The Limits of Veneration: Public Support for a New Constitutional Convention

40 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2015

See all articles by William Blake

William Blake

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) - Department of Political Science

Sanford Levinson

University of Texas Law School

Date Written: October 2, 2015

Abstract

At the conclusion of Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson asks the American people to call a new constitutional convention. Levinson’s critics dismissed this call as fanciful, not least because of the assumption that the populace unthinkingly venerates the Constitution too much to countenance the idea of a convention. We challenge the conventional wisdom on conventions by analyzing a 2011 Time magazine poll indicating one-in-three Americans would support such a call. While constitutional support remains high, we contend the cultural power of law allows citizens to have meaningful and sometimes critical constitutional attitudes. Logistic regression analysis indicates various personal attributes shape these attitudes, including: ideology, race, age, income, and constitutional knowledge. Approval of Congress and preferred method of constitutional interpretation also structure convention support.

Keywords: constitutional veneration

Suggested Citation

Blake, William and Levinson, Sanford V., The Limits of Veneration: Public Support for a New Constitutional Convention (October 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2668891 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2668891

William Blake (Contact Author)

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) - Department of Political Science ( email )

1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States

Sanford V. Levinson

University of Texas Law School ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-471-3273 (Phone)

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