Notre Dame: Original Meaning or Framers’ Intent?

Constitutional Studies Program: “Original Meaning or Framers’ Intent? A New Book and an Age-Old Debate”


On April 15, 2021, Notre Dame’s own Donald Drakeman will participate in a virtual discussion of his new book, The Hollow Core of Constitutional Theory: Why We Need the Framers, with Lawrence Solum (UVA) and Keith Whittington (Princeton). All three will offer their views on the matters at hand in a discussion moderated by Judge Britt Grant of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12:00 PM, EDT
A virtual lecture through Zoom

Free and open to the public.

Click here to attend >>



Donald Drakeman is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Program in Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has written numerous articles and several books on law, religion, and constitutional interpretation. His scholarly work has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of the Philippines.  He has taught courses on constitutional topics at Princeton University and Notre Dame Law School. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Biology, and has served as a member of the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals.  He has also served as a member of the Boards of Trustees of Drew University, the University of Charleston, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

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Lawrence Solum is the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is an internationally recognized legal theorist who works in constitutional theory, procedure and the philosophy of law. Professor Solum contributes to debates in constitutional theory and normative legal theory. He is especially interested in the intersection of law with the philosophy of language and with moral and political philosophy. Prior to joining the UVA Law faculty in 2020, he was a member of the faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Illinois, the University of San Diego and Loyola Marymount University, and visited at Boston University and the University of Southern California. He regularly teaches Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law. His other teaching includes seminars in constitutional theory and the philosophy of law as well as courses in conflict of laws, federal courts, intellectual property and internet law and governance.

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Keith Whittington is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He received a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He is the author of many books, including: Speek Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech (Princeton University Press, 2018); American Political Thought: Readings and Materials (Oxford University Press, 2016); Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History (Princeton University Press, 2007); and has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, judicial politics, the presidency, and federalism.

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Judge Britt Grant serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was appointed to the federal bench in 2018 after serving as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia. Following her summa cum laude graduation from Wake Forest University, Judge Grant worked in the Washington, D.C. office of then-Congressman Nathan Deal. Shortly before September 11, 2001, she began serving in the White House under President George W. Bush. Following law school, she clerked for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C. Returning to Atlanta, Judge Grant served in the Office of the Georgia Attorney General and was appointed as Solicitor General before being named to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

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The Constitutional Studies Program, a JMC partner program, is a minor that seeks to educate students on constitutional governments and how they may be used to secure the common good. Thoughtful and educated citizens must possess certain virtues; they must understand and be able to implement, defend, and, if need be, reform constitutional institutions. By creating informed citizens, the program contributes to the University’s mission to pursue truth and to nurture a concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.

Learn more about the Constitutional Studies Program >>



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