Georgia Southern University associate history professor Dr. Johnathan O’Neill will deliver a speech Wednesday on “Property Rights and the American Founding” to the United States Supreme Court.
O’Neill will deliver the speech as part of the 2012 Leon Silverman Lecture Series hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society.
O’Neill was invited in August to speak by his graduate school advisor at the University of Maryland, where he received his PhD.
His graduate school advisor, Dr. Herman Belz, is on the Supreme Court Historical Society board, he said.
Belz invited him to speak because “I have written about the topic quite a bit, and he is aware of the writings,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill is chairman of GSU’s history department and has authored several pieces including “Originalism in American law and Politics: A Constitutional History.” He helped pen “America and Enlightenment Constitutionalism.” He currently is working on a book to be titled “Constitutional Knowledge and Constitutional Maintenance in Twentieth-century America.”
He said he is excited about the opportunity. “It’s a little scary, (but) it is a great honor,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun, and I am going to try not to be so nervous I can’t enjoy it.”
O’Neill has attended the Leon Silverman Lecture Series before. “I’ve actually seen what happens.”
He received the invitation in August to speak during one of the three lectures held annually, he said.
The reservation-only event 2012 Leon Silverman Lecture Series focuses on the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s earliest history on property rights. Lectures will take place between March and November 2012 at the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Supreme Court Historical Society serves the Court, the legal profession, historians and the public. The Society is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical information about the Supreme Court of the United States through educational programs, publications, scholarship and the acquisition of Court-related antiques and artifacts, according to the society’s website.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.