Colloquium on the American Founding at Amherst College September 25 and 26

September 24, 2009

AMHERST, Mass. — On Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, the Committee for the American Founding hosted a colloquium at Amherst College featuring renowned figures Richard Epstein, James Parker Hall Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, and Glen Lewy, national chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a member of Amherst’s Class of 1971. Audio from selected talks is available at the links below.

Sept. 25

  • 4 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall of Fayerweather Hall—“Constitution Decay in a Time of Financial Crises: Lessons from TARP and AIG,” Epstein. Listen to the talk below, or download the file here.
    Loading the player ...

    Loading the player ...
  • 8 p.m., Valentine Hall’s Lewis-Sebring Commons—“Obama and Israel: A Sobering Report,” Lewy.

Sept. 26

  • 9:30 a.m.—“Obama and the Fourth Wave of Liberalism,” Charles Kesler, Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont-McKennaCollege.
  • 11 a.m.—“No Exit: The Duty to Have Health Care in an Age of Universal Coverage,” Epstein. Listen to the talk below, or download the file here.
    Loading the player ...

    Loading the player ...
  • 12:15 p.m.—“A View of the Political Landscape from Capitol Hill,” Noah Silverman ’92, director of Congressional Relations for the Republican Jewish Coalition. Listen to the talk below, or download the file here
    Loading the player ...

    Loading the player ...
  • 2 p.m.—“This Just In: The Latest on Health Care Reform from Washington,” Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Listen to the talk below, or download the file here.
    Loading the player ...

    Loading the player ...
  • 3:15 p.m.—“An Earnest Plea for a Better Class of Atheists,” David Hart, author. Listen to the talk below, or download the file here.
    Loading the player ...

    Loading the player ...

About the lead speakers

Lewy has been actively involved in ADL for almost 30 years, serving as a long-time member of the national commission and national executive committee and, before becoming national chair, leading a number of the league’s most important committees. In his capacity as national chair, he has traveled extensively to meet with foreign and domestic leaders and has been the ADL’s lead representative in a number of international conferences and forums. He has met with the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan, the King of Saudi Arabia, numerous foreign ministers from the Mid-East region and all of the most recent prime ministers of Israel. He is also senior managing director of Hudson Ventures, a position he has held with the technology-focused venture capital fund since 2000. Prior to that he spent 25 years advising some of the world’s largest and most prestigious corporations, first as a lawyer and then as an investment banker. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, sits on the board of trustees of the New York Historical Society and is vice chair of the board of directors of the SEED Foundation, a national nonprofit that develops and operates public boarding schools to prepare underserved students for success in college and beyond.

Epstein has taught at the University of Chicago since 1972. He has also been the Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 2000. Prior to joining the University of Chicago Law School faculty, he taught law at the University of Southern California from 1968 to 1972. He has been a member of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences since 1985 and a senior fellow of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medical School, also since 1983. He served as editor of the Journal of Legal Studies from 1981 to 1991, and of the Journal of Law and Economics from 1991 to 2001. At present, he is a director of the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics. His books include Antitrust Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less Is More; Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation and How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution, among many others. He has taught courses in civil procedure, communications, constitutional law, contracts, corporations, criminal law, health law and policy, legal history, labor law, property, real estate development and finance, jurisprudence, labor law; land use planning, patents, individual, estate and corporate taxation, Roman Law; torts and workers’ compensation.

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




Office of Communications
(413) 542-2321
Contact us


eNewsSubscribe to the biweekly eNews by emailing