Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series Presented by John and Marie Chiles

Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series Presented by John and Marie Chiles



"The Founding Fathers and the
Importance of Civil Discourse"

Akhil Reed Amar
Sterling Professor of Law
Yale Law School

September 28, 2023
4:00 – 5:00 PM

Reception and Book Signing to Follow

Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom & Courtroom, Room 127
Sheila & Walter Umphrey Law Center
1114 South University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706

About the Lecture

In this installment of the Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series, Presented by John and Marie Chiles, Yale Sterling Professor of Law Akhil Amar will discuss the historical underpinnings of Texas becoming a state, the important role civil discourse played in Texas’ formation, and why our modern First Amendment right to free speech is critical to our future success. During this discussion, Professor Amar will use the Federalist Papers and historical events to help us understand why our Founding Fathers felt it was important to create space in our society where citizens could engage in civil discourse about important topics. By better understanding our history, we will be better able to meaningfully engage with each other now.

Baylor Law students will receive one hour of Professional Development credits for attendance. This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 hour.

Professor Akhil Reed Amar

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale College, summa cum laude, in 1980 and from Yale Law School in 1984, and clerking for Judge (later Justice) Stephen Breyer, Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26. He is Yale’s only living professor to have won the University’s unofficial triple crown — the Sterling Chair for scholarship, the DeVane Medal for teaching, and the Lamar Award for alumni service.

Amar’s work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than four dozen cases — tops among non-emeritus scholars. He regularly testifies before Congress at the invitation of both parties; and in surveys of judicial citations and/or scholarly citations, he typically ranks among America’s five most-cited mid-career legal scholars. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has written widely for popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and The Atlantic. He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show The West Wing and his scholarship has been showcased on many broadcasts, including The Colbert Report,, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Morning Joe, AC360, 11th Hour with Brian Williams, Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Erin Burnett Outfront, and Constitution USA with Peter Sagal.

He is the author of more than a hundred law review articles and several books, most notably The Bill of Rights (1998 — winner of the Yale University Press Governors’ Award), America’s Constitution (2005 — winner of the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award), America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012 — named one of the year’s 100 best nonfiction books by The Washington Post), and The Constitution Today (2016 — named one of the year’s top ten nonfiction books by Time magazine). His latest and most ambitious book, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840, came out in May 2021. He has recently launched a weekly podcast, AMARica’s Constitution. A wide assortment of his articles and op-eds and video links to many of his public lectures and free online courses may be found at