April 03, 2024

SIU School of Law Simonds lecture to focus on presidential power

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Legal historian, bestselling author and entrepreneur Logan Beirne will discuss presidential power through the nation’s history during a lecture on April 9 at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Law.

Beirne will present “A History of Presidential Power” at 5:30 p.m. in the law school’s Hiram H. Lesar Building Auditorium. A reception is at 5 p.m. in the formal lounge.

The lecture, part of the series, is free and open to the public.

Beirne is a faculty fellow and lecturer in law at Yale Law School and CEO of DealPulse, Inc. He co-founded and led Matterhorn Transactions, a legal tech company that serviced thousands of law firms across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, which he sold to an acquirer in 2023.

Beirne published the bestselling book “Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency,” which examines ”how the battlefield decisions of the founders continue to shape the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.” The book received the Colby Award and the Lincoln Medal. Beirne and his writings have been featured by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Times, Reuters, National Review and other media outlets.

In the lecture, Beirne will focus on how George Washington’s Revolutionary War precedents shape the powers of modern presidents today.”

“Whether we are debating NSA surveillance, immigration, or even drones, the founding era directly affects today,” he said. “When you scratch the surface of technology’s veneer, it is fundamentally about the same issues our founders faced: what are the powers of government vs. the rights of citizens. “

Unique background

Zvi Rosen, an assistant professor of law, recommended Beirne present this year’s lecture. He notes Beirne’s varied background as a lecturer, legal historian, businessman and author. In discussing presidential power through history, Beirne’s presentation “will further reflect his deep and unique knowledge and experience,” Rosen said.

“I hope the audience takes away a new appreciation of how past is prologue, and the context of understanding the evolution of presidential power through the centuries,” Rosen said.

Beirne will meet with SIU student groups and visit classes while he is on campus, including Rosen’s business organizations class. Rosen said he’s excited for Beirne to visit the class given Beirne’s experience on Wall Street, where Beirne worked in investment banking for JP Morgan and private equity for GE Equity.

Beirne earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Fairfield University and his law degree from Yale Law School. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Queen’s University.

“I am honored to give the Simonds Lecture and strive to empower our audience with the information they need to lead the United States into a better future — working to further our great nation as they deem best,” Beirne said. 

Seventh lecture in series

The series was established in 2015 through a gift from Emma K. “Katy” Simonds. The funds support a lecture, symposium or debate on a topic of current or recurring public interest, which explores commonsense solutions to issues related to the common good by applying principles of limited government, popular sovereignty, personal liberty, personal responsibility and federalism. 

(Editor’s note: Beirne’s last name is pronounced Burn.)