National Affairs: There Ought to Be a Law

Supreme Court justices frequently interpret the Constitution, occasionally expand on it, and sometimes make a wide end run around it. Last week Associate Justices William O. Douglas and Robert H. Jackson tried something different: they wrote an opinion lobbying for an amendment to change it. In a formal dissent to a decision in the case of Alabama's presidential electors,* Douglas and Jackson took their stand with those who want to abolish the whole antiquated system of electing the President and Vice President of the U.S. by state electoral votes, rather than by straight popular vote.

"As an institution," said the dissenting opinion,...

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