On this day in 1787, the Founding Fathers of our country signed the proposed U.S. Constitution. (I say proposed because the Constitution was not officially ratified and did not become law until mid-1788.) To celebrate Constitution Day, which should be a national holiday, I want to share this thought-provoking paper by Richard Albert with my loyal readers. His paper is titled “America’s Amoral Constitution” and it reveals “an important if shocking truth about Constitution: no principle is inviolable, no right is absolute, and no rule is un-amendable.” His thesis is that the moral and political legitimacy of the Constitution “is rooted in an amoral code structured around the peculiar value of outcome-neutrality.” In plain English: as long as the rules of Article V are followed, anything goes! (Article V is the part of the Constitution that sets forth the rules for amending or changing the Constitution; see image below for a visualization of these amendment rules.) Alas, Professor Albert’s paper does not discuss whether Article V itself can be amended. Thankfully, however, I address that very question in my 2013 paper “Goedel’s Loophole.”
Update (9/23): I reached out to Professor Albert, and he recently replied back to me, so I will be blogging about Article V again–and about our exchange of ideas–soon!