West Virginia Record

Monday, January 20, 2020

Author to speak at Marshall University's Amicus Curiae Lecture Series

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By Kyla Asbury | Sep 9, 2019


HUNTINGTON — Marshall University's Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy will begin Sept. 11 with a lecture by author Richard Brookhiser.

Brookhiser will present his lecture, titled after his book, "John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court." The lecture will be held in the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

"He is excellent," Patricia Proctor, the director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, said in an interview with The West Virginia Record. "He packs more into a succinct paragraph than many writers pack into entire chapters of books."


Brookhiser published the book in 2018. During his lecture, he will discuss how Chief Justice John Marshall brought the U.S. Supreme Court to be equal with the presidency and Congress between 1801 and his death in 1835.

In his book, Brookhiser explored Marshall's methods, as well as who he was as a person.

"I expect his lecture to be dynamic and entertaining," Proctor said. "His book about John Marshall is very good."

Proctor said Brookhiser writes biographies that are described as character biographies, where he works at getting to the heart of what was important about a particular figure.

"He is telling you things that will teach you about the substance of that person," Proctor said. "I expect his lecture to be illuminating about Marshall in a way that isn’t just reciting facts we already know."

Brookhiser is a senior editor of the National Review and a columnist for American History, according to a Marshall University press release. He is also the author of more than a dozen books. He has also written and hosted two Michael Pack films that were aired on PBS about George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.

Proctor said the lineup for the rest of the fall series is great.

"Our next lecture will be Oct. 3, where we have a former director of global engagement for the White House who was also a U.S. Ambassador for 12 years coming to talk about America’s place in the world diplomatically," Proctor said. "Then we have a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, David Barron, coming Nov. 12 to discuss conflicts between Congress and presidents during times of war."

Proctor said she is hopeful that people will come out and hear the lectures because of the interesting lineup.

"Our lectures tend to not only be educational but also entertaining," Proctor said. 

Proctor said the lectures also count toward minimum continuing legal education credits with the West Virginia State Bar.

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