September 09, 2013


By Kathryn Kopchik

Keith WhittingtonLEWISBURG, Pa. — Keith E. Whittington will give the talk, "Is the Constitution a Cage?" Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is held in celebration of Constitution Day. It is co-sponsored by the Putterman Lecture Series and the Legal Studies program at Bucknell.

In his talk, Whittington will explore such questions as "What authority does an inherited constitution have for the current generation? and How do we live with a relatively inflexible constitutional text?"

Whittington, who is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University, also serves as director of graduate studies in the department of politics.

He is the author of several books including Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning; Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent and Judicial Review; and Political Foundation of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History, which won the C. Herman Pritchett ward for best book in law and courts and the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history.

Whittington has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, federalism, judicial politics, and the presidency. He is editor (with Gerald Leonard) of New Essays on American Constitutional History and editor (with Maeva Marcus, Melvin Urofsky and Mark Tushnet) of the Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution.

Constitution Day was proposed in 2004 by Sen. Robert C. Byrd as a way to ensure that students gain an increased knowledge and appreciation for this valuable and important document of freedom. Congress declared Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, commemorating the day the document was adopted in 1787.

The Putterman Lecture was established by Arnold L. Putterman, a 1960 Bucknell graduate. The lecture is intended to address prominent current issues with a specific focus on politics, government and/or the economy.

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