We're very sorry that we couldn't extend a more general invitation to our friends to attend. We have no money in these tough times, and some of our regular sources of funding weren't available this year. There's hope for more next year, though. This is a more student-run event than ever this year, and thanks to Jacque Smith, Laura Lieberman and our award-winning professor Eric Sands (firstname.lastname@example.org) for working so hard to keep hope alive this year.
Let me also thank IVAN the K for hosting a great conference on CHANTAL DELSOL. I'll say a bit more about what I learned in THE COUGAR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD later. But here's one exchange that links together the two conferences: SEAN SUTTON (a great guy and superb teacher) and I had a mild disagreement about how much the Declaration of Independence can be the foundation of judicial review. I talked up the importance of LEGISLATIVE COMPROMISE, saying that even the great Declaration was the product of legislative compromise. Sean exlaimed, correctly, that that made the Declaration better. And of course I agreed.
So my question to Jim might be whether our Puritan and Declaration foundings are as opposed as some say. Let me quote a few words from R.L. Bruckberger's IMAGES OF AMERICA (Bruckberger was French vistor to our country who's been called, with a little justice at least, the Tocqueville of the 1950s): "The greatest luck of all for the Declaration was precisely the divergence and the compromise between the Puritan tradition and what Jefferson wrote. Had the Declaration been written in the strictly Puritan tradition, it would probably not have managed to avoid an aftertaste of theocracy and religious fanaticism. Had it been written [simply] from the standpoint of the...philosophy of the day, it would be have been areligious, if not actually offensive to Christians." And so the Declaration of Jefferson, as changed by Congress, can't be simply explained or justified by "the philosophical context of its time; it must be viewed as a more profound accomplishment."