In the News: 20th Boe Forum Speaker Announced

Justice Antonin Scalia

Photo credit: The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been announced as the speaker for the 20th Boe Forum on Public Affairs sponsored by the Center for Western Studies. The topic of his March presentation will be “Whether the U.S. Constitution is a Living Document." Justice Scalia joins a long list of distinguished speakers in the annual lecture series.

The following story about the announcement was published by the Argus Leader on November 30, 2015.

Justice Scalia to speak in Sioux Falls

By Patrick Anderson, Argus Leader

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will speak next year at Augustana University, according to a Monday announcement from the institution.

Scalia is the guest speaker for the 2016 Boe Forum on Public Affairs, with his presentation scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 9 at the Elmen Center, 2505 S. Grange Ave.

The Boe Forum strives to bring in big-name speakers each year, who can offer an expert voice on current topics that have an impact nationally and internationally, said Harry Thompson, executive director of Augustana’s Center for Western Studies. Scalia’s willingness to speak at this year’s event was an opportunity to rare and incredible to pass up.

“Anyone sitting on the Supreme Court, we just thought that this was the way to go,” Thompson said.

Scalia is scheduled to talk about the U.S. Constitution in his presentation, said Peter Schotten, a professor of government and international affairs at Augustana.

Schotten is a pre-law advisor at Augustana and helped the university contact Scalia through a friend.

Scalia, a New Jersey native, joined the Supreme Court in 1986 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. He is the longest-serving judge on the nation's highest court.

“He is a historic judge,” Schotten said. “He is a provocative thinker. He is a legal theorist. Most of all, it gives our students an opportunity to interact with him, to ask him questions.”

Scalia is a leading expert in interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and how it affects society and the courts, Schotten said. The discussion will likely focus on whether the Constitution is a living document, one of the judge’s key areas of interest, and something he has written extensively about.

“Is the Constitution an ever-changing document?” Schotten said. “Or is the Constitution a stable document that embodies a certain degree of thought and wisdom?”

Scalia is the latest entry to a list of prominent speakers who have visited Sioux Falls for the Boe Forum. He’s the first sitting judge to speak, but follows the likes of President George H. W. Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

The family of former Gov. Nils Boe established the Center’s endowment, and the 20-year-old lecture series follows Boe’s vision of having a program that would allow South Dakotans to connect with prominent thinkers and leaders, Thompson said.

“He wanted to be able to bring these kinds of people right here to Sioux Falls,” Thompson said. “To learn something about what goes on in the world.”


General admission tickets for this event are no longer available online. Please contact the Center for Western Studies at 605.274.4007 or cws@augie.edu to request tickets.