Rule of Law

Still Laying Claim


Wednesday, September 29, 2021
5:00 pm
Constitutional Accountability Center

In 2011, a few years after the founding of the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC), we published Professor James E. Ryan’s Laying Claim to the Constitution: The Promise of New Textualism, which explained why originalism—if applied with honesty and rigor—could be invaluable for progressive advocates, scholars, and policymakers. In brief, CAC believes that fidelity to the text of the whole Constitution supports outcomes that many progressives desire. Given originalism’s conservative associations, the ideas in the publication were first greeted with considerable puzzlement.

But a decade later, much has changed.  Conversations about methodology have shifted for numerous reasons, including a profound change in the composition of the federal bench. What appeal can originalism hold for progressives in 2021? How does it apply in a concrete way to key issues?  How does true fidelity to text play out when we are talking about statutes rather than the Constitution?

Join us for a conversation that explores these questions, and that explains why we still need to lay claim to the Constitution. The panel discussion will feature three experts who authored new essays accompanying a 2021 reissue of Laying Claim:

The conversation will be moderated by CAC Vice President Praveen Fernandes.

Closed captioning will be available for registered guests**