Why not change the Constitution?

Why not change the Constitution?

Letters to the Editor: There’s an obvious solution to reining in the Supreme Court: the Electoral College. The Founding Fathers would tell us to do so, and the Constitution would spell out exactly how we would go about it. But instead of doing so, the Constitution creates a Supreme Court made up of 12 judges who have no power to prevent a president from becoming president, as happens now, and who could not block a president from firing a Supreme Court justice.

With the Electoral College the Framers would have had their answer – because the Electoral College makes no provision whatsoever for the president to be defeated by the Electoral College, which would have ensured that the president cannot be chosen by the Electoral College, and would ensure that the president would have no reason for not respecting the Constitution.

At the moment, the president’s electoral college majority depends on the president’s personal popularity, and the Electoral College votes each state into one of two (which, as we know from the last election, might in no way guarantee victory). The president is thus not elected by Congress – or rather, Congress has no power to control the president, or to block his reelection.

So why not simply impose the Electoral College on the Supreme Court and on Congress? The system we have now is the Constitution’s creation; why not, through constitutional amendment, change it to reflect the Constitution’s underlying structure?

Richard A. SerbinThe writer is professor emeritus of history and political science at the University of Oregon.

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