Lectures & Events

Constitutional Studies minor

Most events are related to or sponsored by the Consitituional Studies minor, the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and American Public Life, the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies, and the Program on Constitutional Structure. Others may be posted as being of relevant interest to those in these respective programs. We hope you can join us!

Upcoming Lectures & Events

Recent Lectures & Events

Past Lectures & Events

Political Science Events


Upcoming Lectures & Events

A lecture that might be of interest:


Senator Rick Santorum
"Blue Collar Conservatism & The Future of American Politics"
Wednesday, Septmber 17
5:00 pm
Hesburgh Library's Carey Auditorium







Professors for Lunch
"Beyond Liberalism and Culture Wars: A More Inclusive Pluralism"

By George Marsden, History Emeritus
Respondents: Mark Noll, History, and John O'Callaghan, Philosophy
Moderated by: Patrick Deneen, Political Science

Friday, September 19
Oak Room at South DH
Lunch is Provided!

Recent Lectures & Events


Friday, April 25 - Professors SENIORS for Lunch
“Exit Interviews: What Seniors Wish They Knew Freshman Year”

A student-led panel discussion, featuring:  Sarah McGough, Will Miller, Luke Pardue, and Tori Roeck. Moderated by AnnaLee Rice.

Sponsored by the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and Public Life AND the Notre Dame Discernment Coalition

Thursday, March 20:  "Catholics in an Unfamiliar America"
George Weigel

Friday, March 21 - Professors for Lunch: "What Does It Mean to Be A Catholic University?”

A panel discussion featuring: Patrick Deneen (Political Science), Fr. Swan McGraw (Political Science), and Tim O'Malley (Theology)

Monday, March 17th
"Marriage, the Church, and the Common Good: Philosophical, Pastoral, and Social Reflections"


How could (or should) Catholics faithful to the Magisterium promote a conjugal understanding of marriage in contemporary American culture? Which routes are most or least promising? Why, if at all, do Catholics have a stake in promoting and upholding the civil institution of marriage as a matter of the common good of society?

Sherif Girgis, co-author of What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, JD candidate at Yale and PhD candidate in philosophy at Princeton;
Ryan T. Anderson, co-author of What is Marriage?, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, and PhD candidate in political science at Notre Dame;
Ron Belgau, graduate student in Philosophy at Saint Louis University, founder of website Spiritual Friendship;
Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD (economics, University of Rochester), Founder and President of the Ruth Institute

Watch the discussion here!

Wednesday, February 12 - "Providentialism and Politics: On Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address"

Thursday, February 6 -"Clarence Thomas and the Jurisprudence of Constitutional Restoration"
Ralph A. Rossum, Ph.D (Claremont McKenna)
with commentary by Donald Drakeman

Tuesday, February 4 - "Where Do New Medicines Come From? And Why Are There 4000 Biotech Companies?"
by Donald Drakeman, Chairman of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

Saturday, November 23 - Arts & Letters Saturday Scholar Series
“Did Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Cost Him the White House?: Stained Glass Ceilings and American Politics”

David Campbell, professor, Department of Political Science; director, Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy
Vincent Phillip Muñoz, associate professor, Department of Political Science; concurrent associate professor of law; director, Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and American Public Life; director, David Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies
Matthew S. Holland, president, Utah Valley University

Watch the presentation below, or click here

Thursday, November 14, 2013
"Are Legislative Prayers Unconstitutional? The Current Supreme Court and the Future of the Establishment Clause"

Debate featuring Gerry Bradley (ND Law) and Christopher Lund (Wayne State Law)

Watch below, or click here.

November 7, 2013
Benjamin Kleinerman
"Lincoln's Executive Discretion: The Preservation of Political Constitutionalism"

October 11, 2013
Rogers Smith
"Immigration and American Identity in the 21st Century"


"Religious Freedom Under Obamacare:  Can and Should For-Profit Businesses Claim Conscientious Objector Status?"

Thursday, September 19 - Notre Dame Law School
5:00 pm -Mass, Law School Chapel, Biolchini Hall of Law
5:45 pm - New Gods on the Public Square by William McGurn, '80, in the McCartan Courtroom
7:30 pm - Reception, Eck Commons (2nd Floor)

Watch the lecture:

Friday, September 20 - South Dining Hall Oak Room
8:00 am -  Mass, Holy Cross Chapel, Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering
9:00 am - The HHS Lawsuites & the For-Profit Business (Panel Discussion)
10:30 am - The HHS Mandate and the Ethical Responsibilities of the Business Owner (Panel Discussion)
12:00 PM - The Future Costs of Obamacare by Bishop Robert Morlino, Diocese of Madison



The 2013 Notre Dame Symposium is sponsored by the Notre Dame Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and Public Life, the Napa Institute, The Henkles Lecture Fund, The Potenziani Program in Consitutional Studies, and The Center for Ethics and Culture.

"Can Notre Dame Women Have it All?  Career, Family, and the Pursuit of Post-graduation Happiness"
Muffet McGraw, Head Coach for ND Women's Basketball
Prof. Susan Pratt Rosato, Political Science
Dr. Mary O'Callaghan, Co-founder of InForming Life
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013

"The Moral Case for Free Enterprise"
Dr. Arthur Brooks
President of AEI
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

Watch this lecture:

“How to Be a Free People”
Prof. Richard Elkins
Lecture by Richard Ekins, Tutorial Fellow in Law at St. John’s College, University of Oxford.  
Sponsored by the Natural Law Institute
Wednesday, April 17

"Entrepreneurship:  Nature, Vocation and Law"
Fr. Sirico (Acton Institute)
Co-sponsored by the Federalist Society
Tuesday, April 16

"The Religious Roots of the First Amendment"
Nicholas P. Miller (Andrews University)
with a comment by Donald Drakeman
Part of the 2012-13 Mellon-ISLA Interdisciplinary Workshop: Religious Freedoms, Modern Contexts
Co-Sponsored by the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and American Public Life
Tuesday, April 2

"Religious Liberty in Western and Islamic Law: Toward a World Legal Tradtition"
Kristine Kalanges (ND Law)
with a response by Daniel Philpott (ND Political Science/Peace Studies)
Part of the 2012-13 Mellon-ISLA Interdisciplinary Workshop: Religious Freedoms, Modern Contexts
Co-Sponsored by the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and American Public Life
Monday, March 25

Political Theory Colloquium:
"Defining Genoicide"
Ernesto Verdeja (ND)
Friday, March 22

"America's Upside-down Constitution"
Michael S. Greve (George Mason University School of Law)
Tuesday, March 19
Co-sponsored by the Federalist Society

people_smith_steven"Lincoln's Constitution"
Steven Smith (Yale)
Tuesday, February 12

Steven Smith’s talk was based on the 2012 book The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, which he edited. Abraham Lincoln never wrote a book: his ideas are contained in speeches, letters, and occasional writings. By bringing these works together into a single anthology, Smith shows that Lincoln deserves to be counted among the great political philosophers.

This lecture in the news!

Watch this lecture on Lincoln:


Professors for Lunch - Spring Series

"Why Choose the Liberal Arts?"
Mark Roche (ND German)
Friday, February 8

Watch this lecture on the Liberal Arts:

"Is Promoting Democracy in the Middle East a Mistake?"


John Agresto
Co-sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies
Thursday, January 17


This lecture In the Observer!

This lecture in the Irish Rover!

Watch this lecture:

Professors for Lunch - Spring Series

“Roe at 40: The Supreme Court, Abortion, and the Culture War that Followed”
On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Amy Barrett (ND Law)
Friday, January 18

This lecture in the Observer!

This lecture in the Irish Rover!

Political Theory Workshop

Costica Bradatan (NDIAS):
Friday, November 30

"The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock"

Keynote Speaker: Former Representative Thomas Allen (D-ME)
Friday, November 16 

Saturday, November 10:  John Tomasi (Brown)

Part of the Center for Ethics and Culture Fall Conference

"America's Unwritten Constitution:  The Precedents and Principles We Live By"

Akhil Amar (Yale)
Friday, November 2

Sponsored by the Notre Dame Law Program on Constitutional Structure and the Constitutional Studies Minor.

Information about Amar's book can be found here.

"More Equal Than Others: Fisher v. Texas and Preferential Admissions"

Ilya Shapiro and Melvin Butch Hollowell

Watch this lecture!


“Do We Truly Believe in Diversity?  Religious Pluralism and Democratic Freedom”

Stephen Monsma (Calvin College)-Friday, October 26

Sponsored by the Tocqueville Program, the Rooney Center, and the Center for the Study of Religion and Society

"Adam Smith:  From Love to Sympathy"

Ryan Patrick Hanley - October 4

The Ethics and Law of the Use of Military

Michael Lewis  -  September 26

Sponsored by the Notre Dame Federalist Society and the Constitutional Studies Program


"Professors for Lunch" Series:  Faculty panel on HHS mandate - September 21

"Why is ND Suing the Obama Administration to Protect Religious Freedom? And Should it Be Doing So?"
ND Faculty:  Ann Astell (Theology),  Gerry Bradley (Law), Mary D'Angelo (Theology), and Mark Noll (History).
Co-sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Studies and the Dean's Fellows

Watch this lecture!

Barry Cushman

Constitution Day Lecture: “Obamacare, the Supreme Court, and the Lost Generation of Child Labor Reform”

Barry Cushman (ND) - September 18:
Co-sponsored by the Constitutional Studies Minor and the Notre Dame Program on Constitutional Structure, with support from the Office of Research

Watch this lecture!




"I am the Change" Charles R. Kesler
“Barack Obama and the Crisis of American Liberalism”  Charles Kesler (Claremont McKenna) - September 13

Discussing his newly published book  I Am the Change:  Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism
Sponsored by the Notre Dame Federalist Society and the Constitutional Studies Program

This lecture in the news!

Watch this lecture!


The Conservative Case for and against Gay Marriage with Dale Carpenter and John Finnis - September 10
Sponsored by the Notre Dame Federalist Society and the Constitutional Studies Program

O. Carter Snead"Professors for Lunch" with Carter Snead  (ND)  -  Friday, September 7

"The HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom”
A discussion about the Department of Health and Human Services “contraception mandate” and how it impacts the religious freedom of religious institutions, such as The University of Notre Dame.

Co-sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Studies and the Dean's Fellows

This lecture in the news!

Watch this lecture!

Daniel Philpott
"Professors for Lunch" with­ Dan Philpott (ND) - Friday, August 31

"Reconciliation in Politics?  On The Meaning of Justice in the Wake Of Massive Injustice."
With panelists Margaret Pfeil (Theology) and Paolo Carozza (Law)

This lecture in the news!

About Professor Philpott's new book Just and Unjust Peace

Watch Dr. Philpott's lecture!


Past Lectures & Events

"Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics" --Wednesday, April 25th
Ross Douthat, New York Times Columnist
"The Latter-day Saints Come Marching In: Mormonism Abroad and At Home in the 21st Century.”--Tuesday, April 24th
Elder Bruce Porter
"Federalism and Subsidiarity" -- Thursday, April 19th
Professor Steven Calabresi from Northwestern University
Commentary by A.J. Bellia
"Why Choose the Liberal Arts?"  -- Friday, March 30th
Panel of:  Michael Zuckert,Kevin Burke and Kevin Flannery
"Structural Restraints: Low Level Waste, Civics Lessons, or Something More" -- Thursday, March 29th
John Finnis
 "Originalism and the Rule of Law"  -- Tuesday, March 27th
Johnathan O'Neill, Associate Professor of History, Georgia Southern University
"Death Sentence for the Life Sciences? How the Humanities Can Save Biomedical Research and the Pharmaceutical Industry" -- Monday, March 26th
Don Drakeman, Princeton
 “Aristotle’s Political Science and The Problem of the Regime”  -- Friday, March 23rd
Susan Collins, University of Houston
"Civic Freedom and Reverence for Law: The Legacy of Ancient Sparta" -- Thursday, March 22nd
Susan Collins, University of Houston
"Harry Truman and the Bomb"  -  Thursday, February 16th
David Solomn, Wilson Miscamble, Michael Baxter