Constitutional scholar Michael Stokes Paulsen and his son, Luke, offer an uncomplicated but sophisticated primer on the U.S. Constitution that is kept lively by their unabashedly candid evaluations of important Supreme Court opinions. … This is a useful, accessible, and pertinent overview that is well seasoned with opinion.
Where, then—whether one wishes to become an informed citizen, write about national politics as a journalist or scholar, or argue or adjudicate constitutional questions in a court of law—is one to acquire the indispensable knowledge about th...
An upcoming event of note: Luke and I are slated to be guests on the Dennis Prager national radio talk show, on July 7, live, at 10:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time. (1:20 EDT, 12:20 CDT, 11:20 MDT).
Mr. Prager, who is based out of Los Angeles, is consistently one of the most thoughtful, intellectual talk-radio hosts. His show covers a wide range of topics beyond current public affairs. We are honored that he will be having us on to talk about The Constitution: An Introduction.
Our Thursday, June 11 event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia was followed by a quick trip to New York City to appear on a national Fox News Network program, “Happening Now,” a news show, on Friday, June 12.
We were interviewed by co-host Jon Scott for about five minutes, on live national television, about the book and our father-son process of writing it. It was an extraordinarily interesting experience. Producers, makeup, hairspray, then . . . all of a sudden you’re on. The interview time itself flew by very quickly! Then, back out the door to the streets of Manhattan for a late lunch.
Brief or not, the interview seemed to have had some viewers – and some impact on book sales. Shortly after the interview, our “Amazon” ranking jumped (temporarily) to #209 in all books. A lot of people apparently watch Fox News! And Jon Scott gave a good endorsement, suggesting that the book might make a good Father’s Day present....
I’m just now catching up on a series of events concerning the book. Two weeks ago, Luke and I did a radio interview with Northeast Public Radio (based in Boston) about the book.
Then, on Thursday, June 11, the two of us were the live, in-person guests of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. We gave a one-hour interview presentation – the National Constitution Center dubbed it “Constitution 101” – about the book, the ideas and issues framed by it, and the nine-year father-son process of writing it. There were between 80-100 people in attendance. Professor Michael Moreland of Villanova Law School was the interviewer and moderator. We answered his questions and took questions from the audience as well. The event was followed by a book sale and signing.
The hour-long interview is available on-line here.
That was the title of the first article, of a two-part short series, published by the on-line journal Public Discourse last week. In the two articles (here’s the second installment) I literally do try to compress everything one needs to know about “Constitutional Law” into two easy, lighthearted lessons.
The pretense was that such a guide is a crash course for the desperate law student bearing down on final exams. (It really came just a week or so too late to help anybody!) The reality is that this guide is a gentle unmasking of what passes for “constitutional law” in our nation’s law schools and at the Supreme Court.
It was a busy week of writing last week, as a guest blogger on “The Volokh Conspiracy,” a prominent constitutional-issues blog website now part of the on-line content of The Washington Post. Eugene Volokh – the original co-conspirator – invited me to guest-blog to discuss some of the more controversial propositions addressed in The Constitution: An Introduction.
I wrote five short articles for The Conspiracy. The titles, below with links to each post, fairly well describe the content of each piece. My thanks to Eugene Volokh for this great opportunity!
Luke will be flying home to Minneapolis on the evening of Friday, May 29. Then, our entire Paulsen family (Michael, Kristen, Luke, and Caroline) will be driving to my childhood home, in Wausau, Wisconsin, the next day, for the 60th wedding anniversary of my parents, Russell and Dorothy Paulsen. Mom and Dad were married on May 30, 1955. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
Since the Paulsen & Paulsen co-authors will be together, and since we will be in my hometown, we will be doing a book-signing at Janke Book Store, on Third Street, in Wausau, Wisconsin, Saturday morning from 11:00 AM to Noon. I’ve notified some old high school friends (Wausau East, Class of 1977) and they’re getting out the word on social media. In addition, there should be enough Paulsen relatives (I am one of six children; Russell and Dorothy now have thirteen grandchildren) to fill the room!
This past Tuesday I was privileged to be the guest of the journal First Things, at their editorial offices in lower Manhattan, to present a lecture based (in part) on Chapter Seven of our book – and of course to talk about the book in general. The lecture was entitled “Lincoln and the Constitution: The Great Emancipator as Great Interpreter.” (The chapter on which it is based is entitled “Crisis: Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.”)
The theme of the lecture was (as with the book chapter, and the article Luke and I wrote for First Things, published in their May issue) that the Civil War was, in addition to much else, a grand drama of constitutional interpretation. The War was fought over the meaning of the Constitution on some of the most important issues in our nation’s history – and over who would have the final power to decide on that meaning.
The casual “book launch” party at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, held last Friday, May 8, was a tremendous success! Dozens of friends, colleagues, students – lots of students, who came even during exam period! – and former students of mine were in attendance. It was wonderful to see such an excellent turnout and to reconnect with some old friends. (We sold and signed dozens of books, too.)
I am grateful to the many people who helped make the event such a tremendous success, including Dean Rob Vischer who hosted it and gave a nice “welcome,” Angela Dzik, the incomparable events planner at University of St. Thomas Law School, my ace assistant, Cate Utrup Gunderson, who shepherded the event through to success, and Paul Provost and his staff at the University of St. Thomas bookstore for the Minneapolis campus, who procured sixty copies of the book and sold nearly them all. (More are on order.)
The Constitution: An Introduction officially “launched” on Tuesday May 5. We were blessed with the opportunity to do two extended interviews about the book, right as it became available in bookstores.
The first was an email interview with Yale Law School Professor and noted liberal constitutional scholar Jack Balkin, for his popular left-leaning blog “Balkinization.” Jack published the interview in two parts, the first installment on Monday May 4 and the second installment on Tuesday May 5.
The second interview was a live teleforum conference call interview sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society on Tuesday May 5. The interview was conducted by Professor Kevin Walsh, a brilliant young constitutional law professor at the University of Richmond. That interview, with questions from the audience, is now available from the Federalist Society website as a podcast.