A Conversation With Corey Brettschneider
By: Sammy Quarrato
CSI held an event this March where a new book titled The Oath and the Office was released by Corey Brettschneider, a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Brown University.
At this event, professor and author Brettschneider reinvents the civil law information that one learns in a Political Science course into a new, and relatable language.
The piece of literature’s purpose is word for word in the front cover, “A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents.”
This book’s essential purpose is a guide for people who wish to be president and what to understand about the constitution. However, it isn’t just for future presidents or future politicians in general, but those who wish to learn more about the country’s constitution-the pillar that keeps our country up.
The reason why this book is also for history buffs is due to the many references and portions of the book where they look back into American history such as the 1910s about Woodrow Wilson to now where we have Donald Trump as President of the United States.
The event did not just have Professor Brettschneider speak the entire time without actually discussing it with the faculty, students, audience, etc.
I myself was able to ask a question: “How do we know if an action by the President or anyone in the three branches of government does something truly unconstitutional due to the simple fact that the written law of the land by our founding fathers is up for interpretation for the changing times, and who are truly the ones to make that judgement?”
His response was in simple terms, it being a case by case basis where depending on the circumstances of the situation and the era is where it may or may not be determined.
What that essentially means is that there isn’t a clear and cut answer that is the solution for all future situations and cases when it comes to potential violations of constitutional law.
The answer itself makes sense due to one of the points of the book and the constitution itself, which is that it is open ended yet clear on what can or cannot be legislated by the Government.
Another question asked was by Professor Paris which was if Barack Obama unconstitutionally brought us into war without actually declaring war such as us being in Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc.
The reason for the question was due to the point of views of Professor Brettschneider inevitably being a driving force for his criticisms of Donald Trump but not of other presidents who may have been more moderate or left leaning.
That being said, it does not damper the books points of views in principle but it’s quite difficult to be 100% objective, as humans we have different ways of processing subjects such as politics and government.
The event ended with a conclusion of uncertainty of the future of the country yet a gleaming hope that puts some faith in our hearts toward the constitution which has been with us almost as long as we won the war against the British.
The Oath and the Office is an interesting read for anyone who wishes to learn constitutional law, American politics, or Trump’s effect on how we as Americans view the law of the land.