Q&A Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick

Professors Randy Barnett and Evan Bernick argued that the 14th Amendment, which gave the federal judiciary and Congress new powers over the states, has been misinterpreted by conservative and liberal judges alike since its adoption in 1868.

U.S. Supreme Court 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases

Professor Randy Barnett talked about the U.S. Supreme Court Slaughterhouse Cases. In the series of cases, the Supreme Court upheld a monopoly of slaughterhouses in New Orleans to protect public health and sanitation. The Slaughterhouse Cases were the first cases in which the court commented on the meaning of the 14th Amendment.

Constitutional Interpretation

Law professors Randy Barnett of Georgetown University and Richard Primus of the University of Michigan explored different interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. They are introduced by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The event in the Supreme Court chamber was co-hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Our Republican Constitution

Professor Randy Barnett talked about his book Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People, in which he argues that the disagreement between Democrats and Republicans is based on their differing interpretations of the Constitution and the meaning of the phrase “We the People.”

Lochner v. New York Supreme Court Case

The Supreme Court Historical Society hosts a discussion among authors and academics on the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case Lochner v. New York. In the decision, the Court ruled a New York law limiting the number of hours a baker could work violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed “liberty of contract.” The decision ushered in what’s know in legal history as the “Lochner Era,” with the Court striking down many state and federal regulations on working conditions over a three decade period. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer introduces this event.

Restoring the Lost Constitution

Professor Randy Barnett talked about his book, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty, in which he argues that for many decades, U.S. courts have failed uphold the parts of the Constitution that protect our liberties. This interview, part of Book TV’s College Series, was recorded at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.