Lessig, Trump and the Constitution
Over the years, SXSW has showcased the energy, creativity and intellect of a lot of extremely smart people. But, no one who has spoken at the event ranks higher on all three of these scales than Lawrence Lessig. He served as a keynote speaker at the 2002 event and (more recently) talked about the importance of campaign finance reform at SXSW 2015.
An expert on the Constitution, Lessig currently serves as the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the author of numerous books including “Republic, Lost: Version 2.0” (2015), “Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy” (2009), “Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0” (2006), “Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity” (2005) and “The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World” (2002). In 2001, he founded Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon and to share legally.
Much of Lessig’s attention in the last month has been focused on challenging the legitimacy of the electoral college as related to the November 8 voting totals. His Washington Post editorial on this subject began as follows: “Conventional wisdom tells us that the electoral college requires that the person who lost the popular vote this year must nonetheless become our president. That view is an insult to our framers. It is compelled by nothing in our Constitution. It should be rejected by anyone with any understanding of our democratic traditions — most important, the electors themselves.”
Lessig has been particularly active on Medium over the last few days, writing several posts about how history may turn on Monday, December 19: “A Constitutionally Compromised President” as well as “And So They Will Decide.” Both of these posts are recommended reading to better understand what kind of extreme challenges we will likely face over the next four years.
Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.