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The Constitution and Presidential Power with David Adler

The enduring debate on the nature and scope of presidential power.

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Time & Location








About this class:

This is a 5-week virtual class using the Zoom platform.

Mondays: Jan 30, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 - 6-8 pm CST

The enduring debate on the nature and scope of presidential power, punctuated and dramatized by the renowned 18th Century exchange between James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, and spiked in our time by sweeping assertions of unilateral  executive authority in foreign affairs and warmaking, and by claims of absolutism, privilege, secrecy and immunity in domestic matters, has taken center stage in discussions across our nation, as Americans contemplate the future of the rule of law. This short course explores the concerns, aims and purposes of the Framers of the Constitution in establishing the presidency, followed by a review of leading judicial rulings on assertions of presidential power in areas that have dominated public discussion.

Dr. David Adler is President of The Alturas Institute, a non-profit organization created to promote the Constitution, gender equality, and civic education. A recipient of teaching, writing and civic awards, Adler has lectured nationally and internationally, and published widely, on the Constitution, presidential power and the Bill of Rights. He is the author of six books, including, most recently, The War Power in an Age of Terrorism, as well as more than 100 scholarly articles in the leading journals of his field.  He is currently writing a book on the landmark Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Reed, which had its origins in Idaho and transformed the law for American women. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will write the foreword to the book, the research and writing of which is supported by a research fellowship from the Idaho Humanities Council.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

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