CERLP | The Roles of Lawyers in Constitutional Change

Friday, March 15, 2019 at 8:45am to 5:30pm

UCI School of Law, Law 3500

Lawyers play an important part in constitutional interpretation and constitutional change in the United States. Even if Supreme Court Justices are the ultimate arbiters of constitutional questions that come before the Court, they nevertheless rely on lawyers and their organizations to supply arguments to explain, support, and defend their decisions. Lawyers are also part of the “audience” for judicial decision-making—those whose approval judges care about and who hold them accountable. Lawyers serve as intermediaries between the courts and the public, translating laypersons’ perspectives into legal language and explaining judicial opinions to the electorate. Lawyers also shape perceptions in other important arenas of contest over constitutional interpretation, including legislatures and agencies, the media, and popular opinion.

This conference convenes scholars who are studying various aspects of how lawyers influence constitutional interpretation and constitutional changeas organizational entrepreneurs and suppliers of arguments; as part of the “audience” for judicial decision-making; as translators and interpreters; and as suppliers and purveyors of frames that influence litigation, organizing, coalition-building, and public perceptions of constitutional meaning.

Participants Include:

Swethaa Ballakrishnen, UCI School of Law

Lawrence Baum, The Ohio State University

Paul Baumgardner, American Bar Foundation

Scott Cummings, UCLA School of Law

Neal Devins, William & Mary

Mark Graber, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Pomona College

Kenneth Kersch, Boston College

Sanford Levinson, University of Texas

Leah Litman, UCI School of Law

Jane Schacter, Stanford Law

Christopher Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Carroll Seron, UCI

Gordon Silverstein, Yale Law School

Ann Southworth, UCI School of Law

Mary Ziegler, Florida State University

Click here for the full event schedule.

Event Type



Students, Faculty, Staff

Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession, Centers
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