Monday, December 9, 2013

Constituting Federalism: An ICH Seminar

[We're moving this up, as the deadline of December 15 is approaching.]

Our friends at the Institute for Constitutional History have sent us news of another Robert H. Smith seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, "Constituting Federalism":
The ideas denoted by the term "federalism" have been central to the American constitutional order, and federalism as a political form plays an increasingly important role around the world. This seminar will focus on the United States constitutional experiences with federalism, a term not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but one that has, since the second half of the twentieth-century, become frequently invoked in constitutional discourse. Federalism is proffered as an explanation when justices approach questions of whether to override congressional judgments about the deployment of national powers or to preclude states from regulating particular arenas. Beneath the mix of interpretations of the Constitution and the sometimes dry discussions of jurisdictional rules and doctrines of comity lie conflicts about equality, immigration, criminal procedure, regulation of the economy, protections to be accorded workers and consumers, and the authority of states, Indian tribes, and localities. These will be the subjects of discussion at the seminar.
The instructors can’t be beat.  Judith Resnik, the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, will chair the sessions, She will be joined, at different sessions, by Michael Graetz, the Wilbur H. Friedman Professor of Tax Law at Columbia Law School; Linda Greenhouse, the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School (and emerita at the New York Times); Vicki C. Jackson, the Thurgood Marshall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; and Charles W. McCurdy, Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Virginia.

The seminar will meet Friday afternoons, 2:00-5:00 p.m., February 7, 14, and 21, and 28 at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, N

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 December 15, 2013.  Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to

There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own. Modest assistance with travel expenses from outside the New York metropolitan area will be available.