Annual Constitution Day Lecture

Each year, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership hosts an annual Constitution Day Address, meant to be a celebration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the importance of the document today. 

In its fourth year, the Constitution Day Lecture has welcomed deep conversation and productive debate about the crafting of the U.S. Constitution, its writers, and its objectives. Watch all of our previous Constitution Day lectures below. 

Annual Constitution Day Lecture 2021

"Patriotism – Our Most Contested Virtue" with Steven B. Smith

Is patriotism a virtue and, if so, what kind is it? Throughout history, love of country has had to contend with other forms of loyalty, to friends, family, clan, and religious community. Today it is necessary to defend patriotism from two alternatives: nationalism (on the right) and cosmopolitanism/multiculturalism (on the left). To do so, it is important to show that patriotism is not simply a form of form of blind loyalty – my country right or wrong – but is capable of moral honesty and rational self-criticism. An enlightened patriotism is the necessary underpinning of any decent society.

Date: Thursday, September 9 at 5 p.m.
Location: Ventana B/C, Memorial Union 241

Register to attend.

Previous Constitution Day Lectures

Public Programming Events at Arizona State University

"The Surprising History of Women's Suffrage" with Ellen DuBois

The subject of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership's 2020 Annual Constitution Day Lecture is Women’s Long Battle for the Vote: Surprises on the Road to the Nineteenth Amendment, the topic and title of Professor DuBois' most recent book. The lecture will cover the seventy-five years of the U.S. woman suffrage movement with an emphasis on things you might not already know, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

This event is supported by the Jack Miller Center.

Watch the lecture.

'The President Who Would Not Be King' with Michael McConnell

At the Constitutional Convention, the delegates struggled to create a presidency with sufficient authority to lead the nation, but without creating an elective monarch. Judge Michael McConnell of the Stanford Law School outlined the little-known story of how the framers went about that task, and its implications for today during our third Constitution Day Lecture on Sept. 17, 2019. 

Learn more. 

Constitution Day Lecture at Arizona State University

'The Renaissance of Federalism' with Hon. Clint Bolick

September 17, 1787 was the final day of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia; with George Washington presiding as the president of the convention, the delegates who supported the final draft added their signatures to the text. In order to promote both understanding and appreciation of our nation’s fundamental law, The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University welcomed Hon. Clint Bolick of the Arizona Supreme Court for its inaugural Constitution Day lecture on Sept. 14, 2017.

Learn more. 

'Lincoln's Fathers' with Richard Brookhiser

The ASU School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership welcomed Richard Brookhiser in our second annual Constitution Day Address, "Lincoln's Fathers," in which he discussed the many ways in which Abraham Lincoln's predecessors and paternal figures influenced his personal and public life on Sept. 17, 2018. 

Learn more. 

Constitution Day Lecture at Arizona State University

In the media

A celebration of ideals

School of Economic Thought and Leadership Associate Director Adam Seagrave penned this op-ed about how Sen. John McCain and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson might encourage us to celebrate the day.

Read more. 

ASU professor discusses the history, importance of Constitution Day

Sept. 17 a national day to reflect on the impact of the original document, both its governing principles and its compromises

Read more. 

5 things to know about the Constitution

In honor of Constitution Day, ASU hosts events to promote understanding and appreciation of our nation’s fundamental law.

Read more.