Tuesday, February 18, 2014

George Anastaplo at the Second Saturday Club

Standing (Left to Right): Jim Spring, Jason Jividen, Nathan Dinneen, Greg Smith, Lauren Hall, Andy Schott, Christian Cantir, Lewis Slawsky, Chris Thuot

Seated: Larry Arnhart, Morton Frisch, George Anastaplo

Andy Schott has sent me this photograph that was taken on April 1, 2006.  This was a gathering of what was called the Second Saturday Club, a group of faculty and students, mostly from Northern Illinois University, who met at my home for dinner and a discussion.

For this occasion, Mr. Anastaplo led a discussion of the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850.  He read a paper that was later published in his Reflections on Slavery and the Constitution (2012), pages 107-13.

I recall that in the discussion I disagreed with Mr. Anastaplo.  He defended the fugitive slave laws as constitutional and necessary.  I criticized these laws as unconstitutional because they denied those people claimed to be fugitive slaves their constitutional rights to due process and trial by jury.

This was an example of Mr. Anastaplo's favorite activity--reading some texts bearing on some deep issues in human life (like the debate over slavery), writing out his thoughts about those texts, leading a discussion of the texts with friends, and then publishing what he has written.

A post on a subsequent Second Saturday Club gathering with Mr. Anastaplo speaking on Strauss can be found here.

No comments: