Harvard Professor Randall Kennedy to Deliver Constitution Day Lecture for LSU on the Fifteenth Amendment

BATON ROUGE – Professor Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School will be delivering LSU’s Constitution Day lecture on Friday, Sept. 18, from 3-4:15 p.m. “Our Fifteenth Amendment and Its Discontents” is his topic, and two LSU faculty members will serve as respondents. 

The program will be held via Zoom and is free to the public, but attendees must register in order to attend at www.lsu.edu/voegelin. This event is sponsored by the Eric Voegelin Institute, with co-sponsorship by the Pugh Institute for Justice and the Jack Miller Center.

Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law and the regulation of race relations. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he later attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court.

Kennedy is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association. A Trustee emeritus of Princeton University, Kennedy’s areas of study include contracts, race and the law, civil rights and civil liberties, constitutional law, and the Supreme Court.  In 1998 he was awarded the Robert F Kennedy Book Award for “Race, Crime, and the Law.”

Commenting on Kennedy's remarks will be Nathan Kalmoe, associate professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science. Kalmoe’s second book, “With Ballots and Bullets: Partisanship and Violence in the American Civil War,” has just been published by the Cambridge University Press. Also commenting will be Christopher J. Tyson, Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Professor of Law at the LSU Law Center.  An expert on municipal law, he is presently on leave to serve as the president and CEO of Build Baton Rouge, the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority.

“Nothing could be more timely in an election year of heightened racial consciousness than a discussion of the Fifteenth Amendment – which enshrined in the Constitution the right to vote without discrimination based on race, but was largely ignored for almost a century,” said James R. Stoner, Jr., Hermann Moyse Jr. Professor of Political Science and director of the Voegelin Institute, who will moderate the panel. “We are honored to have Professor Randall Kennedy, distinguished by his thoughtfulness and equanimity, to address the issues raised by the Amendment as they figure in our age.”

The Voegelin Institute, named for one of LSU’s original Boyd Professors and a scholar of international recognition and acclaim, is a humanities and social sciences research institute devoted to the revitalization of teaching and understanding of the “great books” of Western civilization in comparison with other traditions.The George W. and Jean H. Pugh Institute for Justice in the LSU Law Center provides support for research and educational activities that promote justice for individuals in the administration of the criminal and civil justice systems in Louisiana and elsewhere. The Jack Miller Center is a nonprofit foundation which supports the scholarship, teaching, and study of the central ideas and themes of American history and the broader traditions of Western Civilization.

For more information, visit www.lsu.edu/voegelin.  



Contact James Stoner
Eric Voegelin Institute


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations