State of the Constitution Lecture

Center for the Constitution

The State of the Constitution Lecture is an annual address on the "state of the Constitution" in modern America and is intended to help focus public education, dialogue and policy on the urgent need of sustaining and perpetuating the constitutional foundation of our nation.

The 2014 State of the Constitution Lecture explored the question "Is the U.S. Constitution Still Working?" Held at the National Archives in Washington, DC on September 17, discussants included Congressman Robert Hurt (VA-5), Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, and Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution. 

Through a 2007 grant from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Center hosted its first significant talk on constitutionalism, civic education and citizenship. Dr. John J. Patrick, Professor Emeritus of Education, Indiana University, was the speaker and gave a talk entitled "The Constitution and Education for Citizenship in America."

With support from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation again in 2008, the second annual Claude Moore Lecture, entitled "The Madisonian Persuasion Today," was given by syndicated columnist George F. Will in the Montpelier Room of the Madison Building at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2008.

With the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation's support, the Center for the Constitution hosted the 2009 Claude Moore Lecture on September 21, 2009. This year's speaker was Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham,who delivered a talk entitled, "In the Beginning: Washington, Madison, and the Constitution's First Year." The lecture took place in the Capitol Visitor Center of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

In 2010, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation supported creation of a survey designed to gage constitutional knowledge and understanding of the American public. The survey was completed in the summer of 2010 and on September 21, 2010, in collaboration with the National Archives Experience, the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier hosted a panel discussion of the results of the survey. 

2012 Claude Moore Lecture speakers. From left to right: Peter Kastor, panelist; Benjamin Wittes, panelist; Pietro Nivola, panelist; and Roger Mudd, moderator.