Many of today’s hot-button political debates stem from a longstanding dispute about the nature of the U.S. Constitution. Some see a democratic document that focuses on the majority’s will. Others see a republican document that focuses on protecting individuals’ rights.

Georgetown University constitutional law professor Randy Barnett explores the history of those contrasting views in his book Our Republican Constitution. Barnett highlighted themes from the book during Monday night’s John W. Pope Lecture at N.C. State University. Barnett also offered his analysis of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and explained how Gorsuch’s view of the Constitution could affect the nation’s highest court.