Posts Tagged ‘Article V’

April 19 roundup

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), key vote on tort reform in upper house, plans Texas visit to raise funds from trial lawyers [Palmetto Business Daily]
  • “Indeed, most major law schools have fewer conservatives or libertarians on their faculty than can be found on the U.S. Supreme Court.” [Jonathan Adler, Martin Center]
  • Anti-craft-beer bill, Marilyn Mosby followup, legislature rescinds earlier Article V calls, Baltimore minimum wage in my latest Maryland roundup;
  • Man given $190 ticket for having pet snake in park off-leash. Off leash? [John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader]
  • As victim’s wife looks on, identity thief and 20-time illegal border crosser testifies that he fathered two of victim’s children [Brad Heath on Twitter citing Judge Bea ‘s opinion in U.S. v. Plascencia-Orozco, Ninth Circuit]
  • Central California: “State and federal legislation take new aim at predatory ADA lawsuits” [Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee]

Civics 101 podcast: “How to Amend the Constitution”

I joined Virginia Prescott for episode 4 of the interesting Civics 101 podcast series, hosted by New Hampshire Public Radio, this one covering the Article V constitutional amendment process. You can also find it at NPR and AudioBoom. Description:

It’s been 25 years since the last constitutional amendment was ratified. How hard is it to change our most sacred document? We discover that there are not one, but two ways to amend the constitution – and one of them has never been used. Walter Olson, senior fellow of the Cato Institute explains that the founders didn’t exactly spell the process out clearly.

Last week’s debate: Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments

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Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of appearing at the Intelligence Squared debate series before a New York audience on the topic: “Call a Convention to Amend the Constitution.” Under the series rules, whichever side advances its audience approval ahead more from the original baseline wins. Over the course of the debate, our negative side advanced our side by 21 points, compared with 10 for the affirmative of Prof. Larry Lessig and Mark Meckler. The IQ2 hosts congratulated us on a convincing victory (my ally was Prof. David Super). Probably the only time in my life a camera has caught me doing a high five!

The debate page includes a live transcript of the event, research papers and other resources. The IQ2 series also has selected several clips of highlights of the debate including this one on whether small and large states would have the same vote at a convention. The 2012 Mike Rappaport paper for Cato that I refer to in my closing remarks is here, and I’ve covered Article V convention proposals here and here (and more generally.)

On Monday of last week Prof. Larry Lessig and I joined Brian Lehrer’s much-listened-to WNYC radio talk show to discuss the issue. Listen here:

Debating a constitutional convention this week

New York listeners: I’m scheduled to be a guest on Brian Lehrer’s popular WNYC radio show tomorrow (Monday) morning, probably 10:30 a.m. or so, debating famed Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig on the topic of a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. (Lessig supports that idea, I’m skeptical). That’s a foretaste of the live Intelligence Squared debate that will follow on Wednesday, in which two other debaters will be joining us, Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance joining Lessig for the affirmative and Georgetown law professor David Super joining me for the negative.

Randy Barnett, “Our Republican Constitution”

Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett came to Cato April 21 for a book forum to discuss his new book Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People (reviews). Roger Pilon introduced and there were comments from University of Maryland law professor Robert Percival. Description in part:

The Constitution begins with the words “We the People.” But from our earliest days there have been two competing notions of “the People,” leading to two very different constitutional visions. Those who view “We the People” collectively think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group, which leads them to favor a democratic constitution that allows the will of the people to be expressed by majority rule. In contrast, those who think popular sovereignty resides in the people as individuals contend that a republican constitution is needed to secure the preexisting inalienable rights of “We the People,” each and every one, against abuses by the majority. In his latest book, with a foreword by George Will, Randy Barnett explains why “We the People” would greatly benefit from the renewal of our republican Constitution, and how this can be accomplished in the courts and the political arena.

During the Q & A period, I ask a question about amending the U.S. constitution. More: Nick Gillespie interviews Barnett for Reason TV.

Amending the Constitution

The National Archives mounts an exhibition of proposed constitutional amendments over the years. To understate matters, not all of them were great ideas [Michael Ruane, Washington Post]

On the idea of an Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments, of which I have been critical lately, you can watch a presentation I gave to the Common Cause national “Blueprint for a Great Democracy” conference held last week.

Upcoming speeches

I’ll be speaking over the next two weeks in Philadelphia, St. Louis, D.C., and Maryland’s Eastern Shore:

Tues. March 8, Washington, D.C., Common Cause “Blueprint for a Great Democracy” conference, panel on Article V constitutional convention proposals.

Mon., March 14, Philadelphia, Temple Law School Federalist Society, on the life and work of Justice Scalia.

Tues., March 15, Centreville, Md., Queen Anne’s County Republican Club, on redistricting.

Tues., March 22, St. Louis, Mo., Intercollegiate Studies Institute debating Michael Farris on Article V constitutional convention proposals.

For details on any of these events, or to invite me to address your group, inquire at editor -at – overlawyered – dot – com.

Justice Scalia and the Court, cont’d

  • Justice Kagan: “The fact of the matter is, you wake up in 100 years and most people are not going to know most of our names…. [T]hat is really not the case with Justice Scalia.” [David Lat, New York Daily News]
  • Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, his first landmark decision, was “turning point in the history of property rights” [Bill Fulton, Rice “Urban Edge]
  • Revive doctrine of enumerated powers? “Oh, Roger, we lost that battle a long time ago.” But then came Lopez… [Cato podcast with Roger Pilon, 3:50+]
  • Younger Scalia was quite positive about idea of an Article V constitutional convention, an idea he famously criticized later in life [Adam White, Weekly Standard; related here and here]
  • Jacob Sullum on Scalia and the Second Amendment (and more) and on the Drug War. More: Daniel Schwartz on the imprint he left on employment law even aside from Wal-Mart v. Dukes;
  • Blowup at Georgetown Law as profs Randy Barnett, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz flay colleague’s “startlingly callous and insulting” email to students on Justice’s death [Above the Law]
  • How Scalia changed originalism [Michael Ramsey in Liberty and Law symposium] In George Eliot’s phrase, his work on that issue was incalculably diffusive [Lawrence Solum]

Supreme Court and constitutional law roundup