Above the Law

8 December 2016

Joe Patrice

Or an “Article V convention to amend the Constitution,” to be more precise.

It’s sitting right there in the Constitution. A loophole to take big, important questions out of the hands of federal legislators and the tortured readings of 98 justices. Just call a convention to propose some amendments.

At last night’s Intelligence Squared U.S. debate (presented in conjunction with the National Constitution Center), Professor Lawrence Lessig and Tea Partier Mark Meckler argued that there are “big ticket” constitutional items facing America that Congress cannot and will not — as a matter of political will, special interest capture, and/or political expedience — tackle and the people need to call a convention to take that power back. To use an example near and dear to Professor Lessig’s heart, campaign spending is virtually unfettered right now and protected by this Supreme Court’s reading of the First Amendment despite broad, bipartisan support among average citizens. Lessig and Meckler contend it’s high time we call one of these and tackle these issues that most people — outside of Congress — agree on.

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