Overview

This two-day symposium, chaired by Professor Andrew Coan (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law) and co-sponsored by Professor David Schwartz (University of Wisconsin Law School), is entitled, "Rationing the Constitution: How Judicial Capacity Shapes Supreme Decision-Making." The Symposium will explore the structural organization of the judiciary, the constraints of the Supreme Court, and the implications on U.S. Constitutional Law. Compared with the vast machinery surrounding Congress and the president, the Supreme Court is a tiny institution that can resolve only a small fraction of the constitutional issues that arise in any given year. Due to the structural organization of the judiciary and certain widely shared professional norms, the capacity of the Supreme Court to review lower-court decisions is severely limited. In deciding cases, the Court must therefore not invite more litigation than it can handle. On many of the most important constitutional questions—touching on federalism, the separation of powers, and individual rights—this constraint creates a strong pressure to adopt hard-edged categorical rules, or defer to the political process, or both. The implications for U.S. constitutional law are profound. Lawyers, academics, and social activists pursuing social reform through the courts must consider whether their goals can be accomplished within the constraints of judicial capacity. 

Format

The Symposium will be a public event consisting of 5 panels. It will begin at 4:00pm on Thursday, October 24th and conclude at 5:00pm on Friday, October 25th. The Law Review will host dinners for panelists and other invited guests on the evening of Thursday, October 24th.

Agenda and Program

Tentative Schedule:

Thursday, October 24, 2019 Room 2260
4:00-4:15 pm Welcome Remarks from the Symposium Editors
4:15-5:45 pm

Panel One: Individual Rights

  • Moderator: Anuj Desai, Voss Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Neil Komesar, Miller Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Bertrall Ross, Chancellor's Professor of Law, Berkeley Law
  • Carol M. Rose, Gordon Bradford Tweedy Professor Emeritus of Law and Organization; Professorial Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
5:45-5:55 pm Day 1 Closing Remarks from the Symposium Editors
6:30-8:30 pm Dinner for Speakers and Invited Guests
Friday, October 25, 2019 Room 2260
8:30-9:00 am Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:30 am

Panel Two: Federalism

  • Moderator: Asifa Quraishi-Landes, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • David S. Schwartz, Foley & Lardner Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Neil S. Siegel, David W. Ichel Professor of Law and Professor of Politics; Director of the DC Summer Institute on Law and Policy, Duke Law School
  • Gil Seinfeld, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Programming, University of Michigan Law School
  • Erin Ryan, Elizabeth C. & Clyde W. Atkinson Professor, Florida State University College of Law
10:30-10:45 am Break
10:45 am-12:15 pm

Panel Three: Separation of Powers

  • Moderator: John Ohnesorge, George Young Bascom Professor of Law, Director for East Asian Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Jon D. Michaels, Professor of Law, UCLA Law
  • Miriam Seifter, Associate Professor of Law and Rowe Faculty Fellow in Regulatory Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Laurence Claus, Professor of Law, University of San Diego
  • Julian Davis Mortenson, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
12:15-1:30 pm

Lunch Break

Keynote Speaker: Andrew Coan, Professor of Law; Director, William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government, University of Arizona Law

1:45-3:15 pm

Panel Four: Judicial Independence

  • Moderator: Rob Yablon, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Jane S. Schacter, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Carolyn Shapiro, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • David Fontana, Samuel Tyler Research Professor, George Washington University Law School
3:15-3:30 pm Break
3:30-5:00 pm

Panel Five: Judicial Competence

  • Moderator: Howie Erlanger, Voss-Bascom Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Eric Berger, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law, Nebraska College of Law
  • Stuart Chinn, Associate Dean for Programs and Research; James O. and Alfred T. Goodwin Senior Fellow; Associate Professor, University of Oregon School of Law
  • Edward L. Rubin, Professor of Law and Political Science, Vanderbilt Law School
5:00-5:10 pm Closing Remarks from the Symposium Editors

Participant Bios

Important Deadlines for Speakers

  • Monday, September 16th: Submit presenation titles, bios, abstracts (or short description of your presentation), and any dietary restrictions to Michelle Preston
  • Monday, September 31st: Submit preliminary drafts to Michelle Preston

Access to Papers

Papers will be posted here.

CLE Credit

10 hours of CLE Credit approved for WI Attorneys.

Background Reading for CLE Credit:

Accomodation

We have reserved a block of hotel rooms for speakers and panelists at the DoubleTree Hotel. The DoubleTree is within walking distance of the Law School and offers a complimentary shuttle. 

CAMPUS MAP

Campus Map

QUESTIONS?

Please contact Wisconsin Law Review Symposium Editors Meg Sternitzky and Nathan Kuenzi.

Sponsors

Institute for Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin Law School, Associated Students of Madison, University Lectures General Fund

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