Starting today, the Stanford Constitutional Law Center will be hosting a conference on "The Role of History in Constitutional Law." Here is the program:
Friday, February 28, 2014
1:15 pm The History of the Use of History in Constitutional Law – SLS Room 190
What role has history played in previous debates about constitutional interpretation? Has that role changed over time? If so, why? Can this historical perspective inform contemporary debates about the use of history in constitutional interpretation?
Bob Gordon (moderator), Stanford Law School
Lawrence Friedman, Stanford Law School
Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School
Suzanna Sherry, Vanderbilt University Law School
Ted White, University of Virginia School of Law
3:15 pm Originalism: Theory, Techniques, and Problems – SLS Room 190
How is originalism defined and practiced? What are its justifications, its methods, its strengths, and its weaknesses? How can the theory and practice of originalism be improved? Is there, and should there be, hope of methodological consensus?
Michael McConnell (moderator), Stanford Law School
Helen Irving, University of Sydney Law School
Keith Whittington, Princeton University, Department of Politics
Michael Paulsen, University of St. Thomas School of Law
Saul Cornell, Fordham University, History Department
Saturday, March 1, 2014
8:45 am Liquidation: Theory, Techniques, and Problems – SLS Room 190
James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 37 that laws “are considered as more or less obscure and equivocal, until their meaning be liquidated and ascertained by a series of particular discussions and adjudications.” What role should precedent and longstanding practice play in constitutional interpretation? What are the justifications, methods, strengths, and weaknesses of “liquidation”?
Jenny Martinez (moderator), Stanford Law School
Bernie Meyler, Stanford Law School
Neil Siegel, Duke University School of Law
Steve Sachs, Duke University School of Law
Will Baude, University of Chicago Law School
10:30 am History and the 14th Amendment – SLS Room 190
How can and should history affect our understanding of the14th Amendment? Does interpreting the 14th Amendment raise unique questions about the use of history in constitutional interpretation?
Nathan Chapman (moderator), University of Georgia Law School
Garrett Epps, University of Baltimore School of Law
John Harrison, University of Virginia School of Law
Kurt Lash, University of Illinois College of Law
12:00 pm Lunch – SLS Law Café
Keynote Lecture: Keith Whittington, Princeton University
A Critical Guide to Originalism
1:15 pm Case Studies in the Supreme Court’s Use of History – SLS Room 190
Focusing on several prominent historical controversies in the Supreme Court, how have the justices performed when using historical evidence? Are their methods and analysis faithful to the historical discipline? What do these case studies reveal about efforts to use history in constitutional law?
Elizabeth Magill (moderator), Stanford Law School
Eugene Volokh, UCLA School of Law
Jack Rakove, Stanford University, Department of History
Mike Ramsey, University of San Diego School of Law
2:45 pm History in the Future – SLS Room 190
How is the use of history in constitutional interpretation changing, and where might it be headed? Are scholarly views converging or diverging? How are others within and outside the academy likely to respond?
The Honorable Consuelo Callahan (moderator), Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Barry Friedman, New York University School of Law
Mike Rappaport, University of San Diego School of Law
Sai Prakash, University of Virginia School of Law
4:15 pm Closing remarks by Michael McConnell