Membership in the Student Fellows Program provides special access to activities such as lunchtime conversations with the nation’s leading experts on constitutional law, discussions with authors in a Recent Books on the Constitution series, and private meetings with speakers prior to co-sponsored Center events.

As a member of the Student Fellows Program, students are invited to attend the Center’s annual Salmon P. Chase Lecture at the United States Supreme Court.

To become a Student Fellow, students are required to attend three Center-sponsored events annually. All events require an advance registration with your GU email. Registration links are available for each event on our Facebook Events page and at the following Google Form:

For more information on becoming a Student Fellow or to join our mailing list, please send an email to or stop by McDonough 423.


Events for Fall 2021:

A Glorious Liberty: Frederick Douglass and the Fight for an Antislavery Constitution

Wednesday September 29 | 12:00 PM EST | McDonough 201

Damon Root

*lunch will be provided*

In this timely and provocative book, Damon Root reveals how Frederick Douglass’s fight for an antislavery Constitution helped to shape the course of American history in the nineteenth century and beyond. At a time when the principles of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were under assault, Frederick Douglass picked up their banner, championing inalienable rights for all, regardless of race. When Americans were killing each other on the battlefield, Douglass fought for a cause greater than the mere preservation of the Union. “No war but an Abolition war,” he maintained. “No peace but an Abolition peace.” In the aftermath of the Civil War, when state and local governments were violating the rights of the recently emancipated, Douglass preached the importance of “the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box” in the struggle against Jim Crow


The Administrative State and the Founders’ Vision of Constitutional Administration

Wednesday October 27 | 11:45 PM EST | McDonough 201

Adam White

*lunch will be provided*

Join Professor 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.”



Book Launch: The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit

Tuesday November 2 | 12:15 PM EST | McDonough 110

Professor Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law

C0-Sponsored by the Federalist Society

*lunch will be provided*

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.


The Antifederalists and the Creation of the Constitution

Monday November 15 | 3:00 PM EST | McDonough 200

Derek Webb, Sidley Austin (GULC Alum)

*lunch will be provided*

Join Georgetown Law alumni Derek Webb for a discussion of his forthcoming book on the Antifederalists in McDonough 200. Lunch will be provided.
Mr. Webb is an associate in the Supreme Court and Appellate and Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice groups at Sidley. Previously, he was a fellow in Stanford Law School’s Constitutional Law Center where he taught a seminar called “Reading the Constitution” and successfully assisted with litigation on behalf of California raisin growers that reached the Supreme Court in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, 133 S. Ct. 2053 (2013).





Previous Events