Law school to host Federalist Papers lecture

The Baylor Law School is hosting its second annual John and Marie Chiles Federalist Papers Lecture today. The lecture will focus on constitutional conservatism within the Federalist Papers and will feature Peter Berkowitz, an American political scientist from Stanford University and author of Real Clear Politics.

The event will focus on modern conservatism and progressivism in our political universe, said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben.

Berkowitz believes that moderation has become a term of abuse in American politics. He will speak about how, with the right mindset, moderation can be turned into virtue.

“Through its complex scheme of federalism and separated and integrated powers, the American Constitution institutionalizes political moderation,” Berkowitz said when asked about his lecture topic.

He states that this virtue is indispensable to liberal democracy, and is what our regime of government and individual rights is grounded in.

Berkowitz believes that the system of our government can’t achieve its fullest potential if its people and its representatives disregard political moderation and its vital counterparts.

“Conserving the Constitution depends on recovering an appreciation of the link between liberty, self-government and political moderation,” Berkowitz said.

Baylor benefactors John and Marie Chiles established this lecture series last year with the intent of showcasing the importance of the Federalist Papers.

The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. The authors were seeking to convince the colonies that the best way to obtain liberty was to create a strong centralized government.

“John and Marie Chiles love Baylor Law School, and they wanted to find a way to tell everyone about the importance of the Federalist Papers,” said Rebecca Malzahn, public relations specialist at Baylor Law School.

Toben said the Chiles feel that it is crucial for the wisdom of the Federalist Papers’ authors to be shared with each upcoming generation. They hope that their lecture series will give students a greater appreciation of the principles that formulated our government, he said.

“Baylor Law is honored to present this event that is made possible through the philanthropy and civic-mindedness of our dear friends John and Marie Chiles,” Toben said.

This will be the second lecture of the series. Last year, Baylor President Judge Starr was the featured speaker.

“Last year’s event was great, and we are hoping for a very similar turn out this year,” Malzahn said.

Dr. Pepper floats and a reception will precede the event at 3 p.m. Berkowitz will begin his lecture at 3:30 p.m. It will be held in Room 127 at the Baylor Law School, located at 1114 S. University Parks Drive. Information about the event can be found by emailing