A New Constitution for a New Republic

INTRODUCTION

Secession is much in the air. I have said much about it during the past four years. (See this post and the posts listed at the bottom of it.) I will have more to say about the separation of liberty-loving States from the United States. However, I will not counsel secession, which probably is fruitless even though it is legal, Justice Scalia’s dictum to the contrary notwithstanding.

Instead, a future post will propose a treaty of division. I will make the case that secession is legal, offer (in detail) a treaty of division as a beneficial alternative to secession, address practical and ideological objections to division, and discuss its advantages to all parties.

Left-wing opponents of division are likely to charge that the New Republic, as I like to think of it, would be inimical to the rights that Americans now enjoy under the Constitution, as amended and interpreted. I would answer that charge by offering the following new constitution, which would more than adequately safeguards the liberty rights of all who live under it. The most cynical (i.e., left-wing) opponents of division will not acknowledge the sincerity of a commitment to liberty, of course, but nothing will sway them, in any case. The new constitution, along with my proposal, will be aimed at persons of good will who are prepared to act in good faith for the good of all Americans.

The main problem with the Constitution of the United States is not its meaning; it is the fact that inappropriate meanings have been imputed to it because it is too often vague and ambiguous. The following Constitution for the New Republic of America is not only far more specific than the present Constitution of the United States — and more restrictive of the powers of government — but it also includes more checks on those powers. For example, there are these provisions in Article V:

Congress may, by a majority of three-fifths of the members of each House present, when there is a quorum consisting of three-fourths of the number of persons then holding office in each House…. provide for the collection of revenues in order to pay the debts and expenses of the New Republic…. [emphasis added]

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A judgment of any court of the New Republic may be revised or revoked by an act of Congress, provided that such any revision or revocation is approved by two-thirds of the members of each house and leads to a result that conforms to this Constitution.

Then there are Articles VII and VIII, Keeper of the Constitution and Conventions of the States, which open thusly:

The responsibility for ensuring that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches adhere to this constitution in the exercise of their respective powers shall be vested in a Keeper of the Constitution. The Keeper may review acts of Congress, the executive branch, and judicial branch that have the effect of making law and appropriating monies.

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Delegations of the States shall convene every four years for the purpose of considering revisions to and revocations of acts of the government that is established by this constitution. Such conventions (hereinafter “convention of the States”) may revise and/or revoke any act or acts and/or any holding or holdings, in the sole discretion of a majority of State delegations present and voting.

On top of that, there is Article IX, which authorizes petitions and subsequent elections for the revocation of a broad range of governmental acts and the expulsion of members of Congress, the President, Vice President and justices of the Supreme Court. Also, a constitutional convention may be called pursuant to a successful petition.

To the extent that Articles VII, VIII, and IX would inhibit presidential and congressional ventures into unconstitutional territory, so much the better.

This new Constitution also provides for secession, the threat of which might further help to preserve its original meaning.

The new Constitution is below the fold.

A CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEW REPUBLIC OF AMERICA

I. PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES

A. Purposes

We, the citizens of the States giving effect to this Constitution, do hereby establish a union of States known as the New Republic of America (hereinafter, “New Republic”). The purposes of this Constitution are

• to establish a government of and for the New Republic;

• to delineate the powers, duties, and rights of that government, of the States and their respective governments, and of the citizens of the States, who are thereby citizens of the New Republic; and

• to dedicate the New Republic, its government, the States, and their governments to their paramount objective, which is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of citizens.

B. Sovereignty of the Citizens of the New Republic

The premise of this Constitution is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The citizens of the New Republic retain ultimate sovereignty, and through this Constitution give their consent to the States and the New Republic to exercise those powers — and only those powers — that are delegated to them in this Constitution. The citizens of the New Republic reserve to themselves all rights — enumerated and unenumerated — that are not subsumed in those delegated powers. Among the enumerated rights are the rights of initiative and recall, as defined in Article IX of this Constitution.

C. Primacy, Scope, and Interpretation of the Constitution

1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The New Republic and every State are bound by this supreme law.

2. The language of this Constitution shall be understood and applied according to its meaning at the time of its original submission to the States for ratification, except that additions and revisions pursuant to an amendment shall be understood and applied according to the meaning of that language at the time the amendment was submitted to the States for ratification.

3. Throughout this Constitution, any reference to a State or States shall be understood to encompass all components and agents of any State government, all governmental units within any State, any corporate or educational entity that is operated or funded primarily by any State or governmental unit within a state, and any intergovernmental entity created for any purpose by two or more States.

4. Except as expressly provided herein, the powers of the States are proscribed to the same extent as the powers of the New Republic.

5. The titles of the Articles and sections of this Constitution have no authority. All of the authority of this Constitution is expressed in the text of its Articles and their subordinate parts.

D. Recognition of Governmental Debt

1. All debt of the New Republic authorized by law in accordance with this Constitution is valid.

2. Neither the New Republic nor any State may assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State. All such debts, obligations, and claims are illegal and void.

E. Oath of Office Required

All elected and appointed officials, employees, and agents of the New Republic and all States shall be bound by oath or affirmation to uphold this Constitution. A failure by an official, employee, or agent of the New Republic or any State to uphold this Constitution is grounds for removal from office, by impeachment or other process prescribed by law, whether or not the failure is deliberate or criminal in nature.

II. CITIZENSHIP, VOTING, AND RELIGIOUS TESTS FOR OFFICE

A. Citizenship upon Adoption of This Constitution

Every person is eligible for citizenship in the New Republic who, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, was a citizen of the United States. The government of the New Republic shall provide by law for the granting of citizenship to such persons.

B. Citizenship by Birth

A person who is born after the adoption of this Constitution becomes a citizen of the New Republic, regardless of that person’s place of birth, if at the time of birth that person has a least one parent who is a citizen of the New Republic (including a parent who was a citizen of the New Republic but who died before the birth). Birth in a State, territory, possession, or foreign installation of the New Republic does not, in itself, convey citizenship.

C. Citizenship by Naturalization

The government of the New Republic shall provide by law for the naturalization of persons who are not born citizens of the New Republic or who were eligible to become citizens of the New Republic under section II.A of this Constitution, but who did not exercise the right thereunder.

D. Voting

1. The rights and obligations of citizenship in the New Republic are not to be exercised lightly. Accordingly, to foster an electorate composed of persons possessing mature judgment, no citizen of the New Republic may vote without having attained the age of twenty-five. Otherwise, the right to vote may not be denied or abridged by the New Republic or any State, except on the basis a person’s criminal record or certified mental incompetence, as provided by law.

2. The right of eligible persons to vote in elections of the New Republic or its States may not be denied or abridged for failure to pay any kind of tax, fee, penalty, or other monetary imposition of government.

D. Religious Tests for Office

No religious test may be required as a qualification for a government office or position of public trust under the New Republic or any State.

III. RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF CITIZENS

Rights and privileges conferred by and reserved under this Constitution apply equally to citizens of all States but not to persons who are not citizens, except as provided herein. Neither the New Republic nor any State may abridge any rights conferred by or reserved under this Constitution.

A. Equality and Guarantee of Rights and Privileges

Neither the New Republic nor any State may:

1. deprive any person, corporation, or other private entity living or operating lawfully within the jurisdiction of the New Republic or any State of life, liberty, or property without due process of law (Due process, for this purpose, shall be understood as the disposition of a civil suit or criminal charge by verdict or settlement, and not any other act of government.);

2. prohibit the free exercise of religion, except where a particular religious activity would result in the commission of an act that otherwise is criminal, irrespective of its religious connotations or provenance (The free exercise of religion includes but is not limited to the use of government-owned, -operated, or -funded property — including institutions of learning — for brief periods of meditation and for teaching about religion, as long as such teaching is comparative. Such property, when not in use by a governmental unit, may be used for religious activities or observances of any lawful kind, as long as such functions are not endorsed or sponsored by a governmental unit, and as long as the same property is made available under the same terms and conditions to other users, for lawful purposes. It is a denial of the free exercise of religion for any governmental unit to bar the invocation or mention of a deity or other religious figure by any person at any time or place.);

3. establish religion, either directly or by funding or giving material aid to any religion, religious activity, or any activity conducted by or on behalf of a religion or religious institution (Allowing the free exercise of religion in accordance with the preceding clause is not an establishment of religion. Further, this clause shall not be construed to prohibit the giving of funds or material support directly to individuals, even though such funding or support might be used by those individuals to underwrite a religious purpose — including but not limited to religious education — as long as such funding or support is given for a non-religious purpose, such as education, and is made generally available to all eligible persons without regard for their religious affiliations or lack thereof.);

4. abridge, influence, shape, restrict, or give preference to the expression of ideas or information for any purpose by any citizen of the New Republic or on behalf of a business or other private organization operating lawfully within the New Republic (Congress may nevertheless enact laws prohibiting and punishing the release of information by any person, whether or not affiliated with the press, that would endanger the security of the New Republic or any of its States or citizens (including their incorporated businesses wherever located), or that would jeopardize the ability of the armed forces of the New Republic to execute their missions.);

5. abridge the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition government for the redress of grievances (This right does not include acts that discourage, impede, or obstruct the access of any person to any place, public or private. Neither the New Republic nor any State shall incur or reimburse any expense related to or arising from acts of assembly and petition, except to indemnify or rectify damage that may have arisen pursuant to such acts.);

6. establish or delineate special classes of citizens or special rights or privileges for classes of citizens within its jurisdiction, for any purpose (Prohibited delineations include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or preference, and status as a veteran of the armed forces of the New Republic. But this clause does not limit the ability of Congress to provide by law for the treatment by employers of members of the armed forces when they are called to active duty, or to compensate or provide material support to veterans of the armed forces. Veterans of the armed forces otherwise may not by law be granted special rights or privileges, such as preferential treatment in hiring or promotion based on their status as veterans.);

7. abridge the right of any citizen, business, or other private entity operating lawfully within the New Republic to choose freely the persons or organizations they will associate with, employ, or do business with, notwithstanding any contractual or funding relationship with the New Republic or any State (This clause specifically, though not exclusively, bars any form of governmental interference in the decisions of private employers to hire, promote, transfer, or terminate employees. Also specifically, though not exclusively, barred is any governmental act that requires, enables, or recognizes the formation of any organization of employees for the purpose of bargaining with employers about the terms or conditions of employment.);

8. as an employer, discriminate or authorize discrimination, in any explicit or implicit way, for any reason, with respect to gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, except that a governmental unit may by law be authorized to practice such discrimination for the sole purpose of ensuring the effective performance of that unit (This clause may not be construed to prohibit the establishment of mental and physical standards of performance, as long as those standards are job-related and applied impartially to all classes of employees and persons eligible for employment.);

9. nullify, alter, or otherwise affect any contract, either expressed or implied, that does not contravene this Constitution or otherwise constitute or suborn a crime against any third party (This clause applies to any voluntary transaction of any kind, where the parties to such a transaction are adult persons, corporations, or other private entities authorized by law, or any combination of these. This clause does not apply to marriage, civil unions, or similar arrangements, which shall be regulated by the States, individually.); or

10. Grant any rights, benefits, or privileges to non-citizens, except that non-citizens (including persons and corporations or other private entities operated by non-citizens) shall be entitled to due process of law for civil and criminal proceedings by the New Republic or any State, to which they may be subject. (This clause does not apply to enemy combatants, the definition and treatment of which are prescribed elsewhere in this Constitution.)

B. Security of Persons and Property

1. Neither the New Republic nor any State may authorize, enable, or condone:

a. abortion, except where it is determined by a panel of three court-appointed physicians to be necessary because the mother’s life would, with certainty, be forfeit during the course of pregnancy or as a direct result of delivery by any means;

b. euthanasia, except where a person has expressly authorized the cessation of efforts to sustain his or her life under conditions that are certain to lead to death or a persistent unresponsive state, in a writing attested to by impartial witnesses, as Congress may provide by law; or

c. slavery or involuntary servitude, except as the latter may be imposed by law as a punishment for crime.

2. The New Republic and every State make the following guarantees to their citizens:

a. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or abridged on any basis other than a citizen’s criminal record or certified mental incompetence, except as Congress may by law direct that certain weapons that have been manufactured for use by the armed forces of the New Republic, or weapons with the same essential features, may not also be manufactured for or sold to other entities.

b. In peacetime, members of the armed forces of the New Republic or the militia of the States may not be quartered in any private building without the consent of the owner. When the armed forces of the New Republic or the militia of the States are engaged in war, suppression of insurrection or rebellion, or anti-terrorist actions they may be quartered only as Congress prescribes by law.

c. Persons and their private buildings and land, houses, papers, effects, and communications may not be unreasonably searched, seized, intercepted, or placed under surveillance by the New Republic or any State. Congress shall enact uniform procedures for searches, seizures, interceptions, and surveillance by agents of the New Republic and the States. Such uniform procedures shall include provisions for searches, seizures, interceptions, and surveillance for the purpose of gathering intelligence about acts or potential acts of war, insurrection, rebellion, or terrorism against the New Republic, the States, their citizens, and their property, including the property of businesses incorporated by citizens of the New Republic, wherever that property may be located. Warrants for intelligence-gathering activities shall be required only as Congress directs by law. Warrants are required for the gathering of evidence and for arrests in criminal cases, and shall describe the suspected conspiracy to commit crime(s) or the actual crime(s) under investigation; the persons, places, or things to be arrested, searched, seized, intercepted, or placed under surveillance; and the period of time in which such arrests, searches, seizures, interceptions, or surveillances are to take place. No warrant pertaining to a criminal case, except an arrest warrant, may be valid for more than twelve months, but any warrant may be renewed for successive periods if at each renewal it complies with this clause.

d. Private property may be taken only for use by a specified governmental unit of the New Republic or a State. Private property may not be taken nor may its value be materially diminished by a governmental act of any kind without fair compensation.

e. Private property may not otherwise be taken except pursuant to the lawful verdict of a court in a criminal or civil proceeding. But no law shall allow the taking of property because of its use in a criminal act or acts unless the owner of the property has been duly charged with and found guilty of the same criminal act or acts.

C. Justice

1. Where two or more States claim jurisdiction in a civil or criminal proceeding, the cause of which is the same act or acts, precedence shall be determined by the order in which proceedings were initiated in a court of law, unless the involved States, by mutual agreement, determine a different order of precedence.

2. Where there is a dispute involving persons or entities from different States, jurisdiction shall be granted to the State in which proceedings first were initiated in a court of law.

3. A resident of one State who is brought before a civil or criminal court of a second State shall be accorded the same rights, privileges, and immunities as residents of that second State.

4. Where a State and the New Republic both claim jurisdiction in a criminal case, the State shall take precedence over the New Republic. Where the same act gives rise to both criminal and civil charges, the criminal charges shall take precedence over the civil charges.

5. All felony charges shall be tried by an impartial jury unless the accused knowingly and before the appropriate court of law waives this right. A trial shall be held in the State in which the crime was committed or, when not committed within a State, where Congress directs by law.

6. Only a grand jury may bring charges against a person for a felony, except in cases arising in the armed forces of the New Republic or in the militia when it has been activated.

7. In cases under common law, the right of a jury trial is assured where the value at issue is greater than an amount which Congress determines by law, and appellate rulings in the courts of the New Republic and States shall be based on common law.

8. A citizen of the New Republic may not be:

a. detained, arrested, or charged by a law-enforcement officer or any other person except on reasonable suspicion or probable cause, or pursuant to a lawful warrant;

b. brought before a criminal or civil court to answer for the same act or acts that had been judged previously, under any rubric of law, by any criminal or civil court of any State or the New Republic;

c. charged with or tried for an act that was not unlawful when it was committed;

d. charged with or convicted of a criminal act on the basis of information or evidence not obtained in accordance with this Article III;

e. compelled to testify against himself or herself when detained or arrested, charged with, or tried for a crime, except that a person may be compelled by law or lawful warrant to submit to a thorough search of his or her person and/or to provide physical evidence about his or her biological characteristics (including but not limited to fingerprints, hair samples, fingernail cuttings, DNA samples, or semen samples); or

f. otherwise deprived of life, liberty, or property in contravention of this Constitution or without due process of law.

9. In all criminal prosecutions, an accused person has the right:

a. to be tried promptly and publicly in the State and district (previously determined by law) in which the crime was committed (Congress determines by law where to try crimes not committed within the jurisdiction of the New Republic but not within the geographic boundaries of one of the States.);

b. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;

c. to be confronted with the witnesses against himself or herself, unless in the determination of the cognizant court of law such confrontation would compromise national security or the integrity of a current criminal investigation, in which case the court, acting for the prosecution and defense, shall confront the relevant witnesses in camera (Congress may by law determine the circumstances in which this clause applies and specify detailed procedures for such instances, including the screening of persons who may participate in closed hearings.);

d. to subpoena witnesses in his or her favor; and

e. to have counsel of his or her choosing, except that a court shall appoint counsel for an indigent person.

10. Excessive bail may not be required, excessive fines may not be imposed, and cruel and unusual punishments may not be inflicted. The death penalty is not a cruel or unusual punishment, and it may be imposed as directed by the applicable law of the New Republic or any State. Where a State has jurisdiction, no sentence of death may be appealed to a court of the New Republic.

11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may not be suspended for citizens, except to protect the public safety in the case of insurrection, rebellion, terrorism, or war, as Congress may provide by law.

12. Treason by a citizen of the New Republic consists of:

a. the commission of acts of war, rebellion, or terrorism against persons or property within the jurisdiction of the New Republic or any State; or

b. a conspiracy to commit any such act; or

c. providing, conspiring to provide, or asking others to provide any money, material, or information to any person or entity (domestic or foreign) who has committed, is committing, or is endeavoring to commit an act of war, rebellion, or terrorism against the New Republic, any State, any citizen of the New Republic, or the property of any citizen of the New Republic, including property owned by a business that is incorporated in the New Republic, wherever such property may be located.

13. A person may be convicted of treason only on the testimony of two witnesses to the same act, or on confession in open court. Punishment for treason may not extend to persons other than the guilty.

14. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution, any person, whether or not a citizen of the New Republic, shall be considered an enemy combatant who is apprehended by the armed forces or agents of the New Republic or the militia or agents of any State while engaged in or materially aiding war, rebellion, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State, or the citizens or property thereof, including the property of businesses incorporated in the New Republic, either within or without the geographical boundaries of the New Republic. Enemy combatants shall be subject to detention, judgment, and punishment — and shall be entitled to appeal the same — only according (a) an applicable treaty or treaties to which the New Republic is a signatory (but not otherwise to international law), (b) an applicable act or acts of Congress where there is no applicable treaty, or (c) an applicable act or acts of Congress in abrogation or supersession of a treaty or treaties.

D. Unenumerated Rights, Benefits, and Privileges

Unenumerated rights, benefits, and privileges are those which (a) are not expressly recognized or denied in this Constitution and (b) may be recognized by a government of the New Republic or any State without contravening any provision of this Constitution.

IV. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NEW REPUBLIC

A. Congress

1. The legislative power of the New Republic resides in the Congress of the New Republic, which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

2. The House of Representatives

a. Each Representative has one vote and represents one congressional district.

b. The number of seats in the House of Representatives is divided among the States in proportion to the populations of their citizens, as those populations are determined by a decennial census, which shall be carried out as Congress provides by law, but only for the purpose of enumeration.

c. The legislature of each State apportions that State’s seats in the House of Representatives by designating congressional districts that are approximately equally populated, as determined by the most recent decennial census. Specifically, the population of the most populous district may not exceed the population of the least populous district by more than 50,000 citizens. The designation of congressional districts by a State’s legislature may not be challenged in any place for any reason, other than an alleged failure to comply with the preceding sentence. A State’s legislature may re-apportion that State’s seats in the House of Representatives at any time between each decennial census, but no more often than every two years.

d. The total number of seats in the House of Representatives shall be five hundred, initially. The number of seats shall then change following each decennial census, in proportion to the change in the total number of citizens of all States.

e. Each Representative shall be elected for a term of four years.

f. The executive authority of each State orders elections to fill any vacancies in its delegation of Representatives, but a State may by law empower the executive to make temporary appointments until an election.

g. A Representative shall be at least thirty-five years old upon taking office, have been a citizen of the United States or the New Republic for at least ten years in total and, when elected, be an inhabitant of the State and district that he or she represents.

h. A person may not be elected a Representative or appointed to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives if that person would have been a Representative for more than twelve years at the end of the elective or appointive term.

i. A person may not serve as a Representative who engages in or has engaged in an act of treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State.

j. The House of Representatives chooses its Speaker and other officers.

k. The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach the President, Vice President, and other civil officers and judges of the New Republic. The House of Representatives may exercise its impeachment power by a majority vote of the number of Representatives then holding office.

3. The Senate

a. Each Senator has one vote and represents his or her State at large.

b. The Senate is composed of three senators from each State, chosen for six years by the legislatures of their respective States, as each State prescribes by law. Each Senator has one vote.

c. Senators are divided into three classes, so that the terms of one-third of the Senators expire every two years. Vacancies in the Senate are filled as each State prescribes by law.

d. A Senator shall be at least forty years old upon taking office, have been a citizen of the United States or the New Republic for at least ten years in total and, when elected, be a resident of the State he or she represents.

e. A person may not be chosen for a full term in the Senate or appointed for a partial term to fill a vacancy in the Senate if that person would have been a Senator for more than twelve years at the end of the elective or appointive term.

f. A person may not serve as a Senator who engages in or has engaged in an act of treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State.

g. The Senate chooses a President and its other officers, including a president pro tempore who acts in the absence of the President of the Senate.

h. The Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, Senators are on oath or affirmation to do impartial justice and to refrain from commenting publicly, by any direct or indirect means, on a pending or current impeachment trial. When the President of the New Republic is tried, the Chief Justice presides under rules adopted by the Senate. Conviction of any person requires the concurrence of two-thirds of the number of Senators then holding office, and results in the convicted person’s immediate removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of the New Republic or any State.

4. Election, Terms, and Sessions of Congress

a. Congress, by law, sets the times for holding elections for Senators and Representatives. The States, individually, determine the places and manner of the elections for their legislatures.

b. The full terms of Senators and Representatives begin at noon on the third day of January following a general election, and end at noon on the third day of January six and four years later, respectively.

c. Congress assembles at least once a year, beginning at noon on the third day of January, unless it sets a different day by law.

d. Each house of Congress, including its committees and sub-committees meeting officially or unofficially, may be in session no longer than ninety days in a calendar year, excluding extraordinary sessions convened by the President of the New Republic.

5. General Rules for the House of Representatives and Senate

a. Each house is the sole judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members. Each house punishes its members for disorderly behavior, and may expel a member with the concurrence of two-thirds of the other members then holding office.

b. A majority of each house constitutes a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn a daily meeting. When there is not a quorum, those present in each house may compel the attendance of absent members, in the manner and under penalties provided for by each house.

c. Approval of legislation, resolutions, rules, and other actions shall require the concurrence of no less than a majority of the members present in each house, or no less than a super-majority where required by this Constitution. Each house may, in its sole discretion, determine other circumstances in which a super-majority is required.

d. Each house shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings, except those parts that may require secrecy because they bear on the ability of the New Republic to defend itself from, to wage war against, or to gather intelligence about other nations or potential enemies (foreign or domestic). Upon the request of one-fifth of the members present, the individual votes on any question are entered on the journal.

e. When Congress is in session, neither house may adjourn for more than three days or meet in a different place without the consent of the other.

f. Each house determines the other rules of its proceedings.

6. Compensation, Immunity, and Other Offices of Senators and Representatives

a. Senators and Representatives are compensated for their services, as determined by law, from the Treasury of the New Republic. Any law varying their compensation will not take effect until after the next general election.

b. Except for treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State, or breach of the peace, Senators and Representatives are immune from arrest when they are attending a session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from such sessions. They may not be questioned outside their respective houses for any speech or debate on the floor of either house, when a quorum is present, or in scheduled meetings of its committees and sub-committees.

c. No person who is serving as a Senator or Representative may at the same time hold a civil office of the New Republic or any State or serve on active duty in the armed forces of the New Republic. Six years shall elapse between service as a Senator or Representative and the holding of a civil office of the New Republic.

7. General Rules of Legislation

a. Both houses of Congress shall adopt rules that limit the length of debate allowed on any bill, resolution, nomination, treaty, or other matter.

b. A quorum shall be presumed for the purpose of voting on a bill if, when the House or Senate is in session, at least twenty-four hours have elapsed since the same bill could not be voted upon because of the absence of a quorum.

c. As a matter of order, all bills for raising revenue and appropriating funds shall originate in the House of Representatives. Further, all bills for raising revenue and appropriating funds shall require the concurrence of no less than two-thirds of the members then holding office in each house of Congress.

d. If, because of the limit in this Article IV on the length of congressional sessions, appropriations have not been made for any branch, department, office, or other activity of the New Republic when its fiscal year begins, each such entity may continue to incur obligations at a rate that is the least of (1) its last annual appropriation, (2) the amount requested in the last budget submitted to Congress, or (3) any lesser amount Congress may determine by law. Such continuing obligational authority expires at the end of the fiscal year for which it is effective or, if there is an appropriation before the end of that fiscal year, on the day the appropriation is enacted into law. Such an appropriation may be greater than, less than, or the same as the continuing obligational authority.

e. Before becoming law, every bill passed by the House of Representatives and Senate shall be presented to the President of the New Republic, who shall approve or disapprove each bill in its entirety. The President signs the bill if he or she approves it. If not, the President returns it with his or her objections to the house in which it originated. That house enters the objections on its journal and reconsiders the bill. If two-thirds of the members of that house approve the bill, it is sent, with the objections, to the other house, which also reconsiders it. If two-thirds of the members of that house approve the bill, it becomes law. In all such cases, the votes of both houses are determined by recorded votes. If a bill is not returned by the President within fourteen days after being presented to the President, the bill becomes law, whether or not Congress is in session.

f. Except for adjournments, all other matters requiring the concurrence of both houses shall be presented to the President of the New Republic, who shall approve them before they take effect. If disapproved by the President, Congress shall follow the above procedures for reconsideration of bills.

B. The Presidency

1. Executive power is vested in the President of the New Republic, who, with the Vice President, is elected for a six-year term, as follows:

a. The election for President and Vice President is held on the same day as the general election for Representatives and Senators. The executive of each State and the District of Columbia certifies the number of popular votes cast for each candidate for President and Vice President. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives opens all the certificates and counts the votes. The person with the most votes for President will become President if the number of votes for that person is at least half of the total number of popular votes cast for President in all States and the District of Columbia. If no one has such a majority, the House of Representatives immediately chooses, by recorded vote, among the three persons who received the highest number of popular votes. Voting is by Representative. A majority of the Representatives then holding office is required to elect a President.

b. The person with the most votes for Vice President will become Vice President if the number of votes for that person is at least half of the total number of popular votes cast for Vice President in all States and the District of Columbia. If no one has such a majority, the Senate immediately chooses, by recorded vote, between the three persons who received the highest number of popular votes. There must be a quorum of at least two-thirds of the total number of Senators. A majority of the Senators then holding office is required to elect a Vice President.

c. No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President is eligible to be Vice President.

d. Congress shall provide by law for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives or Senate may choose a President or Vice President.

e. If the President-elect dies before taking office, the Vice President-elect becomes President.

f. If a President has not been chosen by the time the President’s term is to begin, or if the President-elect is not qualified for office, the Vice President-elect acts as President until a President qualifies. Congress may provide by law for the selection of an acting President if neither a President-elect nor a Vice President-elect qualifies. The person thus chosen acts until a President or Vice President qualifies.

2. Qualifications for Office

a. The President shall be at least fifty years of age upon taking office, have been a citizen of the United States or the New Republic for for a total of twenty-five years.

b. A person may not serve as President who previously took an oath to support this Constitution and then engaged in an act of treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State.

c. No person may be elected President more than once, and no person may serve as President or acting President for a total of more than ten years. If this clause requires the resignation or removal of a President, a successor shall be chosen as provided in the next section of this Constitution.

3. Succession to the Presidency

a. If the President is removed from office, dies, or resigns, the Vice President becomes President.

b. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice President, the President nominates a Vice President who will take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

c. Whenever the President states in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he or she is unable to serve, and until he or she sends them a written statement to the contrary, the Vice President serves as acting President.

d. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of the heads of the executive departments, or other body designated by law, states in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the President is unable to serve, the Vice President immediately becomes acting President. But if the President then states in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he or she is able to serve, The President resumes office unless the Vice President and a majority of the heads of the executive departments, or other body designated by law, within four days state in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the President is unable to serve. Congress then decides the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours to do so if it is not in session. The Vice President continues as acting President if Congress determines by a vote of two-thirds of the number of members then holding office in each house that the President is unable to resume office; the vote shall come within twenty-one days after receipt of the written declaration of the President’s continued inability or within twenty-one days after Congress assembles if it was not in session. Otherwise, the President resumes office.

4. Compensation and Emoluments of the President

a. The President’s compensation cannot be increased or decreased during his or her term of office.

b. The President may not receive any other compensation from the New Republic or any State while in office.

c. All contemporaneous records, in any form, of the acts of the President and his or her administration are the property of the New Republic and may not be used for any purpose except as authorized by law, but no law may authorize the use of such records for any purpose that yields income to a private person or corporation.

5. The President-elect or other person succeeding to the presidency shall take the following oath or affirmation before assuming the office of President: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the New Republic, and will obey, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the New Republic.”

6. The full terms of the President and Vice President begin at noon on the third day of January in the year following their election, and end at noon on the third day of January six years later.

C. The Courts

1. The judicial power of the New Republic resides in the Supreme Court of the New Republic and in subordinate courts established by law.

2. The judges of the Supreme Court of the New Republic and subordinate courts are appointed by the President of the New Republic, subject to confirmation by a three-fifths of the members of the Senate then holding office.

3. Judges of the New Republic may hold their offices for life, unless removed by impeachment and conviction.

4. The compensation of judges of the New Republic may not be reduced during their tenure.

D. Removal of the President, Other Civil Officers, and Judges

1. As specified in this Article IV, upon impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, the President, Vice President, any civil officer of the New Republic, or any judge of the New Republic is punished by removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of the New Republic.

2. The grounds for impeachment and conviction are in the sole discretion of the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively.

3. The party convicted may be held accountable for the same act(s) in a criminal or civil court.

V. OBLIGATIONS AND POWERS OF THE NEW REPUBLIC

A. General Obligations and Powers

1. The New Republic:

a. guarantees to every State a republican form of government, which shall include at least one legislative chamber than is apportioned by population, but need not include two legislative chambers so apportioned;

b. shall protect States from invasion, insurrection, and rebellion; and

c. shall protect a State from domestic violence when asked by the legislature of a State, or by its executive if the legislature cannot be convened.

2. The New Republic holds only those powers specifically delegated to it by this Constitution.

B. Specific Powers of Congress

1. Congress may, by a majority of three-fifths of the members of each House present, when there is a quorum consisting of three-fourths of the number of persons then holding office in each House:

a. provide for the collection of revenues in order to pay the debts and expenses of the New Republic, so long as (1) the debts and expenses are incurred through constitutional actions; (2) the revenues are not collected through taxes or levies on income or assets; (3) all taxes and levies are uniform throughout the New Republic; and (4) there is published a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money;

b. borrow money on the credit of the New Republic in order to pay its legitimate debts,

(1) so long as the indebtedness of the New Repulic does not increase over any ten-year period, as determined by comparing the amount of indebtedness at the end of the preceding fiscal year with the amount of indebtedness at the end of the tenth preceding fiscal year;

(2) except that, for the purpose of determining the change in indebtedness over any ten-year period. the amount of indebtedness at the end of the preceding fiscal year shall not include the sums spent during the ten-year period for any purpose contemplated in this Constitution, if said expenditures were made pursuant to appropriations approved by at least three-fourths of the members of each House present when there is a quorum of at least three-fourths of the number of persons then holding office in each House;

(3) if the indebtedness of the New Republic does increase, as determined in accordance with the two preceding clauses, then no person who served as a member of Congress or as president or vice president of the New Republic during the ten-year period in which the amount of indebtedness increased shall thereafter be eligible for election or appointment to Congress or an executive or judicial office of the New Republic;

(4) further, if indebtedness shall have increased, as determined in accordance with clauses (1) and (2) above, outlays by the government of the New Republic for all purposes but national defense shall be reduced pro-rata — and without recourse to legislative, executive, or judicial action — in the amounts required to offset the increase in indebtedness within two fiscal years.

c. regulate trade with foreign nations, but only to the extent necessary to prevent the sale or disclosure of materials and techniques involved in national defense;

d. ensure free trade among States, but not otherwise regulate transactions or transportation involving parties within a State or in different States (See sub-sections 4. c. and d. of this Article V, Section B.);

e. establish a uniform rule of naturalization and uniform bankruptcy laws throughout the New Republic;

f. issue money, but not to the exclusion of other forms of money that private parties may agree to use among themselves;

g. declare certain forms of money legal tender for the payment of debts, but not to the exclusion of other forms of money that private parties may accept willingly;

h. provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current money of the New Republic;

i. fix a standard of weights and measures, but not to the exclusion of standards that private parties may agree to use among themselves;

j. issue patents, copyrights, and other forms of protection for intellectual property for limited times, but not to exceed a total of 50 years in any instance (This provision shall be retroactive.);

k. establish courts subordinate to the Supreme Court of the New Republic;

l. define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against international law;

m. authorize war and the use of armed force against foreign enemies, insurrectionists, rebels, and terrorists; grant authority to seize and destroy the property of enemies, rebels, and terrorists; and make rules about captures of their property;

n. establish and support from appropriations armed forces for the purpose of defending the territory and possessions of the New Republic; preventing entry by unauthorized persons into said territory and possessions; and protecting the persons, property, and interests of citizens of and businesses incorporated in the New Republic, wherever said persons, property, and interests may be situated;

o. make rules governing the armed forces, provided that such rules may not contravene other provisions of this Constitution;

p. make laws defining, prohibiting, and punishing espionage against the armed forces and defense plans of the New Republic;

q. provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the New Republic, to suppress domestic violence or rebellion, and to engage in combat with terrorists or foreign enemies, either within or without the geographic boundaries of the New Republic;

r. provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing those units called to the service of the New Republic (But the States retain the power to appoint officers and to train the militia as prescribed by Congress.);

s. exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, or any district that succeeds it as the seat of government, and exercise like authority over all New Republic installations in the States (The land for each such installation must be purchased with the consent of the legislature of the State where it will be located.);

t. provide by law for the simultaneous death or incapacitation of the President and Vice President, or more than ten members of Congress, or more than two justices of the Supreme Court of the New Republic, or any combination of the preceding, and further, provide by law for the operation of the government of the New Republic in the event of a breakdown in telecommunications and/or computing systems that would impair the ability of the President or his successor to execute the duties of his office; and

u. make all laws, and only those laws, required to execute the preceding powers and other powers that this Constitution vests specifically in the New Republic.

2. Congress may dispose of and, as necessary, make rules and regulations affecting territory or other property belonging to the New Republic, but nothing in this Constitution is meant to prejudice any claims of any State or citizen.

3. Congress determines the punishment for treason, but punishment may not extend to persons other than the guilty.

4. Congress may not:

a. admit new states to the Union, except as provided in Article X of this Constitution;

b. pass laws that result in the imposition of costs on the government of any State or the governments of all of them;

c. either directly, through the empowerment of a regulatory agency, or as an incidental effect of legislation determine what goods and services are exchanged in intra-State, inter-State, or international commerce (except to regulate the international flow of weapons, military technology, or information that might compromise national security), or determine how such goods and services are produced or priced; or determine how businesses so engaged are operated;

d. levy taxes or duties on exports from or imports to any State, give any preference to one State over another in its regulation of commerce, or determine the routes of commerce between the States;

e. allow money to be spent without an appropriation, except as provided in Article IV of this Constitution;

f. except pursuant to an authorization of war, appropriate any monies for the use of foreign nations or peoples (This provision shall not be construed to prohibit appropriations for the purpose of supporting the participation of the New Republic in an international organization or alliance to which it belongs pursuant to a duly ratified treaty.);

g. grant any honorific or title of nobility or allow anyone holding an office or position of trust of the New Republic to accept any gift, compensation, office, or title from a foreign state or its officials or representatives;

h. make any law whose direct effect is to establish, support, favor, bestow financial benefits on, or restrict the privileges of a particular person or class of persons, business or class of businesses, or other private institution or class of private institutions;

i. make any law whose direct or indirect effect is to provide old-age, survivors’, disability, or medical benefits to any person;

j. authorize or allow any agency of the New Republic effectively to exercise legislative power on its behalf;

k. authorize any agency to act independently of one of the three branches of government established by this Constitution; or

k. make any law or appropriation or take any other action that contravenes any part of this Constitution.

5. Treaties

a. The Senate must ratify all treaties and agreements with foreign nations and international organizations, except those agreements that the President is by law empowered to execute pursuant to a ratified treaty.

b. The Senate may not ratify any treaty that directly or indirectly places the New Republic, its territories or possessions, its property, its citizens, or its armed forces under the jurisdiction or control of any foreign power or international organization.

c. The Senate may not ratify any treaty that contravenes any provision of this Constitution or any constitutional law previously enacted by Congress.

7. Acts of Congress may be revised or revoked as provided in Articles VII, VIII, and IX of this Constitution.

C. Specific Responsibilities and Powers of the President of the New Republic

1. The President, as chief executive of the New Republic,

a. sees to the faithful execution of the laws and treaties of the New Republic;

b. may recommend legislation to Congress;

c. commissions the officers of the uniformed services of the New Republic; and

d. receives ambassadors and ministers of other nations.

2. The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the New Republic, and of the State militia when they are called into the service of the New Republic.

3. The President, as commander-in-chief, may order, without enabling legislation, the armed forces of the New Republic and the militia of any State into combat against insurrectionists, rebels, terrorists, or foreign enemies upon learning of an attack or imminent threat by any of them, provided that he or she promptly informs Congress of such action and ceases such action if Congress does not authorize it within thirty days after it has begun. Congress, if it is not in session when notified of such an action by the President, shall assemble promptly for the purpose of considering that action.

4. As commander-in-chief, the President may, as provided by law, order the detention and punishment of non-citizens when the armed forces of the New Republic are engaged in lawful combat.

5. The President may require the written opinions of the heads of the executive departments on any matter related to their duties, and may dismiss any of them at any time and for any reason.

6. The President has the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the New Republic, except in cases of impeachment or treason.

7. With the consent of a majority of the Senators then holding office, the President may make treaties; appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; appoint judges of the Supreme Court and subordinate courts of the New Republic; and, as required by law, appoint other officers of the New Republic. The Senate shall, in all such cases, vote up or down on a treaty or appointment in the same year in which such a matter comes before it.

8. Congress may by law give the President and the heads of departments under him the power to appoint certain subordinate officers, either with without the consent of the Senate, as specified by law, except that the President may not fill vacancies occurring during the recess of the Senate.

9. In any event, no one may be appointed to an office of the New Republic who has engaged in an act of treason, rebellion, insurrection, or terrorism against the New Republic or any State.

10. If the houses of Congress disagree about the time of adjournment, the President may adjourn them to a time he or she determines, and may, on occasions of national emergency, convene either or both houses.

11. Acts of the executive branch may be revised or revoked as provided in Articles VII, VIII, and IX of this Constitution.

D. Powers of the Courts of the New Republic

1. Except as Congress may by law provide, the judicial power of the New Republic extends to all cases arising under this Constitution, whether brought on behalf of or against the New Republic; to the laws and treaties of the New Republic; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the New Republic may be a party; and to controversies between two or more States.

2. The judicial power of the New Republic does not extend to any suit against one of the States by its own citizens, the citizens of another State, or citizens or subjects of a foreign state; between citizens of different States; between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States; or between a State or its citizens and foreign states or their citizens or subjects.

3. In those cases to which the judicial power of the New Republic extends, the Supreme Court of the New Republic has original jurisdiction in cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State is a party. In all other cases, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, except as Congress determines by law.

4. All judgments of the courts of the New Republic must comply with the text of this Constitution and with the constitutional laws and treaties of the New Republic.

5. All subordinate courts shall be bound by the precedents of the Supreme Court of the New Republic, but the Supreme Court shall not be bound by its own precedents.

6. A judgment of any court of the New Republic may be revised or revoked by an act of Congress, provided that such any revision or revocation is approved by two-thirds of the members of each house and leads to a result that conforms to this Constitution.

7. Judgments of the courts of the New Republic may be revised or revoked as provided in Articles VII, VIII, and IX of this Constitution.

VI. OBLIGATIONS AND POWERS OF THE STATES

A. Obligations of the States to Each Other

1. Each State shall give full credence to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. Congress may enforce this provision through the enactment of laws.

2. A person who flees from justice in one State and is found in another State shall be returned to the State in which he or she was charged on the demand of the executive authority of that State.

B. Powers Ceded by the States to the New Republic

1. States may not exercise any of the powers specifically delegated to or denied the New Republic in Article V of this Constitution, except that Congress may by law empower States to:

a. levy taxes or duties on imports or exports, when necessary for executing inspection laws (The net revenue from all taxes and duties on imports and exports shall go to the Treasury of the New Republic, and laws imposing such taxes and duties are subject to review and control by Congress.);

b. levy duties on the capacity of carriers;

c. keep armed forces in peacetime; or

d. enter into agreements or compacts with foreign powers, but only where such agreements neither contravene the treaties of the New Republic nor directly or indirectly place any State, its property, its citizens, or its militia under the jurisdiction or control of any foreign power or international organization.

2. A State may engage in war only if the President, as commander-in-chief, does not timely order the armed forces and State militia into combat against insurrectionists, rebels, terrorists, or foreign enemies, or to act against an imminent threat by any of them.

C. General Powers and Rights of the States

1. The States retain all powers that are not delegated to the New Republic in this Constitution. But none of the States may assert or exercise any power by a legislative, executive, or judicial act if that power contravenes the rights or privileges of citizens that are provided for in this Constitution.

2. Each State retains the right to secede from this Union, but secession shall in each case be approved by three-fourths of the members of each house of a State’s legislature and ratified by the executive of the State within thirty days of its approval by both houses of the State’s legislature. At least one year shall intervene between the ratification of an act of secession and its execution, during which time the act of secession may be revoked by three-fourths of the members of each house of the State’s legislature. Revocation does not require ratification by the State’s executive.

3. Each State may by law limit the length of service of any elected or appointed officer or legislator of the State or of governmental units within the State. Such limits may not be negated by acts of Congress or challenged in any court of the New Republic.

4. Whether or not a State is a party at interest in a particular matter, its legislature or executive, as provided by State law, may at any time petition the Supreme Court of the New Republic for a review of the constitutionality of any act of Congress. In each such case, the Supreme Court of the New Republic, or any subordinate court directed to do so by the Supreme Court, shall make a prompt judgment, which shall be final and binding on the New Republic and on every State.

VII. KEEPER OF THE CONSTITUTION

A. Responsibility and Authority

1. The responsibility for ensuring that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches adhere to this Constitution in the exercise of their respective powers shall be vested in a Keeper of the Constitution. The Keeper may review acts of Congress, the executive branch, and judicial branch that have the effect of making law and appropriating monies. The term “making law” includes — but is not limited to — a legislative, executive, or judicial interpretation of an existing law or laws. Covered acts of the judicial branch include — but are not limited to — denials of appeals or writs of certiorari. The Keeper’s purview does not extend to the ratification of or amendments to this Constitution; the admission of States to the Union, or the secession of States from it; declarations of war; statutes, appropriations, regulations, or orders pertaining directly to the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic; or the employment of the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic. Nor does the Keeper’s purview extend to appointments made by or with the consent of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

2. The Keeper may revoke any act that lies within his purview, as defined in section A.1 of this Article VII, provided that the act occurred no more than one year before the date on which he nullifies it. The Keeper shall signify each revocation by informing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, President of the New Republic, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the New Republic of his decision and the reason(s) therefor. The Keeper shall, at the same time, issue a public notice of his decision and the reason(s) therefor.

3. The affected branch(es) of government shall, in each case, act promptly to implement the Keeper’s decision. Each implementing act shall be subject to review, as specified in sections A.1 and A.2 of this Article VII

B. Selection

1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the New Republic, acting jointly, shall nominate a Keeper of the Constitution to the Supreme Court of the New Republic. The Supreme Court must vote on a nominee no later than thirty days after receipt of a nomination. A nominee shall become Keeper upon the approval by three-fourths of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court.

2. If a nominee is rejected by the Supreme Court, the Speaker and President, acting jointly, shall nominate a different person as Keeper, and shall send this second nomination to the House of Representatives and Senate. The House of Representatives and Senate must, within thirty days of receipt of the nomination, meet as a single body and vote on the nominee. The nominee shall become Keeper upon approval by two-thirds of the total number of Representatives and Senators present and voting, in the presence of a quorum of each house of Congress.

3. If a nominee is rejected by both the Supreme Court and combined membership of the House of Representatives and Senate, the Speaker and President, acting jointly, shall nominate a different person as Keeper, and shall send this third nomination to the Senate. The Senate must, within thirty days of receipt of the nomination, vote on the nominee. The nominee shall become Keeper upon approval by a majority of Senators present and voting, in the presence of a quorum of the Senate.

C. Tenure, Removal, and Replacement

1. The Keeper shall hold office during good behavior for a term of three years. The same person may not hold the office of Keeper more than once.

2. The Keeper may be removed from office only as follows: The Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the New Republic must jointly apply to the Supreme Court of the New Republic for removal of the Keeper, specifying the instance(s) of official misfeasance or malfeasance prompting their application. The Supreme Court, upon the receipt of such an application, and with due deliberation, shall vote on its merits. If  three-fourths of the justices of the Supreme Court approve the application, the Keeper shall thereupon forfeit his office; otherwise, the Keeper shall retain his position until a proper application for his removal is approved by three fourths of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court, or his term of office expires.

3. Upon removal of the Keeper from office by the foregoing procedure, a new Keeper shall be appointed, in accordance with section B of this Article VII. Upon the appointment of a new Keeper, he shall enter upon a three-year term of office, which he may hold during good behavior.

4. If the Keeper resigns, dies in office, or becomes unable to hold office because of a physical or mental condition attested to in writing by a unanimous panel of three doctors of medicine appointed jointly by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the President of the New Republic, and three-fourths of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court, a successor shall be appointed in accordance with section B of this Article VII.

D. The Keeper’s Compensation and Budget

The Keeper shall be paid a salary of $1 per annum, but may be reimbursed for reasonable, personal expenses related to the execution of his duties. Congress shall appropriate monies for the reimbursement of the Keeper’s reasonable, personal expenses; for the reasonable compensation of the Keeper’s staff; and for the procurement, operation, and maintenance of facilities, equipment, and services that the Keeper and his staff may require for the execution of the Keeper’s responsibilities. The total cost of the foregoing must not exceed $100 million per annum, plus annual increases, on the anniversary of the date on which this Constitution takes effect, in the same percentage as the most recent increase (if any) in cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of veterans of the armed forces.

VIII. CONVENTIONS OF THE STATES

A. Frequency, Purpose, Assembly, and Voting

1. Delegations of the States shall convene every four years for the purpose of considering revisions to and revocations of acts of the government established by this Constitution. Such conventions (hereinafter “Convention of the States”) may revise and/or revoke any act or acts and/or any holding or holdings, in the sole discretion of a majority of State delegations present and voting. However, no Convention may revoke or revise a ratification of or amendment to this Constitution; the admission of States to the Union, or the secession of States from it; declarations of war; statutes, appropriations, regulations, or orders pertaining directly to the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic; or the employment of the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic. Nor shall a Convention’s purview extend to appointments made by or with the consent of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

2. The first Convention of the States shall be held in the first-odd numbered year following the year in which this Constitution takes effect. Each Convention of the States shall assemble on the 5th day of July, or the first business day following. A Convention shall stay in session for as long as there is a quorum of at least one delegate from each of three-fourths of the States when a convention is in general session, and until a Convention is dissolved by a majority vote of the delegations present and attending, but not later than December 31 of the same year.

3. The first Convention of the States shall be held in a place in Kansas to be determined by the most numerous house of the legislature thereof. The manner of determining the site of subsequent Conventions of the States shall be determined at the first Convention. The expenses of each Convention of the States shall be defrayed by the States. Each State shall be responsible for the expenses of its delegation to each Convention, and all of the attending States shall share equally in the cost of providing facilities and support for each Convention.

4. The most numerous house of the legislature of each State shall select that State’s delegation for each convention of the States. Each State’s delegation shall vote as a unit on all matters coming before a Convention, as directed by the most numerous house of that State’s legislature. The officers of each Convention shall be elected by a majority of the delegations appointed and attending, which delegations may also by majority vote appoint committees and establish procedures for setting the rules of the Convention.

B. Revocation or Revision of Acts of Congress or Holdings of the Supreme Court

1. A majority of the delegations present and voting shall be sufficient to revise and/or revoke a specific act (or acts) of Congress or a specific holding (or holdings) of the Supreme Court of the New Republic, provided that

a. the instrument of revision and/or revocation must specifically identify the act (or acts) of Congress and/or the holding (or holdings) of the Supreme Court of the New Republic that are being revised and/or revoked, and then specifically revise and/or revoke such act, acts, holding, and/or holdings; and

b. no revision or revocation may have the effect of increasing the expenditures of the New Republic or of any State.

2. The revision and/or revocation of an act (or acts) of Congress and/or a holding (or holdings) of the Supreme Court of the New Republic shall be effective upon the publication of same by the presiding officer of the Convention, whereupon the New Republic and all other governmental units in the New Republic which may be affected by any such revised and/or revoked act, acts, holding, and/or holdings shall be duty-bound to honor such revisions and/or revocations as the supreme law of the land.

3. A revised or revoked act of Congress or holding of the Supreme Court of the New Republic may not be further revised and/or reinstated by Congress, the Supreme Court of the New Republic, or Convention of the States until at least eight years have passed since the publication of the last revision or revocation of the same act or holding. This prohibition applies to any new or amended act or holding that would effectively revise or reinstate any act(s) or holding(s) originally revised or revoked by a Convention of the States.

C. Non-Interference

1. The New Republic may not, directly or indirectly, or overtly or covertly, attempt by any manner of means to influence the assembly of, proceedings of, or decisions of any Convention of the States. No State which chooses not to send a delegation to a particular Convention may directly or indirectly, or overtly or covertly, attempt by any manner of means to influence the proceedings of or decisions of said Convention.

2. Neither the New Republic nor any State shall presume to certify or challenge, by any manner or means, the decisions of any Convention of the States.

D. Perpetual Enforcement

Each Convention of the States shall create an office of legal counsel with authority to act in perpetuity for the Convention by which said counsel was appointed. Legal counsel may and shall bring suit against the New Republic, any State, or any succeeding Convention of the States if said entity, in counsel’s opinion, shall have violated any provision of this Article VIII. Actions against the courts of the New Republic, including the Supreme Court thereof, shall be tried promptly in the Senate of the New Republic, and disposed of by a majority of the number of Senators then holding office. All other actions shall be heard and resolved promptly by the Supreme Court of the New Republic.

IX. CITIZEN INITIATIVES

A. Scope

The citizens of the New Republic have the right to initiate referenda for the purpose of revoking certain acts of the government of the New Republc; to expel from office any of the following principal officers of the New Republic: members of Congress, President, Vice President, and justices of the Supreme Court; and to call for a new constitutional convention.

B. Referenda

1. Upon the valid application by citizens who have attained the age of thirty, in a number equal to or exceeding twenty-five percent of the number of persons who voted for candidates for President in the preceding general election, any act(s) of any branch of the government of the New Republic may be considered for revocation in a referendum, except that the act(s) to be voted upon may not include a ratification of or amendment to this Constitution; the admission of States to the Union, or the secession of States from it; declarations of war; statutes, appropriations, regulations, or orders pertaining directly to the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic; or the employment of the armed forces or intelligence services of the New Republic. The application must specify, in detail, the act(s) proposed for revocation, and the constitutional reason(s) for proposing revocation. The application also must specify the precise language to be presented to voters at a referendum, where the language must indicate clearly that a “yes” vote is a vote for revocation and a “no” vote is a vote against revocation.

2. The Secretary of State of the New Republic shall promptly determine the validity of an application for a referendum. If an application is valid, he shall convey to the executive authority of each State the language to be placed on ballots, and shall designate the date of the referendum, which must be the same in every State. A referendum must occur no later than nine months after the Secretary of State has validated an application therefor. The date of a referendum may coincide with the date of an election in some or all States.

3. When a referendum has taken place and the votes of every State have been counted, the tallies shall be sent by the States to the Secretary of State within one week of the referendum. The Secretary of State shall, within one day, announce the result publicly.

4. The act(s) being voted upon shall be revoked if the total number of “yes” votes exceeds the total number of “no” votes. If the total number of “no” votes exceeds the total number of “yes” votes, the act(s) being voted upon shall not be revoked.

5. Within six months of an announcement by the Secretary of State that an act or acts of government have been revoked, the cognizant branch of government shall completed the requisite legal, organizational, and monetary adjustments, including just compensation for acts that cannot be undone.

6. All of the foregoing shall take place under the scrutiny of the Keeper of the Constitution.

C. Expulsions

1. Upon the valid application by citizens who have attained the age of thirty, in a number equal to or exceeding twenty-five percent of the number of persons who voted for candidates for President in the preceding general election, there will be scheduled a recall election for the purpose of expelling from office a member or members of Congress, the President, the Vice President, and/or a justice or justices of the Supreme Court.

2. The Secretary of State of the New Republic shall promptly determine the validity of an application for a recall election. If an application is valid, he shall convey to the executive authority of each State the language to be placed on ballots, and shall designate the date of the recall election, which must be the same in every State. A recall election must occur no later than nine months after the Secretary of State has validated an application therefor. The date of a recall election may coincide with the date of an election in some or all States.

3. When a recall election has taken place and the votes of every State have been counted, the tallies shall be sent by the States to the Secretary of State within one week of the recall election. The Secretary of State shall, within one day, announce the result publicly.

4. In every case where a the result of a recall election is in favor of an expulsion or expulsions, the expulsion or expulsions take effect immediately upon the Secretary of State’s announcement of the results of the recall election. Expelled officials shall be replaced as provided elsewhere in this Constitution.

5. All of the foregoing shall take place under the scrutiny of the Keeper of the Constitution.

D. Constitutional Conventions

1. Upon the valid application by citizens who have attained the age of thirty, in a number equal to or exceeding twenty-five percent of the number of persons who voted for candidates for President in the preceding general election, there will be scheduled a constitutional convention. The purpose of the convention, which must be specified in the application, may be to rewrite this Constitution in part or entirely. No part of this Constitution is exempt from revision or deletion by a duly-called constitutional convention.

2. The Secretary of State of the New Republic shall promptly determine the validity of an application for a constitutional convention. If an application is valid, he shall confirm its validity to the President of the Senate.

3. Upon notification by the Secretary of State of a valid application for a constitutional convention, the President of the Senate shall call a convention. The convention must begin within three months of the notification by the Secretary of State. Congress shall timely appropriate the funds required for convention facilities; each State shall provide for the transportation, lodging, and subsistence of its delegates.

4. Each State determines by law the composition of and rules governing its delegation. In convention, each State casts a single vote on each item of business set before the convention.

5. Any revisions to this Constitution or a new Constitution, if approved by a duly called convention, become effective immediately upon their approval.

6. Unless the revised or new constitution provides otherwise, within ten days after the revision of this Constitution or the adoption of a new one, the Secretary of State shall publish the revised or new Constitution.

7. Unless the revised or new constitution provides otherwise, the Secretary of State shall maintain and publish continuously, by electronic means, the official Constitution, incorporating any and all duly ratified amendments.

8. Unless the revised or new constitution provides otherwise, a State legislature (and only a State legislature) may challenge the validity of the revised or new Constitution by petitioning the Supreme Court of the New Republic. Each such petition must be approved by a majority of the membership of each house of a legislature, and must be received by the Supreme Court within thirty days after the publication of the revised text being challenged. The Supreme Court of the New Republic shall make a prompt judgment in each case, which shall be final and binding unless and until it is revised or revoked by a later amendment to the Constitution.

9. Unless the revised or new constitution provides otherwise, all of the foregoing shall take place under the scrutiny of the Keeper of the Constitution.

X. EFFECTING AND AMENDING THIS CONSTITUTION

A. Ratification

1. This Constitution, to take effect, must be ratified by at least three States of the United States. Ratification by a State shall be by a majority vote of the sitting members of each house of the State’s legislature, the same having been elected by and acting on behalf of the citizens of that State.

2. The executive of a State whose legislature has ratified this Constitution shall promptly certify the ratification in writing to the Secretary of the Constitutional Convention at which this Constitution was drafted.

3. The Secretary of the Constitutional Convention shall maintain the official record of certifications. When this Constitution is given effect, the Secretary shall promptly announce that event; in the alternative, he shall announce that it has not been given effect.

4. If this Constitution is given effect, it shall become binding on every State ratifying it.

5. Ratification shall be by a majority vote of the members of each house of the State’s legislature, the same having been elected by and acting on behalf of the citizens of the admitted State.

6. Any State, after having ratified this Constitution, may later secede from the Union, as provided in Article VI of this Constitution.

B. Transition

1. Each State that ratifies this Constitution must be in full compliance with this Constitution within five years after the State effects its ratification.

2. After the five years have elapsed, the legislature of any other State may challenge the compliance of the ratifying State by direct appeal to the Supreme Court of the New Republic. The Supreme Court shall make a prompt judgment in each case, which judgment shall be final and binding, except as it may be revised or revoked pursuant to Articles VII and VIII of this Constitution.

C. Construction

1. Each word, phrase, clause, sentence, section, and article of this Constitution, as amended, shall be construed in accordance with the meanings of the aforesaid at the time of their ratification.

2. Where there is ambiguity about the meaning of any portion of this Constitution listed in the foregoing section of this Article VIII, its meaning shall be determined by reference to the speeches and writings of the proponents of the language adopted through ratification.

3. The meaning of any portion of this Constitution may not be altered to include subjects or powers not specifically contemplated in the language of this Constitution, as determined in accordance with the foregoing sections of this Article VIII.

4. Despite exigencies, real or proclaimed, the subjects of this Constitution and the powers herein granted or denied may be changed only by amendment, in accordance with Article V.

D. Amendments and Official Version

1. An amendment to this Constitution may be considered for ratification when a Motion to Amend is approved by three-fourths of the number of Senators then holding office. Or, an amendment to this Constitution may be considered for ratification when a Motion to Amend is approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States, there being no limit on the amount of time that this method may take. (For this purpose, approval by a State legislature of a Motion to Amend requires the assent by a majority of the number of members of each house of that State’s legislature.) In the second event, the executive of each State whose legislature has approved a Motion to Amend shall communicate that approval to the President of the Senate. In either event, a Motion to Amend may consist of one or more proposed amendments to this Constitution.

2. Upon the approval of a Motion to Amend, the President of the Senate must call a convention to consider the Motion, which convention must begin within three months of the date on which the Motion was approved by a three-fourths vote of the Senate or State legislatures. Congress shall timely appropriate the funds required for convention facilities; each State shall provide for the transportation, lodging, and subsistence of its delegates.

3. Each State determines by law the composition of and rules governing its delegation. In convention, each State casts a single vote on each proposed amendment.

4. A proposed amendment becomes a part of this Constitution when it has been ratified by the votes of three-fourths of the States then belonging to the Union.

5. Within ten days after ratification of an amendment, the Secretary of State of the United States shall publish a revised Constitution that incorporates the ratified amendment. Each amendment shall be incorporated into the text of the Constitution by adding, deleting, or revising its text at the appropriate place(s). Amendments shall not be appended to this Constitution.

6. The Secretary of State shall maintain and publish continuously, by electronic means, the official version of this Constitution, incorporating any and all duly ratified amendments.

7. A State legislature (and only a State legislature) may challenge the validity of the revised text by petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States. Each such petition must be approved by a majority of the membership of each house of a legislature, and must be received by the Supreme Court within thirty days after the publication of the revised text being challenged. The Supreme Court of the United States shall make a prompt judgment in each case, which shall be final and binding unless and until it is revised or revoked by a later amendment to the Constitution.

E. Articles Not Subject to Amendment

Articles VII, VIII, IX, and X of this Constitution may not be amended, except as provided in Section D of Article IX.

F. Subordinate Laws, Orders, Regulations, and Judicial Decisions

1. Every bill introduced in Congress, every act of Congress that becomes law, every executive order issued by or on behalf of the president of the United States, every regulation issued by an agency of the government of the United States, and every judicial decision by a court of the United States shall, in a preamble, (a) cite the specific Article(s), Section(s), Sub-sections(s), and (as necessary) paragraph(s) of this Constitution from which it draws its authority, and (b) explain precisely how it comports with the portions of the Constitution thus specified.

2. Except for a declaration of war or use of military force in accordance with this Constitution and constitutional laws, no law, executive order, or regulation shall have effect unless its complete text and preamble has been publicized for at least thirty (30) days on the Internet.

3. Every judicial decision, including its full text and preamble, shall be published promptly on the Internet.

ATTEST: _____________________, Secretary of the Constitutional Convention, by direction of the Convention, on this the __________ day of __________, in the year 20__.

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