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Conference on Jack Balkin’s Living Originalism Will Look at Constitutional Interpretation

For decades Americans have been arguing whether our Constitution is a living document that adapts to changing circumstances, or whether we must interpret it according to its original meaning. In a daring new book, Knight Professor Jack M. Balkin argues that this is a false choice. 

“Constitutional Interpretation and Change: A Conference on Jack Balkin’s Living Originalism” will be held on April 27-28, 2012, at Yale Law School. This program is sponsored by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund, and the Yale Journal of Law & The Humanities.  

In addition to covering the latest debates about constitutional interpretation, the conference is the first of its kind to focus on the role that journalists, mass media, and the Internet play in shaping Americans’ attitudes about the Constitution and its interpretation. It includes panels of prominent constitutional scholars and journalists who cover constitutional issues.

“How does the public learn about constitutional ideas? Not directly from law professors, but rather from journalists who – with any luck – occasionally talk to law professors,” stated Linda Greenhouse ’78 MSL, Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer at Law at Yale Law School. “This exciting conference uses the publication of Jack Balkin’s new book as an occasion to bring the two groups together to learn from each other.”

Conference speakers include constitutional scholars Jack Balkin, Bruce Ackerman ’67, Akhil Amar ’84, Sanford Levinson, Dean Robert Post ’77, Reva Siegel ’86, and former Judge Michael McConnell; and journalists Adam Liptak ’88, Joan Biskupic, Emily Bazelon ’00, Dahlia Lithwick, Charlie Savage ’03 MSL and Matthew Yglesias.

A complete list of panelists, the schedule, and registration information are available on the conference website. Advance registration is required for all attendees.

For more information, please contact Meredith Berger at meredith.berger@yale.edu.