While there are many meritorious proposals to amend the Constitution, some which seem vital, like the ERA, the two most dangerous areas requiring fixing relate to election law, which is threatening a constitutional crisis that would make Jan. 6 look like a tea party:

1. The 12th Amendment (1804) is worse than obsolete. It is the legal underpinning for President Donald Trump’s request for Vice President Mike Pence to override the states’ submitted electoral votes. In conjunction with the ambiguously worded Electoral Count Act of 1887, there is an increased likelihood that we’ll have a presidential election that declares a winner who has neither the popular vote majority nor the electoral vote majority. 

2. There needs to be an amendment that takes money (especially “dark money”) out of politics, basically overturning the Citizens United decision, which is based on a far-too-strongly reinforced jurisprudence idea that corporations are the same as individuals. The capability for money to “buy” elections through media and other mass advertising outlets was not an aspect of 18th-century life the way it is today.

Michael Otten ’63
Scarsdale, N.Y.