Edwin Meese III Originalism Lecture
The Heritage Foundation is honored to announce that Professor Kurt Lash, the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Richmond School of Law, will deliver this year's Edwin Meese III Originalism Lecture for his speech titled, “Originalism and Fixing the Fourteenth Amendment.”This annual lecture seeks to honor former Attorney General Ed Meese’s legacy of advancing an understanding and jurisprudence of originalism. When the Framers wrote the Constitution, “Their intention was to write a document not just for their times but for posterity,” Meese said in a 1985 speech to the D.C. Chapter of the Federalist Society Lawyers Division. Meese reiterated the theme of Original Intention in several speeches, warning of the danger of “seeing the Constitution as an empty vessel into which each generation may pour its passion and prejudice.” The Great Debate that he launched over three decades ago placed the idea of judicial originalism at the center of American jurisprudence and fundamentally altered the constitutional landscape of this nation.Today, originalism is no longer a novel concept; instead, it is now widely embraced in legal circles, including academia and the judiciary. Building on the work of Ed Meese, this lecture aims to continue the conversation he started and examine new trends and themes in originalist thought today. Please join us for our second annual lecture.Professor Kurt Lash: Professor Lash is the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Richmond where he teaches and writes about constitutional law. He is also the founder and director of the Richmond Program on the American Constitution. He has published numerous works on the subjects of constitutional history, theory, and law, including The Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges or Immunities of American Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2014), The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment (Oxford University Press, 2009), and The American First Amendment in the Twenty-first Century: Cases and Materials (with William W. Van Alstyne) (5th ed., Foundation Press). In 2021, University of Chicago Press published Professor Lash’s two-volume collection of original documents relating to the framing and ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Titled The Reconstruction Amendments: Essential Documents, the collection is the first of its kind. He is currently working on A Troubled Birth of Freedom: The Struggle to Amend the Constitution in the Aftermath of the Civil War (forthcoming, Yale University Press).