Walter Dellinger, former acting Solicitor General of the United States, shares remarks entitled "September 17, 1787: The Debate Begins," addressing the ratification debates and the enduring significance of the Constitution today -- despite the ongoing debates about the meaning of particular phrases.
Paul Clement, former Solicitor General of the United States, then provides a response, followed by a question and answer period for those in the audience (both in person and online).
Paul D. Clement is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of King & Spalding, and head of the firm's national appellate practice. Mr. Clement served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States from June 2005 until June 2008. Prior to his confirmation as Solicitor General, he served as Acting Solicitor General for nearly a year and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for over three years. His more than seven years of service in the Office of Solicitor General is the longest period of continuous service in the Office by a Solicitor General since the Nineteenth Century.
He has argued over 50 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including McConnell v. FEC, Tennessee v. Lane, Rumsfeld v. Padilla, Credit Suisse v. Billing, United States v. Booker and MGM v. Grokster. He also argued many of the government's most important cases in the lower courts, such as Walker v. Cheney and the successful appeal in United States v. Moussaoui.
Walter Dellinger is the Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University. He returned to Duke in August, 1997, after having served as acting Solicitor General for the 1996-97 Term of the Supreme Court. Dellinger argued nine cases before the Court, the most by any Solicitor General in more than twenty years. His arguments included cases dealing with physician assisted suicide, the line item veto, the cable television act, the Brady Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the constitutionality of remedial services for parochial school children.
After serving in early 1993 in the White House as an advisor to the President on constitutional issues, Dellinger was nominated by the President to be Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and was confirmed by the Senate for that position in October, 1993. During his three years as Assistant Attorney General he served as the Department's principal legal advisor to the Attorney General and the President.
As head of OLC, Dellinger issued opinions on a wide variety of issues, including the President's authority to deploy United States forces in Haiti and Bosnia; whether the President may decline to enforce statutes he believes are unconstitutional; affirmative action; religious activity in public schools; whether the Uruguay Round GATT Agreements required treaty ratification, and a major review of separation of powers questions.
He provided extensive legal advice on loan guarantees for Mexico, on national debt ceiling issues, and on issues arising out of the shutdown of the federal government.