Time to ditch the Constitution?
Are the Founding Fathers obsolete?
- Duration 4:18
- Date Jan 5, 2013
Are the Founding Fathers obsolete?
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It established our national government and our fundamental laws in guaranteed -- certain basic rights more than 200 years ago.
But as the US constitution become outdated.
-- -- university.
Traditional law professor Lewis Michael Seidman says yes it has -- constitutional attorney David Rifkin disagrees they both join us from Washington.
Professor Simon thanks for coming on.
The constitutions is useful it seems to me because he guarantees -- certain rights regardless of who's in power do you really think that we have the freedom of speech for example without the bill of.
Tucker first I wanna I wanna say -- thank you so much for having me.
In the last -- a week I've gotten over Dallas and abusive emails.
Many of them anti Semitic some of them.
Threatening and so it's really a pleasure to be able to have a conversation that's sensible and and calm about this.
So so the basic idea is this.
Americans don't like.
Other people telling them what they have to believe just because -- other people claim to be better than they are.
So we wouldn't be happy being ruled by the French -- the greater assured by the UN or by a bunch of fancy pants law professors.
And there's no reason why we should be ruled by a very small number of people -- been dead for over 200 years.
We didn't even represent United States at the time they were alive that the majority.
So with regard to free speech of course we should have free speech.
But we should have free speech because we speech is valuable I know that I've been taking advantage of it for the last few days.
-- here's an argument that's not a good argument for free speech.
We ought to have free speech because James Madison 200 years ago thought we ought to have free speech you know.
-- -- -- continue think coming cut countries civilized countries Great Britain for example Canada neither one has.
Freedom of speech enshrined in the constitution -- bill of rights and neither one has free speech you can be imprisoned in both those countries for saying unpopular things.
That not true.
They have different approach the freedom of speech but let me say there's -- -- two different issues.
-- my good friend prison Simon has engaged one is the particular mode of governance.
That's reflected in the constitution.
The -- not just provisions in the bill writes but the diffusion of power ball vertically between states and the federal government and horizontally.
Among the -- branches of the federal government the right way to proceed and let's stipulate that the framers created this diffusion of power because they believe that no matter how compelling.
The -- -- is of a moment maybe.
The best way to protect individual liberty frankly is they have a very cramped.
Confined government the second issue is.
He's the constitution as it stands now embodies the perfect balance.
Well they -- to -- first question I think his yes I think the constitution is a brilliant in his -- -- continues to be relevant.
Two to -- -- -- first century but second.
We don't need to engage an extra constitutional hand throwing article five of a constitution provides for opportunities to -- it.
Bowled by specific amendment and constitutional convention yes and we now we have 27 amendments in the book so I'm not sure why professor Seidman.
Does not understand the proposition -- -- are good -- the process sees the procedures for its own amendment I don't oversight -- Over its -- also -- strange fact a professor in very quickly if you would.
Without a constitution wouldn't each administration's political administration is make up the rules and you every time.
Great Britain is -- -- New Zealand they don't have written constitutions and that's not the way they work.
We have a long traditions in this country.
And we're not about to throw them out tomorrow we're not about -- for them out in part because.
-- getting this right the there's a lot in the constitution that Americans believe in today.
We would continue to do those things there -- also I should say some nearly pernicious provisions that almost no Americans believe in today.
And that -- we had to get rid gentlemen I wish we had more time thank you very much -- was illuminating.
Thanks so it puts Jersey.