Lecture Series
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The Constitutional Law Center invites the nation's leading constitutional scholars to Drake Law School to engage students and faculty in discussions about current issues. Speakers deliver a formal lecture, teach a class, and meet with students informally. 

2016-2017 Lecturers

Constitution Day Speaker*
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016
Mary Anne Franks
, Professor of Law
University of Miami School of Law

The title of Professor Franks' speech and the location will be added at a later date.

Professor Franks teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, family law, and First Amendment law. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007, having received her doctorate in 2004 and master's degree in 2001 in Modern Languages and Literature from Oxford University, where she studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

Before she began teaching at UM, Franks was a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to this, Franks taught social theory and philosophy at Harvard University. In 2013, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

Franks' research and teaching interests include cyberlaw, self-defense, discrimination, free speech, and privacy. Her academic scholarship has appeared in the California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Illinois Law Review, and Columbia Journal of Law & Gender, among others. She also publishes articles in the popular press including The Atlantic, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, and the Huffington Post.

Franks serves as the Legislative and Tech Policy Director and vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about online harassment and advocates for legal, technical, and social reform. In that capacity, she advises tech industry leaders on privacy and abuse issues and has helped more than two dozen states and the federal government draft legislation to protect sexual privacy.

*This program will be submitted for one credit hour of Iowa and Federal CLE. The event is free and open to the public.

2015-2016 Lecturers

Constitution Day Speaker*
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
Tracey L. Meares
, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law
Yale University

"Policing in the 21st Century"
3 p.m., Drake University, Olmsted Center, Sussman Theater

Professor Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale University and is one of the nation’s experts on race relations and law enforcement. Her teaching and research focus on criminal procedure and criminal law policy, and she has written widely on issues such as constitutional criminal procedure, the sociology of the neighborhood structure, and the social psychology of legitimacy in policing.

Meares has been involved in a number of action-oriented research projects in Chicago, California, and New York, focusing on violence reduction through legitimacy-enhancing strategies. In December 2014, President Obama named her as a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Before arriving at Yale, she was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School. She was the first African American woman to be granted tenure at both the University of Chicago and Yale Law School.

In addition, Meares has worked extensively with the federal government, having served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. She has also served on two National Research Council Review Committees.

She has a B.S. in general engineering from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

*This program is approved for one credit hour of Iowa and Federal CLE (#199090). This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016
Maura Strassberg, Professor of Law
Drake University Law School

"Scrutinizing Polygamy after Hobby Lobby and Obergefell"
4 p.m., Drake University, Cartwright Hall, Room 213

Now that the Supreme Court has determined that same-sex marriage is constitutionally protected under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses, many have wondered whether polygamy should also receive constitutional protection. In addition, recent developments in the protection of religious freedom under the 1st Amendment as well as federal and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts also provide bases for a re-evaluation of bans on religious polygamy.

Professor Maura Strassberg will discuss whether existing laws distinguishing polygamy from same-sex marriage are the result of prejudice or if they stem from good reasons. She will point to modern social science research on the harms of polygamy from a global perspective that have the potential to provide an answer to this question as well as justifications for state prohibitions on polygamy that could survive even stricter scrutiny.

*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and Federal CLE (#214354). The event is free and open to the public.

Prof. Angela Onwuachi-Willig

2014-2015 Lecturers

Constitution Day Speaker
Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
Angela Onwuachi-Willig
, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law
University of Iowa School of Law

"Re-Articulating the Harm of Discrimination:  An Examination of Brown v. Board of Education at 60"
3 p.m., Drake University, Olmsted Center, Sussman Theater

The Des Moines Register covered Drake University's Constitution Day event on September 15, 2014 and published the article the following day (see link below).

Parents urged to talk to children about race by Grant Rodgers.

Angela Onwuachi-Willig is the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. She joined the Iowa Law faculty in 2006 after three years on the tenure track at the University of California, Davis School of Law. She graduated from Grinnell College, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in American Studies, and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Note Editor on the Michigan Law Review and an Associate Editor of the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for Judge Solomon Oliver, now Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, and Judge Karen Nelson Moore, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit. She also worked as a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her articles have appeared in or are forthcoming in many prestigious law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, and Vanderbilt Law Review. Professor Onwuachi-Willig also has published numerous newspaper opinion-editorials. Her book According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale University Press, 2013) has received rave reviews.

Professor Onwuachi-Willig has received many accolades for her work. In 2006, Professor Onwuachi-Willig was honored by the Minority Groups Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) with the Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. In December of 2010, Professor Onwuachi-Willig was elected to the American Law Institute and she was selected as a finalist for the Iowa Supreme Court. In 2011, she was named one of America’s top young legal professionals by the National Law Journal, which placed her on its “Minority 40 under 40” list.

Professor Onwuachi-Willig is a past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Minority Groups Section and the AALS Law and Humanities Section, a past Chair of the AALS Committee for the Recruitment and Retention of Minorities, and a former member of the Board of Governors for the Society of American Law Teachers. She currently serves as Chair-Elect of the AALS Employment Discrimination Section.

*This program is approved for one credit hour of Iowa and Federal CLE (#156729). This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Roxanne Conlin
, Esquire, also spoke at Drake University Law School for the Constitutional Law Center as part of the Judge James Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series.  Click on this link for more information.

2013-2014 Lecturers

Prof. Richard Sildes
Constitution Day Speaker
Monday, September 16, 2013
Richard H. Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law
New York University School of Law

"The Fundamental Transformation in the Law and Practice of
Modern Warfare"
3 pm, Drake University, Olmsted Center, Sussman Theater

Richard Pildes is one of the nation’s leading scholars of public law and a specialist in legal issues affecting democracy. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received recognition as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar. In the area of democracy, Pildes, along with the co-authors of his casebook, The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process, has helped to create a revolutionary field of study in law schools. He is widely considered one of the nation’s leading scholars on such topics as the Voting Rights Act, alternative voting systems, the history of disfranchisement in the United States, and the general relationship between constitutional law and democratic politics in the design of democratic institutions themselves. Respect for his expertise in these areas is reflected in frequent citations of his work in U.S. Supreme Court opinions, the publication of his work in several languages, and his frequent public lectures and appearances, including his nomination with the NBC News Team for an Emmy Award for coverage of the 2000 Presidential election litigation.

Pildes is also an engaged public intellectual and an active public-law litigator. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The American Prospect, and similar journals. Apart from his academic work, Pildes has also served as counsel to a group of former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; as counsel in election litigation to the Puerto Rico Electoral Commission; as counsel to the government of Puerto Rico; as a federal court-appointed independent expert on voting rights litigation; and as counsel in successful Supreme Court litigation that challenged the way the United States Tax Court operated.

*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.

Thursday, October 3, 2013
Laura E Gómez
, Vice-Dean and Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law

"Three Centuries of Latinos in the U.S.: The Cyclical Dynamics of Nation-Building, Citizenship and Legal Personhood"
3 pm, Drake Law School, Opperman Hall, Library, Room LL19

Laura Gómez teaches in the areas of race and the law, law and society, constitutional law, civil procedure, and criminal law. She has lectured widely and has published numerous articles, book chapters and op-ed commentaries, as well as two books. Her scholarship has focused on the intersection of law, politics and social stratification in both contemporary and historical contexts. In her 2007 book, Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race, Gómez examines how law and racial ideology intersected to create new racial groups and to re-structure the turn-of-the-twentieth century racial order in the U.S. In several new projects, she explores the legacy of that racial order for the contemporary study of “race” by scholars in the social, biological and health sciences.

Gómez is active in several national scholarly organizations, including the Law and Society Association, where she just completed a two-year term as president. As an associate editor of the Law & Society Review, she worked to produce a special issue on law and racial inequality, published in 2010. Gómez has been a peer reviewer for several other journals in legal studies, gender studies, Chicano/a studies, legal history and sociology, and she has been a member of the editorial boards of SIGNS and Studies in Law, Politics and Society. She has held prestigious residential fellowships at the School for American Research in Santa Fe and the Stanford Humanities Center in Palo Alto.

*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.

2012-2013 Lecturers

Constitution Day Speaker
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Professor Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law, Georgetown University Law Center

“On Constitutional Disobedience"
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, Professor Seidman served as a law clerk for J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He then was a staff attorney with the D.C. Public Defender Service until joining the Law Center faculty in 1976. He teaches a variety of courses in the fields of constitutional and criminal law. He is co-author of a constitutional law casebook and the author of many articles concerning criminal justice and constitutional law. His most recent books are On Constitutional Disobedience (Oxford, forthcoming 2013), Silence and Freedom (Stanford 2007), Equal Protection of the Laws (Foundation 2002), and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (Yale 2001). In 2011, Seidman was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Professor Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

“Islam and Constitutionalism in Egypt’s New Constitution"
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

Prof. Nathan Brown
Nathan J. Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University.  His expertise is in the area of Islamist movements, Palestinian politics, and Arab law and constitutionalism.  He is the author of several books on Arab politics including his latest , When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (2012). 

In 2009, Brown was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York; for the 2009–2010 academic year he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In addition to his academic work Brown has served on advisory committees for Human Rights Watch and the committees drafting the Palestinian and Iraqi constitutions. He has also served as a      consultant to USAID, the United Nations Development Program, and several nongovernmental organizations.

* This program is approved for one hour of state and Federal CLE credit. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Professor Marci Hamilton, Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

"The Constitution and Child Protection from Religious Actors"
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

Prof. Marci Hamilton
Professor Hamilton is one of the United States’ leading church/state scholars and holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.  She is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press 2008, 2012) and God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005, 2007).  She has been a columnist on constitutional issues since 2000.  She has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, New York University School of Law, Emory University School of Law, and the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Professor Hamilton has served as constitutional and federal law counsel in many important clergy sex abuse and religious land use cases in state and federal courts, and has testified before numerous state legislatures regarding elimination of the statutes of limitations for childhood sex abuse.  She is frequently asked to advise Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation and to consult in cases involving important constitutional issues.  She was lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), before the Supreme Court in its seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional.

Professor Hamilton clerked for Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She also received her M.A. in Philosophy and M.A., high honors, in English from Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.
*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Professor Aziz Huq, University of Chicago Law School

"Amending the U.S. Constitution: The Surprising Reasons Why it Should Remain Difficult" 
4 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213 

Prof. Aziz Huq
Professor Huq earned his BA summa cum laude in International Studies and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996 and his law degree from Columbia Law School in 2001, where he was awarded the John Ordronaux Prize. He clerked for Judge Robert D. Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2001–02) and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States (2003–04). After clerking he worked as Associate Counsel and then Director of the Liberty and National Security Project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. He has also been a Senior Consultant Analyst for the International Crisis Group.

His research and teaching interests include constitutional law, national security and counterterrorism, federal jurisdiction, legislation, human rights, and comparative constitutional law.
*This program is approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.

2011-2012 Lecturers

Constitution Day Speaker
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Professor David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center

This program is being held in honor of National Constitution Day, and to commemorate the tragic events of 9/11.

“Constitutional Rights Ten Years After 9/11: Has Everything Changed?”
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

David Cole teaches constitutional law, national security, and criminal justice at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He has been published widely including in the Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, Stanford Law Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of six books that have won many awards. These include The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (2009); Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (2007)(co-authored with Jules Lobel); Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (2004); No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (1999).

He has litigated constitutional cases in the Supreme Court, including Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, which extended First Amendment protection to flag burning; National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, which challenged political content restrictions on NEA funding; and most recently, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, which challenged the constitutionality of the statute prohibiting “material support” to terrorist groups, which makes speech advocating peace and human rights a crime. He has been involved in many of the nation’s most important cases involving civil liberties and national security, including the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen rendered to Syria by U.S. officials and tortured there. Former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis has called Professor Cole “one of the country’s great legal voices for civil liberties today.”

*This program approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour Federal CLE credit.

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Professor Eric Posner, University of Chicago Law School

“The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic”
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

Eric Posner writes about contract law, international law, constitutional law, and administrative law. His books include The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic (with Adrian Vermeule) (Oxford, 2011); Climate Change Justice (with David Weisbach) (Princeton, 2010); The Perils of Global Legalism (University of Chicago, 2009); Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty and the Courts (with Adrian Vermeule) (Oxford, 2007); New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis (with Matthew Adler) (Harvard, 2006); The Limits of International Law (with Jack Goldsmith) (Oxford, 2005); Law and Social Norms (Harvard, 2000); Chicago Lectures in Law and Economics (editor) (Foundation, 2000); Cost-Benefit Analysis: Legal, Economic, and Philosophical Perspectives (editor, with Matthew Adler) (University of Chicago, 2001).

Professor Posner has taught courses on international law, foreign relations law, contracts, employment law, bankruptcy law, secured transactions, and game theory and the law. His latest research focuses on international law, immigration law, and foreign relations law. He is an editor of the Journal of Legal Studies and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he reviews books for The New Republic. Professor Posner is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

*This program approved for one hour of Iowa and one hour Federal CLE credit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Professor Pamela Karlan, Stanford Law School

“The Transformation of Judicial Restraint”
3 pm, Drake Law School - Cartwright Hall, Room 213

Pam Karlan is a Professor at Stanford Law School and co-director of the school’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. The Clinic represents a wide variety of clients, including voters; workers raising claims under federal employment laws; criminal defendants; members of Congress; and nonprofit organizations such as the California Medical Association, the National School Boards Association, the National Women’s Law Center, and the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association.

Professor Karlan received her B.A., M.A., and J.D. from Yale. She clerked for Judge Abraham D. Sofaer of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. From 1986 to 1988, she served as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she specialized in voting rights and employment discrimination litigation. She remains a cooperating attorney with the Fund. From 2003 to 2005, she served on the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Professor Karlan’s primary scholarly interests lie in the areas of constitutional law and litigation. She has published dozens of scholarly articles. She is the co-author of several leading casebooks, as well as a monograph on constitutional interpretation – Keeping Faith With The Constitution, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Karlan is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

*This program approved for one hour of Iowa CLE credit.

Last Modified: 6/1/2016 8:10:00 AM by Kayla Choate