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Intelligence Squared
U.S. Debates:
Call a Convention
to Amend the Constitution

Wednesday, December 07, 2016  |  6:45pm

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Pre-Debate Reception | 5:45pm
Debate | 6:45pm

Presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center
Almost everyone can think of something they would like to change in the U.S. Constitution.  Some would like to update it to fit new technologies and evolving social mores.  Others think the Supreme Court has illegitimately “updated” it too much already, and would like to restore its original meaning.  Either way, it is always tempting to invoke Article V to amend the Constitution — to “fix" it, or “restore" it, or “improve" it.  But, on the other hand, there is a substantial risk to tinkering with the Constitution:  many amendments seem to have unintended consequences.  And calling a convention for proposing amendments is even riskier, because it has never been done before — and it might inadvertently put the entire constitutional structure up for grabs.  Is it worth the risk?  Should the states call a convention to amend the Constitution?

For the motion:
Lawrence Lessig,
Professor, Harvard Law & Founder, Mayday PAC
Mark Meckler, President, Citizens for Self Governance & Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots

Against the Motion:
David Super,
Professor, Georgetown Law
Walter Olson, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies
 

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