Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that the earth belongs to the living. His letter to James Madison is often quoted for the proposition that we should not be bound to the 'dead hand of the past', suggesting that the Constitution should instead be interpreted as a living, breathing document. Less well-known is Madison's response, in which he said the improvements made by the dead – including the U.S. Constitution – form a debt against the living, who benefit from them. In his new book, Ilan Wurman introduces Madison's concept of originalism to a new generation and shows how it has shaped the U.S. Supreme Court in ways that are expected to continue following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the theory's leading proponents.
Join us for an evening book discussion with Ilan Wurman, Claremont Fellowship alumnus and author of A Debt Against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism, examining the implications of “originalism” and how the framework of the Founders can be preserved today.
Books will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.
6:00 p.m. Doors Open | 6:30 p.m. Discussion | Reception Following