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January 29, 2010

Moments of political transition pose great challenges for law, whether they are regime changes or the orderly transition from one government to the next. During these periods, law may appear to be absent or in suspension. Yet law is often involved, providing a broad framework for moving from one status to another. Locating law in times of transition has been a staple in legal theory and jurisprudence as well as private and administrative law. This symposium asks what can be learned about law itself by examining moments of transition. Panelists inquire about transitions between presidential administrations in the United States, transitions as persons or goods cross from one legal regime to another, or moments of founding new regimes. What challenges for law are posed by transitions? When and why do moments of transitions nurture legal ingenuity and resourcefulness? When and why do they precipitate crises in legal authority?

Organized by Professor Austin Sarat, Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar, The University of Alabama School of Law and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political, Science Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, Amherst College.

Participants include:
Jack Beermann, Boston University School of Law
Nina Mendelson, University of Michigan
Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University
Ruti Teitel, New York Law School

Welcome and Introduction

Dean Ken Randall and Professor Austin Sarat

Session I
Midnight Deregulation

Jack Beermann, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Heather Elliot, The University of Alabama School of Law

Session II
Midnight Rulemaking and Congress

Nina Mendelson, Professor of Law, University of Michigan
Moderator/Commentator: Professor William Andreen, The University of Alabama School of Law

Lunch and Keynote
Case Studies in Legal Transitions: Hugo Black and Reconstruction

Akhil Reed Amar, Professor of Law, Yale University
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Paul Horwitz, The University of Alabama School of Law

Session III
Debating the Global Rule of Law a Half Century After Hart/Fuller: Different Transitions, New Perspectives on Legality and Morality

Ruti Teitel, Professor of Law, New York Law School
Moderator/Commentator: Professor Dan Joyner, The University of Alabama School of Law