September 18, 2012
Contact: University Relations
Garrett Epps, professor in the University of Baltimore School of Law, a scholar of constitutional law and a commentator on major legal issues in several national publications including the Atlantic and The American Prospect, will discuss "partisan myths" about the United States Constitution—the analysis of which forms the basis of his new book, Wrong and Dangerous—on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at the University of Baltimore, 62 W. Oliver St. The event is free and open to the public.
Epps's book examines 10 falsehoods about the Constitution, promulgated by what he sees as right-wing pundits' "drive to destroy the Constitution in the name of 'saving' it." He examines claims like the document's alleged lack of separation of church and state, using plain language to undo these misinterpretations and re-cast the Constitution as the strong and pliable foundational rules of governance it was intended to be.
"Garrett Epps knows more about our Constitution and its history than many who invoke it endlessly on the campaign trail have forgotten," said E. J. Dionne Jr., syndicated columnist and author of Our Divided Political Heart. "With a rollicking sense of humor and a driving passion, he challenges misunderstandings about our Founders and asserts what is plainly true: That they sought to establish a government that would preserve freedom but would also be strong enough to provide for the general welfare. They sought to make it easier rather than harder for Americans to solve our nation's problems. Epps is a true original who leaves the originalists' arguments in shreds."
"For far too long, Americans across the ideological spectrum have ceded the Constitution to the far right-wing of political thinkers. In this desperately-needed book, [Epps] takes on the elaborately-crafted fiction that the United States Constitution was drafted principally to protect the rights of gun owners, wealthy corporations, self-interested states and those determined to force their religious views on the unwilling. Of course nothing could be further from the truth," said Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate. "With a novelist's eye, a constitutional law professor's facility with the substantive arguments, and a saber-sharp wit to boot, Epps has produced here a love letter to the real Constitution; the document that has promoted freedom, tolerance and equality in this country for two centuries. Every American who seeks to reclaim that document should read it and confirm their suspicion that the debate over the constitution has two sides, not one."
Learn more about Garrett Epps.
Read a Baltimore Sun column about Epps's book.
Check out a podcast of Epps's appearance on WYPR's Midday with Dan Rodricks.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.