During the fall of 2017, the Henry Institute sponsored a series of debates considering viewpoints from the left and right on contemporary Constitutional issues.

Is DACA Constitutional? Constitutional Structures and the Limits of Presidential Authority

September 18, 2017

The debate considered the constitutionality of President Obama’s original DACA order and the rationale of the administrative order, as well as the constitutionality of the range of options President Trump has at his disposal to respond on the issue.

Featuring: William Fredericks (Calvin University Republicans), Doug Koopman (Calvin Political Science Department), Renee Maring (Calvin University Democrats), and Micah Watson (Calvin Political Science Department)

Watch the debate here

Political Polarization: Is the Constitution to Blame?

October 18, 2017

There is no doubt that there are deep division in U.S. political culture today. But what is the source of that division? Do we simply have differing opinions, or do political structures established by the Constitution foster -- or at least fail to mediate -- this polarization?

Featuring: Kevin den Dulk (Henry Institute Executive Director and Calvin Political Science Department), Kennedy Genzink (Calvin University Republicans), Mikael Pelz (Calvin Political Science Department), and Matt Seafield (Calvin University Democrats)

Watch the debate here

The Constitution and Free Speech: Is It Worth the Cost?

November 7, 2017

The American political tradition has always valued free speech, but we have also wrestled with the boundaries. Does free speech include hate speech? And who gets to decide where the boundaries are set? What does the Constitution say about this matter?

Featuring: Jesse Brink (Calvin University Democrats), Doug Koopman (Calvin Political Science Department), Nick Kuyers (Calvin University Republicans), and Micah Watson (Calvin Political Science Department)

Watch the debate here