The Magna Carta, Due Process, and Administrative Power

- Philip Hamburger, Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture, American Enterprise Institute, September 17, 2015.
Summary: Is the Magna Carta still relevant? By the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell was already allegedly declaring, “Magna Carta, Magna Farta.” Numerous legal commentators today remain nearly as skeptical of its significance. Although no constitutional… More

Conversations with Bill Kristol: James Ceaser

- James Ceaser, Conversations with Bill Kristol, March 2, 2015.
In this footage from Conversations with Bill Kristol, University of Virginia political scientist James Ceaser reflects on the lives and ideas of seminal teachers of political philosophy and American government: Harvey Mansfield, James Q. Wilson, Walter Berns,… More


- Audio, "Dialogue," Woodrow Wilson Center.
In ancient Sparta patriotism meant a commitment to warfare and a view of the state as divine. For modern Americans patriotism is set on a much different and abstract basis. Walter Berns explains how America’s patriotism must mean commitment to a set of… More

Walter Berns and Leon Kass on Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

- Discussion with Walter Berns and Leon Kass, hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, December 20, 2012.
At a discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, What So Proudly We Hail editor Leon R. Kass and Walter Berns (professor emeritus, Georgetown University) discussed Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln and the lasting impact of our 16th… More

Walter Berns and the Constitution: A Celebration of the Constitution, with Opening Remarks by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

- Panel discussion of Walter Berns' scholarship, hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, September 20, 2011.
In mid-September 2011, as part of AEI’s Program on American Citizenship, we celebrated Constitution Day (September 17), the day thirty-nine members of the Constitutional Convention signed the draft constitution. In conjunction with that remembrance, we… More

Free Markets and the Constitution

- Audio lecture, American Enterprise Institute, August 11, 2009.
Why is the number of Americans who value free enterprise, and who understand its virtues and benefits declining–especially among students and younger citizens? Asked in an April Rasmussen poll to choose the better system between capitalism and… More

Abraham Lincoln at Two Hundred

- Audio lecture, American Enterprise Institute, February 9, 2009.
Abraham Lincoln was the greatest of our presidents. He saved the Union, which made it possible for him to free the slaves. But he did more than this; without him we probably would have had no reason to celebrate the bicentennial first of the Declaration of… More

Transatlantic Law Forum: Citizenship in Europe and the United States

- Audio, American Enterprise Institute, October 16, 2008.
On both sides of the Atlantic, “citizenship” is the subject of vital and often contentious policy debates. In the United States, a nation famously founded on a creed rather than blood ties, the question of what it means to be an American citizen… More

Democracy and the Constitution: Essays by Walter Berns

- Audio, book forum, American Enterprise Institute, September 29, 2006.
AEI scholar and historian Walter Berns has spent his academic career defending the United States Constitution. In his latest collection of essays, Democracy and the Constitution (AEI Press, September 2006), he addresses issues such as natural law, civil and… More

Higher Education and Democracy

- "Higher Education and Democracy in Peace and War: Is Higher Education Compatible with Patriotism?," panel discussion hosted by the National Association of Scholars, May 31, 2002.
In a forum titled “Higher Education and Democracy in Peace and War: Is Higher Education Compatible with Patriotism?,” participants talked about the state of higher education and the dominance of a liberal mindset in academia. Following their remarks… More

What Patriotism Means Today

- Panel discussion hosted at the American Enterprise Institute, April 8, 2002.
In a panel discussion titled “What Patriotism Means Today,” panelists talked about the history of patriotism in the U.S., the impact of terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on patriotic expression, and views of the U.S. around the world. Following… More

Walter Berns on C-SPAN Booknotes

- Interview with Walter Berns on his book Making Patriots by Brian Lamb, Booknotes, C-SPAN, August 19, 2001.
Excerpt: BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Walter Berns, where did you get the idea of writing a book called Making Patriots? Professor WALTER BERNS (Author, Making Patriots): Where did I get the idea? I suppose when I began to reflect on such things as pa–parades in… More

Patriotism and Citizenship

- Panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, May 20, 2001.
The panelists discussed American patriotism and Mr. Berns’ book, Making Patriots, published by University of Chicago Press. Other panelists were Mr. Cohen, author of Citizens and Soldiers: The Dilemmas of Military Service; Mrs. Cheney, author… More

Election Reform

- Discussion hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, April 5, 2001.
The panelists discussed efforts to reform the U.S. election system since the contested presidential vote in Florida last year and answered questions from the audience of high school students.

Interview with Walter Berns About His WWII Service

- Walter F. Berns Collection (AFC/2001/001/15689), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
Oral history interview with Walter F. Berns by Valda Morris-Slack for the Veterans History Project.

Electoral College Votes Preview

- C-SPAN, December 18, 2000.
Mr. Berns and Mr. White talked about the Electoral College process. They focused on how the process is run and why it was created by the Founding Fathers. They also responded to viewer telephone calls.

Electoral College

- Panel hosted by Georgetown University, November 29, 2000.
Panelists talked about the electoral college system of voting for president in the U.S. They also talked about which voters have the most power under the current system.

Popular vs. Electoral College Vote

- Panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, November 1, 2000.
Participants spoke about the role and workings of the Electoral College. They talked about such topics as the history of the Electoral College and the role it had played in past elections. They also discussed the possibility that the 2000 election might… More

Has the Electoral College Flunked Out?

- Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg, PBS, November 16, 2000.
This week, Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg takes an in-depth look at the history and purpose of the electoral college. The controversy surrounding the 2000 election has led many to question the way America elects its president. Some have even proposed… More

Is this a New, New Deal?

- Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg, PBS, January 6, 1995.
Some say the New Deal didn’t end until January 4th, 1995, when the Republicans finally took over Congress. Does this new Congress signal a dramatic shift in the politics and policies of America?

A Firing Line Debate: Resolved: That the Death Penalty Is a Good Thing

- Video, Firing Line, May 24, 1994.
Guests: Ed Koch, Walter Berns, Susan Boleyn, Ira Glasser, Leon Botstein, Stephen B. Bright, Bryan Stevenson Summary: Many of the arguments regarding the death penalty are familiar: the disproportion between the number of murders and murderers executed; the… More

Smoking, Is Big Brother Becoming Big Nanny?

- Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg, PBS, April 29, 1994.
Think Tank discusses the government’s role in limiting cigarette smoking, in light of the Smoke-Free Environment Act before Congress. How far should the government go in telling people what risks they can take?

Electoral College Procedure

- C-SPAN, January 6, 1993.
Mr. Berns discussed the origins and history of the electoral college process, with the 1992 electoral college scheduled to take place later in the day. He also commented on footage from the electoral college votes in Pennsylvania and Virginia in December… More

History of Electoral College in Election

- C-SPAN, September 28, 1992.
Representatives of various groups discussed the electoral college and its origins. The group also talked about presidential elections where the electoral college was significant.

Electoral College Proceedings

- C-SPAN, July 3, 1992.
Mr. Berns discussed the electoral college and its functions in the election process. Mr. Berns recently authored a book about the electoral college entitled, After the People Vote.

Third Party Candidates

- Panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, March 27, 1992.
The panel discussed the potential of a third party candidate in the presidential primary, the possibility of Ross Perot entering the presidential race, the public assesment of the current presidential candidates, and the likelihood of a third party candidate… More

Blacks, Women & Jews & the Constitution

- Panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, April 19, 1990.
A panel discusses Robert Goldwin’s new book, Why Blacks, Women, and Jews Are Not Mentioned in the Constitution, and Other Unorthodox Views.

Liberty and Equality

- Panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, December 1, 1987.
This a session from the larger conference held by the American Enterprise Institute entitled “The Spirit of the Constitution.” The focus of this panel was liberty and equality. Part of the focus of the discussion was the relationship between the… More