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A Debt Against the Living

Tuesday, February 06, 2018,
  • Location: Vanderbilt Law School • 131 21st Ave South • Nashville, TN 37203
  • Room: Flynn Auditorium

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that the earth belongs to the living. His letter to James Madison is often quoted for the proposition that we should not be bound to the "dead hand of the past", suggesting that the Constitution should instead be interpreted as a living, breathing document. Less well-known is Madison's response, in which he said the improvements made by the dead - including the US Constitution - form a debt against the living, who benefit from them.

Join the Federalist Society as Ilan Wurman introduces Madison's concept of originalism to a new generation and shows how it has shaped the US Supreme Court in ways that are expected to continue following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Ilan WurmanIlan Wurman is a litigation associate at Winston & Strawn. He also previously served as the deputy general counsel of a presidential campaign and, prior to joining the firm, was associate counsel on Senator Tom Cotton’s U.S. Senate campaign in Little Rock, Arkansas and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerry E. Smith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

This event is free and open to the public; lunch will be served.

Visitors should park in the Terrace Place Garage, spaces 41-92, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Terrace Place, or the Wesley Place Garage, spaces 52-170, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Scarritt Place.  Parking costs range from $4.00 to $12.00 at these garages.  Both are within walking distance of the law school.