In a thought-provoking post at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok points out that the Second Amendment, intended in part to minimize the need for standing armies, hasn't in fact fulfilled that purpose, and asks what Constitutional amendments would best protect people from tyranny today. He suggests three possibilities:
- "The right of the people not to bear arms shall not be infringed (i.e. no conscription. Requiring someone to bear arms, thus taking all of their freedom, is a far worse example of tyranny than preventing them from bearing arms.)"
- "If 1/3rd or more of the Supreme Court rule that a law is unconstitutional it shall be unconstitutional. (Greater protection of minority rights)."
- "Congress shall pass no law abridging the right of the people to encrypt their documents and effects. (Modern supplement to the fourth amendment.)"
It isn't clear to me that his second suggestion would actually result in better protection of minority rights, though I grant it's possible. I'd definitely support his last suggestion. And I love the exercise. Constitutional amendments are rare. But they happen. And even when they don't, soliciting suggestions is a good way to gauge the sorts of concerns Americans have. On Twitter, I modified the question, asking what "Bill-of-Rights-style amendment" folks would want to add to the Constitution.