University of Texas at Austin Constitutional Law Professor Richard Albert argued this week that the United States should revise the Constitution to remove “racist” and “gendered” language. In the op-ed published by The Hill, Albert claimed that the Constitution suggests that only men can be elected president of the United States.
University of Texas at Austin Law Professor Richard Albert published an op-ed for the Hill this week in which he argued that the United States should revise the Constitution to be compatible with the progressive values of the modern era.
Albert claims that various sections in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights offer a “painful reminder” of America’s “original sin.” Albert specifically highlights the 13th and 14th Amendments.
Consider the 14th Amendment. No part of the Constitution speaks more forcefully to the power of law to transform social relations. It guarantees that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” And yet the Constitution still today counts a slave as “three-fifths” of a person. Or consider the 13th Amendment: It abolishes slavery, but the Fugitive Slave Clause — which requires escaped slaves to be returned to their masters — remains in the Constitution as a painful reminder of America’s original sin.
Albert also argues that the Constitution uses”gendered language.” Albert claims that the Constitution suggests that only men can be elected president.
The Constitution’s outdated language extends also to gender. It tells us that men alone can be president, referring only to “he” or “his” when referring to the presidency. Of course, this did not prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming the first woman, in 2016, to lead a major party into the general election. Nor does it stop other women from vying for the nomination now. But when Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.) became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1916, some argued that the Constitution’s use of the masculine pronoun disqualified her.
Albert, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Texas at Austin, finishes the column by arguing that the Constitution should be updated because it is “obsolete” and “outdated” in terms of its language choices.
Breitbart News reported in January that Albert’s UT-Austin colleague, Professor Thomas Hubbard, came under fire for defending sex with underage boys.
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