D-Cubed Considers the Supreme Court’s Constitution

D-Cubed Considers the Supreme Court's Constitution

August 13, 2022
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Location
Merriam Park Library, Saint Paul Public Library


Register on Meetup.com

In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, as well as other decisions involving gun control, church-state separation, and the regulation of greenhouse gases, it appears that the U.S. Constitution is whatever the existing Supreme Court wants it to be. With that Court being dominated by three Trump appointees, two of whom were confirmed in less-than-normal order, our country faces years of being subjected to judicial decisions reflecting an 18th century view of individual and collective well-being.

This month’s D-Cubed and D-Squared events will consider the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution. We will discuss ways in which the Constitution has been and could be interpreted by the Supremes, the adequacy of those interpretation styles for the needs of a modern society, and what might be done to deal with the prospect of years (even decades) during which the United States will, in effect, be governed by a retrograde worldview that is seriously inadequate to the needs of our people.

Because of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that this event is held indoors, we ask that all participants be fully vaccinated–that they have completed the established one or two-shot vaccination regimes at least two weeks before the event. In addition, the library requires all people in the facility to be masked. If you can’t satisfy our vaccination requirement, please consider joining us for the online D-Squared event that will address the same topic. It will be held at 7 PM on Tuesday, 8/16.

D-Cubed (Discussion, Debate, and Dinner) is a monthly gathering sponsored by HumanistsMN and hosted by Jerry Smith and Mark Thoson. Jerry will be moderating this month’s discussion which will take place in the live Saturday (D-Cubed) and on-line D-Squared (No dinner!) sessions. The same topics will be covered in each session and the discussions should be quite similar.

As usual, we are assigning “homework” in the belief that preparation will help participants contribute to a thoughtful, informed discussion. Please try to read some or all of the following before the event:

A foundational account of the Supreme Court and Constitutional interpretation can be found here. This Harvard Law Review article discusses interpretation styles, which have been studied and elaborated by empirical research. A distinctive new approach was explained in this article in the Atlantic. The current Court is dominated by “originalists.” While some feel that they’ve “run amok” with their interpretations and serve right wing interests, others argue that the U.S. Constitution is inherently conservative. So what can be done? One proposal is to restructure the Supreme Court. Perhaps a more liberal view of the Constitution could be developed. Other progressive responses to our current predicament are suggested here.

Assuredly there are many more articles and videos of relevance to our topic. So if you aware of other online resources that would enlighten us, feel free to suggest them by posting links in the “Comments” section below.

At 4:30 PM or shortly thereafter, we will wrap up our discussion. Those who wish to continue conversing on these and other topics are welcome to join Jerry and Mark for dinner at Pad Thai, a moderately priced Thai restaurant located at 1681 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a short drive from the library. We’ll provide directions to the restaurant and have tables reserved for our group.

This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Donate or join through our home page.

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