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The professor who penned an infamous op-ed in the New York Times which called for abandoning the Constitution, defended his idea in an exclusive interview with Campus Reform on Wednesday, arguing such reinvention is “American.”
Prof. Louis Seidman, who teaches Constitutional Law at Georgetown University, also invoked American presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, in defending the piece.
“America... has a long history of straining against the Constitutional yoke,” he said. “Its something our greatest president’s believed in like Jefferson and Lincoln and both Roosevelts.”
Seidman went on to credit such rebellious thinking, in part, for the defeat of slavery.
“It drove the abolitionist movement,” he said. “[T]he people who wrote the Constitution itself were ready to disobey the Articles of Confederation."
“You can conceptualize the American experience in many different ways but one way of thinking about it is what I’m suggesting is as American as apple pie and has existed as long as the country has existed,” he concluded.
In the New York Times op-ed published late last month, Seidman claimed the “culprit” of the United States fiscal chaos is “our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.”
“A country where people would adhere to basic institutions because we the people in 2013 think they’re the best institutions to run our country, not just because a very small group of people dealing with a radically different country thought so 250 years ago,” he wrote.
On Wednesday Seidman also said he “guessed” the basic structure of the government would remain in place without a Constitution.
“I think the legitimacy of our institutions have to earn their keep on their merit and that means the people today get to decide how the country ought to be ruled” said Seidman.
Seidman also told Campus Reform he did not see any contradiction in continuing to teach courses on Constitutional law.
“I don’t view it as my role to indoctrinate or persuade people of my view. My role is to have people think as hard as they can about what they would like to see happen.”
Follow the author @TimPDion.
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