Our Founders have strongly implied that regardless of the intransigency of Congress the principles of representative democracy should prevail. When the refusal to pass laws is the result of the strong lobbying by the fossil fuel industry, the insurance lobby, big pharma, the gun lobby or other powerful lobbies, the people still have the opportunity to influence the rights and duties of citizens.
Article V clearly gives the states the right to pass amendments to the Constitution. But that may not be a full deterrent to the faction that causes congressional intransigency. Many issues should not be cemented into the Constitution. The people’s desire for fuel economy standards may change. Campaign finance laws may cause an undesired result and law adjustments may be appropriate. Laws regulating the internet may be out of date in a short time frame. Amending the Constitution is a process meant for major issues and it is understood that the process takes a long time. Less important issues still need to be legislated. And the non-delegation doctrine clearly opposes the concept of letting the issues slide toward executive orders by the President or SCOTUS decisions that have a major effect on the rights and duties of citizens.
We have reached the point where failure of Congress to legislate important issues has become a force opposing the will of the people. The solution is right in the Declaration of Independence. Paraphrasing, ‘When our form of government denies the consent of the governed, it is the right of the people to alter it’. If Congress is failing to pass relevant laws, we must create a method to cause those relevant laws to be passed. In order to do this, Article I needs to be modified.
Direct democracy is not favored by many scholars because it may be too highly influenced by the passions of the people. A national referendum initiated by the accumulation of signatures is essentially direct democracy. But a national referendum initiated by the deliberate reasoning of elected lawmakers substantially differs from direct democracy.
Federalism is part of our system of government. The states already have the right to bypass Congress and pass amendments to the Constitution. By altering Article I, states may acquire the right to initiate national referendums. When Congress fails to pass relevant laws, a vote of the people could create those laws. And the powerful lobbyist groups that influence Congress would have substantially less influence on the process.