time.
My OCD prevents me from not responding to the notification on my profile to post on this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
TheDemosthenes

Pro

TheDemosthenes forfeited this round.
tylergraham95

Con

I thank my opponent for an entertaining argument!
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
A Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced budget is hardly silly, it came within one vote of the two-thirds required, back in the Clinton Administration. it had an exception for wartime spending. Many states have balanced budget requirements. They build "rainy day" funds to allow increased spending during recessions.

Since what the Supreme Court now makes rulings pretty much independently of what's in the Constitution, it makes some sense to have them elected by popular vote, with a term limit.

No question voting rights are now guaranteed, and that passing out explanations is not a suitable subject for amendment.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
JustinAMoffatt
There's no term limits for the House, though. They can keep coming back for as long as they'd like. But the average tenure is around 10 years (or 5 terms).

I originally though I'd take Con on this case, due to my support for our Constitution. However, you seem to have it spot on, in my opinion. :) Nice.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Do you mean term limits for the House of Representatives? They don't have lifetime tenure now, unlike SCOTUS...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
TheDemosthenestylergraham95Tied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's original premise of changing the Constitution is ignorant to begin with. There have been 27 Amendments to the constitution, all through channels laid out by the Constitution to begin with. Pro's point one is one that should be considered. However, Con's rebuttal to it was very good. A good point to be presented to readers of this debate would be that we should include in our constitution an amendment forbidding Senators and Representatives of the House to have more than 3 terms in any office of the Federal Government.
Vote Placed by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
TheDemosthenestylergraham95Tied
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: Right, amendments are changes.. Exactly.
Vote Placed by Weiler 3 years ago
Weiler
TheDemosthenestylergraham95Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
TheDemosthenestylergraham95Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gracefully conceded, a rare event that deserves a plus on something. Con wins arguments and had sources. Con's arguments on the second and fourth items were compelling. I think the first and third points could be argued, but Pro conceded.