A tedious post to correct some technical errors, with a few comments at the end.
Original language regarding election of Senators from part of Article II, Section 1:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The 17th Amendment (passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911 and by the House on May 13, 1912. It was ratified on April 8, 1913 and was first put into effect for the election of 1914) provided for popular election of Senators:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
At that time approximately 28 % of the U.S. population lived in metropolitan areas. By 1950, more than 50% of the U.S. population lived in metropolitan areas, a figure which rose to 80% by 2000. There has been no change to the 17th Amendment since it was ratified.
The 23rd Amendment, proposed June 17, 1960 and ratified March 29, 1961, provides the District of Columbia shall have Electors in the Electoral College:
1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Thus, there are currently 538 Electors rather than the 535 asserted earlier.
Article V provides for amendments when necessary:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
To date, amendments have been deemed necessary 17 times for a total of 27 amendments. The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787 and ratified on June 21, 1788. On average that is an amendment every 13+ years.
It may be true as Bill says that “the US Constitution is as valid today as in 1789..” It’s also true that the US Constitution today is not the Constitution of 1789.
Regarding changing to "fit the times”, I am reminded of Brown v Entertainment Association ( http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf
). During the oral argument in that case Justice Scalia asked one of the attorneys a question which was somewhat puzzling. While the attorney considered his response, Justice Alito interjected “What Justice Scalia really wants to know is what James Madison thought about video games.”
What James Madison, or any of the other “old rich white men” thought about video games or other questions which arise in today’s society which could not possibly have arisen in 1789 is not very useful information when forced to decided such issues. At best, we can only guess what they may have thought.