Opinion Readers React
Readers React

California Constitution: Start from scratch

To the editor: So California's Constitution is cluttered with special-interest bric-a-brac because amending it is too easy? True; unfortunately, the remedy proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) is too modest (55% voter approval) and omits that it requires an amendment (without removing clutter first). ("It's time to declutter California's messy Constitution," Op-Ed, June 18)

We need a new Constitution, written from scratch and focused on creating a good framework for governing. Bric-a-brac must go (added by hundreds of amendments, so piecemeal removal is not practical), and the guiding principle must be creating the framework, with no special interests. A super-majority vote for limited kinds of legislative action is better than constitutional detail, and it could help reforms prevail over special-interest opposition.

Once a worthy Constitution is in view, protection against ill-advised changes is needed. There is no one ideal way, but amendments getting less than a two-thirds majority could be limited.

John C. Nangle, Palm Springs

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • It's time to declutter California's messy Constitution
    It's time to declutter California's messy Constitution

    Quick. Can you name an amendment in California's Constitution? Probably not, but if you vote regularly, you've weighed in on a lot of them.

  • Vaccine skeptics are in denial
    Vaccine skeptics are in denial

    To the editor: My child is a student at Waldorf School of Orange County, and it's unbelievable that 41% of kindergartners started the school year unvaccinated. Just recently a Waldorf parent told me that no one is talking about the measles epidemic — not one conversation. ("Once easily...

  • If judges can't join the Boy Scouts, what about the Mormon Church?

    To the editor: California's Supreme Court unanimously decreed that state judges will no longer be allowed to affiliate with the Boy Scouts of America because of the organization's discrimination against gay and lesbian adults in leadership roles. ("State high court's vote affecting Scout...

  • On civil rights, give religion credit where credit is due

    To the editor: Michael Shermer is wrong to say that "the abolitionist movement was primarily inspired by such secular documents as the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man." ("The influence of science and reason on moral progress," Op-Ed, Jan. 26)

  • Even a limited nuclear war would devastate the planet

    To the editor: The public health threat of nuclear weapons finds man paralyzed. Yet unlike a deer in headlights, man's large forebrain allows for critical thinking and responsive adaptation. Humans do have the capacity to change. ("Stubborn like a musk ox -- why Homo sapiens can't think...

  • In police-involved shootings, facts are victims

    To the editor: Your editorial is balanced and thoughtful. Not every officer-involved shooting is justified, nor is every one unjustified. ("How to ensure impartial investigations of officers' deadly force?," Editorial, Jan. 26)

  • Are sick kids enough to persuade vaccine-skeptical parents?
    Are sick kids enough to persuade vaccine-skeptical parents?

    To the editor: Any parents not vaccinating their children should be forced to watch a video of an infant with pertussis struggling to breathe and cough. There are several on the Internet, and they are heartbreaking. ("Parents who oppose measles vaccine hold firm to their beliefs," Jan. 25)

  • Obama's action a good start at preserving Alaska's ANWR

    To the editor: I have been to Alaska only once, but after visiting, I am anxious to see more and in greater depth. It is extraordinary and awe inspiring; there is nothing like it, and unless we take the steps President Obama outlined to ban oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,...