Hot Topics 2021

Open to Interpretation: The Constitution

Wed May 19, 2021
6 PM - 7 PM
Zoom Webinar

The United States Constitution is the oldest and shortest constitution of any government in the world. It established three co-equal branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. In doing so, it created a system of checks and balances. In the 234 years since ratification, the Constitution has been amended 27 times. Questions about what is and is not constitutional have raged ever since.

The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is–and is not–constitutional. The Supreme Court carved out the role of judicial review in 1803 in the case Marbury vs. Madison, which established that the courts have the authority to strike down laws, statutes and government actions the court decides are unconstitutional. Since then, various schools of thought regarding how to interpret the Constitution have emerged, from originalists to pragmatists.

The Vail Symposium brings together three legal minds to discuss constitutional interpretations of current legal issues–Professor Keith Whittington, Professor Stephen Vladeck and moderator Attorney Rohn Robbins. In this wide-ranging examination of current judicial interpretation, the panel will address a variety of constitutional issues such as the Electoral College, freedom of speech, executive orders, the separation of war powers and how much power has drifted to the Executive Branch over the last 75 years through congressional and judicial abdication.

Event SPEAKER(S)

Rohn Robbins

Rohn Robbins

Attorney - Family Law

Caplan & Earnest

Keith E. Whittington

Keith E. Whittington

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics

Princeton University

Stephen I. Vladeck

Stephen I. Vladeck

Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts

University of Texas School of Law