Three constitutional conversations look at the Bill of Rights’ creation, the lives of James Madison, and the state of the First Amendment on Bill of Rights Day 2017.
Gerard Magliocca: How the Bill of Rights Become the Bill of Rights
Constitutional law expert Gerard Magliocca tells the untold story of the most celebrated part of the Constitution as described in his book, The Heart of the Constitution. We are accustomed to seeing the Bill of Rights at the end of the Constitution, but Madison wanted to put them in the middle of the document. Why was his plan rejected and what impact did that have on constitutional law? Today we also venerate the first 10 amendments as the Bill of Rights, but many Supreme Court opinions say that only the first eight or first nine amendments. Why was that and why did that change?
Noah Feldman: The Three Lives of James Madison
Harvard professor of law Noah Feldman unveils The Three Lives of James Madison — a sweeping reexamination of the Founding Father who transformed the U.S. in each of his political “lives”— as a revolutionary thinker, as a partisan political strategist, and as a president. Feldman explores how his collaborations, struggles, and contradictions define the U.S. to this day.
Anita Bernstein, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, Jeffrey Herbst, former president of the Newseum, and Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, join Michael Gerhardt, scholar-in-residence at the National Constitution Center, for a special Bill of Rights Day discussion on the state of the First Amendment today.