How do we solve the systemic and entrenched flaws of our political system which gives it a built in conservative bias?
This is an agenda of actions which Congress may be law take, without constitutional amendments. This could be accomplished with majorities in the House and the Senate and a cooperative President.
Admit More States To The Union
* Admit the District of Columbia to the U.S. as a state except for the immediate vicinity of the capitol and a reliably Democratic neighborhood or two adjacent to it with 50,000 to 100,000 people that would retain D.C.'s three electoral votes for President under the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution that would lack Congressional representation.
* Admit Puerto Rico to the U.S. as a state if it votes for that in a referendum in which the only other choice is to become an independent country and Commonwealth status is not an option.
* Admit the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. as a state.
* Admit Guam and the Northern Mariana Island (combined) to the U.S. as a single state with two local governments.
* Admit American Samoa to the U.S. as a state.
* Authorize California to form two to four successor states from its territory as proposed by legislation or a citizens initiative.
This would add 12-14 U.S. Senators to the U.S. Senate, mostly like all of them Democrats. It would add nine or ten members of Congress from the newly admitted states other than California to the U.S. House, most of whom would be Democrats.
This would also dramatically reduce the number of Americans who are nationals but not U.S. citizens and who lack representation in Congress.
Increase The Size Of The U.S. Supreme Court
* Increase the size of the U.S. Supreme Court from 9 to 15 justices.
* Appoint six liberal justices to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancies, leaving the U.S. Supreme Court with a 10-5 liberal majority.
* Establish as a default that cases in the U.S. Supreme Court are heard by a panel of five justices subject to en banc review by the entire U.S. Supreme Court, except in cases in which the constitutionality of a statute is not at issue, and require two justices to grant temporary orders in requests for stays of orders from lower courts rather than one in the current system.
Repeal Non-Democratic Rules In The U.S. Senate
* Repeal all powers of individual U.S. Senators under U.S. Senate rules, including members of the leadership, to deny consideration of matters pending before the U.S. Senate, such as "holds."
* Require consideration by the U.S. Senate as a whole of Presidential nominations and bills passed by the U.S. House within a certain reasonable time period (perhaps three or four months).
Removal Of Presidents For Incapacity
* Pass a law pursuant to Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution to vest authority to determine that the President is incapacitated on a body other than the Vice President and the cabinet.
Faithful Execution Of The Laws
* Establish a private cause of action with the minimal constitutionally permitted standing requirements for enforcement by writ of mandamus of the failure of the President "to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" as set forth in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.
Reduce The Number Of Political Appointees
* Transfer many of the roughly two thousand federal government jobs that are political appointments to the federal civil service system.
* Create a private civil action to force enforcement of the prohibition on receipt of emoluments from the President, under Section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution, and members of Congress, under Section 6 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution. This should include a ban on conduct of any kind of private business or investment activity that is not put in a regulated blind trust.
* Prohibit voter ID laws by statute under the enforcement powers granted by the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
* Limit gerrymandering and authorize proportional representation in Congressional elections, by statute, under the power granted by Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, the enforcement powers granted by the 14th and 15th Amendments.
Narrow The Scope Of Federal Court Civil Jurisdiction
The federal courts now and for the foreseeable future has a core of far right judges. One way to reduce their influence is by narrowing the scope of federal court civil jurisdiction.
* Repeal 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 (general federal question jurisdiction) and 1332 (diversity jurisdiction).
Therefore, federal district court civil jurisdiction would be limited to select federal questions with specific authorizing statutes (like intellectual property and civil rights cases), appellate review of other federal questions by the U.S. Supreme Court, cases with the United States as a party, and diversity cases involving interpleader, certain class actions and real estate claims involving rights arising from two different states. Suits between private parties, even if arising under most federal laws, would not be subject to removal to federal court.
Repeal Offenses Currently Triable As Federal Crime
* Repeal the lowest level and most common illegal immigration crimes (e.g. unlawful entry) which would instead be only a civil offense.
* Repeal federal crimes that are duplicative of state crimes, such as kidnapping, bank robbery, child pornography, marijuana offenses, drug offenses that do not involve transportation of drugs across state or national boundaries, and many forms of homicide that have tangential federal connections.
Transfer Responsibility From Federal Court To Tribal Court For Certain Crimes
* Give tribal courts jurisdiction over felonies committed in tribal territory and provide funding for prosecutors, public defenders, and the courts to allow tribal courts to meet federal standards of due process in those proceedings. These cases are now tried in the federal courts which have consistently done a poor job of handling them.
Transfer Some Administrative Law Functions To Article III Courts
While the federal courts have many far right judges they are still far superior to the quality of justice found in some administrative law courts. This also would make use of resources freed up by narrowing federal court civil and criminal jurisdiction.
* Transfer jurisdiction over immigration cases to the federal courts and abolish the immigration court system. Establish a statutory right to counsel for indigents and minors in all immigration cases.
* Transfer jurisdiction over campaign finance violations from the Federal Election Commission to the federal courts, with actions that can be brought by both the Justice Department and with private civil actions.