Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment … But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.

—Thomas Jefferson. Letter to Samuel Kerchival, Monticello, July 12, 1816.

So far there have only been twenty-seven amendments to the United States Constitution. This proves that the amendment process is manifestly inadequate. The absence of a properly functioning amendment mechanism has forced the judiciary to usurp the task of keeping the Constitution current. The problem with this expedient is that in order to achieve its purpose, the text has been abused to the point where it can now mean anything. This means, in effect, the United States no longer has a written constitution, rather it has an unelected clique of elders—Supreme Court justices—who act as political arbiters of the highest authority.

In order to reinstate the sanctity of the written constitution, the method of amending the constitution must be made more practical.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove