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March 11, 2014

Justice John Paul Stevens Wants to Change the Constitution

by Dan Rodriguez

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the swearing-in ceremony for 40 new Northwestern Law alumni members of the Supreme Court Bar. Carter Phillips, JD ’77, one of the stars of the appellate bar (who recently argued his 77th case before the Supreme Court), led the ceremony.  It was a wonderful event and I was proud to be there.

In chatting with these distinguished Northwestern Law alumni, I was reminded of another—retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (JD ’47) who recently wrote an interesting book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. It won’t be on sale until April 22, 2014, but it is already lighting up the blogosphere. ThinkProgress reported on Justice Stevens’ call for an amendment to prevent gerrymandering rather gloomily: “…the Republican Party has six very good reasons not to support an anti-gerrymandering amendment…” Breitbart hastened to illustrate the error of Justice Stevens’ thinking about the Second Amendment by explaining that “…The rights protected by the Second Amendment are individual rights, as are the rights that are protected, but not created, by the First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments…” These are but two examples of how people are reacting to this book. I’m confident there will be many more, and I’m pleased to see it—we need robust public discussion on the essential issues of our own governance.

Congratulations to the newest members of the Supreme Court Bar, and to Justice Stevens on the book.

 

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