Perse politics students gain insight into US system
Izzy Pearl (Upper Sixth) reflects on the Upper Sixth politics trip to the US Politics Today Conference at the British Library in London.
A panel of two former members of Congress – Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson and Democrat Congressman Larry LaRocco – answered questions and commented throughout the lectures.
It was particularly interesting to hear perspectives of two men so far apart on the political spectrum, despite both having been critical of the Donald Trump presidency.
Senator Hutchinson particularly provided an interesting insight into the process of politics in America, explaining his campaign for Congress and how he found himself in the Senate.
They addressed a wide range of themes throughout the day, including the current state of the judiciary, the influence of interest groups in America, and the party-political balance in Washington.
In his lecture on the Supreme Court, Professor Robert McKeever addressed the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which legalised abortion across America, suggesting this might be overturned in the coming term, pointing to the recent Texas Heartbeat Act as evidence. His judgement highlighted the conservative revolution which has overwhelmed the Supreme Court in reaction to 20th century liberal rulings.
Professor Andrew Moran also gave an intriguing presentation on whether Joe Biden can be characterised as an ‘imperilled’ president. Moran went into great detail on presidential theory throughout his address and he questioned whether congressional oversight is still effective.
Overall, the lecturers encouraged us to think more thoroughly about the present condition of American politics, and the opportunity to interact with real Congress members helped us understand how the system really works.