Rules of Order, Jimmy Stewart and the Supermajority, Constitution Article 1 §5.2

It’s not exactly great literature, but like a lot of literature, the Constitution is a simple text people are still arguing about centuries after publication. Unlike most literature, the outcomes from those arguments affect our lives every day, even if we aren’t aware of them. I like to know about the things that affect my life, when I can.  That’s why on Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Next up, Article 1, Section Five, Clause 2. You’re going to love this one. It’s sexy. Continue reading

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Self-judging Elections, Constitution Article 1 §5.1

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution. It’s not exactly great literature, but like a lot of literature, it’s a simple text that people are arguing about centuries after publication. Unlike most literature, the outcomes from those arguments affect our lives every day, even if we aren’t aware of them. I like to know about the things that affect my life, when I can.   Continue reading

On Scheduling, Article 1 §4.2

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution. I struggled over what to write for today. Last week I studied Article 1 §4.1, dealing with the management of elections. This week should be Article 1 §4.2, but let’s face it. Nobody gives a shit. I don’t. This week the Second Amendment is the only Constitutional topic on anyone’s mind. I spent the whole morning figuring out what I wanted to say, but eventually realized that anything I write on that topic today will be a rant, and when I deal with that topic, I want it to be the best researched, most carefully formulated analysis of my life.

So I’m going to stick to the program after all and write about Article 1 §4.2, knowing that there will be a fresh atrocity to reference when I do get to the Second Amendment. For now, then, fuck your thoughts and prayers, on to the articles. Continue reading

Article 1 §4.1 on Elections and Districts

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn.

The Constitution contains seven articles. I am reading Article One, which deals with the legislative branch of government and has 10 sections. Section One establishes a bicameral Congress and Section Two deals with the House of Representatives. Section Three deals with the Senate. Last week I read Clause 7, which placed limitations on impeachment. Today I am beginning Section Four. Continue reading

Limiting Consequences, Constitution Article 1 §3.7

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn.

When I was in college, I had a biology professor who often referred to experiments as ‘elegant.’ The elegant experiments were simply designed, but revealed profound results. Democracy is often referred to as an experiment. The democratic experiment is messy – scientists would say there’s a lot of noise in the data. But the design in the Constitution is elegant, and worthy of study.

After all, we must all be Constitutional scholars to get valid results.

Continue reading

About Impeachment, Constitution Article 1 §3.6

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn. I read through the entire Constitution on Memorial Day. It was a short read, and seemed simple. But it’s kind of dry and easy to skim over. So now I’m going back through and studying each clause to make sure I really get it.

Let me know if you think I don’t, or if you have insights I miss. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading

Article 1 §3.5 Pro Tempore Presidents

Democracy is hard, but it helps if you know what you’re doing. I want to be better at democracy so I’m studying the Constitution, and blogging what I learn. I read through the entire Constitution on Memorial Day. It was a short read, and seemed simple. But it’s kind of dry and easy to skim over. So now I’m going back through and studying each clause to make sure I really get it.

Let me know if you think I don’t, or if you have insights I miss. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading