September 16, 2008     

AMHERST, Mass. — On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27, the Committee for the American Founding will host a colloquium at Amherst College. The following talks will take place in the Friedmann Room of the Keefe Campus Center and are free and open to the public.

Sept. 26
•    8 p.m., “Who Killed New York?”—George J. Marlin, author and COO of the Philadelphia Trust.

Sept. 27

Morning Sessions: Two New Angles on the Separation of Powers
•    9:30 a.m., “On Medlin v. Texas”—R. Ted Cruz, solicitor general of Texas.
•    10:45 a.m., “Can Judges and the Courts Violate the Constitutions?”—Judge Carlos Bea, California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
•    12:15 p.m., “The Political Landscape from Capitol Hill: Thoughts on the Presidential & Congressional Elections”—Noah Silverman ’92, Congressional affairs director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Afternoon Sessions: Stands in the American Conservative Tradition
•    2 p.m., “The Puzzle of Herbert Hoover: Liberal or Conservative?”—George Nash ’67, biographer of Herbert Hoover.
•    3 p.m., “The Emergence of the Conservative Party in New York in the 1960s and the Reshaping of the Republicans”—Marlin.

About the guest speakers
Carlos Bea is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was nominated for that court by President George W. Bush in April 2003 and subsequently confirmed by the Senate in September of the same year. Born in Spain, he emigrated to Cuba with his family in 1939 and represented the country as a member of its basketball team in the 1952 Olympics. He soon emigrated to the United States and went on to receive his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from Stanford University. After practicing law in California for several years, he became a trial judge on the San Francisco Superior Court and served there until his appointment to the Ninth Circuit in 2003.

Ted Cruz serves as the Solicitor General of Texas. Appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in January 2003, he is the chief appellate lawyer for the state and its first Hispanic solicitor general. When appointed, he was also the youngest Solicitor General in the United States. He has authored more than 70 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and presented 28 oral arguments, including seven to the U.S. Supreme Court.

George J. Marlin is the author and editor of ten books, including Squandered Opportunities: New York’s Pataki Years, The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact and Fighting the Good Fight: A History of the New York Conservative Party. In 1993, Marlin was the Conservative Party nominee for mayor of the City of New York, and in 1994, he served on Governor-elect Pataki’s transition team. His articles have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times, New York Post, National Review, Newsday, The Washington Times and the New York Daily News. Marlin is also general editor of The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton.

George Nash ’67 is currently president of the Philadelphia Society, the nation’s oldest organization of conservative intellectuals. He is considered the premier historian of the American conservative movement and is the author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. Nash is also an authority on the life of President Herbert Hoover. Between 1975 and 1995 he lived in Iowa near the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, where he prepared three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography under the general title The Life of Herbert Hoover.

Noah Silverman ’92 began his tenure as the Republican Jewish Coalition’s congressional affairs director in October 2006 after working for more than a decade on Capitol Hill. In his current post, he advocates for policies favored by Jewish Republicans in a variety of settings, both on the Hill and in the broader policy-making arena. He also works with representatives of other Republican and Jewish organizations to foster cooperation on matters of shared concern. He previously served on the legislative staffs of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), where he worked closely with his bosses to formulate and implement their legislative agendas across a wide range of domestic policy areas, including health care, transportation, telecommunications, education, housing and Social Security. A native of Ithaca, N.Y., he received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst and earned a master’s in political science from Johns Hopkins University. 

About the Committee for the American Founding

Created by Hadley Arkes, the Edward Ney Professor in American Institutions (Political Science) at Amherst College, the Committee for the American Founding was started with the purpose of preserving at Amherst the teachings of the American Founders and Abraham Lincoln regarding “natural rights.” One of the committee’s topics has been the defense of the American regime, in foreign and military policy.