Restless Minds topic: should constitution be changed?

Americans revere our Constitution. And why not? It has served well as foundation for the world’s most stable government for 227 years and counting.

But does the Constitution meet current-day needs or should it be updated?

The Restless Minds discussion group will examine the Constitution during its March meeting. The group will meet from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 in the Sewing Room of Oakwood’s Arts and Crafts Center.

After he retired in 2010 as the nation’s longest serving Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens wrote a book advocating several changes, Six Amendments: How We Should Change the Constitution.

Others believe the document the Founding Fathers produced works very well in its present form. Understanding the original words and their intent will guide us through modern-day constitutional dilemmas.

The Restless Minds discussion will touch on these differing points of view but concentrate on specific issues. Discussion leader Bill Gates will raise such questions as:

Is the Constitution adequately serving all Americans?

What would discussion participants add to the Constitution that isn’t already there?

Are some items in the Constitution outmoded and should be eliminated? The Electoral College, for example?

Is it too hard to amend the Constitution or is that difficulty what gives the document its strength and staying power?

What does the Second Amendment mean? Former Justice Stevens believes it should be altered to read “the right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.” Is that change justified?

For nearly 40 years, a proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women has languished unratified. Why is that a controversial issue?

More recently, the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision opened a flood of often secret money into political campaigns in the name of free speech. This has resulted in proposals to amend the Constitution. Is change warranted?

Restless Minds is a discussion group receptive to all people with open, inquisitive minds. There are no dues or membership requirements. All political and social points of view are encouraged to engage in this friendly exchange of ideas each month. Just show up and participate.

For more information contact Bill Gates or Bobbie Reed at 480-883-7410.