Our Constitutional Founding: From Ideas to Institutions
Gain a deeper understanding of our Constitution by studying the political debates surrounding its founding.
The Supreme Court unites us. That was the point. In a nation governed by the rule of law under a federal constitution, judicial administration of that constitution could not be left scattershot to 13 state supreme courts, let alone 50. So we established one court, supreme to all the others, singularly capable of unifying our rule of law.
And the Supreme Court divides us. That is unavoidable. A case involves two sides—one wins, one loses. And precisely because the Court was made to decide cases of national consequence, its decisions stir outrage, and have from the start.
This program examines American constitutional law and the controversies it has occasioned in light of America’s constitutional history, institutions, principles, and statesmanship. Led by legal expert Adam J. White, the program will also feature guest lectures from Supreme Court advocates, leading legal scholars, and judges who will bring their practical experience to bear on key constitutional questions.
Learn more about the Constitutional Studies Program.
Who Should Apply? Advanced undergraduates, recent graduates, law students, and young professionals are all eligible to apply. Fellows may apply for, and participate in, multiple seminars.
Dates & Times: Seminars meet in-person over Summer 2024. See the individual course pages for full details.
Commitment: Seminars meet for morning seminars, with afternoon guest speakers and some evening activities. Fellows are expected to attend all sessions and activities.
Housing, Stipend, & Course Materials: Residential hotel accommodations will be provided, as will all course materials. Fellows will receive a stipend contingent upon full participation in the course.
Deadline: The early application deadline is Monday, January 15, 2024. The final application deadline is Monday, March 4, 2024.
Early Decision candidates will receive priority consideration. Those who apply Early Decision are expected to participate in the fellowship if admitted and to withdraw applications from other opportunities that would pose a conflict. If not admitted in the Early Decision round, applicants may defer to Final Decision to be reviewed again.
Describe, in 1,000 words, or less the political questions you find most interesting, your future ambitions, and how these relate to your preferred program(s).
Unofficial; required only for currently enrolled students & recent graduates.
12 pages maximum; double-spaced. Please send academic writing that best showcases your ability to invent and sustain a persuasive argument, no matter the subject-matter.
Provide the name and contact information of a professor, mentor, or supervisor. (Letter not required for nominated applicants.)
Julia Gorman is an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. As a recent college graduate, she participated in the 2015 Political Studies Program, and later returned to Hertog as a young professional for the “Great Figures of the 20th Century” Weekend Seminars.
“The Hertog Foundation’s educational mission is simply to form more thoughtful citizens. As a result, Hertog selects students who are bright, driven, and intellectually curious, but who possess a range of beliefs and pursuits. I have no doubt that some of the people I’ve studied with at Hertog will influence the civic, intellectual, and political life of the United States for the better.”
Learn how policy is translated through the administrative state and the courts.
Consider The Federalist Papers anew through the lens of current events.
Examine the influence of ideas in some of our key policy debates.
Consider the status of slavery and race in the American Founding.
Study the work of Edmund Burke, the West’s first and arguably greatest conservative thinker.
Adam J. White
Adam J. White is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on American constitutionalism. Concurrently, he codirects the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.
Gary J. Schmitt
Gary J. Schmitt is a senior fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies program at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies issues related to the American presidency, the U.S. constitution and its principles, and American civic life.
Vincent Phillip Muñoz
Vincent Phillip Muñoz is the Tocqueville Professor of Political Science and Concurrent Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.
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. He is Yale’s only currently active 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. 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.
Greg Weiner is associate professor of Political Science, founding director of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship, and provost at Assumption College. He is the author of American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Daniel DiSalvo is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York-CUNY. His scholarship focuses on American political parties, elections, labor unions, state government, and public policy.
Alan M. Levine
Alan M. Levine is Associate Professor of political theory in the Department of Government and the founding director of the Political Theory Institute at American University. A specialist in the history of Western political thought, Professor Levine’s research interests include ancient and modern political theory.
Ryan Patrick Hanley
Ryan Patrick Hanley is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. His research in the history of political philosophy focuses on the Enlightenment. He is the author of Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life and Love’s Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity.
Benjamin Storey is a senior fellow in Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He recently co-authored a book with Jenna Silber Storey entitled Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.