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Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter
Ilya Somin, a professor at George Mason's School of Law, will discuss the subject of his recent book Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter. In his book, Professor Somin explores the depths of ignorance in America and the effect it has on our democracy. Weighing possible solutions to this problem, Professor Somin argues that the best solution is to decentralize and limit government. He asserts that this solution incentivizes the public to conduct independent research and make more informed, wiser choices.
Please join us for this discussion and lunch, provided by the Center, on Thursday, October 9 from 12:00 - 1:00 in McDonough 203. RSVP here.
NSA, Surveillance, and Originalism
Laura Donohue, Georgetown Law professor and senior scholar for the Center, will discuss national security concerns and the constitutional implications of surveillance. Professor Donohue's most recent book, The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty, re-calculates the cost of counterterrorist law to the United Kingdom and the United States, arguing that the damage is greater than it first appears. Professor Donohue notes that the current framework of counterterrorism law, "Security or Freedom," fails to capture the shift in power to the executive in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. Professor Donohue is also currently working on scholarship regarding drones, the War Powers Resolution, and emerging technologies.
Please join us for this discussion and lunch, provided by the Center, on Wednesday, October 22 from 12:00 - 1:00, location to be announced. RSVP here.
Judicial Engagement & Rational Basis Review
Clark Neily, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, will discuss the topic of his recent book Terms of Engagement: How our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution's Promise of Limited Government. Neily's book calls for judges to restore the courts as a critical check on the other branches of government, as envisioned by the Framers. His analysis challenges judicial abdication and the resulting fault of double deference. In the same vein, Neily will also be challenging rational basis review. Under the rational basis, courts will grant deference to Congress where the law is "rationally related to a legitimate government interest." Neily will argue that providing such constitutional deference to other branches is, in itself, unconstitutional.
Ed Whelan, a lawyer and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, will provide critical commentary to Mr. Neily's analysis. In a blog post (1 of 6 critiquing Neily's book) to National Review Online, Mr. Whelan praised Neily for "writing a clear, accessible, intelligent--and, yes, engaging--book that does an excellent job making an argument that . . . [Whelan] believe[s] to be badly misguided." Following Neily's discussion and Whelan's response, the floor will be opened to questions.
Please join us for this discussion and lunch (provided by the Center) on November 5 from 12:00 - 1:00, location to be announced. RSVP here.
Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Sovereignty of the People
Randy E. Barnett, Georgetown Law professor and Center director, will discuss the existence of two fundamentally divergent views of the Constitution of the United States. These two constitutions, the "Democratic Constitution" and "Republican Constitution," named not along political lines, differ on many important issues. In his discussion, Professor Barnett will focus on their differences regarding popular sovereignty, rights, governorship, the role of judges, judicial restraint, and constitutional interpretation.
Please join us for this discussion on November 19 from 3:30 - 5:00, location to be announced. Food and drinks will be provided. RSVP here.
On February 20-21, 2015, the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism at the University of San Diego Law School will hold its Sixth Annual Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Originalism Works-in-Progress Conference. The conference will include approximately 6 unpublished papers on originalism, with separate commentators, and then questions from the other participants at the conference.
You are invited to submit a work-in-progress for the Sixth Conference. A work in progress is a draft paper in article or book chapter form that is not yet published as of the conference date. An originalism paper is defined broadly to be any paper that argues for or against originalism as a matter of theory, or applies originalism to some aspect of the Constitution. See here for more information on how to submit a paper.