Last week in a New York Times op-ed, Georgetown Law professor Louis Michael Seidman made the argument that the U.S. Constitution was the document that has made our nation broken with its “archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.”
He made his case in the Times just as the country was on the verge of going over the “fiscal cliff.”
Just days after Congress passed a bill dealing with the cliff, Seidman elaborated on his argument on Friday’s “America Live” on the Fox News Channel. He told host Megyn Kelly the way the country is run should not be dictated by “folks who have been dead for over 200 years.”
“In some ways it’s really very simple,” Seidman, author of the forthcoming book “On Constitutional Disobedience,” said. “This is our country. We live in it. We have the right to have the kind of country that we want. I don’t think most Americans would be happy with the French telling us what kind of government to have, or the British, or the United Nations, or the Russians, or some law professor. It’s our country, and I’m not very happy with having a bunch of folks who have been dead for over 200 years — that’s a very small group of people who were not the even representative of the time of the United States at the time they wrote, telling us what kind of country we have. We have a right to decide that for ourselves. Now, there are a lot of things they got right, and when they got them right, we ought to do them because they’re right. But we ought not to do that just because they said to do them. We need to think about all of that now and what’s best for Americans now and not what was best for them in 1789.”
Kelly pointed out that the country can update the document through an amendment process. Seidman said that process is too difficult.
“Actually, Megyn, I think that’s one of the biggest problems with the document,” he replied. “Of all the constitutions in the world, the American Constitution is the most difficult to amend. It’s only been amended 27 times, only 17 times if you don’t count the Bill of Rights. It hasn’t been amended recently at all. … Some are terrific. The fact of the matter is, as things stand now, it’s almost impossible to amend the Constitution. If you have even a pretty small minority, they can block amendments, and that means that even if the vast majority of Americans are not happy with some aspect of the Constitution, they can’t do anything to change it.”