Upcoming Events


The Center for Constitutional Studies hosts two major conferences each year and a variety of lectures, public debates, and symposia.  

2019 Events

2019 Conference on Free Markets and the Constitution: "Debating the Wealth Tax"

The 2019 Conference on Free Markets and the Constitution will take place at the UVU Main Campus on October 24th. It will feature three events, two of which feature debate about a proposal gaining increasing popularity: the wealth tax.

Two Democratic Party presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have put forward proposals featuring a wealth tax, which they argue would decrease economic inequality and increase federal revenue. A wealth tax would be applied to the assets of the wealthy every year in addition to the income tax, which makes it quite unlike luxury sales taxes or inheritance taxes. Warren’s proposal, for example, would impose 2% annual tax on households with a net worth between $50 million and $1 billion, and a 3% annual tax on households with a net worth over $1 billion.

The Center for Constitutional Studies will be joined by three distinguished scholars, Brian Domitrovic, Frank Garmon, and Denise Hearn, to debate whether a wealth tax would be good economic policy, and whether such a tax would be constitutional.

Additionally, the conference features a talk by David Stirling, the Founding Executive and CEO of dōTERRA, in conjunction with the Reed & Christine Hallaway Executive Leadership Series.

October 24th: Debating the Wealth Tax

10:00-11:15am | CB 101B | Panel 1: Economic Inequality and the Wealth Tax

Brian Domitrovic- "The Evidence Condemns the Wealth Tax"

11:30am-12:20pm | Ragan Theater | The Reed & Christine Halladay Executive Lecture Series

David Stirling- "Creating Markets, Leaders, and Movements"

This event is sponsored by the Woodbury School of Business

2:30-3:45pm | CB 510 | Panel 2: Debating the Wealth Tax

Frank Garmon- "Is the Wealth Tax Constitutional?" 

Denise Hearn- "Wealth Tax: Cure for a Symptom, Not the Disease"

Guest Speaker Biographies

Brian Domitrovic is a historian of supply-side economics. He has written the history of supply-side economics Econoclasts (2009); co-authored with Lawrence Kudlow the history of the 1964 tax cut JFK and the Reagan Revolution (2016); and edited several volumes of the collected works of economist Arthur Laffer, including The Pillars of Reaganomics (2014) and Oil and Energy (2016). He has briefed public officials including the Federal Reserve chair, has appeared in numerous media outlets from the Wall Street Journal to National Public Radio, writes regularly at Forbes.com, appears regularly on Fox Business television, and has taught at several universities including as the visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy at the University of Colorado Boulder. Currently he is the Richard S. Strong Scholar at the Laffer Center. He received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard and lives in The Woodlands, Texas.

Frank W. Garmon Jr. is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University. His research and teaching emphasizes economic and business history, entrepreneurship, and the history of technology. He has papers forthcoming at the Journal of the Early Republic and Historical Methods. Garmon studied history and economics at Christopher Newport University, before completing his MA and PhD in history at the University of Virginia. For his dissertation research, Garmon sampled state property tax records to measure changes in wealth after the American Revolution. His book project, The Price of Liberty: How the Constitution Created a Nation of Taxpayers, considers how the debates over direct taxation shaped the development of American federalism.

Denise Hearn is founder of Denise Hearn LLC — a company that moves resources to companies and organizations that support human and ecological flourishing. Her work focuses on three key pillars: research, deploying capital, and convening the highly resourced with systems change leaders globally. Denise is co-creator of the First Principles Forum, a platform to support and challenge technology company founders who want to use their wealth for good. Denise is also co-author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition named one of the Financial Times’ Best Books of 2018 and endorsed by two Nobel Prize winners. Denise has presented at many venues, including the Oxford Union, Bloomberg, and the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club. She has built new impact investment models in Canada, helped create the world’s first Trustmark for Sharing Economy companies in the UK, and was chosen to participate in the Alt/Now: Economic Inequality residency program at the Banff Centre. Denise has an MBA from the Oxford Saïd Business School, where she co-chaired the Social Impact Oxford Business Network, and a BA in International Studies from Baylor University.


2019 CCS Constitution Week Conference: "The Founders Divided"

The 2019 CCS Constitution Week Conference will take place at the UVU Main Campus from September 17th-19th. The conference focuses on the strong disagreements, which eventually led to the formation of America’s first political parties, which rent the Founding generation in two.  Within only a couple years of James Madison’s and Alexander Hamilton’s joint effort in The Federalist Papers to urge ratification of the new Constitution, they were opposing one another in disputes about the new nation’s finances, its relations with France, and the interpretation of key clauses of the Constitution.  Their parting of ways reflected a broader, and often quite heated, ideological split in the 1790s that involved nearly all of America’s Founding Fathers.  Join us to hear leading scholars explore this less-flattering and still-controversial side of America’s Founding.  The conference will also feature discussion of a new book on James Madison, and of the abiding issue of Federalism.

One of our guest speakers is William B. Allen, an expert on George Washington and the Federalist Papers.  He will be speaking on Constitution Day, September 17th, at 10-11:15am in CB 101b. The entire conference schedule can be found below.



September 17th: The Divide of the 1790s

10:00-11:15am | CB 101B | Lecture: “A Fire Not to Be Quenched: the Baneful Effects of Party Spirit” | William B. Allen

11:30am- 12:50pm | Lakeview Room | VIP Luncheon | Kirk Ellis (By Invite Only)

1:00-2:30pm | FL 120 | Panel: "The Divide of the 1790s" | Jeremy Bailey, Carson Holloway, and Andrew Shankman

7:30-9:15pm | Ragan Theater | "A Meet-the-Screenwriter Viewing of HBO miniseries John Adams, Episode Five" | Kirk Ellis and John Newman


September 18th: James Madison's Central Role

9-10:30am | Ragan Theater | Panel: "A Fresh Look at James Madison" | Rodney Smith, CCS Director and author of James Madison: The Father of Religious Liberty, Stephanie Barclay, Nicholas Cole, and William B. Allen 

11:00am-12:15pm | Ragan Theater | Panel: "Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Washington During the Divide of the 1790s" | CCS Directors


September 19th: Federalism, the Founders, and the Commerce Clause

10-11:15am | CB 101B | Lecture: "Federalism and the Founders" | Troy Smith

2:30-3:45pm | CB 510B | Panel: "Understanding Federalism" | John Eastman and other distinguished guests