CLC’s founder and president Trevor Potter delivered the Constitution Day lecture at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana on September 17, 2019.
Titled, “Constitutional Challenges Facing Our Democracy: The Roberts Court’s Wrong Turns on Campaign Finance, Gerrymandering and Voting Rights,” Potter’s speech encouraged the audience to view the U.S. Constitution in the context of the many “Framers” it has had over its 232-year history.
Not only was the Constitution shaped by the Framers of 1787, Potter explained, but it also has been significantly altered by amendments, by Congress through legislation, and by the U.S. Supreme Court through its constitutional interpretations.
Within this historical framework, Potter proceeded to argue that the Supreme Court has made serious errors in its recent decisions on democracy issues, including Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts in our elections; Shelby County v. Holder, which ruled Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional; and, most recently, Rucho v. Common Cause, which declared federal courts incapable of adjudicating when partisan gerrymandering has gone too far.
These decisions, and the flawed assumptions on which they were based, have had and will continue to have serious consequences for our democracy.
The event’s 170-person audience included faculty, staff, and students of the law school, local activists, and other members of the community, and Bloomington’s Herald-Times covered the event on its front page.