Professor Max Stearns – Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy


 

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Coffee @ The Kennedy Museum

Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

Join us on Saturday October 21st at 10:30AM as we welcome Professor Max Stearns, Venable, Baetjer & Howard Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  Max Stearns will discuss his newest book Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy (available March 2024)

This event is free to attend. Coffee, tea and water will be served.  Seating is limited to 50.  Reserve your seat today.

book; Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

Americans face increasingly stark choices each presidential election and a growing sense that our government can’t solve the nation’s most urgent challenges. Our eighteenth-century system is ill suited to our twenty-first-century world. Information-age technology has undermined our capacity to face common problems together and turned our democracy upside down, with gerrymanders letting representatives choose voters rather than voters choosing them. In Parliamentary America, Maxwell L. Stearns argues that the solution to these complex problems is a parliamentary democracy.

Stearns considers such leading alternatives as ranked choice voting, the national popular vote, and congressional term limits, showing why these can’t solve our constitutional crisis. Instead, three amendments―expanding the House of Representatives, having House party coalitions choose the president, and letting the House end a failing presidency based on no confidence―will produce a robust multiparty democracy. These amendments hold an essential advantage over other proposals: by leaving every member of the House and Senate as incumbents in their districts or states, the amendments provide a pressure-release valve against reforms threatening that status.

Stearns takes readers on a world tour―England, France, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, and Venezuela―showing what works in government, what doesn’t, and how to make the best features our own. Genuine party competition and governing coalitions, commonplace across the globe, may seem like a fantasy in the United States. But we can make them a reality. This rare book offers an optimistic vision, explaining in accessible terms how to transform our troubled democracy into a thriving parliamentary America.

Author Max Stearns

ABOUT MAXWELL L. STEARNS

Maxwell L. Stearns (BALTIMORE, MD) is the Venable, Baetjer & Howard Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. He applies the methodologies of economics, broadly defined, to study private and public law, along with institutional decision-making processes. His work combines such tools as neoclassical economics, interest group theory, social choice, and game theory, among others, to study legal doctrines and lawmaking systems. Much of his work centers on structural aspects of constitutional decision making in the Supreme Court, along with such specific doctrines as standing, the commerce clause, and equal protection.

Professor Stearns is also author of Constitutional Process: A Social Choice Analysis of Supreme Court Decision Making (University of Michigan Press, paperback edition 2002), which provides a systematic analysis of how collective decision-making processes shape doctrines and case outcomes in the Supreme Court.

Professor Stearns’s scholarly articles appear in leading academic journals: Yale Law JournalUniversity of Pennsylvania Law ReviewCalifornia Law ReviewStanford Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalNotre Dame Law ReviewVanderbilt Law Review, and The University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. During the COVID pandemic, Professor Stearns created, and he continues to run, the Virtual Constitutional Law & Economics Workshop, bringing together leading interdisciplinary scholars throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He also blogs at www.blindspotblog.us on law, politics, and culture.

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