A full-page ad in the New York Times from the American Academy of Arts and Letters declares, in headline-sized type: "This is not the time to be silent. The American Academy of Arts and Letters believes that for the arts to flourish we must protect freedom of expression and the U.S. Constitution. Both are under grave threat and we are committed to their defense. — Board of Directors."
My first reaction to the claim that the U.S. Constitution is "under grave threat" was that it was an exaggeration unwarranted by reality.
Then I thought about it a bit more and realized:
•The First Amendment to the Constitution is under attack from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, two leading lights in the Democratic Party, who want to amend the Constitution to destroy the free speech protections that the document, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, currently grants to corporations.
•The Second Amendment to the Constitution is under attack from a retired Supreme Court justice and a Pulitzer-Prize-winning op-ed columnist of the New York Times, who has written two articles calling for that amendment's repeal.
•The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution's restriction on double jeopardy, and the Article II presidential pardon power, are both under attack by the attorney general of the state of New York, Barbara Underwood, who, as Walter Olson shrewdly noticed, is hatching a scheme to bring state criminal charges against people who are pardoned by President Trump.
So, come to think of it, maybe the American Academy of Arts and Letters is correct. What other ways is the Constitution under "grave threat" at the moment? Comments are open below...