Bill of Rights Day Symposium

Friday, December 15, 2017 • 10 A.M. - 1 P.M.

Free for Members
$5 Non-Members, Teachers & students
$100 Members w/ 3.0 credits of CLE
$110 Non-Members w/ 3.0 credits of CLE

Pre-order your copies of The Heart of the Constitution and The Three Lives of James Madison at check out for just $46.13.

Become a Member today to receive free admission for this program, discounted admission to evening Town Hall programs, and more! Click here to join and learn more or call 215-409-6767.

This year's Bill of Rights Day symposium features three back-to-back constitutional conversations.

10 A.M. • 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?

11 A.M. • 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.

12 P.M. • Featured Discussion

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 Constitution Center President Jeffrey Rosen, for a special Bill of Rights Day discussion on the state of the First Amendment today.

NEW! Program attendees can now pre-order books by featured Town Hall speakers with a 25% discount when registering. Pre-ordered books will be available for pickup at registration upon arrival. Additional copies will be available for sale at the museum on the day of the event.

This program has been approved for 3.0 credits of CLE in Pennsylvania. Please note, there is a fee of $100 for Members and $110 for Non-Members seeking CLE credit. Fees can be paid when reserving your seats.

Watch this America’s Town Hall program live at

Event & Parking Information

  • Registration is recommended for all programs. Call 215-409-6700 or click here to reserve your seats.
  • For faster check-in you can now present your eTicket at registration.
  • Seating begins one hour prior to program start time, and programs last approximately one hour unless otherwise noted. Programs begin promptly and latecomers may not be admitted.
  • Please note programs are subject to change; call the National Constitution Center or check our website for updated information.
  • Parking will be available for $9 at the National Constitution Center parking garage located at the rear of the building on Race Street between 5th and 6th streets on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up your discounted parking voucher at registration.

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