Constitution Day brings calls for modernization

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By Carlos Ferrand

On Constitution Day Sept. 17, students grabbed a piece of cake, registered to vote and watched a few short videos about the U.S. Constitution in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

At the close of the event, political science Professor Asslan Khaligh shared facts about the U.S. Constitution and encouraged students to focus on a few things: Who wrote the Constitution and when?

“No country has kept (the) same constitution for more than 50 years, 60 years or 100 years. They throw it away, and they write a new one, except this country,” he said. “I don’t know if that is good or bad, but you decide.”

The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787 in Philadelphia, and the Bill of Rights was added in 1791.

The U.S. Constitution contains 4,400 words while the Texas Constitution contains more than 100,000 words.

Khaligh said the U.S. Constitution was written more than 200 years ago and authored by wealthy white men who owned businesses.

As a result, the Constitution was probably written to benefit those who wrote it, he said.

It was four years after the Constitution was written that the Bill of Rights was added.

“Is it good to preserve something that is old that (may) not be applicable, or modernize it and write a new one?” Khaligh asked. “Why, if the Constitution of the U.S. is so great and so good, why (have) no other nations copied us?”

Criminal justice Professor Tiffany Cox said that it is dangerous to believe that the Constitution is a fixed document and should only reflect the beliefs of the founders.

“As long as the (Supreme) Court considers the Constitution to be a living Constitution — that it can be changed and reflect the changing values of our community, our society and the things that we find important to protect — then I think it does not need to be changed.”

The Constitution is a powerful document, but it needs to reflect modern times, Khaligh said.


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