2023 Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture
on the Role of Government and the Law
"Our Democratic Republic"
Are we a democracy, or republic? To ask this question is to pick a fight in today's America. But the distinction between the two is rarely as crisp as the most passionate participants in this debate assume, and our original founders often used the terms interchangeably. The questions our founders struggled with were not whether we would be a democracy or a republic – we are both, and more – but rather how to organize the institutions that would structure our system of self-government. In a democratic republic like ours, "the people" rule, but who are the people and how do they rule? These are the issues that divided the 1787 founders, and they remain at the root of many of our deepest debates today.
J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law &
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
University of Georgia School of Law
Friday, October 20, 2023
Max L. Rowe Auditorium
Lecture is free and open to the public.
A reception will follow in the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Pavilion.
Lori Ringhand teaches courses on constitutional law, election law, and state and local government law. She has been a member of the University of Georgia School of Law faculty since 2008 and was named a Hosch Professor in 2012 and awarded a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professorship, UGA's highest teaching honor, in 2021.
She is a nationally known Supreme Court scholar and the author of the book Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change (with Paul M. Collins) published by Cambridge University Press. She also is the co-author of Constitutional Law: A Context and Practices Casebook, which is part of a series of casebooks dedicated to incorporating active teaching and learning methods into traditional law school casebooks. Ringhand recently received a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award to spend the spring 2019 semester as a visiting professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Her Fulbright research explored the different approaches to campaign finance regulation taken by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ringhand served as the law school's associate dean for academic affairs from 2015 to 2018 and as the interim director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center from January 2020 to July 2021. She was presented with the C. Ronald Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 and 2015, and the John C. O'Byrne Memorial Faculty Award for Furthering Student-Faculty Relations in 2017. For the 2016-17 academic year, she served as a Women Leadership Fellow, a program developed by the UGA Provost's Office.
Ringhand graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as an articles editor on the Wisconsin Law Review. She also holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, awarded with distinction, from the University of Oxford. Before coming to UGA, she served on the faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Law and as a visiting scholar at the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law.
The Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law is made possible through the generosity of Carl Vacketta, ’65, and DLA Piper, which has more than 4,200 lawyers in offices in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States; and represents more clients in a broader range of geographies and practice disciplines than any other law firm in the world.
The Series is a component of The Marbury Institute, named for William L. Marbury, Jr. (1901-1988), who was instrumental in the development of the firm and devoted his career to public and community service. The Institute serves as DLA Piper’s initiative to promote the highest ideals of the legal profession.
Previous speakers include:
The Honorable John Paul Stevens, October 2002
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, October 2003
General Joseph W. Ralston, USAF (Ret), October 2004
Senator George J. Mitchell, October 2005
Governor James Blanchard, October 2006
U.S. Ambassador Marc Grossman, October 2007
Admiral James Loy, October 2008
Senator William Cohen, October 2009
U.S. Ambassador Craig Kelley, October 2010
U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, September 2011
U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, October 2012
Senator Thomas Daschle, October 2013
Commissioner (EEOC) Chai R. Feldblum, October 2014
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation & Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, October 2015
Former Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State Harold Hongju Koh, October 2016
Governor Jim Edgar, October 2017
Former Solicitor General of the United States Paul Clement, October 2018
Hendrik Hartog, Professor, Princeton University, October 2019
Obama Foundation Executive Vice President Michael Strautmanis, March 2023
For more information:
Carolyn Turner, Assistant Dean for Administration