Levinson's Argument Analysis

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Levinson engages with the constitution in an interesting manner. For the purpose of this paper I will first summarize and discuss the strengths of Levinson’s argument regarding the Senate, the electoral college, the presidency, and the impossibility of amending the constitution. I will then discuss the weaknesses in Levinson’s argument and how he could strengthen them. Levinson argues that there is a disproportionate amount of power allocated to a minority of people in the Senate. Levinson argues that the central problem with the Senate is that there is hugely disproportionate amounts of representation with California receiving the same amount of Senators as Wyoming. Furthermore, the Senate can exercise a veto on legislation passed by…show more content…
Further, through the Electoral college all votes from each state goes to a given candidate, it is a winner take all system. Also, if your state is not a battleground state it is largely ignored and the battleground states are shrinking Levinson states, “by 2004, only 13 states, with 159 electoral votes, were battleground states.” (88) This results in the majority of the population becoming irrelevant. This is yet again an example wherein a minority of the population exerts control over the majority. Levinson’s solution to the electoral college is a national vote with a runoff system to ensure a majority vote for the president. Levension’s strengths in this argument lie in the fundamental unfairness of the electoral college. Levinson argues rather persuasively that we are allowing for minorities to control who becomes the president which is inherently unfair and…show more content…
Levinson argues that the president has too much power citing such examples as Lincoln and his suspension of Habeas Corpus. However, he does not seem to offer an alternative to the necessity of the use of presidential power. He merely claims that the president has too much power especially in emergency situations. His argument is based on emotion and paranoia. He argues that the president’s emergency powers have been expanded and they are all too powerful now. However, he cites examples such as the war on terror or other wars that at the time of initiation had large public support. He does not leave much room for prerogative or presidential discretion. This seems to be a glaring weakness in his argument to have a new convention. People are naturally distrustful of an executive. If there were to be a new convention it is quite possible that the executive will be nurtured out of fear of their previous power. Furthermore, I think his argument shows a weakness wherein he seems to disregard the need for emergency powers. Levinson’s claims up to this point seem to be that through more democracy we will have a better system. However, this does not seem to be the case, the most distrusted branch of government is the one closest to the people, the congress. Therefore, I think he could strengthen his argument by recognizing that there are instances
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