Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Lochner Era: A Robert H. Smith Seminar

[Because the application deadline of November 30 is fast approaching, we are moving up this notice of a Smith seminar on constitutional history from 1880 to 1940, led by Barry Cushman.]

The Institute for Constitutional History has announced another Robert H. Smith seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty.  This one is “The Lochner Era, 1880-1940.”  It will be led by Barry Cushman, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.  (Before taking his position at Notre Dame, Cushman was the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History at the University of Virginia.)  He has published widely on constitutional history and received the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Prize for his book, Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1998).

Our friends at the ICH elaborate:
Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller (credit)
This seminar will examine significant developments in the areas of constitutional law governing social and economic regulation in the so-called "Lochner Era," extending roughly from 1880 to 1940.  Attention will be given to restrictions on and changes in the scope of the federal powers to tax, to spend, and to regulate interstate commerce, as well as to limitations placed upon state and federal regulatory competence by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Equal Protection Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and the Dormant Commerce Clause.  We will seek to understand how these limitations and developments presented both obstacles and opportunities to regulatory reformers, how they constrained and shaped legal strategies, and why particular reformers succeeded or failed in securing their regulatory objectives.  The assigned readings will include Supreme Court decisions of the period and secondary works that focus on specific topics within the period.
The seminar will meet Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m., January 10, 17, 24, and 31, February 7, and 14, in the Deans Conference Room (E212) at The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

The ICH adds:
The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines.  All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions.  Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar.  Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities.  Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development.  Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org until November 30, 2012.  Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to MMarcus@nyhistory.org.

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