Thursday, October 24, 2019
Harper's presents forum "Constitution in Crisis"
I can remember in junior English, 1959-1960 in high school with “Miss Nelson” (who reverse commuted to Arlington VA from Washington DC, where at the time she had few voting rights – and she did not have a television set) – when she introduced the idea of periodical literature as being worthy of citation in term papers – especially high quality ones like Harper’s and Atlantic.
So that’s mainstream media today, oh, so privileged for monetization.
But the October 2019 issue has an important discussion, “Do we need the Constitution?” Think about it, the British “constitution” is informal, and Canada’s has a grossly complicated history as to what is really in it. The United States, with its articles and amendments, seems straightforward in a way.
The Forum in the Atlanta includes Donna Edwards (former US House member), Mary Ann Franks (University of Miami School of Law), David Law (University of Hong Kong), Lawrence Lessig (Harvard Law school and well known for many articles on Internet law), and Louis Michael Seidman, Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.
The basic link is here.
There is a summary article (Jan 2019) by Kevin Baker.
The most startling point in the discussion is the most startling, and maybe Seidman said it most bluntly, that the Constitution may be illegal, and arbitrary, in the way that it overrode the Articles of Confederation. And it was set up by privileged white males, as we know from history. It’s pretty easy to imagine the rationalizations to stop secessions.
I still remember a clandestine meeting in Newark NJ of the People’s Party where they talked about getting everybody to riot so we would have call for a “constitutional convention”.