The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Roger S. Aaron ’64 Lecture

The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture by Rebecca E. Zietlow

Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo College of Law, Rebecca Zietlow, spoke at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center during the fall term, delivering the Roger S. Aaron ’64 Lecture. She invoked values and constitutional inspiration, discussing the antislavery movement, reconstruction and individual rights.

Looking back on her career, she said her interest began after she started looking into cases on Congress’s power to enforce the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, issues of freedom, sovereign immunity, equality and citizenship rights.

“I’m really writing about Congress and about politics,” Zietlow said. “The court – especially these days – seems more and more political. It always has been somewhat political, but the politics of the court are behind closed doors, in the confirmation process, in conference. It is coded in the ways they use doctrine. But when it happens on the streets, everyone is very open about it and people are debating some of the most fundamental values of our society.”

Report from the Courts: State Attorneys General and President Trump

As the chief legal officers for their states, state attorneys general (AGs) often file lawsuits challenging the actions of Congress and the President and occupy the crucial and contested boundary between the federal and state governments. The Trump Administration presents new and rich examples for the study of the role of state AGs in litigation with the federal Executive, in cases concerning immigration, the environment, health care, and other subjects.

The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture this year was held as a panel discussion. Titled “State Attorneys General and President Trump: Report from the Courts," Elbert Lin, former WV Solicitor General; Jon Miller ’00, MA Attorney Gen. Office; and Ernie Young ’90, Duke Law School participated at panelist. The moderator was Tom Barnico ’77, Boston College Law School. The event was co-sponsored with the Dartmouth Lawyers Association and the Dartmouth Legal Studies Faculty Group

The Future of Privacy, Free Speech, and the Curse of Bigness

With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this month, a seat in the Supreme Court has opened up. The vacancy of his seat removes a critical voice in the contentious decisions that face the Justices of the Supreme Court. Thus, a monumental debate over who should and will succeed Justice Scalia ensues. Connecting current events to the timeless values of the Supreme Court, the Rockefeller Center hosted a lecture by Jeffrey Rosen on the 100th anniversary of the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Louis D. Brandeis.

Public Program: Q&A with this year's Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecturer, Mark Tushnet

The William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Mark Tushnet is one of the leading theorists on constitutional law. He is the co-author of four casebooks and has written numerous books, including a two-volume work on the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall and, most recently, "Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law," "In the Balance: The Roberts Court and the Future of Constitutional Law," "Why the Constitution Matters," and "Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Perspective." He was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Before his talk this month for The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture entitled “Constitutional Review and a General ‘Right to Liberty’,” Courtney Wong ’15 sat down with Mark Tushnet for an interview.

 

 

Public Program: The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture - “Constitutional Review and a General ‘Right to Liberty’” with Mark Tushnet

Please join us for the Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture, “Constitutional Review and a General ‘Right to Liberty,’” presented by Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, in Rockefeller 003 at 4:30 pm this Thursday, January 15.

Also join Mark Tushnet for a student lunch from 12:15 to 1:30 pm on January 15 in the Class of 1930 Room, Rockefeller Center.

Much of today’s political discourse features debate over the scope of government authority, especially as it pertains to regulation of individual liberties. While some believe that government holds the constitutional authority to restrict individual expression and privacy, others contend that these are natural rights that the government cannot regulate. How should our government interpret the scope of its constitutional authority over individual rights in the context of today’s society?

 

 

Law Professor James Fleming to Discuss “The Myth of Strict Scrutiny for Fundamental Rights” on 10/31 at 4:30 PM

 

In constitutional law, it is commonplace to say that the Supreme Court applies “strict scrutiny” in protecting fundamental rights under the Due Process Clause – almost automatically invalidating any statute restricting such rights. But James Fleming, Boston University Law Professor and incoming Vice President of Law for the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, proposes a new theory, one that shakes the very framework of the U.S. legal system.

Fleming’s lecture, “The Myth of Strict Scrutiny for Fundamental Federal Rights,” will outline this controversy and its effects on the current justice system. He suggests that certain justices are utilizing this misconception to push their own agenda, one that increases difficulty in protecting rights of privacy and autonomy. Fleming argues that opponents of these ideas have yet to realize that they are perpetuates a system of injustice and misconstrued mindsets. The lecture will discuss a new framework: the use of “reasoned judgment” in protecting “ordered liberty.”

"Backlash Revisited: The Lost History of Legislation on Violence and Women" - Oct. 9th Talk by Victoria Nourse

 
Less than 300 women have served as members of the United States Congress, currently in its 112th session. This shortage of female voices in the U.S. legislative branch is another reminder that the field of law has historically been exceptionally male-dominated. Nonetheless, women’s equality issues today are becoming increasingly important. In order to understand more about the future of laws pertaining to women and violence, we must examine the character of past developments and legislation.

Victoria Nourse, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Congressional Studies at Georgetown University Law Center, will speak in part on her next book project, “Notes from the Legislative Underground,” that addresses the emergence of women’s issues in a Congress with few women, the passing of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, and the resurfacing of women's equality issues in the so-called "war on women."

VT Law School Professor to Discuss "The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy" on 11/16 at 4:30 PM

 

Survivors of torture seeking to hold a former head of state accountable; an investigation into deaths in police custody; a community surrounded by a toxic soup of chemical contaminants turning to international organizations for help; efforts to strengthen U.N. action on the rights of LGBT people. What role has international law played in these and other human rights initiatives? What have been some of the limits of this law? Professor Stephanie Farrior will share observations from more than 25 years of international human rights advocacy.

 

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