2012 Constitutional Law Center Symposium
"Constitutionalism and the Poor"
Saturday, April 14, 2012Drake Law School
8:30 am - 12:30 p.m.
Cartwright Hall, Room 213
(3.5 hours Iowa and 3 hours federal CLE credit approved)
Please click here
to download a registration form. Registration forms are due by Monday, April 9, 2012. The symposium is made possible by support from the law firm of Belin McCormick, PC
For many years, U.S. constitutional law and theory have not generally focused on issues concerning the poor. This was partly because several older U.S. Supreme Court decisions had refused to require the government to provide social benefit assistance to those who lacked resources. Yet in the last year, income inequality has become one of the most contentious issues in American politics. Many statistics indicate poverty levels are rising and “opportunity” is declining. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement received significant attention. Even some conservative politicians have attacked “predatory” capitalism, though the market-place certainly retains strong defenders. This symposium therefore seeks to examine how constitutional law and theory should address issues related to the poor. The symposium participants are internationally known legal experts and activists on such questions. They are likely to make proposals and arguments that influence these debates for years to come.
Peter Edelman, Professor of Law, and Faculty Director of the Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center
Peter Edelman has been on the Georgetown Law faculty since 1982. He has also served in all three branches of government. During President Clinton’s first term he was Counselor to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and then Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Professor Edelman was a Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Issues Director for Senator Edward Kennedy's 1980 Presidential campaign. Prior to working for RFK, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and before that for Judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Professor Edelman is Chair of the American Constitution Society Board of Directors, and is also involved with many other public interest organizations. Professor Edelman’s book, So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America, will be published by the New Press in the spring of 2012. His article in the Atlantic Monthly on welfare reform, entitled “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done,” received the Harry Chapin Media Award. He has received numerous other honors and awards for his work. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Frank Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School
Frank I. Michelman has taught at Harvard Law School since 1963. He is the author of Brennan and Democracy (1999), and has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, comparative constitutionalism, property law and theory, local government law, and general legal theory. Professor Michelman is a past President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2005, he was awarded the American Philosophical Society’s Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Association of Constitutional Law, as a member of the National Advisory Board of the American Constitution Society, and as a director for the annual Prague Conference on Philosophy and the Social Sciences. Over the past several years, he has maintained an active interest in matters of constitutionalism in South Africa. Professor Michelman is a graduate of Yale University, and the Harvard Law School where he was Notes Editor for the Harvard Law Review. He served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
Julie Nice, Herbst Foundation Professor of Law at University of San Francisco School of Law
Julie Nice joined the USF faculty in 2009. She has received 11 awards for her law teaching, including the 2010 and 2011 Distinguished Professor Award at USF. She previously served as the Delaney Professor of Law at the University of Denver, where she received numerous Professor of the Year awards as well as the alumni's Robert B. Yegge Excellence in Teaching Award and the university's William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award. She previously taught as a clinical fellow at Northwestern University School of Law and as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law. Nice focuses her scholarly work on constitutional law, poverty law, and sexuality law. She is the lead author of Poverty Law: Theory and Practice, and has written numerous articles. Before she began teaching, she was a public interest litigator at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.
john powell, Director, Haas Diversity Research Center and Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion, University of California, Berkeley
From 2003 to the end of 2011, john a. powell (lower case) was Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Right and Civil Liberties at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law. Professor powell is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and the intersection of race with a wide range of issues including housing, education, poverty, democracy and identity. He has written extensively on a host of related questions. Previously, Professor powell founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He also served as Director of Legal Services of Greater Miami and was National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory. He has taught at numerous law schools including The Ohio State University, Harvard University and Columbia University. He earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Stanford University and the Juris Doctor at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). Professor powell has worked and lived in Africa, where he was a consultant to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa.
Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies and Editor-in-Chief of Cato Supreme Court Review at the Cato Institute
Before joining Cato, Ilya Shapiro was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, L.A. Times, Washington Times, Legal Times, Weekly Standard, Roll Call, and National Review Online, and from 2004 to 2007 wrote the "Dispatches from Purple America" column for TCS Daily.com. He also regularly provides commentary on a host of legal and political issues for various TV and radio outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, "The Colbert Report," and American Public Media's "Marketplace." He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society and other educational and professional groups, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Shapiro is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a native speaker of English and Russian, is fluent in Spanish and French, and is proficient in Italian and Portuguese.