Can Congress ban abortion in all states? Can Congress protect same sex marriage in all states? These are just a couple of the questions Professor Andre Audette and Professor Jessica Vivian answered on Constitution Day, Thursday, Sept. 15.
Audette and Vivian discussed the major principles of the Constitution and how they affect current issues— abortion, student loan forgiveness, and same sex marriage.
“It is a good opportunity, for students especially, to learn more about the Constitution,” said Audette. “This affects everyone. Politics and the law are affecting daily lives. Some of the issues that we talk about are our fundamental civil liberties.”
Audette talked about how the right to privacy leads to the right to abortion. Over the summer, in the Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, abortion became an issue of separation of powers rather than a federal issue.
Audette also talked about the newly signed Student Loan Forgiveness Act. President Joe Biden enacted student loan forgiveness under the precedent of the COVID national emergency.
Vivian discussed same sex marriage in the United States. It may be possible for the federal government to take away same-sex marriage rights based on the latest abortion ruling in Dobbs V. Jackson.
“I think it is important that people are aware of those things and have a basis to talk about them,” said Audette. “It is also important for those who want to be involved in politics or the law. They are able to advocate for themselves and to have the skills necessary to advocate for issues they care about.”
Constitution Day is a Monmouth tradition dating back many years. The lecture is presented to educate people about the United States Constitution, the oldest surviving written constitution still used today.
Maya Dickerson – Staff Writer