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tv   Author Discussion on Societal and Individual Rights  CSPAN  November 24, 2021 2:56pm-3:58pm EST

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jason is an independent historian who's been writing about the lincoln family for over 20 years. >> on this episode of book notes plus, it's available on the c-span now apple or wherever you get your podcast. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ >> i thought a good place to start, asking each of our
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panelists to start by telling a little bit about their books, what is in the book and write decided to write it, why should these people look forward to reading it? alphabetically, i'll start with wilford. >> good morning or good afternoon. thank you, everyone. mentor and colleague, thank you for being on this panel. the people's constitution and the genesis the idea was in 2016 when we had electoral college failure that gave us donald trump as president. this was the second time this happened in two decades. with time in history. it prompted a question we were asking, why do we accept this? i can't get rid of it? we knew americans had a distaste
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for the electoral college, we knewha in recent times he gave s two presidents we believed were not properly equipped to handle patient affairs in the highest office but it begs the question, why aren't we doingt anything about it? it led to another question, how did people in history, americans of past generations do something about what they saw in the constitution in theio past? that gave an answer, what it really did was spark a deep dive into history. one of the answers is people think of this impossible. people reallyy think the constitution is something else. we are told to five men in
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philadelphia for the framers of the constitution but often left out thathe story, too often is e have had generations of framers that have moved our country to a more inclusive and democratic, fair and more just ways. there are important provisions we think of as the most critical element in the constitution. rights to free speech, rights to practice our own religion as we choose, rights to people protection and dueue process. the core values we've added, they are part ofss the 40% of te constitutionon not part of the constitution, the original constitution in 1787 so we have a number of problems, i mentioned the electoral college which drove us to write this book but there are so many more
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and when you lookt at this history, it is a history of movements pushing politicians, elite institutions to make our national charter more competent to govern us today so we see a limits of this happening we've seen in the past has sparked constitutional change and now we are thinking what is the next generation going to push for and what will our constitution look like? is this going to be competent to color us in the 21st century? that's what was to write the book. >> thank you, wilford. how it is interpreted, same question for you. what inspired you to write the book?
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>> good morning. this is where i grew up. the book our right went wrong, why it's tearing america apart, i think it's ultimately about the central question of american constitutional history, how do you marry a commitment to rights with a commitment to pluralism andit equality treating all of s as equal? there is tension between right and pluralism and we don't always recognize or appreciate that. at a broad level, that's what the book is about i've been teaching constitutional law for 14 years and i noticed a lot of
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the problems dealing with rights conflict that icy where we talk about constitutional law and technical ways, we talk about case decisions, a lot of the problems i was seen in the way court deal with it are replicated in our political discourse and larger public discourse outside of moscow. what do i mean by that? seeing it as a binary, on or off switches, basically absolute. that means i have to win. i seen rights as centralized, we don't see the value of dignity in claims made by people on the other side.
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isthis specific context, it easy to see it outside of this context so the book is trying to marry some of the insights from teaching law to insights about our political discourse outside. what i do is try to draw on resources we have within constitutional law, lots of other countries think very differently and approach rights conflict differently. rights conflicts are about who the constitution favors and who it doesn't or who should win or lose. rights conflicts requires the same sources we use an ordinary political resources of negotiation, mediation, trying to understand perspectives of othersin and there are ways of working that into our conversations so i look forward to talking more aboutti over tht next hour. >> thank you.
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you hear a lot of people talking about rights, the three of us teach constitutional law so we hear a lot about rights. will hear a lot these days is people all over the country, americans think they have rights, i have a right not to be vaccinated from i have aat right to vote, i have a right to have an abortion and therefore the government cannot tell me i have to be vaccinated. georgia shouldn't make it harder for me to vote. the firstst question, what is a right? i think the americans understanding of rights, the idea that rights are tied to judicial enforcement, you should be able to go intoia court and t the court to back you up, don't you dare infringe upon but right but one thing that is interesting in these books going back to the original idea of an action between the constitution and rights because of 1787 constitution says almost nothing about rights. it's all about setting up structures and powers of the
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government, federal government and state government, how they would interact and there were few references to any kind of right. at the beginning, there was no thought of anything to dog with equality and that's the important reason of prostitution to navigate around the better differences over the issues of slavery. the issue of slavery people described as a distorted in the constitution made a hard and that's why we have the electoral college and made it hard to get rid of the electoral college so you both talk about the influence and it can't be underestimated. the question of rights in this country begins with the bill of rights, so almost immediately after the constitution four years after the constitution is developed, we get the first ten amendments in the bill of rights. in your book you tell the story of how and why that's happened and that is part of the story you want to tell so what is the
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bill of rights and how to get into the constitution and what lessons should we take them back? >> it's a great question from you who has spent your career defending our rights so the bill of rights are the first ten amendments in the constitution, so not part of the original document. it highlights the fact that t amendments are in accord to what made our constitution and moved us toward a more perfect union for the will of rights in the first ten amendments, first amendment, this bundle of rights, fourth notable we think about our speech but also assembly and petition which gives us a rightht to protest ad protections for religious liberties. the second to are sort of more colonial or historical era of second and third minutes. the right to bear arms which has
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renewed importance today in our discussions and the firmament is the right to not have quarter your home, hopefully no troops are poor in your homes these days. then we have the fourth through eighth amendments from the amendments that give you more protections when you are subject to criminal prosecution. we areti talking not to be unseasonably used, the right to counsel and jury in all of those important things when you have an interaction with the criminal legal system. the last two, they are sort of outliers from the ninth and tenth amendment, the tenth amendment is this thing has this idea of state rights but they are about residual rights. the right not granted in the constitution where they belong. the ninth and tenth amendment say they belong the state and
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because this was supposed to be a government unlimited tolerance so that's what the amendment say in the way we got them was because our constitution didn't include much in terms of rights, they included structures that were supposed to protect the rights without to be fundamental but they didn't include specific protections for the rights so to shore up the constitution because there were skeptics about whether this would be a good constitution, to short up, there is a prompt that we would amend constitution early on to incorporate these perimeter rights and that's what we did early on in the constitution. >> one thing i liked inn your book was the perspective of how the bill of rights is a product of the state ratifying conventions talking back to the framers, the framers met behind closed doors and wanted to keep the debate secret. they said here is what we can all agree to but when the state
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ratifying conventions talk about that, they all have problems and are talking back and started the process, amending the constitution so one thing i enjoyed about your book is you explode all over the place and talk to people on both sides of the aisle for what we say about the bill of rights we say it means, is not necessarily accurate in the conservative originalist and the people i include myself who talk about the bill of rights and government against the people and the relationship between the individual and government. figure take on the bill of rights, or should we take from the bill of rights and what lessons have we learned accurately? >> first of all, everything wilford said is right, when we about the bill of rights, none are what wilford just said
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but i do think it is important, critically important trying to understand some of the lessons of my book that we have this understanding of rights as fundamentally rights as individual and absolute. being enforced by federal judges in particular, that's a very 20th and 21st century understanding of rights and what they are. we tend to do is read that back into our farming documents, the bill of rights being one of them would think of the bill of rights is almost a libertarian document, give me liberty or give me death kind of document. one important fact about the bill of rights which isn't well known, the bill of rights originally only apply to the federal government.
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that didn't happen until after the civil war. there is an important reason for that, the bill of w rights on te understanding of the framework is not a libertarian document for you, it's the government against us. it's about n federalism, self-government in particular and using self-government as a guardian against tyranny but the tierney they thought of was the promoters of the bill of rights, understood tierney in terms of outsiders interfering withh self-government, outsiders interfering with state and local communities jury verdicts in particular juries are at theid heart of any institution, it's about community understanding values through its own, not federal judges deciding what our values are for us, that's what they were worried about. worried about the federal government encroaching on their own values. i think there's a lot to recover in that because therehe is harmy
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between self-government and rights. usually when we protect rights, we protect them through government passed a law health measure or run measure or any number of we do it to protect our rights through law rather a than through ports but we have lost that vision. and partly, we don't uncover everything because their vision of self-government was fundamentally exclusionary so when we go back to what i said originally, all of our constitutional histories about marygi rights pluralism from across the park they got wrong. the rest is trying to reintegrate self-government and rights into a genuinely pluralistic environment. the bill of rights is entirely consistent. >> so after the bill of rights until after the civil war and reconstruction amendments, the original constitution vision and state rights was what held.
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each state has its own constitution and each state hads its own wall and what what do about educations and all sorts of things. it wasn't until the reconstruction of the 14th amendment imposes federalnt oversight for the first time. i wanted to read a quote that i think says what jamaal was saying, the original constitution and toleration of the slavery, the government was defective from the start requiring civilil war and social transformation to obtain for system of constitutional government and respects to the individual freedoms and human rights we hold fundamental today. when contemporary a minute in the constitution invoke the concept vastly different from framers began to construct two centuries ago. the 14th amendment adds equal protection clause the first time
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the constitution talked about equality and due process that's understood to apply revisions bill of rights choose to take. in your book youou talk about ts flow of constitutional amendments so after the first 12 amendments in reconstruction we have very important amendments, have this idea of the second founding. addresst to quickly what you mentioned, this pattern. the pattern is a historical pattern we during these other. that are much longer, have these
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periods of 50, 60 years where you are not amending the constitution at all. what you're doing is just to the most recent constitutional changes you've brought through these amendments finding out the defects and what will propel the next generation of constitutional change so we didn't have amendments, we had a low for 61 years after the first amendment. that ended with the 12ft amendmt that led to the electoral college. during that time we had a national risk over the issue of slavery. most people know the supreme court thought they would do something about it but they the scott opinion that basically set black people were not owed any rights or respect of white people and could never be citizens in this country so
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this important chasm, authority quality which was in the declaration of independence are not included in the constitution, after that. we call reconstruction. we get three monumental moments, the 14th amendment that abolishes slavery outright, it imposes a mandate on individuals, it's one of the few minutes to think about directly. the 14th amendment which enshrines the idea of quality, respect for the privileges and immunities of citizens and due process rights and it put this oversight on the federal and state government. it was so they wouldn't go back try to re- enslave g effectively these men and women.
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the 15th amendment is antidiscrimination amendment says you cannot discriminate there right to vote on the basis of race and the amendment was profound. that was profound because it was replicated on numerous occasions for sex and age and basically affect tax amendment. that is what we call the foundation and as we know, many of these amendment were simply ignored over the next century, it wasn't until we got to the modern civil rights movement of the 1960s were you actually have the federal government starting to make good on the promises of the reconstruction era. >> so the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment, they promise equality in all sorts of rights but the supreme court was part of the problem in terms of why the reconstruction was never realized.
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they were narrowlyns interpretig the 14th amendment. i to moveen from the amendment o the interpretation because ever since the 14th mms, over the bill of rights had to expand because you have the first amendment you're talking about federal government, you still have difficult questions about what counts as speech. in the federal government so you can't burn thiss client the 14th amend we had to ask the same questions about what can't texas do? can texas prevent you from burning to bike or have an abortion? so the battle over states rights has not evolved. i want to introduce, here talking about people looking to the court so all three of us teach our constitutional law, marbury versus madison which in
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1803, the supreme court saidon e interpret the constitution, say what the law is. ever since, the supreme court, they decide something when they say things we thinkik are moving in the right direction, sometimes they say things we do not really like and we suggest to the supreme court has too much power. one thing, an example i think you both show examples of the interpretations of the equal protection clause and total application, washington versus davis, the court says we don't do anything about racial discrimination unless it intentional and over. the court has also sometimes over interpreted rights, they interpret the first amendment in this expansive blanket often prevents progress,
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campaign-finance reform and other things and sometimes under interpret. the example of disability rights we kind of y don't do that, we leave it up to everyone else so you say americans except the court role saying what the constitution does, the courts get to do that. you said that's difficulty, we've outsourced the court, what does the constitution to mean? already think americans are accepting of this idea? an example, last semester at a final exam question talking about this, i asked the students as a part question, what if we had congress overruled "the supremes" or, a super majority? what you think about? at about 100 students, there was one who thought was an interesting idea. they are accepting of the idea
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the course was saying what the constitution means, why do youou think that is? >> i think because the court -- i think there's a story about how important the court is h to our constitutional structure and i think it's one of embellishes on the importance of the court. i think part of this is because of the history we tell, most of us think about the court, the most liberal court we have and they started making good on some of the promises enshrined in the constitution from the reconstruction era but the court itself has been a fundamentally conservative institution. often counter majoritarian, often a backlash to some of the rights we put into the constitution so i think part of
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it is recent history of the civil rights era where we uphold what on court is the heroes and defenders of our rights but part of it is just except government that is an important part of our federal government and their learning in the law and we think they know exactly what it means so some is totally understandable but it's not universal. there are places where legislators have the last word on what the constitutions mean. other countries think about it differently so it's not a novel thing you brought up but it is sort off unique to the united states we have a snow shovel off judicial supremacy where it is the last word and the people amend the constitution to say what the last word is to be.
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>> or until the supreme court changes its mind.d. [laughter] so that gets to where the courts see their ways. counter majoritarian, we need for the court to be counter majoritarian because the judges are situated, they don't have to answer to politics, federal judges including supreme court justices life tenure and they can stand up to popular will when popular will, we also teach in constitutional law in the 1930s there was a case for the famous footnote where the idea is the court has a special role to play counter majoritarian role in three areas. number one, fundamental rights at stake, number two, the rights of minorities are at stake, number three, access to the political process being impeded so it can't work.
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that is the conventional story about the counter majoritarian role so i want to give you a chance to talk aboutut costs you see in that i want to ask about the benefits to this roman cases like brown or cases like that. >> when we talk about counter majoritarian, courts are standing in a different place from a legislature, which is democratically elected where courts are not. i do think court should sometimes play as counter majoritarian role, i think it is partly in response to your question about why we accept judicial review, we can all think about important instances, examples where it is important for courts to stand up
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democratic majorities. when susan refers to footnote four and this gets a little bit into the constitutional means but it's trying to figure out, one of the instances where we really want courts to step in and really scrutinize exactly what the legislature is doing and one of the instances when we sit step legislators be legislators. in the 1930s, the court was struggling0s, it was a period of about three or four decades where courts were not deferential to legislatures in economic matters, collective bargaining minimum wage laws from a maximum our loss, health and safety measures. the progressives of that era and roosevelt being there champion. they were really pushing backei
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against this activists court but it was obvious courts should not be stepping in to second guess minimum wage law but also it was obvious courts couldn't let jim crow and segregation continue to be deferential to legislatures so in the middle of the 19th or 20th century, we found ourselves looking at two different visions, one where they are deferential to legislature supposed to know what they're doing and manage the economy, they could pass social welfare visions and other prisons of the court it's not deferential at all. talking about legislatures terrorizing them so a lot of the rest of the 20th century in constitutional law has been about when it comes to rights, trying to pickio up when we aren one category or another, complete deference legislatures and what about when we owe no
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categories? a big part of the book suggests having to draw the lines is the way judges look at controversy and put it in but the way in which ordinaryy citizens talk about their rights, it's not like there are some rights where it's absolute and you don't care about what they are doing and there are other situations where nobody cares about rights. there's a big spectrum and a lot in between and we do have ways of getting out what is in between. we have resources figuring these things out instead of asking questions like is this racial discrimination in this case? or is this an economic issue? we can ask questions like who is being benefited and who's being brought into? what is the magnitude, other alternatives the government can pursue other than the policy pursued in the first place next
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their ways of intervening and conflicts that maintain and lots of controversies, there are rights on all sidestr and important values and personal values on all sides and we havea to figure out ways of maintaining those, sustaining those through conflict. we have trouble doing that in our regular lives and imports. the book is about offering strategies for trying to do that. >> i think one of the examples you give in the book where you talk about was that of you have a right if you don't, you talk about how we could say everybody has a right and a set of discriminating you're the right if you don't, is abortion. you talk about roe v. wade dagger to recognize beatles rights,ri a woman has a right to choose an abortion but there are no fetal rights. you talk about the cost of the court taking the all or nothing approach in the example of where you thought it was better done in germany so maybe you can
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explain that example. >> this is a complex controversial t issue and an enormously complex story how we get from abortion activism rights activism leading up to it and what it does to the abortion rights movement and the antiabortion and how political people response to that, it is enormously complicated but the story in the book is a tale of two countries. united states and germany. the approach is indifferent ways. the decisions that happen at basically the same time, 1973 roe v. wade in 1975 as the first german abortion decision. in row, you have state laws in the news again over abortion laws but in texas and georgia having very restrictive abortion
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laws and coming to the courts and asked the court to say do women have an autonomy right? in germany were talking about an abortion to abortion have been illegal up until a bill was passed to legalize in some instances. >> on the law - there a lot of other questions. and by the way, the data down, not sufficient with respect to the value if you like but what they say is that the law actually pursues multiple values in the time to do that they have to do that through law and the
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way toim do that is when you're talking about his fetal life on the legislature focusing on his life and also at the same time think about the economies which are also important and present in the case. so the point is, forcing the legislature over as happens over several decades of forcing legislature to think about the issue in terms of how to give women a genuine options that will enable them to make decisions that protect fetal life that requires much as criminalizing abortion, that is not going to protect theze fetal life, it's to give g the people prenatal care and childcare options and employment guarantees that a social safety people can make choices. and on the othero side, have you actually protect women's autonomy which also, it gives people this again, you gotta
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give people enough time to make the proper decisions. so the end of it doing is kind of drawing boundaries on how you negotiate politics the very difficult politics on this issue and it was granted kind of a political bargain around abortion rights andnd dramaticay lowers and on the issues with the way that the court gets there is not by saying, will one side is right and the other side is not with the way to get there is to say that there are values on all sides were going to scrutinize how your actually respecting the memories but looking at the facts and actually using information in a kind of a centaur lysing of philosophizing about the rights and these are real conflicts and real people involved in real stakes in hand and of course in making these judgments we have to take those takes into consideration in a way that it's important. roy does not do that at all, very little i should say in the justice to the rights of the majority the majority position.
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and this sounds like a very progressive thing to say but it ends up splitting the antiabortion movement into what used to be before row of relative much more moderate movement and splintering that more radical element to take over and make a compromise impossible predict it is really about unintended consequences and good consequences to recognizing the values on all sides of a really important really insensitive conflict predict. >> so what you're saying jamal greene is there's a lot more we can talk about their maybe put people in the audience who may have questions my own reaction is first ofou all we have absolutely social safety network it for h a moment and said that sounds me like the fetus also has rights and we have to balance that the woman doesn't really have a right says where
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i'm sympathetic as you are in some places where i am synthetic to the course counter majoritarian role is not as if the texas politics does a better, and the roe v. wade statute in the first place but that's my own n view and whether when they get to his that you are talking about how the courts could do better instead of saying that you have a writer you donor you have a strong right an absolute right and you don't, it would do better by looking at the facts and here i wanted to give an example in the line about voting restrictions and so what we used to call the voter suppression statutes, hard grounds of the necessary to promote integrity and building people's confidence in the voting system okay, so were supposedly looking at this to see whether the measure about the voting is reasonable or proportional or whatever. if you move the question from who has the right and who does not do we mediate the facts here, do we just really push all
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of the subjectivity in the political frame suppressed and your republicans will say that butter fraud is a real problem and democrats and so you know know, the court should look at that insight will know it's a problem because it doesn't happen. are you really making projects on the subjectivity here in the political friends like going to the press or maybe not just the alternative facts so no, do you want to comment, this is an area of your specialty pretty. >> so the facts are important and sometimes i think that the courts do not acknowledge that but, this point this is about that, this can become a full footnote if we wanted it to because the measures we talked about and we are talking about the accessibility of voting and other elements of the democracy, is really about having workable and functioning political process to make sure that we the people can actually voice our
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concerns and our desires and our interest and make sure that the reflected in this political system. i want to believe that we all value this idea that we should all be participating but importantly i think that the facts do not line up with that and i do think we can look at our history, we have more dwindling but it has been a robust at times criminal different franchise system and we have a sort of a propagation of this idea of voter fraud and that is one of these things that just not line up and it went on this before i was an academic and i think about this i've studied about this and i write about it but, the chances of other fraud occurring are about the chances of being struck by lightning, that is what the studies have shown. and you look at some of the ways that the suffering court has grappled with this.
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and about the crawford decision notoriously which was about a voter id provision in indiana just see that they can even present to show this is a problem and they have to go all of the way back to the 18 hundreds and think about things if they're going to look for examples of voter fraud and that is to say that voter fraud exists in very discrete instancesex it is not systemic think and what we are saying is this overreaction to a problem that at least is not a big one. comes in the forms of strict voter id laws now are sing in the way and despite the pandemic we've expanded ways for the motors to vote but now are seen restrictions on that brought boxes, and sort of a 24 hour access to drop boxes, early morning, same-day registration and things that were thought to
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be or have been politicized and now they're just serving it is obstacles to our ability to access the democratic process and i would say that going back to the idea of this book which is the amendments are important, a lot of this stems from the idea that we lack in the affirmative guarantee to vote in the constitution and we have all piecemeal parts and talk about having a republican form of government or talk about that you cannot be discriminating against him people on the basis of race or or wealth ineo the right to vote or talk about the direct election, these things are veryy important but another to say that you have a direct fundamental right to vote and that is something that was considered actually during a time of reconstruction in a sort of universal suffrage guarantee. that was a path not taken i think what we are seeing today on the in these restrictive voter measures that are happening. >> should we be amending the constitution including perhaps
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the forms but for small i want to give you a chance to respond to my concerns that if we got impact and asked the court to recognize more rights and for mediating a balancing, does that increase the judicial access and move the subjectivity and the politics too another place, it's hard for me to imagine them mediating working out your good compromises on the like voting rights. i naturally argue with the planned parenthood should - in these abortion-rights pretty but what about proportionality and is that kind of a different kind of judicial activism of the course not told to stay out of these areas as for the legislaty interfere with these masking kind of what the cost and the benefits of proportionality. >> that's a legal term of art that refers to a way of thinking about the rights conflict byt
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considering in a systematic way, not just the interest of the individual but also the interest of the government and other inflicting rights and i entered their personalities, couple of points here. one of the key lessons of the book is thats the u.s. does things very differently than every other country in the world. seven we ask what kind of chaos will we see if we do things differently, well drive six hours north and you will see what chaos is not happening in canada which does things similar to what i advocated in the book. and now were going to really step back here and delivers about t this because the book is not utopianism, the book is not letting a path to some kind of ideal society in which we don't agree with, and or in which
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judges are always following the law and not engaging in subjective behavior. reason we have conflicts, is not because bothersome groups of us that are right and some other group is wrong, some group is reading theer constitution right and the other is reading it wrong, constitution is not written in a way that lends itself to that kind of determinism or certainty and the reason we disagree about the rise because were different from one another and we have different values one another we have different commitments one another overdue be the constitution differently from each other because we are committed to different things from each other. when imm say equality it means something different than what you mean but there's not that conflict by itself and we have to do it in real time. so the question is how do we go about doing that mediation and should we delegate that to the
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judges to pretend it and i will use the word pretend that the rights conflicts are interpretive conflicts and they are legal purely legal technical about who iss reading the constitution correctly and resulting in ways that are continuous with the ways in which the resolve conflicts in our political life. so when you ask are the judges going to read effect suggestively coming but the judges as they read the law protectively now but if they break the law, saying we are judges and you have no access to influence over what we do and we are the actors and we are the professionals and we are the ones who tell you what the constitution means that you are to listen to us. when we argue about the fact we can argue about them, we can have a discussion about the voter fraud and i can tell you, this is obviously wrong. we can have the discussion in our political life and not just legislatures but this is also politics and were doing right
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now pretty is an invitation to the agency within the constitutional law and that's with the book is about, the constitution and being for all of us is subject to political conversation it anyone political conversation and not just kind of some kind of technical think that the judges take for themselves. and i will and there pretty. >> i would love to hear questions from the audience and one biden commission from the present biden has appointed a commission because he noticed that the supreme court is very conservative at this point likely to come out with decisions and some people will like and some people won't like but is not in court anymore so were about to hear the going to make some ideas about internal limitations, and the supreme court justices, to rethink how they are s doing things and hava different approach the proposal to change structures in the supreme court and remodeleded to have external limits on this record like the review of judicial review or congress
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essential jurisdiction law. one question that i have for you now is about the biden commission, are you optimistic in the intrinsic could come out of that a minimum of two should be think about amending the constitution redo what about the biden commission from any thoughts on that in enforcement, none of the three of us our best to serve and that could have been better. >> read my last annual know why i'm not for this commission but we are encountering a lot of problems in the scored and frankly some of these problems are not new and this idea that the courts are had a lasting and everything until they decided that they got it wrong, your transition from ferguson to brown versus board and this idea but the court gets to decide what cases that it is going to
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take, right there, there's questions about the judicial confirmation process so power actually and we have seen that and right where we have a season lofgrenal year and then ramming nominees through the week before an election we are seeing also somee problems showing the judicial branch of the united states and the supreme court in particular being fundamentally political organization and into tea and these are things that we've imposed structures in place to try to limit and we made them appointed and confirmed in the way that they are so there's supposed to be insulated from politics we pay them ten years other supposed to be insulated from politics overseeing balance a things are not playing out in the way they were intended to. do i have faith in this commission, you know, commissions in the past have a
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bath pass for reform so i love the idea that we are paneling if these experts to think about this. i believe personally that many of the people who are on this commission interest in to say that the supreme court's person people are about being judges and i don't know what is what happened and am happy that it's out there being discussed but what will comere out of bed, tie will tell i guess we have a couple of weeks or months before the report comes out in the biden when he acts on it braided. >> down to our last seven minutes so if you would like to have ten seconds jamal greene, but i want to have a few minutes to get in some audience questions and talk fast. >> if you have interest, i gave testimony so if you go to the
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commission website, you can see everything i have is that which is mostly the individuals justices and to us power and some of the court itself having too much power for me, it is about individual justice. >> the other solutions, looking to the justices to heather interpreting the constitution and what we need to recognize that we have no problem and amended the constitution and you are a mention today the possibility of adding a right to vote and changing the electoral college which we understand are highly difficult to do have a lot of stories from the past about good things to do and i want to mention that the public break is had a very interesting project that i've been working with them called theee 28th amendment and they had town hall overlook the website and check this out, asking people what should we add to the constitution. and whatt we put in to the constitution was more t democra, let's do away with electoral college but i like today be a
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holiday in us give them the right to vote in gaza but in some social economic rights and what we did was we run into the constitution the universal declaration off human rights and we said yes you do have a right to food and health and clean environment as well as having the right to have the government not tell you what to say. so from your book you talk about the conditions but they are conducive to a constitutional amendment and when theyon are nt what you think about now, on the conditions conducive to ahi constitutional amendment and which way pretty other political balances here in the amendment process predict. >> sure i think we are seeing the conditions that we've seen in the past for amending and what we are saying is political formalization and gridlock and obviously that is the way of the world. in the way of washington today the state legislature overseeing his innovation if in the state of the states and thinking about these instructions we have in government processes and trying
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to work around them and when life is innovative idea of the national popular vote contacting they see a problem with electoral college was going to do is use the current structure to actually implement a de facto direct election for the presidency and what we are saying a resurgence of the equal rights amendment an interest in that. there were nationwide protests about the equal rights amendment is actually tied up in the same frame abortion schema in sort of a counter movement against women's rights. we are saying payments social demographic and technological change asoc a result of this during the inaugural ribs revolution and we are also seeing the extreme of fabrication between the wealthy and also wealthy they are sort of 1 percent and then there's everybody these are conditions that actually show us that one, we don't and think about who should be incorporated into this
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idea of the people maybe we need to be be thinking that on that we have a constitution that is not really competent to govern us as we think about all of these developers we've had over time. i do think we are seeing some of those things. >> will thank you and jamal greene, how likely you think it would be an annoyance on the subject of your book printed. >> there are lots of ways which i would construct my own constitution if i could, i am constrained by the current structure of the constitution and what i say about the amendments is that the most transformative ways in which the constitutions have been amended in american history have ignored, the existing rules. so that is a founding which ignores the rules of the articles of confederation and the 14th amendment which ignored the rules of article five by caressing state governments and ratifying them and fully supportive of the
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14th amendment because i supported them which is to say the new document can establish by itself the conditions under which it can be changed read that is something for us to do the present that's how we've done it before and so i am not so apt to amendment as such, change is necessarily happen through the amendmentnt process. >> thank you were down to her last treatment as we could manage an audience question two go ahead and come up to the microphone if you haveou a question and if you have a couple of questions and then willla see have a minute for people to just respond predict summa thank you very much is been a fantastic discussion i want to thank you all, this is amazing and we are all wearing these green things enemies that we all got vaccinated and will agree that whatever rights quot" exist for the vaccinations is te
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right to protect the company but the states are making different choices we now even here the choice and the rights come up as the choice and the rights to refuse the vaccines using exactly the same rhetoric it is used to defend the right to abortion. you have completely flipped and the history of public healthed centers ay local function and state function is there any way that we could come to a place under our current legal structure, where the right to protect the american population in a pandemic, the american people against the voracious disease that exists or will it always be that one state can be a hold out and allow everyone to refuse to take the steps necessary to protect the society as a whole. >> this is a question in federalism so last-minute but
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what i would like to do if you two gentlemen could bee briefins and savage your question or comment is an refund that i will give wilford and jamal greene to respond to what they want. >> i just want toie point out tt one of my college professors historian who has our foremost historian of the united states constitution, might raise a lotu of red flags which is one of been discussed today and i would encourage those in the audience to read wood's writings and thank you pretty. >> yes my question is on the judges who are starting constructionists and try to understand what the framers would do and morality changes, and of the of the framers but they might not be considered immoral so these constructionists judges not looking to enforce the moral laws. >> okay quick last word. whatever those questions you would like to address or if you
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just something that you haven't said that you would really like defendant. jamal greene first printed. >> just quickly rights of the unvaccinated, who think that actually think consistent with my book, the people should have a right to not be vaccinated but the important question of any conflict about those rights, is the question of what are the consequences of doing that does the government hasth a law you must be vaccinated, will the question is do you have a right to be unvaccinated, is what the government trying to accomplish and what the consequences and the public health are obvious and straightforward and if someone were required to be vaccinated against something that was not contagious and have no chance ofin affecting them, would support that right. i would support that right and i thank you so important that the conversation about the rights, not be about the essential conversations about the rights themselves about when we talk about here, what are we trying to do here in accomplish. i'm trying to return w the conversation to the facts rather
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than obstructions. >> thank you and wilford, your final comment pretty. >> is hard to respond to those questions altogether very quickly butnd is important and would probably assume that susanna and also jamal greene andy gordon, we might take issue with some things as people do with history that we try to look at the history american history and american constitutional history, very broad perspective and look at a lot of historians to do that but i think that the sort of takee away point is that they hadoi this provision in the constitution article five, and we have other means attending our constitution and but it is important that we the people actually take up this quest, the challenge to make our constitution can continue to perfected to move up a more democratic inclusive and governable society predict.
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>> thank you and the me just say that if anybody is concerned, the both written beautiful and lively english pretty. >> here is what is ahead of the tv, other michael shows his he is on how progressives are destroying american cities by accepting lawlessness on the part of the when they claim to be helping followed by georgetown university law professor book by space, barcode about u.s. housing policy and university of illinois journalism professor nikki asher writes about the challenges facing american journalism and news for the rich white and blue and later on the global issues doing to the people around the world to migrate to new places and coming decades. >> abraham lincoln and his wife mary with parents and four boys, only one robert, lived to be on
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his 18th birthday another jason emerson, to nearly a decade traveling across the united states visiting and research in numerous archives, and historic places and he was studying the 82 plus years in the life of lincoln, writer emerson focused on the president's oldest son, is a union soldier, a minister of great britain, the u.s. secretary of war, and the president of the chicago based home and car company and jason emerson is historian has been writing about the lincoln family for over 20 years. >> on this episode a book knows, is available on c-span now app or wherever you get your podcast. >> i am robert the president of ai and i am happy to welcome you all to this i think really to be a terrific conversation it with three wonderful people and i want to start out by mentioning


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