Fletcher Reads the Newspaper:  Can checks and balances  contain the Trump Administration?

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Fletcher Reads the Newspaper: Can checks and balances contain the Trump Administration?

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Date and time

Location

The Fletcher School Cabot 702 Medford, MA 02155

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Description

We are pleased to announce this semester’s Fletcher Reads the Newspaper, which convenes a group of interdisciplinary Fletcher experts around a business-related current news topic. This is a platform for integrating the business skills and contextual knowledge that are central to a Fletcher business education, where panelists and audience members participate in examining the problem – and the solutions – through multiple disciplinary lenses.

Resolved:

“The US and international system of checks and balances will contain the extremes of the Trump Administration”


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Monday, April 3, 2017

Cabot 702
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Debaters:

Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice of International Politics and Law

Sulmaan Khan, Assistant Professor of International History and Chinese Foreign Relations


Discussants:

Eileen Babbitt, Professor of Practice of International Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean of International Business and Finance



Join us on Monday, April 3 at 5:30 pm as we turn a “Fletcher Reads the Newspaper” event into a public forum debate, positioning two teams of Fletcher faculty to debate the pro and con side of the following resolution:

The US and international system of checks and balances will contain the extremes of the Trump Administration

The recent executive actions undertaken by the fledgling Trump Administration has precipitated fears of a “constitutional crisis.” Critics argue that the newest US president and his cabinet not only lack respect for the Constitution’s defining system of checks and balances, but in fact do not understand them. Pair that with a Republican-held House and Senate that’s waited eight years to advance their agenda and a President who can fill an uncommonly high number of court vacancies, and there is concern that the nation’s checks and balances may not be up to the challenge.

Less cynical observers, however, may espouse the value of a tried-and-true system that has a long history of safeguarding the American people from an undue concentration of executive power. And the legislative and judicial branches aren’t the only protection, they argue – the press and the people are, after all, the ultimate protectors against tyranny. And that - at least for now - the US has in spades.

The event will open with each team of Fletcher faculty providing their opening arguments, followed by one round of rebuttals. We will then turn the debate over to the student audience to formulate closing arguments in favor of, or against, the proposed resolution. Participants should prepare by reading the articles below in advance, and come ready to debate!

  1. 1. America’s system of checks and balances might struggle to contain a despot | The Economist

  1. 2. We Are the Last Defense Against Trump | Foreign Policy

  1. 3. In Trump's orders, a test of America's checks and balances | Christian Science Monitor

  1. 4. Taking on Trump: Is the US facing a constitutional crisis? | BBC

  1. 5. Is American Democracy Strong Enough for Trump? | Politico