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Dean’s Lecture to Focus on Constitutional Interpretation and Policymaking

Apr 14, 2013

ONU Law will present the 2013 Dean’s Lecture on Friday, April 26, at 4:20 p.m. in the Small Moot Court Room. The program will feature a presentation by Dr. Mark Miller, director of the Law and Society Program and professor of political science at Clark University, called “Constitutional Interpretation and Policymaking: Courts, the President, and Congress in Dialogue.”

Miller graduated from ONU in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in public administration and political science. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University and a J.D. from the George Washington University College of Law. He is a former judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Leiden. His current research interests include the interactions between Congress and the courts, constitutional law issues involving the powers of Congress, and comparisons of judicial politics in North America and Western Europe.

The Governance as Dialogue Movement argues that the U.S. Supreme Court does not necessarily have the last word on interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Instead, constitutional meaning comes out of an inter-institutional conversation among the courts, the Congress, the president and other political actors. This lecture will examine some of the recent interactions between the Congress and the federal courts on the one hand, and between the president and the federal courts on the other, as each institution attempts to participate in the constitutional dialogue. At times, the relationships between the courts and the other institutions are cooperative, but sometimes they are highly conflictual.

 While the federal courts, and especially the U.S. Supreme Court, are clearly political policymakers in our separation of powers system, their decision-making is different from the other branches because the courts must justify their decisions using legal analysis and legal reasoning. The lecture will explore how Governance as Dialogue scholars analyze these institutional interactions.

This event is open to the public.