348 S. Fifth Street Highlands NC 28741 US

Start date: Monday, August 5 2024.


 On Monday, August 5, 2024, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Resource person: Audra Bullard - office@clehighlands.com


Debate about constitutional interpretation has been ongoing since 1803 when the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison ruled that it had the power to declare a law unconstitutional. Over more than two hundred years, the same constitutional text has been construed to yield diametrically opposite results. Compare Plessy v. Ferguson with Brown v. Board of Education, only one among many examples. If the constitutional text is unchanged, how do you explain the interpretive ebb and flow? According to one school of thought, these interpretive swings are due to the predilections and whims of individual judges. Critics of this phenomenon argue that the interpretive focus should be on the text of the constitution and original intent underlying the text. Only through this approach – “originalism” in today’s legal parlance – can an unelected Supreme Court’s proper role be brought into alignment with the other branches of government – both federal and state. In his presentation, Professor Lasser will explore this important subject in the context of the Second Amendment and the growing number of challenges to legislation imposing restrictions on gun rights. Does originalism live up to its billing?

Presenter: William Lasser is the Director of the Clemson Honors College and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Clemson University. A graduate of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is the author of numerous books and articles on law and American politics, including The Supreme Court and Critical Realignment; The Limits of Judicial Power: the Supreme Court and American Politics; Benjamin Cohen: Architect of the New Deal; The Supreme Court and the Political Process; and Was There a Switch in Time: Justice Roberts and the Constitutional Revolution of 1937. He has written extensively for the Atlanta Constitution and other newspapers and has made numerous appearances on radio talk shows and on local and cable television. Lasser has taught courses in constitutional law and American government for the past 25 years. His research interests include the politics of the United States Supreme Court; the relationship between the Court, the electoral process, and other institutions of government; history and politics of the New Deal; American political development; and political thought of the Framers.

Notes: Cancellation Policy Please let us know immediately if you are unable to attend a class. There is no refund for cancellations within two (2) weeks prior to a scheduled class. Programs that include food, beverage or art materials must be canceled within three (3) weeks prior to receive a refund. CLE reserves the right to cancel a program if the minimum enrollment has not been met or for circumstances beyond our control, and participants will be notified, a complete refund will be issued. All classes are held in the CLE Lecture Hall at the Peggy Crosby Center unless otherwise noted. In the event information has changed from the published brochure, it will be posted on our website and in our e-blasts. Addresses for “private home” venues will be provided to registrants within 2 days of the program date.

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