Constitution day speaker discusses law, politics on historic day

Rosalie Levinson, senior research professor at Valparaiso University, explained judicial approaches to the constitution and offered commentary on modern politics during her Constitution Day presentation on Sept. 18 at the Westville campus.

Levinson discussed two approaches to constitutional interpretation: judicial restraint, the belief that judges should limit their own power to strike down laws or deem laws unconstitutional, and the living constitution approach.

Levinson explained that the judicial restraint approach to constitutional interpretation “restrains justices from expressing personal values against the Constitution.”

She continued that the living constitution view is an “ever-evolving comprehension that adapts to crisis.” Levinson explained that this split in interpretations of the Constitution stems from its creation in another era, leaving room for current debates on how to properly interpret the document.

Levinson went on to discuss the Supreme Court, judiciary branch, government and her belief that the Supreme Court appointments have become too politicized, creating a large split between the justices of the Supreme Court.

Levinson turned her attention to President Donald Trump, attributing a Republican shift in the Supreme Court and a presidency that she described as a “constitutional rollercoaster” to him.

She emphasized the way voting helps shape the government on the local and national scale to best suit the needs and values of the people.

“Register to vote! Get involved in voting ballots,” Levinson said. “The fate of our democracy is in your hands.”

Frank Colucci, associate professor of political science, spoke at the event on the Hammond Campus.