The Drake Constitutional Law Center will host the 2019 Constitutional Law Symposium on Saturday, April 13. This year, the speakers will address, “Is it Time to Amend the Constitution?”

When faced with difficult national circumstances in the past, Americans squarely faced the problem of constitutional change. The defects in the Articles of Confederation and the difficult economic circumstances following the Revolution led to the adoption of the Constitution. The gravest defect of the original Constitution was slavery. Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction Amendments provided the legal and constitutional basis for dealing with this problem even if took Americans another century to address racial segregation. Americans dealt with the economic and social problems of the Gilded Age with the Progressive Era amendments.

The question we now explore is whether it is time for Americans to again take up the task of amending the Constitution. That task should not be undertaken lightly. The Constitution, as well as the careful thought that went into its design, is entitled to our respect. We are, however, a very different country in 2019 than we were in 1787. While amending the Constitution is ultimately a political question for the people of the United States, scholars can do much to inform the debate.

The symposium will feature a slate of nationally renowned speakers discussing these important topics:

Richard Albert – “The Case for Presidential Illegality in Constitutional Amendment”
William Stamps Farish Professor of Law, University of Texas School of Law

Richard S. Kay – “Updating the Constitution: Amending, Tinkering, Interpreting”
Wallace Stevens Professor of Law Emeritus and Oliver Ellsworth Research Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law

Sanford Levinson – “Article V of the U.S. Constitution: Still Crazy (and Dangerous) After All These Years”
St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law and Professor of Government, University of Texas School of Law

Lisa L. Miller – “The Tragedy of American Politics: Constitutional Myths and Political Power”
Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

Registration is limited. Register online at The cost to attend is $15 per person and includes a continental breakfast.

The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Cartwright Hall at Drake Law School. Registration and breakfast begins at 8 a.m.

For an additional $10, attendees can receive a copy of the Drake Law Review that includes the symposium proceedings.

The event has been approved for 3.0 hours CLE credit hours. Activity ID: 315013.

The Drake Constitutional Law Center thanks U.S. Congressman Neal Smith for his support of the symposium.

For more information, contact Sara Hughes at 515-271-2988 or

About the Drake Constitutional Law Center

The Drake Constitutional Law Center is one of only four constitutional law programs established by the U.S. Congress and funded by the federal government. The center’s mission is to foster study of the U.S. Constitution and its roots, formation, principles, and development.

The annual Constitutional Law Symposium invites scholars, judges, and lawyers from across the country to discuss a timely constitutional issue. The proceedings are published in the Drake Law Review.

Learn more about the Drake Constitutional Law Center.