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The Military Amendments (2nd and 3rd)

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In her Debating Our Rights series, Meg Mott, Professor of Politics at Marlboro College, presents the Second and Third amendments, two freedoms that address the role of the military in our constitutional democracy. Although the Second Amendment is currently the source of heated disagreements, for most of its life it was known as a sleepy Amendment. Understood more as a bulwark against a national standing army, the Second Amendment remained largely undebated. Nowadays, each clause is parsed and pressured in a hyper-partisan debate. Debating Our Rights provides participants with an opportunity to hear the various interpretations, not to change minds, but to better understand the debate. Meg Mott uses historical arguments and legal reasoning to set the stage for a robust debate. First she lays out the various 18th century reasons for the Amendment, such as why an armed population is so crucial to a new republic. Then she explains the arguments on both sides of recent Supreme Court rulings. “The point of debating our rights,” explains Mott, “is to see how reasonable people disagree about the scope and intention of each Amendment. In a constitutional democracy, even fundamental rights are open to debate.” This program was hosted by the Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro, Vermont.

Production Date: 
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 19:00

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