Law School to Host “Federalism and Its Future” Conference, Feb. 10-12

Feb. 8, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — Nationally and internationally acclaimed scholars and lawyers will discuss recent significant scholarship on the topic of federalism in the United States and abroad at a three-day conference, "Federalism and Its Future," hosted at The University of Texas School of Law on Feb. 10-12.

UT Law professors Sanford Levinson, Stefanie Lindquist and Dan Rodriguez organized the conference on federalism, the legal protection of significant decision-making by sub-national units — such as states or provinces — that can act independently of the national government.

"The topic of federalism is of continuing interest to lawyers, political scientists and political theorists, not to mention, of course, pundits and practicing politicians," Levinson said. "The conference should be a truly rewarding encounter of some of the most interesting people in the contemporary academy (including some of our own colleagues) about an issue that remains, for better or for worse, central to the American constitutional system and ongoing political argument."

The conference — which is free and open to the public — kicks off with an endowed lecture by Professor Vicki C. Jackson of Georgetown University Law Center titled "Understanding U.S. Federalism: The Warren Court and Post World War II Models of Constitutional Legitimacy" on Thursday, Feb. 10, in UT Law's Eidman Courtroom (2.306) from 4:30-6 p.m. Jackson, whose expertise includes federal courts, constitutional law and comparative constitutional law, was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice in 2000-01. She is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

The conference will continue on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11-12 at the UT Law School with panels focused on significant, recent works — books and articles — on federalism. Various authors of major books and articles (published and forthcoming) have been invited to have their works "presented" by a discussant and then opened to general discussion.┬áSome of the books and articles are "pro-federalism" such as the recent books by Jenna Bednar, a political scientist, or Michael Greve of the American Enterprise Institute. Others, like the recent book co-authored by University of California Berkeley Law School Professor Malcolm Feeley and Professor Ed Rubin of Vanderbilt University Law School are decidedly skeptical.

UT Law professors participating in the conference as discussants or moderators include Lynn Baker, Frank Cross, Justin Driver, Willy Forbath, Stefanie Lindquist, Dan Rodriguez, Wendy Wagner and Louise Weinberg.

For a schedule of events, go to the "Federalism and Its Future" conference Web site.

Questions about the conference may be directed to the conference administrator, Kim Simpson, 512-232-1302.

For more information, contact: Laura Castro, director of media relations, School of Law, 512-825-9525 (cell).