By Helen Hanlon
Distinguished Maine League members, Ann Luther and Ann Schinck have been hard at work as participants in a national study committee on Constitutional Amendments for the League of Women Voters. Their research, enthusiasm for American history, and collaboration with peers and experts make us proud. We applaud their work and eagerly anticipate working with our local Leagues on the study and consensus process, with final study report due in 2016. National and local studies like this are the backbone of our policy formulation at the League, and serious research goes into them because they underlie our advocacy and endorsements.
During our 2015 Maine Legislative Lobby activities, we learned of several proposals pushing for a Convention of States — an Article V Constitutional Convention to amend the U.S. Constitution — and several other proposals to amend our Maine Constitution. Efforts like these are now part of our American landscape as some citizens seek to change or resurrect aspects of our Constitution. Many are intrigued – and speaking for myself, I find myself wanting to know more about that process. That is why I’m looking forward to the League’s study later this year. You can read the background material for yourself online at the national League’s web site.
Until then, I’ll be watching a new C-SPAN series on the Constitution and the Supreme Court. In conjunction with the National Constitution Center, the series is a 12 week program on Landmark Cases, decided by the Supreme Court. Starting with the often-cited Marbury V. Madison (1803), the series presents the people and history behind decisions that changed our country, interpreted our Constitution, and are still debated today. The series is airing Mondays at 9pm on C-span beginning Oct. 5th. Read all about it and see clips from the series at the C-SPAN website.
If you’re like me and feel the need to understand the background of our political system, this is an opportunity to learn more about the Supreme Court and our Constitution as the fabric of our nation.