Home Official News Releases Constututional Law Center sponsors lectures, symposium

Constututional Law Center sponsors lectures, symposium

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Avi Soifer

The Constitutional Law Center at Drake University Law School will hold two public lectures about individual rights and a symposium titled “Debating The Living Constitution” this spring. All three events are open to the public. The two lectures are free and the Symposium cost is $10, which includes a continental breakfast. The Symposium fee is waived for Drake affiliates (students, faculty/staff and alumni.)

The first lecture will feature Avi Soifer, dean and professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii. He will present “Taking the Protection in Equal Protection Seriously: Ancestry v. Race” at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in room 213 of Cartwright Hall, 2621 Carpenter Ave.

Before joining the University of Hawaii, Soifer taught at the University of Connecticut, Boston University and Boston College Law School, where he served as dean from 1993-98. He holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and law degree from Yale. He has received numerous honors, including Boston College’s Distinguished Senior Research Award. His book, “Law and the Company We Keep,” was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Triennial National Jesuit Book Prize in professional studies.

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Rebecca Zietlow

The second lecture will feature Rebecca Zietlow,
a visiting professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, and the
Charles W. Fornoff professor of law and values at the University of
Toledo College of Law. She will discuss “Congress and Belonging:
Protecting Individual Rights” at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in room 213
of Cartwright Hall.

Zietlow holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a law degree
from Yale Law School. Prior to joining the University of Toledo, she
clerked for U.S. District Court Judge John F. Grady in the Northern
District of Illinois and worked as a staff attorney at the Legal
Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She has published in the fields of
welfare reform, due process and congressional enforcement of civil

In addition to the Distinguished Lecture Series, Drake’s Constitutional Law Center will host the annual Constitutional Law Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, in Cartwright Hall.

The 2011 Constitutional Law Symposium will focus on the current debate
over whether the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted as a living
document or whether it should be interpreted as originally understood.
The Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States have vigorously
debated this issue in cases such as District of Columbia v. Heller, the
2008 gun rights decision. This symposium will address this debate.


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David Strauss

Symposium speaker Professor David Strauss,
the Gerald Ratner distinguished service professor of law at the
University of Chicago Law School, has written a book titled “The Living
Constitution,” which argues that the Constitution should be interpreted
as a living document using the techniques of the common law. Professor
Strauss and other distinguished legal scholars from across the country
will debate this issue during the symposium.

Other scholars participating in the debate will be:

*    Keith Whittington, the William Nelson Cromwell professor of politics at Princeton University

*    Rebecca Brown, the Newton professor of constitutional law at the University of Southern California School of Law

*    Wil Waluchow, the Senator William McMaster chair in constitutional studies at McMaster University

The Constitutional Law Symposium is an annual event in which a prominent
array of constitutional scholars, civil libertarians, policy analysts,
lawyers and judges gather to explore a timely constitutional issue. The
proceedings are published in the Drake Law Review.

For more information and advance registration, which is due March 28, visit Law.Drake.edu/academics/ConLaw or call 515-271-2988.