ASU Law hosts Model Constitutional Convention

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ASU’s Center for Constitutional Design is excited to host the inaugural, national student-led Model Constitutional Convention from May 23 to 26, 2024, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. This groundbreaking event will bring together over 100 undergraduate and law students from across the country who are passionate about constitutional law.

Students will serve as state delegates (two from each state), engaging in debates and drafting constitutional amendments. This unique opportunity allows participants to immerse themselves in the legislative process, gaining invaluable insights into law and democracy.

Stefanie Lindquist, Executive Director at the Center for Constitutional Design at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, shared more details about this upcoming event. She emphasized the significance in demonstrating political divisions can be overcome for the common good.

“It’s a simulation, the first of its kind actually,” Lindquist said. “If people are familiar with Model UN, which many high school students do and college students do… it’s very similar to that; except it’s never been done before. So this is the first effort of its kind in the United States to bring students together from all over the country to basically debate amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”

Lindquist explained that each state’s delegates will select a constitutional amendment to research and debate.

“They’re able to research and debate decide what amendments they want,” Lindquist said. “What does that generation of students want the Constitution to look like? We wanted to give them free rein to decide what proposals they want to bring to the floor. They have to debate these proposals according to the very vigorous Robert’s Rules of Order and we have a nationally famous parliamentarian there to help the students work through those rules.”

The event will feature esteemed experts such as Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, and Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, among other top minds in the field. Their presence will provide valuable mentorship and perspectives to the student delegates.

This convention not only offers a platform for students to network and learn but also showcases the possibility of collaborative governance.

“We think it’s a magnificent learning opportunity. We’re so pleased it’s taking place at ASU, of course,” Lindquist said. “We’re doing it because we had a generous donor who enabled us to fund all of these students to come… it’s very expensive to fund them to come together. And we hope that lasting friendships are made here, that a new generation of leaders are made here and that students learn that indeed, they can change the future of their country if they so choose through constitutional amendments.”

Stefanie Lindquist, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Design, ASU's Sandra Day O’Connor Law School

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