• Amendments are the Key to Avoiding Constitutional Extinction

    by Jill Lepore

    Our constitution has essentially been frozen in time since 1971, making it a poor instrument for governing to meet modern challenges. Rescuing the history of the Constitution from the originalists through a comprehensive historical archive of efforts to amend it could help restore its vitality. 

  • How to Get Americans To Embrace Constitutional Amendments Again

    by Kate Shaw and Julie K. Suk

    As recent Supreme Court decisions on guns and abortion rights have made many Americans fear the loss of basic rights, reviving the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment can remind Americans that nine people in robes don't have to be the final authority on the Constitution. 

  • Why Did Madison Write the Second Amendment?

    by Carl T. Bogus

    Understanding the political peril that ensnared both the pre-ratification Constitution and James Madison himself makes it clear that the Second Amendment was written to ensure that southern state militias would be sufficiently armed to suppress slave revolts even if abolitionists controlled Washington. 

  • Ron DeSantis is Making History a Political Issue; What does His Book Say?

    by David Waldstreicher

    Nobody paid much attention to the Florida governor's 2011 book "Dreams from Our Founding Fathers." Maybe we should now—it spells out a justification for a deeply conservative view of the constitution that dismisses the significance of racism in the founding and in the doctrine of originalism.

  • SCOTUS Seems Poised to Overrule Democracy By Drawing on a Historical Forgery

    In 1818, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina sent John Quincy Adams a fake document that made it look like Pinckney was a principal author of the 1787 Constitution. At the time, the ruse was rejected. Why are Supreme Court conservatives looking to this document in to justify their decisions?  

  • Lincoln Would have Had an Answer for the "Originalists"

    by Richard Striner

    The 16th President looked to the constitutional crises of his time and asked whether the document was created to serve the people or the other way around. Today he might ask the same of the Supreme Court. 

  • The Constitution's Support for Oligarchy

    Jonathan Gienapp says that the Framers made deliberate choices to make the Constitution a bulwark against what they saw as the danger of broad-based democracy. 

  • "Independent State Legislature" Legal Theory Based in Fake History

    Charles Pinckney's ideas for the Constitution were rejected by the framers. Years later, he produced fake documents to aggrandize his own role at the convention. Right-wing legal activists have used them to argue that state legislatures can decide election results however they want. 

  • SCOTUS Hasn't Always Been the Final Arbiter; Liberals Should Stop Thinking it Is

    by Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath

    "Liberals drew the wrong lessons from the mid-20th century federal judiciary’s fleeting embrace of social reform, and forgot that over the long arc of U.S. history, the minority rights the court has most consistently safeguarded have been those of the wealthy and powerful, the corporate, landed and enslaver elites."

  • Time to Amend the Constitution

    by Don Fraser

    Significant changes are needed to the Constitution in order to preserve any semblance of democratic government. 

  • The Second Floundering

    by Brook Thomas

    Although scholars have identified the Reconstruction Amendments as a redemption of the flaws of the original Constitution, it's important to understand, as critics did at the time, that the 14th and 15th Amendments left many gaps in the American democracy. 

  • Make Progressive Politics Constitutional Again

    by Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath

    It is time to jettison the legal liberalism that holds constitutional interpretation separate from popular politics, or else the government's ability to legislate in the public interest will be destroyed. 

  • The Reconstruction Amendments and the Basis of American Abortion Rights

    by Peggy Cooper Davis

    When the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were debated, concerns about the protection of both public rights of citizenship and private, intimate rights of individuals were front and center. There is, notwithstanding Samuel Alito's opinion, a long tradition of constitutional respect for privacy.