Professor Emeritus Kommers Delivers Hesburgh Lecture

Author: Charles Williams

Don Kommers 5-10

On October 19, Professor Emeritus Donald P. Kommers delivered a Hesburgh Lecture in Pittsburgh entitled “The Obsolescence of the U.S. Constitution.” The lecture was co-sponsored by Pittsburgh’s Notre Dame Alumni Club and the Duquesne University Law School. Kommers argued that our 223-year-old Constitution is not up to the challenges of the 21st century and is badly in need of revision, particularly in regard to its structural features. His recommendations for constitutional reform included the elimination of the electoral college, the rejection of the presidential veto except for constitutional reasons, the ending of our lame-duck congress and presidency, the repeal of the 22nd amendment, limited terms of office – not to exceed 14 years – for Supreme Court justices, four-year terms of office for members of the House of Representatives to coincide with presidential elections and, barring the abolition of the Senate (which would be his preference), the rejection of equal representation in the Senate, all measures that he believes would increase the democratization and efficiency of the American political system.