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The Exchange

The Federal Debt and the Constitution

Flickr Creative Commons

As another debt ceiling deadline looms, on top of a government shutdown, we’ll look at what our nation’s defining document, particularly the fourteenth amendment, says about federal debt, as well as the roles of Congress and the President. 


  • Garrett Epps, former reporter for The Washington Post, novelist and legal scholar, he  teaches constitutional law and creative writing for law students at the University of Baltimore . His books include Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America and American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution.
  • David Rivkin served in the Justice Department during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations.  He is an attorney for Baker and Hostetler, a law firm in Washington D.C.  He specializes in constitutional, administrative, and international litigation.

*Check out an opinion co-authored by David Rivkin for the Wall Street Journal here.

*Check out articles by Garrett Epps for The Atlantic here and (an older one) here.

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