Note: Welcome Classes of 1967 to 1973 … from the Class of ’69. We invite you to join us for an event we arranged as one of our periodic, Zoom-based “Class Colloquia” featuring Yale Faculty *or our own classmates) addressing topics of current interest.
On October 28th at 1:30 pm ET, we are hosting Yale Law Professor Akhil Amar, a noted constitutional scholar, who will talk about the Executive Branch and the US Constitution. What follows are the details of the program and a link to register for the event. We hope you can make it!
As this Covid-influenced season moves towards this year’s Fall Classic (The 2020 Election), our Class of ‘69 team is confident that its Colloquia lineup is getting even stronger in late season. We are delighted to extend membership to anyone in the Yale Boom group (Yale Classes of 1967 – 1973).
Our guest speaker holds the University’s unofficial triple crown: the Sterling Chair for scholarship, the DeVane Medal for teaching, and the Lamar Award for alumni service. He continues to set the standard for excellence.
Professor Amar offers his expertise on the topic that tantalizes and consumes all of us:
The Presidency, the Vice-Presidency, and the Constitution
He indicates that his research, especially into the Vice-Presidency, has uncovered trenchant insights and key concepts that promise to be meaningful and salient in a potential Biden administration, with the head of that ticket a former Vice-President and Senator Harris looming as a trailblazing choice. The current model of President and Vice-President, embodied by Donald Trump and Mike Pence, will be contrasted. Given Professor Amar’s reputation for compelling, entertaining and factual presentations, it promises to be a very lively event.
Our 6th Class Colloquium Zoom teleconference will feature Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar with compelling and thought-provoking observations about the Executive Branch — “The Presidency, the Vice-Presidency, and the Constitution.”
Furthermore, Professor Amar promises to address in his commentary and response to questions, and the central issue important to both the Left and the Right, namely: Expansion of Executive Authority.
Since World War II, the Executive branch has usurped and assumed authorities assigned by the Constitution to Congress. Consider:
- The growth in numbers and scope of Executive Orders;
- Signing statements that modify mandates central to Congressional Legislation when signed into law;
- The de facto use of “Commander in Chief” powers to effectively declare war, ignoring the War Powers Act.
- Usurping Congressional delegation of major decisions normally assigned to “independent” Commissions (e.g. FTC, FCC) and departments, whose assigned purpose is creating and implementing policies, on immigration, trade/tariffs, public health, monetary policy, banking regulation, and many more;
- Executive redirection of resources that Congress approved for one purpose (e.g., defense) for another (e.g., The Wall);
- Invoking the Insurrection and Sedition Acts to federalize martial intrusions and criminal prosecution of often peaceful protesters.
- Plenary power to pardon, most disturbingly in areas of potential Presidential misconduct;
- Unilaterally changing personnel in the Executive branch, circumventing Senate confirmations, invoking legislative restrictions( the Hatch Act), waiving required security clearances, dismissing Congressionally approved Inspectors General, appointments made absent appropriate training and qualification, etc.
Is the expansion of such Executive Authority, under any Administration, good for Democracy and Constitutional?
This expansion of Constitutionally granted powers seemingly stands in stark contrast to the ‘Originalist’ interpretation the current Executive has applied to judicial appointment and interpretation.
Scheduled just a week before the 2020 election, it is certain this topic will be HOT, and Professor Amar is the world-class expert to help our understanding!
Click to register for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation by email containing information about joining the meeting.
We will start promptly, so please JOIN the meeting 5-10 minutes early.
Breakout Session information: After the one-hour main session, we will use the Zoom “breakout rooms” to break into separate, 30-minute-ish meetings by college. There, you will be able to socialize with people from your residential college, as well as discuss anything arising from Reed’s remarks.
I hope you can attend. Don’t forget to register and mark your calendars.
Last, if you have any questions for our speaker, you can leave them on this quick-survey form.
About The Speaker
Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale College, summa cum laude, in 1980 and from Yale Law School in 1984, and clerking for then Judge (now Justice) Stephen Breyer, Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26.
His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than three dozen cases—tops in his generation. He regularly testifies before Congress at the invitation of both parties; and in surveys of judicial citations and/or scholarly citations, he invariably ranks among America’s five most-cited mid-career legal scholars.
- He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award.
- In 2008 he received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence.
- He has written widely for popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and The Atlantic.
- He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show, The West Wing, and his constitutional scholarship has been showcased on a wide range of broadcasts, including The Colbert Report, Up with Chris Hayes, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Morning Joe, AC360, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11th Hour with Brian Williams, Fox News @Night with Shannon Bream, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Erin Burnett Outfront, and Constitution USA with Peter Sagal.
- He is the author of dozens of law review articles and several books, including
- The Constitution and Criminal Procedure (1997),
- The Bill of Rights (1998—winner of the Yale University Press Governors’ Award),
- America’s Constitution (2005—winner of the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award),
- America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012—named one of the year’s 100 best nonfiction books by The Washington Post),
- The Law of the Land (2015), and
- The Constitution Today (2016—named one of the year’s top ten nonfiction books by Time magazine).
- In 2017 he received the Howard Lamar Award for outstanding service to Yale alumni. He is Yale’s only currently active professor to have won the University’s unofficial triple crown—the Sterling Chair for scholarship, the DeVane Medal for teaching, and the Lamar Award for alumni service.