Book Discussion Panel
Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention
Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Boston College Law School
- Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College
- Saikrishna Prakash, University of Virginia
- Heather K. Gerken, Yale Law School
- David A. Strauss, University of Chicago Law School
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about the speakers
Professor Mary Sarah Bilder teaches in the areas of property, trusts and estates, and American legal and constitutional history at Boston College Law School. She received her B.A. with Honors (English) and the Dean’s Prize from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, and her A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization. She was a law clerk to the Hon. Francis Murnaghan, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. She writes primarily in the areas of constitutionalism and the history of the Constitution, early American legal culture and the legal profession, and the history of the book and legal education. She was the Lucy G. Moses Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School in 2001 and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in the spring of 2008. Professor Bilder is a member of the American Law Institute, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is member of the State Bar of Wisconsin (inactive status). She was given the Emil Slizewski Faculty Teaching Award in 2007 and was named Michael and Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar in 2009.
She is the author of The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire (Harvard University Press, 2004), awarded the Littleton-Griswold Award from the American Historical Association. She recently co-edited Blackstone in America: Selected Essays of Kathryn Preyer (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Her articles appear in several important collected volumes of essays and a wide variety of journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, the George Washington Law Review, Law and History Review, Law Library Journal, and the Journal of Policy History.
She has received a William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Grant, the Boston College Annual Prize for Scholarship, a Boston College Distinguished Research Award, a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and was a Boston College Law School Fund Scholar. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Law and History Review, and The Journal of Legal Education, the Board of The New England Quarterly, and is a member of the American Law Institute, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Saikrishna Prakash is the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, and Horace W. Goldsmith Research Professor at the University of Virginia. His scholarship focuses on separation of powers, particularly executive powers. He teaches Constitutional Law, Foreign Relations Law and Presidential Powers at the Law School.
Prakash majored in economics and political science at Stanford University. At Yale Law School, he served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the John M. Olin Fellowship in Law, Economics and Public Policy. After law school, he clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. After practicing in New York for two years, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and as an associate professor at Boston University School of Law. He then spent several years at the University of San Diego School of Law as the Herzog Research Professor of Law. Prakash has been a visiting professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago Law School. He also has served as a James Madison Fellow at Princeton University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Heather Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Gerken specializes in election law and constitutional law. She has published in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Political Theory, Political Science Quarterly, Roll Call, Legal Affairs, Legal Times, The New Republic, Democracy Journal, and elsewhere. She has served as a commentator for a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, NPR, the Lehrer News Hour, Bill Moyers, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News. Her most recent scholarship explores questions of election reform, federalism, diversity, and dissent. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic’s “Ideas of the Year” section, the Ideas Section of the Boston Globe, and NPR’s On the Media. It has also been the subject of three academic symposia.
Professor Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. After practicing for several years, she joined the Harvard faculty in September 2000 and was awarded tenure in 2005. In 2006, she joined the Yale faculty.
Professor Gerken has won teaching awards at both Yale and Harvard, been named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers” by a book published by the Harvard University Press, was featured in the National Law Journal for balancing teaching and research, won a Green Bag award for legal writing, testified three times before Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and serves as a trustee for Princeton University. Professor Gerken served as a senior legal adviser in the “Boiler Room” for the Obama for America campaign in 2008 and 2012. Her proposal for creating a “Democracy Index” was incorporated into separate bills by then-Senator Hillary Clinton, then-Senator Barack Obama, and Congressman Israel and turned into reality by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which created the nation’s first Election Performance Index in 2013.
David Strauss is the Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in 1973. He then spent two years at Magdalen College, Oxford, on the Marshall Scholarship and received a BPhil in politics from Oxford in 1975. In 1978, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was developments editor of the Law Review. Before joining the Law School faculty, he worked as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice and was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States.
Strauss joined the Law School faculty in 1985. He has published articles on a variety of subjects, principally in constitutional law and related areas, and recently published The Living Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is, with Geoffrey Stone and Dennis Hutchinson, editor of the Supreme Court Review. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Georgetown. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Strauss has argued eighteen cases before the United States Supreme Court. In 1990, he served as Special Counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate. He is a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Constitution Society. He has also served Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. In addition to his current teaching interests - constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, elements of the law, and administrative law - he has taught civil procedure and torts.