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Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution goes wrong (and how We the People can correct it)A book talk by Professor Sanford Levinson
Wednesday, November 1, 5:30-6:30pm,
Yale Law School, Room 121
The Constitution is one of the most revered documents in American politics. Yet this is a document that regularly places in the White House candidates who did not in fact get a majority of the popular vote. It gives Wyoming the same number of votes as California, which has seventy times the population of the Cowboy State. And it offers the President the power to overrule both houses of Congress on legislation he disagrees with on political grounds. Is this a recipe for a republic that reflects the needs and wants of today's Americans? Taking a hard look at our much-venerated Constitution, Sanford Levinson here argues that too many of its provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today. Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people (and on Wednesday, you) to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how we might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values.
Voting Rights and Political Participation: What are the greatest concerns in this election and in Election 2008?A conversation with Professors Pam Karlan and Heather Gerken
Thursday, November 2nd, 12:30 - 2:00pm
Yale Law School, Room 127. Lunch will be served!
The 2004 election highlighted the rusty mechanics of American democracy--high and disparate rates of ballot spoilage, and a system of judicial oversight that seemed to many nothing more than political opportunism. How much has changed? Join two renowned experts on election law for a conversation about what to expect from Tuesday's election, and what we should be concerned about fixing in the lead up to 2008.
Co-sponsored by the Yale Civil Rights Project.
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