Sunday, December 13, 2009

Proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Revised)

The following is my own revision of my original proposal. The language has been tightened, eligibility has been changed to include all United States citizens, and the Court of Appeals has been included.

Steven A. Sylwester
December 13, 2009

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XXVIII Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Supreme Court Gender Equality

Gender equality shall be guaranteed on the Supreme Court and on the Court of Appeals according to the following:

1. The Congress shall determine an odd number of Justices no fewer than nine who shall together compose the Supreme Court. 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, of whom all shall be citizens of the United States.

Of the total number of Associate Justices, half shall be male by legal designation and half shall be female by legal designation.

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.

2. All Court of Appeals en banc courts shall be composed of an even number of Circuit Judges, of whom half shall be male by legal designation and half shall be female by legal designation. Only if the Circuit Chief Judge presides shall an entire en banc court be composed of an odd number of Judges.

3. Upon ratification, the amendment shall be enacted straightforwardly in due time.

All new Associate Justices shall be female 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.

On a district basis, all Court of Appeals appointments shall be female until gender equality is achieved among active Circuit Judges. Thereafter, new appointments shall be made in a manner that maintains gender equality among all active Judges.

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Contact information:

Supreme Court Gender Equality PAC
c/o Steven A. Sylwester
2390 Jefferson St
Eugene, OR 97405-2410


Contributions to: Steven A. Sylwester