Sanford Levinson, "An Argument Open to All: Reading The Federalist in the 21st Century"

With commentary by Professor Sal Churi

In An Argument Open to All, renowned legal scholar Sanford Levinson takes a novel approach to what is perhaps America’s most famous political tract. Rather than concern himself with the authors as historical figures, or how The Federalist helps us understand the original intent of the framers of the Constitution, Levinson examines each essay for the political wisdom it can offer us today. In eighty-five short essays, each keyed to a different essay in The Federalist, he considers such questions as whether present generations can rethink their constitutional arrangements; how much effort we should exert to preserve America’s traditional culture; and whether The Federalist’s arguments even suggest the desirability of world government.

Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, joined the University of Texas Law School in 1980. Previously a member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, he is also a Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. Levinson is the author of approximately 400 articles, book reviews, or commentaries in professional and popular journals--and a regular contributor to the popular blog Balkinization.

Salen Churi is Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and the Bluhm-Helfand Director and founder of the Innovation Clinic. Prior to founding the Innovation Clinic, Salen served as Associate Director of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School. Previously, he practiced corporate law at Sidley Austin and Kirkland & Ellis, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and technology transactions. He received a BA cum laude from Miami University and a JD with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

Presented on December 3, 2015, by the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society.