The University of Mary Washington will celebrate Constitution Day with the debate “Resolved: Congress Should Restrict the President’s Power to Use Nuclear Weapons.”
Four members of UMW’s Debate Program – Parker Coon ’19, Sarah Pietrowski ’21, Gabriel Lewis ’19 and John Huebler ’20 – will discuss presidential power in the Digital Auditorium of the Hurley Convergence Center beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18.
“Historically, tension has existed between the president’s authority as commander-in-chief and Congress’s power to declare war,” said UMW Director of Debate Adrienne Brovero. “Constitution Day provides an opportune moment to discuss that tension in the context of the Constitution and the use of nuclear force.”
Brovero said presidential power was a particularly timely topic in light of President Trump’s “nuclear button” tweet earlier this year.
Trump wrote on Jan. 3 that his nuclear button was “much bigger and more powerful” than that of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who had earlier threatened that his nuclear launch button was “always on my table.”
The debate is one of two Constitution Day events hosted by UMW and open to the public. Simpson Library will feature a display on the Federal Depository Library Program, which distributes certain government documents to libraries around the U.S. free of charge. The display will include giveaways, games and prizes.
Constitution Day, once known as Citizenship Day, became a federal observance in 2004 and commemorates the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution. Any school that receives public funding must provide educational programming on that day.
UMW’s Constitution Day events are a joint effort between the Office of the Provost and the Debate Program. For more information, please contact Director of Debate Adrienne Brovero at 540-654-2128.