Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Supreme Court in the Age of Holmes and Brandeis

[We're moving this post up from last month, as the November 15 deadline is fast approaching.]

From the Institute for Constitutional History we have the following announcement of the latest Robert H. Smith Seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, “The Supreme Court in the Age of Holmes and Brandeis.”
This six-week seminar will examine the influence of two men-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Louis Dembitz Brandeis-on American constitutional development from 1902 to 1939.  Although the phrase "Holmes and Brandeis dissenting" led many people to believe that they shared a common jurisprudential philosophy, the differences between them are as important as the areas in which they agreed.  We will look at the biographies of the two men, the classical legal thought that dominated the Court throughout most of this period, the important cases in which they wrote-mainly in dissent-and the influence of those opinions on subsequent cases.
The instructors are Melvin I. Urofsky and John Fabian Witt.  Urofsky "is a professor of law and public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is the longtime editor of the Journal of Supreme Court History and has written widely on American constitutional development.  His most recent books are the prize-winning Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (2009) and with the late Kermit Hall, New York Times v. Sullivan: Civil Rights, Libel Law, and the Free Press (2011).  Witt is the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, a member of the Yale History Department, and the author of three books and numerous articles on the history of American law, including (most recently) Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History (2012)."

"The seminar will meet Tuesday afternoons, 4:00-6:00 p.m., February 12, 19, and 26, March 5, 12, and 19. The seminar will meet at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.

"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 until November 15, 2012.  Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to"