Sunday, October 25, 2009

XXVIII Amendment to The United States Constitution: Supreme Court Gender Equality

I wrote the following five months ago. Since then, I have directly forwarded the commemoration letter and amendment proposal to many important women via email.

Steven A. Sylwester
October 25, 2009

Supreme Court Gender Equality PAC website is here.

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Today is Memorial Day, May 25, 2009, a day on which all war dead are commemorated in the United States.

Today I commemorate Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 — October 26, 1902) and Lucretia Mott (January 3, 1793 — November 11, 1880), who together in July of 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, organized the first convention in the U.S. regarding women’s rights (the convention at which Stanton first read her Declaration of Sentiments calling for the right to vote for women), and Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 — March 13, 1906), who joined the cause after first meeting Stanton in 1851 and who then fought tenaciously for the right to vote for women until the day she died 55 years later. Though the cause began in New York on July 19, 1848, New York did not pass a law giving women the right to vote until 1917. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson began to support the need for a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote, and the amendment was officially proposed on June 4, 1919. During the following two weeks, six states ratified, and the required 36th state ratified on August 18, 1920, which finally made the Nineteenth Amendment to The United States Constitution a constitutional law. Remarkably, the remaining twelve states that then formed the Union took over sixty years to add their ratifications to the amendment, the last state being Mississippi on March 22, 1984.

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to The United States Constitution reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

On this day, I am simultaneously sending the following document I have written proposing the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to The United States Constitution granting Supreme Court Gender Equality to the editors at Ms. Magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and Boston Review; and to six women who have each served as the dean of a law school: Elena Kagan, Herma Hill Kay, Kristin Booth Glen, Katherine Bartlett, Colleen A. Khoury, and Suellyn Scarnecchia.

Steven A. Sylwester

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XXVIII Amendment to The United States Constitution: Supreme Court Gender Equality

The Congress shall determine the number of Justices that sit on the Supreme Court according to the following:

The Supreme Court shall be composed of an odd number of Justices numbering no fewer than nine in total, all of whom shall be citizens of the United States from birth. The total number of Justices shall include one Chief Justice of the United States and the remaining even number of Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The total even number of Associate Justices shall be the sum of two equal-numbered groups of Justices: one group being male by designation of legal birth certificate and the other group being female by designation of legal birth certificate.

When vacancies occur, the President shall nominate Justices to the Supreme Court who are then appointed by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. The Chief Justice shall be appointed for nine years, and shall not be reappointed Chief Justice thereafter. Associate Justices shall be appointed to hold their offices during good behavior. Successive Chief Justices shall alternate between male and female without exception.

The President shall nominate the Chief Justice according to gender from among the Associate Justices, except no person shall be eligible for nomination who would be more than 69 years old at the time of appointment. If no Associate Justice is qualified by age to be appointed the Chief Justice, the President shall appoint any other qualified person.

If an Associate Justice is nominated to be the Chief Justice by the President but fails to be appointed by the Senate, that Associate Justice shall retain the position of Associate Justice. If an Associate Justice becomes the Chief Justice, that Justice shall retire from the Supreme Court when the nine-year appointment as Chief Justice expires.

Upon ratification, the amendment shall be enacted straightforwardly as existing Associate Justices retire and are replaced by female Associate Justices until an equal number of male and female Associate Justices are seated on the Supreme Court. Thereafter, all Associate Justice seats will be identified as being either male or female, and will be filled as the need arises according to strict gender distinction without exception. The current Chief Justice shall complete a nine-year term from the date he was sworn in as Chief Justice, and shall then immediately retire from the Supreme Court and shall be replaced by the first female Chief Justice of the United States. If the current Chief Justice leaves his position for any reason before his term expires, his appointed successor shall be female.