Natural Rights, Enumerated Rights, and the Ninth Amendment

October 15, 2008
Speaker: Michael W. McConnell, Presidential Professor of Law, Judge, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Summary: The Sumner Canary Lecture
When faced with drafting a Bill of Rights, members of the First Congress were faced with an impossible problem: what to include and what to leave out. Lockean theory told them that after construction of a social compact, such as the Constitution, the people would retain all rights not relinquished to the state. But what was the legal status of those retained rights, and how would they be affected by the explicit enumeration of some but not all of them?

Michael W. McConnell joined the faculty of S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1997 after teaching at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years, where he was William B. Graham Professor of Law. Prior to his teaching career, Professor McConnell served as assistant to the solicitor general with the U.S. Department of Justice, assistant general counsel for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and clerked for Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright, of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He also served a clerkship with U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. Among the country’s most distinguished scholars in the fields of constitutional law and theory with a specialty in the religion clauses of the First Amendment, Professor McConnell has argued 11 times before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is widely published in the areas of church-state relations and the First Amendment. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was sworn in as a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on January 3, 2003.

Professor McConnell teaches constitutional law, family law, state and local government, religion and the First Amendment.

Duration : 1:8:21

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Road Map for Control of Terrorism in India

Road Map for control of terrorism in India The growing menace of terrorism poses a formidable challenge to the civil society bringing civilization on the brink of disaster. It is needless to elucidate that loss of innocent lives in terrorist activities and trauma it has resulted in the society propelled me to write this article […]

Constitutional Law – Standing – Supreme Bar Review

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Duration : 0:2:46

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Constitutional law?

It is being rumoured in the media that Andy, the Prime Minister, has been appointing people to money- making public office in return for political and (especially) financial support. The recent appointment of Grant- who has no known experience or talent for the job- as chief controller of Her Majesty‚Äôs paperclips ( easy work, but […]

Bush & the War Power (1 of 2)

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Louis Fisher is a senior specialist in separation of powers with the Law Library of the Library of Congress. He began work with the Library of Congress in 1970 and served as research director of the House Iran-Contra Committee in 1987, writing major sections of the final report.

His books include President and Congress (1972), Presidential Spending Power (1975), The Constitution Between Friends (1978), The Politics of Shared Power (4th ed. 1998), Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President (4th ed. 1997), Constitutional Dialogues (1988), American Constitutional Law (6th ed. 2005), Presidential War Power (2d ed. 2004), Political Dynamics of Constitutional Law (with Neal Devins, 3d ed. 2001), Congressional Abdication on War and Spending (2000), Religious Liberty in America: Political Safeguards (2002), Nazi Saboteurs on Trial: A Military Tribunal & American Law (2003; 2d ed. 2005), The Politics of Executive Privilege (2004), The Democratic Constitution (with Neal Devins, 2004) and Military Tribunals and Presidential Power: American Revolution to the War on Terrorism (2005). His textbook in constitutional law is available in two paperbacks: Constitutional Structures: Separation of Powers and Federalism and Constitutional Rights: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. With Leonard W. Levy he edited the four-volume Encyclopedia of the American Presidency (1994). He has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award, the encyclopedia he co-edited was awarded the Dartmouth Medal, and in 1995 he received the Aaron B. Wildavsky Award For Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in Public Budgeting from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.

Duration : 0:9:49

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Duration : 0:9:59

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