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In 1824 the Supreme Court of the United States decided  Gibbons v. Ogden, the first major case to come before it that required the Court to interpret and apply the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.  Over the course of the next 200 years the Commerce Clause would be reinterpreted and expanded to form the basis for the expansion of Federal regulation of diverse areas of public life. This conference will allow a small group of select participants to explore the ways in which the history, interpretation, and application of the US Constitution have impacted economic liberty in the United States.

Accepting applications to attend now through January 10.

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D.
Union University

Associate Professor of Political Science

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. serves as university fellow for religious liberty and associate professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Dr. Baker is also an associate editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality, an affiliate scholar of the Acton Institute, and a research fellow of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. 

He has been published in the Journal of Law and ReligionPerspectives on Political Science, the Journal of Markets & MoralityModern AgeTouchstone: A Journal of Mere ChristianityChristianity Today, and many other outlets.  He is the author of three books: The End of SecularismPolitical Thought: A Student’s Guide, and The System Has a Soul.  He has also contributed chapters to several other volumes.  In 2011, Baker won the Novak Prize awarded by the Acton Institute.

Patrick Garry, Ph.D.
University of South Dakota School of Law

Professor of Law

Patrick Garry, Ph.D. is a law professor with a Ph.D. in constitutional history. He has testified before Congress on constitutional issues and is a contributor to The Oxford Companion to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of numerous constitutional law books, including Wrestling With God: The Court's Tortuous Treatment of Religion and An Entrenched Legacy: How the New Deal Constitutional Revolution Continues to Shape the Role of the Supreme Court.

Adam J. MacLeod, J.D.
Faulkner University, Jones School of Law

Professor of Law

Adam J. MacLeod, J.D. serves as professor of law at Faulkner University, Jones School of Law; a Thomas Edison fellow in the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University; and a former visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

He is co-editor of Foundations of Law(Carolina Academic Press 2017) and author of Property and Practical Reason (Cambridge University Press 2015) and dozens of scholarly articles and essays. He holds degrees from Gordon College and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Honorable Joseph G. Scoville
Western District of Michigan

US Magistrate Judge (Retired)

Honorable Joseph G. Scoville served for 26 years as United States magistrate judge for the Western District of Michigan. Before taking the bench in January of 1988, he was a partner in the law firm of Warner, Norcross & Judd in Grand Rapids. Among other cases of public importance, he successfully argued an appeal to the United States Supreme Court on an issue of federal preemption.

Scoville is a past president of the Federal Bar Association, Western Michigan Chapter, and has been a faculty member for many continuing legal education programs in the state of Michigan. He has taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Judge Scoville is a graduate of Michigan State University (1971, with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) and University of Michigan Law School (1974, Magna cum Laude, Order of the Coif).

John D. Wilsey, Ph.D.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Associate Professor of History

John D. Wilsey, Ph.D. serves as the William G. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University for the 2017-18 academic year. He is the author of several articles and editorials, as well as One Nation Under God: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America (Pickwick, 2011), and American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea (IVP Academic, 2015).

Most recently, he has produced Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students for Lexham Press.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead
3300 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
United States


To be announced


This is a complimentary event for accepted applicants. Conference fees, lodging, and all meals during the conference will be covered for accepted applicants.

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