Learn more about the U.S. Constitution from one of the leading constitutional scholars in the United States.
Akhil Reed Amar, the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, will give a lecture titled "The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic (with Special Emphasis on Iowa)" for Constitution Day at Grinnell College.
His talk begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.
Amar's lecture is based on his recently published book, "The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic." He will examine the role geography, federalism and regionalism have played in constitutional law, focusing on a landmark case that originated in Iowa, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.
In 1965 Mary Beth Tinker and other Des Moines students decided to wear black armbands to school to protest U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. School officials learned of the protest plans and quickly adopted a no-armband rule. Nevertheless the students wore the armbands to school and were suspended for violating school policy.
Represented by the ACLU, the students sued, claiming violation of their First Amendment rights. A lengthy court battle ensued, culminating in the 1969 Supreme Court ruling in the Tinker case that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."
His visit is sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.
Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.
Akhil Reed Amar
Professor Amar teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School, where he received Yale's highest teaching honor, the DeVane Medal, in 2008. His work has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices from both ends of the spectrum in more than 30 cases and he is regularly invited to testify before Congress at the request of both Republicans and Democrats.
The author of six books, Amar has also contributed to several popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic and Slate. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.