Skip to content

Rewriting the U.S. Constitution

February 20, 2009

The following was my preliminary posting to a sociological forum working on rewriting the constitution (a new “constitutional convention”). One section of that forum is devoted to persons with disabilities.

Re-authoring the U.S. Constitution is a fascinating project. Thomas Jefferson was the among those who proposed that the U.S. Constitution should be rewritten every couple of decades.

Although certain persons, particularly on the religious right, have reified and sacralized the Constitution, their triumphalism is, relatively speaking, a recent development. Therefore, if this project is radical, its radicalism is, at least partially, etymological, i.e., returning to the root (radix).

As an autistic fellow, I have a special interest in the subject of vulnerable groups. Some of the data I have seen provide the U.S. unemployment rate of individuals on the autism spectrum at around 80%.

In meeting other autistics, both as founding director of The League to Fight Neurelitism and as a board member of the Autism Society of the Heartland (a chapter of the Autism Society of America), a substantial number of them are among the working poor or the underclass.

Disability, from the perspective of the social model of disability, is a relative construction. If there were no accommodations made for left-handed persons (less the case now than in the recent past), they could be called disabled. Similarly, if deaf and autistic persons were fully accommodated, had full access to economic and political life chances, the disability label would not apply to them. In a refashioned Constitution, full accommodations should be available to all residents (not just to citizens) of the U.S.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: