The Spirit of the Laws and the Separation of Powers
The Bonnie and Richard Reiss Lecture in Constitutional History and Law
Akhil Reed Amar, Philip Bobbitt, Trevor Morrison (moderator)
Thu, April 30th, 2020 | 6:30 pm
(Members $32)

PROGRAM CANCELLATION: This program has been canceled to help support the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of our visitors and staff. More details on our Visit page. New-York Historical Society will reach out to all ticket buyers to review refund and ticket-to-donation options.

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The separation of powers and the system of checks and balances are sacred to the foundation of the U.S. government. Why did the Founders establish the new nation based on these principles? Constitutional scholars discuss the origins of the American political system—including Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws, published anonymously in 1748—and how the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches evolved throughout the presidencies, from George Washington to Donald J. Trump.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and a trustee of the New-York Historical Society. Philip Bobbitt, a leading constitutional scholar, is Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School. Trevor Morrison (moderator) is dean of NYU School of Law, where he is also the Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


Creative: Tronvig Group