Skip to Content

Support MinnPost

MinnPost logo 2014 Summer Member Drive

Readers like you make MinnPost possible
Become a sustaining member today

The anti-amendment amendment lives

Wry Wing Politics

A little less than a year ago, I blogged at The Same Rowdy Crowd about One Minnesota Ballot Initiative I Could Support.

In said blog, Captain Obvious pointed out that Minnesota is supposed to have a representative democracy, where we elect leaders to make decisions for us, rather than a direct democracy, where elected officials pass the decision-making buck back to the voters who elected them to make decisions.

My specific complaint was about Minnesota conservatives’ rush toward a rash of constitutional amendments as a means of bypassing the normal two-branch lawmaking process, which includes a liberal Governor in possession of a veto pen.

I then proposed, somewhat cheekily, that:

(T)here is one ballot initiative I could support. I wrote it this morning in in my parlor with a feather quill, but I have faithfully transferred it to typeface for you:

‘Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require an affirmative vote of seven-eighths of the State Legislature before more Constitutional amendments can clutter voters’ ballots?’

Please sign the petition and consider making a donation at makethemdotheirjobs.com.

Rep. Kim Norton
Rep. Kim Norton

Well, Politics in Minnesota’s Weekly Report recently noted:

Rep. Kim Norton wants to bring constitutional amendments back on the table in the form of an amendment to make it harder to pass amendments (her bill would require a two-thirds legislative majority to pass a ballot measure instead of a simple majority).

It’s probably just a happy coincidence that Representative Norton  (DFL-Rochester) and I landed on the same solution, the Anti-Amendment Amendment.  We’ve never met, and I can’t imagine someone as respectable as Norton would read my blog.

Moreover, our proposals aren’t identical.  I proposed a seven-eighths (~88%) majority, while Norton is proposing a two-thirds (~67%) majority.

But, I hereby cave to Norton, and endorse her two-thirds proposal.  So Norton and Loveland are now constitutionally copasetic, like Jefferson and Madison.

Needless to say, this is a historic moment at WWP.  I am currently retrofitting the “Wry Wing Politics” banner with the additional text “…and Constitutional Scholarship,”  and I am holding onto that feather quill for future display at the Minnesota History Museum.

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics

If you blog and would like your work considered for Minnesota Blog Cabin, please submit our registration form

Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox

Related Tags: