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Constitution


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 



  • Hamilton, Hip-Hop, and the Law (Review)

    by Stephen Rohde

    Lisa Tucker's edited volume of essays uses the musical "Hamilton" as a lens on several significant legal issues ranging from originalism to employment discrimination. 



  • The Year That Changed Everything

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    A legal historian and constitutional scholar considers the founding document in terms of the process of its founding. Neither cynical nor purely idealistic, the Constitution did submit to ratification by a broad vote, but pursued national security by institutionalizing the slave power. 


  • Was Madison Mistaken?

    by Carl Pletsch

    The divisive Trump years have called the wisdom of the Framers into question, but the author contends that James Madison in particular anticipated how a republic would be challenged by partisanship and designed one that could withstand that challenge (he just never claimed it would be easy). 


  • Don't Defend Democracy With Half-Truths About the Past

    by Brook Thomas

    Although the Capitol riots raised deep concern about the rule of law, there is a deeper challenge ahead of the nation: to understand and change the undemocratic aspects of our foundational law and refuse half-measures in the name of unity.



  • The Founders Were Wrong About Democracy

    by David Frum

    The conservative commentator writes that the framers' concern with broad populist movements shouldn't overshadowing the greater damage done to democracy by a minority faction that controls key institutions and follows its own fickle self-interest.



  • American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

    by Richard Kreitner

    "Merely ousting Trump is not enough without addressing more fundamental weaknesses in our political system, especially an outdated Constitution that continues to serve a minority of wealthy and white citizens and to curb any movements that might threaten their wealth and power."



  • Our Unrepresentative Republic

    by Mark Boonshoft

    We should understand that plans to add states or end the Electoral College are plans to restore actual representation. Their opponents are defending a system of virtual representation. You don’t have to be a party hack to see these similarities.



  • Yes, Mike Lee, America is a Democracy

    by Jonathan Bernstein

    Mike Lee's insistence that the US is "a republic" and not "a democracy" is a petty distinction that ignores the historically interchangeable usage of the terms in American politics in order to justify undemocratic rule by a minority party. 


  • The Paradox of Executive Underreach

    by Michael A. Genovese

    While the Constitution says more about limiting the overreach of the executive branch, functioning government must beware of an underreaching executive that abdicates responsibility. 



  • Would DC Statehood Also Give the Trumps Three Electoral Votes?

    A proposal for DC statehood would preserve a Capital District around the White House and Capitol, which is granted three Electoral College votes by the Constitution. It's possible that the only residents of the district would be the inhabitants of the White House.