The Notre Dame Law Review has a long tradition of hosting symposia that bring together well-respected and diverse speakers around a variety of timely and thought-provoking legal topics. Held each fall semester, the annual Symposium provides an environment for intellectual engagement and an opportunity to wrestle with pressing legal issues. Traditionally, each participant will publish an article in the Law Review’s annual Symposium issue.
Volume 89 Symposium: Fall 2013
In November 2013, the Law Review Symposium delved into the factors of constitutional doctrinal shifts. It focused on the question of whether the evolution of constitutional theory is driven by external pressures—such as economics, politics, culture, and social movements—or by an internal dialogue about constitutional meaning. Presenters looked to shed light on this question by exploring the most salient points of constitutional development and change in the 20th century. The Symposium included three panels of speakers that focused on the following eras: the Lochner/New Deal “switch in time,” the rights revolution of the Warren and Burger Courts, and the conservative revival of the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts.
Our panelists included:
Lochner/New Deal: David Bernstein, Barry Cushman, Samuel Olken, with William Kelley providing commentary
Warren and Burger Courts: Lucas Powe, Brad Snyder, Ryan Williams, with David Strauss providing commentary
Rehnquist and Roberts Courts: Kurt Lash, Stephen Sachs, Keith Whittington, with Amy Barrett providing commentary
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will give the Symposium’s keynote address.
Past Symposium topics and participants have included:
The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock, Symposium 2012–2013
The Symposium focused broadly on congressional gridlock, exploring various aspects of the issue from partisanship and civility to the utilization of the appropriations process to legislate. These and other facets of the topic were discussed against the backdrop of the 2012 election and current congressional inaction. Participants included Professors Josh Chafetz, Barry Cushman, Michael Gerhardt, Gerard Magliocca, Rebecca Kysar, John C. Roberts, Carl Tobias, George K. Yin, John Nagle, Michael Teter, Franita Tolson, and Sandra Zellmer. Former United States Congressman Thomas Allen gave the keynote address.
Educational Innovation and the Law, Symposium 2011–2012
The Symposium considered a wide range of legal issues related to education, including the education gap, school choice, charter schools, labor issues, and the effect of the current state and local fiscal crisis on public education. Two panels of legal scholars presented and discussed issues surrounding educational innovation and the law. Participants included Professor Michael Heise, Nicole Garnett, Jim Dwyer, Roderick Hills, Joseph Viteritti, Andrea Matwyshyn, Rosemary Salomone, Lia Epperson, and Peter Schuck. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave the keynote address.
Creativity and the Law, Symposium 2010–2011
The Symposium was dedicated to the relationship and role of the law in cultivating, focusing, and defending creativity. It considered a range of interdisciplinary questions such as, “What is creativity, and how does it map onto legal concepts like originality, novelty, or non-obviousness?” and inquired into the functionality of law, particularly intellectual property, in promoting creative enterprises. The Symposium brought together experts from several fields, including Rebecca Tushnet, Michael Madison, Funmi Arewa, Roberta Rosenthal Kwall, Gregory Mandel, Jessica Silbey, David Galenson, Mario Biagioli, Sean Seymore, Jeanne Fromer, Abraham Drassinower, and Keith Sawyer.