by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
In thinking about the Amendment One debate today, I’m struck by two troubling items:
1. A constitutional amendment imposes a legal preference of the current generation upon future generations. Regardless of the issue at hand, an amendment to the state constitution should not be the sort of thing that can happen with the assent of a mere majority of voters, as is allowed in the state constitution. Granted, getting the proposed amendment to a vote requires passing a significant hurdle of mustering three-fifths of the members of each house in the General Assembly, but even so the process seems too flippant for such a serious action as amending the state constitution.
2. Furthermore, because it is a serious action with the power to affect all residents, present and future, it should not be placed before voters during a primary election, which traditionally has much lighter turnout than a major election in November (estimates are this primary will have about 25 percent turnout).