Arizona State University: The Sound of the Third Hand Clapping

James Madison

School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership: “The Sound of the Third Hand Clapping”


The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University, a JMC partner program, and the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty hosted JMC faculty partner Michael Zuckert for a virtual lecture examining James Madison’s view of the necessary and proper clause:

Perhaps the most significant constitutional debate ever held in the US was over the meaning of the necessary and proper clause at the time of the proposal of the creation of a Bank of the United States in 1791. The Supreme Court gave an authoritative interpretation of this clause in the case of McCulloch v. Md., an interpretation containing a large opening toward very expansive federal powers. The court largely followed the opinion of Alexander Hamilton and rejected the contrary view of Thomas Jefferson. But a third view was ignored by the Court, that of James Madison, the father of the Constitution. This view, Zuckert argues, was very different from both Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s and was the constitutionally correct view. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 • 4:30 PM
Virtual • Zoom connectivity instructions to be received upon registration

Free and open to the public

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Michael ZuckertMichael Zuckert is the Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science, Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, Visiting Scholar at Arizona State University, and Founding Editor of American Political Thought. Professor Zuckert taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Political Philosophy and Theory, American Political Thought, American Constitutional Law, American Constitutional History, Constitutional Theory, and Philosophy of Law. He has published extensively on a variety of topics, including George Orwell, Plato, Shakespeare, and contemporary liberal theory and is currently completing Natural rights and the New Constitutionalism, a study of American constitutionalism in a theoretical context.

Professor Zuckert is a JMC faculty partner.

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The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University seeks to introduce a new level of debate over the large questions of life that always arise. These are questions of value: What is the best form of government? The most efficient and just economy? The good life for an individual? And also basic questions of fact and concept: Is science the only kind of knowledge? Does history have a direction and purpose? Is moral choice a fact or delusion? These questions do not have easy answers, and indeed the questions have always been clearer than the answers. As a learning community of faculty and students, the school approaches them in two ways. One way is to look beyond the time and borders of our present society to the great thinkers who have contended for the high status of teachers of humanity, such as Homer, Dante and Shakespeare. The other way of studying the fundamental questions is to look within to American leaders, both intellectual and political, who have inspired us.

Learn more about the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership >>



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