Centre College’s annual Constitution Day convocation will welcome Daniel Stroup, Pierce and Amelia Harrington Lively Professor of Politics and Law, as this year’s keynote speaker. The convocation, “Constitutional Government,” will take place virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Registration is required for this free online event.
The lecture contends that the Founders understood constitutional government to be limited government. They built three fundamental structures into the Constitution to ensure that government would operate within what was needed to establish Liberty-republicanism—popular sovereignty—checks and balances, and federalism.
Drawing primarily on the Federalist Papers, Stroup will briefly outline the Founders’ views on each of these fundamental pillars of limited government and then use some contemporary examples to show how each of these safeguards has been eroded in the past few years.
Stroup’s conclusion will be that the Constitution is not just a mechanical set of institutional arrangements, but an organic relationship among its various institutions that presupposes an adherence by our office holders to an accepted set of unwritten norms. Ultimately, the American people themselves hold the responsibility for maintaining Liberty through their responsibility to elect office holders who respect not only the letter of the Constitution but its spirit as well—persons, as James Madison would express it, with “the wisdom to discern and the virtue to pursue the common good.”
Stroup has taught as Centre since 1976 and was named the Lively Professor of Government and Law in 2005.
His teaching and research interests encompass American political history, the judicial process, the legislative process and The Civil Rights Movement in America. Along with Bill Garriott, John Marshall Harlan Professor Emeritus of Government, Stroup teaches a unique government course that examines the U.S. Congress. Centre students have the opportunity to play roles in the House of Representatives, cabinet members, lobbyists or journalists, and one student portrays the president. He also teaches a seminar on the history of The Civil Rights Movement.
Stroup has published articles in journals, including Valparaiso Law Review and PS: Political Science and Politics, as well as a segment of The Kentucky Encyclopedia.
Graduating magna cum laude from the University of Dayton, Stroup also holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in government from the University of Virginia.
In the Danville community, he has been active in the parents association of the Danville Montessori School, as well as Citizens Concerned for Human Relations, a local group that focuses on race relations.
Register for the Constitution Day convocation here.
by Kerry Steinhofer
September 22, 2020