Save the Date: Judicial Engagement Symposium

March 22, 2012

8:15am – 3:45 pm

Founders Hall
George Mason University School of Law

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia

Register Here
by March 15!

CLE Credits Available

You Are Invited!

Institute for Justice & George Mason Law Review’s Judicial Engagement & the Role of Judges in Enforcing the Constitution

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The courts were meant to play an integral role in keeping legislators and executive branch officials within the proper bounds of their authority, but judges today are often unwilling or feel unable to enforce constitutional limits on government power.

The Institute for Justice and the George Mason Law Review invite you to a symposium that seeks to move beyond the imprecise and unhelpful rhetoric of so-called judicial activism and simply ask whether judges are properly engaged in their role of interpreting and applying the constitution.

Space is limited, to reserve your spot please RSVP now at

Symposium Agenda

Breakfast: (8:15-9:00 a.m.)

Introductory Remarks/Welcome: (9:00-9:15 a.m.)
Chip Mellor, Institute for Justice

Keynote Address: (9:15-10:00 a.m.)
Prof. Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law Center

Panel 1:  Judicial Engagement in Enforcing Individual Rights (10:00-11:30 a.m.)
Prof.  David Bernstein, George Mason University School of Law
Prof. Kurt Lash, University of Illinois College of Law
Prof. Eric Claeys, George Mason University School of Law
Moderator: Elizabeth Price Foley, Institute for Justice

Lunch: (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

Panel 2:  Judicial Engagement in Enforcing Limits on Government Power (12:30-2:00 p.m.)
Prof. Stephen Presser, Northwestern University School of Law
Prof. Sanford Levinson, University of Texas School of Law
Prof. Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine University School of Law
Moderator: Prof. Neomi Rao, George Mason University School of Law

Panel 3:  Judicial “Activism” & “Restraint” vs. “Engagement”:  How Judge-Made Doctrines Have Developed and How or Whether Judges Should Become More “Engaged” (2:00-3:30 pm)
Prof. Nelson Lund, George Mason University School of Law
Prof. Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School
Clark Neily, Institute for Justice
Moderator: Steve Simpson, Institute for Justice

Closing Remarks: (3:30 pm-3:45 pm)

Please register by Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Judicial Engagement Symposium Flyer

If you have questions concerning the symposium, please email the Institute for Justice at or Katie Brown, Symposium Editor, at