Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Affirming (Not Rewriting) the Constitution: Higher Lawmaking as a Kind of Civic Education

This paper by Sonu Bedi is the third from the first-ever WLR Online Symposium. It comes out of the conference November 7-8, 2014 at the UW Law School on "Is it Time to Rewrite the Constitution?" presented by the Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy.
"It is clear that we live in deeply partisan and dysfunctional times. Pew Research Center shows that in the last 20 years political parties are more divided than ever. Congressional approval is at a seemingly all-time low. According to a September 2014 Gallup Poll, only 14 percent of the American public expressed approval of what Congress is doing. A recent symposium at Boston University discussed the current crisis as “America’s Political Dysfunction.” The usual scholarly response is that it is time to change, rewrite, or even replace the Constitution. For instance, Sanford Levinson argues that we must amend what he calls the “Constitution of Settlement,” those structural provisions that govern voting, representation, and separation of powers. This Essay begins from the opposite perspective. Rather than focusing on changing or rewriting the Constitution, perhaps it is time to focus on affirming it. In doing so, I suggest one way we can use Article V to do just that, proposing a possible 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution."