Join Adam J. White, Co-Executive Director of the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State and a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for a discussion on “The Administrative State and the Founders’ Vision of Constitutional Administration.” Please RSVP by clicking on the event title.
The Georgetown Center for the Constitution, founded in 2012, offers a variety of programs on constitutional law and theory at Georgetown Law, placing special emphasis on how best to remain faithful to the Constitution's text.
Led by Professor Randy Barnett, the Center sponsors lectures, faculty colloquia, conferences, visiting scholars, post-graduate fellowships, and student fellows. All of its activities are designed to engage scholars, students, and even Supreme Court justices in conversations about how to interpret and apply the document that sits under glass less than ten blocks away from Georgetown Law.
Georgetown Center for the Constitution Awards Fifth Cooley Book Prize to Stanford’s Michael McConnellOctober 6, 2021
The Georgetown Center for the Constitution announced it will award its fifth annual Thomas M. Cooley Book Prize of $50,000 to Professor Michael W. McConnell of Stanford University for his book, The President Who Would Not Be King: Executive Power Under the Constitution (Princeton University Press, 2020).
Adopted in 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment profoundly changed the Constitution, giving the federal judiciary and Congress new powers to protect the fundamental rights of individuals from being violated by the states. Yet, according to Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick, the Supreme Court has long misunderstood or ignored the original meaning of the amendment’s key clauses, covering the privileges and immunities of citizenship, due process of law, and the equal protection of the laws.
Barnett and Bernick contend that the Fourteenth Amendment was the culmination of decades of debates about the meaning of the antebellum Constitution. Antislavery advocates advanced arguments informed by natural rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the common law. They also utilized what is today called public-meaning originalism. Although their arguments lost in the courts, the Republican Party was formed to advance an antislavery political agenda, eventually bringing about abolition. Then, when abolition alone proved insufficient to thwart Southern repression and provide for civil equality, the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted. It went beyond abolition to enshrine in the Constitution the concept of Republican citizenship and granted Congress power to protect fundamental rights and ensure equality before the law. Finally, Congress used its powers to pass Reconstruction-era civil rights laws that tell us much about the original scope of the Amendment.
With evenhanded attention to primary sources, The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment shows how the principles of the Declaration eventually came to modify the Constitution and proposes workable doctrines for implementing the key provisions of Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment.
On Thursday evening December 2nd, 2021, Dean William M. Treanor will deliver the Eighth Annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture commemorating the Constitutional Contributions of Gouverneur Morris. Cosponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society, the lecture will be hosted by a Justice of the Supreme Court. The next day, Friday, December 3rd, 2021 we will hold our all-day Eighth Annual Faculty Colloquium at Georgetown Law.
The Georgetown Center for the Constitution announced it will award its fourth annual Thomas Cooley Book Prize of $50,000 to Professor Sean Wilentz of Princeton University for his book, No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding (Harvard University Press, 2018).