Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium
In this lecture, Robert P. George explores the history of
judicial interventions in the American democratic process to
attempt to resolve divisive, morally charged issues of social
policy. While defending the legitimacy of constitutional judicial
review as a means of protecting the rule of law, Professor George
criticizes the Supreme Court for frequently usurping powers
allocated by the Constitution to the people acting through their
elected representatives. He proposes answers to some common
arguments advanced by proponents of sweeping judicial power to
justify its exercise. Among the questions he addresses are those
raised by judicial interference with Congressional efforts to ban
slavery in the federal territories prior to the civil war; state
and federal legislation to protect workers in the early decades of
the twentieth century; and contemporary state and federal laws
pertaining to abortion, pornography, and marriage.
Professor George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, and
Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and
Institutions, at Princeton University. In addition to being the
author of several books, most recently The Clash of
Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis, Dr. George
is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and previously
served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
More About the Speakers
Robert P. George, Ph.D.
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence,
Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.
Vice President, American Studies and Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics