By Donna Edwards, Mary Anne Franks, David Law, Lawrence Lessig, Louis Michael Seidman
2019, October Issue
2019, October Issue
America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern political life.Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-first century? Should we abolish it entirely? This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.
- Donna Edwards is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland and cosponsored a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
- Mary Anne Franks is a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and the author of The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech.
- David Law is the Sir Y. K. Pao Chair in Public Law at the University of Hong Kong and the editor of the forthcoming Constitutionalism in Context.
- Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of America, Compromised and Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It
- Louis Michael Seidman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and the author of On Constitutional Disobedience.
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