Speaker to discuss the Electoral College

Paul Finkelman

Paul Finkelman

The College will host an expert in history and the U.S. Constitution on Tuesday, Sept. 19 for a free lecture in observance of Constitution Day.

Paul Finkelman will speak on "How Slavery Brought Us The Electoral College: The Most Anti-Democratic Provision of the Constitution," at 7 p.m. in the Mitchell Auditorium. The discussion will examine the 3/5ths compromise reached between northern and southern states during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, which concluded that the southern slave population would be counted as 3/5ths of its actual population. Finkelman will examine the relationship between this clause and the formation of the Electoral College. He will discuss how today, the Electoral College system allows a minority of Americans to override the votes of the majority in a presidential election.

Finkelman is the John E. Murray Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of more than 200 scholarly articles and more than 40 books. He is a specialist on American legal history, U. S. Constitutional law, race and law, the law of American slavery, and the First Amendment. He holds a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and is a Fellow in Law and Humanities at Harvard Law School.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Constitution Day recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.