Randy Barnett shows how the courts over the years have been cutting holes in the Constitution to eliminate the parts that impede the growth of government.

Randy E. Barnett is a lawyer and legal theorist, and a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute. He is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University. Barnett writes about the libertarian theory of law and contract theory, constitutional law, and jurisprudence and is especially interested in the history and original meaning of the Second and Ninth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Roger Pilon is the founder and director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, which has become an important force in the national debate over constitutional interpretation and judicial philosophy. He is the publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review and is an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University through The Fund for American Studies. Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration, including at State and Justice, and was a National Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. In 1989 the Bicentennial Commission presented him with its Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in writing on the U.S. Constitution. In 2001 Columbia University’s School of General Studies awarded him its Alumni Medal of Distinction. Pilon lectures and debates at universities and law schools across the country and testifies often before Congress. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times,the Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, National Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Stanford Law & Policy Review, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline,CBS’s 60 Minutes II, Fox News Channel, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and other media. Pilon holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law.

A Cato Institute Book Forum featuring the author of Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty, Randy E. Barnett, Cato Institute and Boston University School of Law; with comments by Walter Dellinger, Duke University and O’Melveny & Myers; and Judge David Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Moderated by Roger Pilon. Randy Barnett shows how the courts over the years have been cutting holes in the Constitution and its amendments to eliminate the parts that impede the growth of government. The Supreme Court has rendered toothless the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Privileges or Immunities Clause, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. In the process, the original Constitution has been lost. Barnett offers a practical way to restore those provisions, adopting a Presumption of Liberty to give the benefit of the doubt to citizens when laws restrict their rightful liberties. He also provides a new, more realistic theory of constitutional legitimacy and explains why the Constitution should be construed to protect the rights retained by the people.