Seminar: Institute for Constitutional History – NYC & DC (DL: 15.11; 30.11)

Institute for Constitutional History – Upcoming Seminars

The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation’s premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Established by the Supreme Court Historical Society, ICH is now located at the New-York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School. Below is application information for upcoming seminars in New York City and Washington, D.C.

THE SUPREME COURT IN THE AGE OF HOLMES AND BRANDEIS (NYC)

Tuesday afternoons, 4–6 pm, February 12, 19, and 26, March 5, 12, and 19. The seminar will meet at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.

This six-week seminar will examine the influence of two men—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Louis Dembitz Brandeis—on American constitutional development from 1902 to 1939. Although the phrase “Holmes and Brandeis dissenting” led many people to believe that they shared a common jurisprudential philosophy, the differences between them are as important as the areas in which they agreed. We will look at the biographies of the two men, the classical legal thought that dominated the Court throughout most of this period, the important cases in which they wrote—mainly in dissent—and the influence of those opinions on subsequent cases.

INSTRUCTORS:
Melvin I. Urofsky is professor of law and public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the longtime editor of the Journal of Supreme Court History and has written widely on American constitutional development. His most recent books are the prize-winning Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (2009) and with the late Kermit Hall, New York Times v. Sullivan: Civil Rights, Libel Law, and the Free Press (2011).

John Fabian Witt is the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, a member of the Yale History Department, and the author of three books and numerous articles on the history of American law, including (most recently) Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (2012).

APPLICATION PROCESS:
The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions. Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar. Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities. Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org<mailto:MMarcus@nyhistory.org> until November 15, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter. For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an e-mail to MMarcus@nyhistory.org<mailto:MMarcus@nyhistory.org>.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own. Modest assistance with travel expenses from outside the New York metropolitan area may be available.

THE LOCHNER ERA, 1880–1940 (DC)

Thursday evenings, 6:00–8:00 p.m., January 10, 17, 24, and 31, February 7, and 14. The seminar will meet in the Deans Conference Room (E212) at The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

Barry Cushman is the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to Notre Dame in 2012 he served for fifteen years on the faculty of the University of Virginia, where he was the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History. He has published widely on the subjects of constitutional law, political economy, and social reform during the Progressive Era and the New Deal. His book, Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1998) was awarded the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Prize in American Law and Society.

PROGRAM CONTENT:
This seminar will examine significant developments in the areas of constitutional law governing social and economic regulation in the so-called “Lochner Era,” extending roughly from 1880 to 1940. Attention will be given to restrictions on and changes in the scope of the federal powers to tax, to spend, and to regulate interstate commerce, as well as to limitations placed upon state and federal regulatory competence by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Equal Protection Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and the Dormant Commerce Clause. We will seek to understand how these limitations and developments presented both obstacles and opportunities to regulatory reformers, how they constrained and shaped legal strategies, and why particular reformers succeeded or failed in securing their regulatory objectives. The assigned readings will include Supreme Court decisions of the period and secondary works that focus on specific topics within the period.

APPLICATION PROCESS:
The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions. Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar. Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities. Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org<mailto:MMarcus@nyhistory.org> until November 30, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter. For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an e-mail to MMarcus@nyhistory.org<mailto:MMarcus@nyhistory.org>.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own.

 

We thank Charles Zelden for the pointer.

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