Volume 17

Authors’ Response: An Enquiry Concerning Constitutional Understanding

by Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman

One of Professor Lawson’s first students, alluding to a 1985 article with the provocative title “Why Professor [Marty] Redish Is Wrong about Abstention,” declared that his ambition was to inspire someone to write an article entitled “Why [the student] Is Wrong about XXX.” The student claimed that, regardless of what filled in the “XXX,” this event would be the pinnacle of academic accomplishment.

If that view is even close to the mark, then having an entire conference devoted to explaining why Professors Lawson and Seidman are wrong about the Constitution is an extraordinary honor. In all seriousness, we are genuinely flattered by the remarkable gathering convened at Georgetown University Law Center on April 20, 2018 to discuss our book, “A Great Power of Attorney”: Understanding the Fiduciary Constitution. We are profoundly grateful to the many participants at the conference, to the editors at the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, to Randy Barnett and the staff at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, and, most of all, to Suzanna Sherry, Richard Primus, Ethan Leib, Jed Shugerman, and John Mikhail for taking the time and energy to engage with our work. We truly wish we could have accessed their comments before sending our book to print, and we are delighted and honored to respond in this forum to their comments and to those of some of the other conference discussants.

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