Firstly, no flame, just a comment: English isn't your first language, is it? :-) I ask because while 'moral integer' probably seems like it means something, it doesn't. To a computer geek like me, I'm trying to figure out which whole number is more moral than any other (obviously, some are less moral, like 69 and [if you're Christian] 666)...
But I take your meaning to be 'a president with moral integrity', and etc. It's actually far more complicated than that.
First of all, to answer your question about the Supreme Court's makeup. America's judiciary is supposed to be (and by and large manages to be) independent of the other branches. In federal courts (District, Circuit, and Supreme), justices serve on a tenure which older times was called 'during good behaviour' -- meaning for life, as long as they don't do anything obviously reprehensible or illegal. They're appointed by the President, with advice and consent of the Senate. Congress has one other influence over the courts -- legislation defines how large each court is. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to enact some measures that were Constitutionally dubious, he got Congress to expand the Supreme Court, and then packed it with justices who would vote in his favour when the measures (which today we remember as the New Deal) were challenged.
To amend the Constitution requires more than the collusion of president, Congress, and Court -- any old law can be passed that way. A constitutional amendment requires some sort of ratification from the nation as a whole. In earlier, less directly democratic days, this often translated to approval by a super-majority of state legislatures. These days, it would probably require a plebicite of some kind, on a state by state basis, with a super-majority of state plebicites voting in favour.
In practical terms, this puts the effort of amending the Constitution on the same level with the effort of electing a President -- actually, a greater effort, since a President only requires a simple plurality of electoral votes. The campaign, for and against, any amendment of any meaningful content would be expensive and distracting from other concerns.
America (to the degree that one can meaningfully speak of 'America' as a single corporate entity) tends to recognize that one of the reasons it works at all as a 'nation' is the careful balance struck by the Constitution. We therefore tend to be extraodrinarily reluctant to change it, and have made the process deliberately painful.
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
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