The last day to register at the discounted early registration price for Front Range Objectivism’s Weekend Conference on Law, Individual Rights and the Judicial System is quickly approaching: It’s this Saturday, February 11th. Don’t miss your opportunity to save $75 on the conference fee!
The conference itself will be held on March 4-5, 2006 in Denver, Colorado. You can register by mail by following the instructions on the brochure. Or you can register online. Here’s the information from about the speakers and lectures from the web site:
Tara Smith, PhD, will open the conference with a lecture on Why Originalism Won’t Die: Common Mistakes in Competing Theories of Judicial Interpretation. In the debate over judicial interpretation of the Constitution, the theory of Originalism (advocated by Antonin Scalia, among others) has been subjected to seemingly fatal criticisms. Despite the exposure of flaws that would normally bury a theory, however, Originalism continues to attract tremendous support. What explains its resilient appeal? Why do many continue to regard it as the most reasonable basis for judicial interpretation? This lecture will answer these questions by identifying the fundamental weakness of the leading alternatives to Originalism and by demonstrating that the heart of Originalism’s appeal–its promise of judicial objectivity–is illusory. All camps in this debate, we will see, suffer from serious misunderstandings of the nature of objectivity.
Dana Berliner, JD, of the Institute for Justice, will present two lectures on Reading “Public Use” out of the Fifth Amendment: A Look at the Use of Eminent Domain for Private Parties in the United States. Eminent Domain, the power of government to take private property, is limited by the U.S. Constitution to “public use” and requires “just compensation” when property is taken. Without a proper understanding of the importance of property to individual rights, fuzzy language and exceptions have eroded the limitations on this governmental power. Part I will trace the history of the law of eminent domain, its inclusion in the Constitution, its subsequent interpretation by courts and other branches of government, and the relationship of the public use issue to the debate about “judicial activism” in the courts.
Part II will focus on more recent developments in the issue of eminent domain, covering the development and litigation of the Kelo case at the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on both the litigation strategy and the constitutional analysis in the majority, concurring and dissenting opinions. Ms. Berliner will also discuss the subsequent popular and political backlash, and show the difficulty of implementing philosophically consistent policy in legislation.
Eric Daniels, PhD, will discuss Unenumerated Rights: From Calder v. Bull to Lawrence v. Texas. The Founding Fathers intended to create a government to secure individual rights. They listed and laid out numerous rights in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but they also added the Ninth Amendment to guarantee “unenumerated rights.” What are these rights? How can they be protected? Has this been a successful means of protecting individual rights?
These two lectures will explore the history of the framing of the Ninth Amendment and the implementation of unenumerated rights in major court decisions from the Founding to the present. They will explore how individual rights–both enumerated and unenumerated–have fared under the changing philosophies of interpretation and theories of jurisprudence that American courts have embraced.
Amy Peikoff, JD, PhD, will give two lectures entitled Is There a Right to Privacy?, in which she will explain why she opposes the current legal recognition of a right to privacy. In the first lecture, she will discuss the history of the right to privacy in the United States, including descriptions of the cases in which a right to privacy has been recognized, and summaries of the main arguments given in favor of such a right. In her second lecture, Dr. Peikoff will present what she thinks is the proper approach to the legal protection of privacy, an approach based on Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
The conference will conclude on Sunday afternoon with a panel discussion by Jim McCrory, Steve Plafker and Michael Conger, officers of TAFOL, The Association For Objective Law, seeking to provide an integrated perspective on the issues discussed throughout the weekend sessions. These lectures, presented over one weekend, March 4 – 5, 2006, promise to be a unique experience, applying Objectivism to the philosophy of law.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lin Zinser by e-mail ([email protected]) or phone (303.431.2525).
Knowing what I do about the organizer and the speakers of this Weekend Conference on Law, Individual Rights and the Judicial System, I cannot recommend it highly enough.