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Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…” are the opening words of the U.S. Constitution. At 4,400 words and signed in 1787, it is one of the shortest and oldest written constitutions in the world. It is a dynamic document, as it not only outlines a blueprint for government, but also delegates power, articulates rights, and offers mechanisms for change. It is neither perfect, nor exhaustive, as our nation’s history makes clear. Legislation, court rulings, amendments, lawyers, and “we the people” have built upon those original words across generations to attempt to make the “more perfect Union” more real. That effort continues today, as contemporary leaders and everyday citizens raise their voices as loud as ever to fulfill the promise of the Constitution. Defining and refining those words of the Constitution might be our oldest national tradition, and how each of us works—together—toward a more perfect Union.

A panel of distinguished lawyers and scholars will explore moments of constitutional change in the United States, especially in more recent years, looking at constitutional amendments, as well as social movements that lead to legislation, shifts in U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, and other indicators of significant legal change.

There will be time for audience questions. The audience will include members of the legal community, students, teachers, and the general public.

Program participants:

Reginald Turner,
ABA President, Presiding

Aslihan Bulut,
Law Librarian of Congress, Remarks

Orlando Lucero,
National Law Day Chair, Remarks

Panel discussion participants:
Steve Wermiel, Moderator
Wilfred Codrington, Brooklyn School of Law
Orin Kerr, UC Berkeley College of Law
Sophia Lin Lakin, ACLU Voting Rights Project
Elizabeth Slattery, Pacific Legal Foundation

Program is produced in partnership with the Law Library of Congress. Program will be streamed on YouTube and recorded.

Apr 28, 2022 02:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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