Professor Mary Anne Franks Selected to Deliver Prestigious 41st Tresolini Lecture on the U.S. Constitution


Professor Mary Anne Franks

Professor Mary Anne Franks

Miami Law Professor and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair Mary Anne Franks virtually delivered the 41st Tresolini Lecture sponsored by Lehigh University where she encouraged listeners to think about what it means to honor the Constitution and how the nation has dealt with various interpretations of the document over the years.

Franks, an award-winning author and nationally and internationally recognized expert on the intersection of civil rights and technology, delivered the lecture titled “The Faithless Constitution: Rights and Responsibilities in the 21st Century.”

Her presentation coincided with Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787 in Philadelphia.

The Rocco J. Tresolini Lectureship in Law was established in 1978, in memory of one of Lehigh University’s most distinguished teachers and scholars, Rocco Tresolini (1920-1967), who served as professor and chair of the Department of Government.

Franks is the latest in a long line of luminaries to deliver the Tresolini Lecture, including journalist Carl Bernstein, public intellectual Cornel West, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former Watergate-era White House Counsel John Dean, Bush v. Gore attorney David Boies, and Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck.

Franks wrote the award-winning book, The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech. Last year, she was awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation for research on her second book, Fearless Speech, expected to be released in 2022.

Her work has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the California Law Review and UCLA Law Review. She also authored numerous articles for publications like the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and Newsweek.

She teaches classes on criminal law, criminal procedure, First Amendment law, Second Amendment law, family law and technology.

Franks is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the University of Miami Department of Philosophy and an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project.