January 11, 2008
Generally when people think about the Constitution and its future they begin from what we have and think within the confines of constitutional doctrine, trying to figure out how this or that provision of the document may be, or should be interpreted. This symposium starts from a different place, thinking about the constitution we would design were we starting with a blank slate, the constitution we would design if we were to begin with the 21st not the 18th century. What would it look like? Would it contain institutional arrangements that separate powers? Would it envision different institutions? Would it guarantee rights? Would it provide affirmative guarantees of welfare, education, health care? How would it deal with our global situation? Would it define citizenship in more or less inclusive ways? What, if anything, would it borrow from the constitutions of other nations?
Organized by Professor Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst and Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar for the 2007-2008 academic year at the University of Alabama School of Law.
David Fontana, George Washington Law School
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
William Marshall, University of North Carolina Law School
Lorraine Weinrib, University of Toronto Law School
Welcome and Introduction
Dean Ken Randall and Professor Austin Sarat
Reconceiving the United States Constitution
Lorraine Weinrib, University of Toronto School of Law
Moderator: Montre Carodine, The University of Alabama School of Law
Recognizing the Values Associated w Minority Dominated Institutions
Heather Gerken, Yale Law School
Moderator: Bryan Fair, The University of Alabama School of Law
Lunch and Keynote
Redesigning the United States Constitution: Is it Desirable? Is it Feasible?
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas School of Law
Recalibrating Checks and Balances: Dividing the Executive
William Marshall, University of North Carolina School of Law
Moderator: Pamela Bucy, The University of Alabama School of Law
Government in Opposition: the New Separation of Powers
David Fontana, George Washington University School of Law
Moderator: Paul Horwitz, The University of Alabama School of Law