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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

Boston Area Public Law Colloquium

the clough center for the study of constitutional democracy

The Clough Center Public Law Colloquium provides a venue for public law scholars and graduate students from Boston College and other Boston-area colleges and universities to meet periodically throughout the academic year and discuss work in progress. 

The Workshop is organized by Professor R. Shep Melnick (BC) and Tom Burke (Wellesley).

Archived Events

Fall 2012

Emily Zackin, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Hunter College will present part of her new book Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights Princeton University Press (forthcoming 2013) based on her Princeton PhD dissertation which won the Corwin award for best dissertation in public law and the Burnham award for best dissertation in politics and history. Monday, November 12, 2012.


Spring 2012

Michael Klarman, Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law, Harvard University Law School, will present a talk entitled “Same Sex Marriage Litigation and Political Backlash” based on chapters from his forthcoming book. Monday, April 23, 2012.


Fall 2011

Special Session, The Boston Area Public Law Group will meet to discuss significant cases currently on the Supreme Court's docket including: N.F.I.B. v. Sebelius challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Arizona v. U.S. regarding the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law, as well as other major cases on the court's docket. Monday, December 6, 2011.


Spring 2011

James Fleming, The Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law and Associate Dean for Research and Intellectual Life, Boston University Law School, and Linda McClain, Paul M. Siskind Research Scholar Professor of Law, Boston University Law School, will discuss their new paper, “The Myth of Strict Scrutiny for Fundamental Rights under the Due Process Clause.” Monday, March 14, 2011.

Kevin McMahon, John R. Reitemeyer Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut) will discuss his forthcoming book "Nixon and the Supreme Court:  Strong Rhetoric, Selective Action." (University of Chicago Press). Wednesday, April 6, 2011.

Fall 2010 

Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas, Austin, and Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, "Courts as Participants in ‘Dialogue’: A View from American States." Monday, October 18, 2010.

R. Shep Melnick, O’Neill Professor of Politics Science, Boston College, “The Supreme Court and the Civil Rights State,” Monday, November 15, 2010.

Spring 2010

Miguel Schor, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, "The Strange Cases of Marbury and Lochner in the Constitutional Imagination," February 8, 2010.

Keith Bybee, Associate Professor of Law, Director, Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media, Syracuse University Law School, March  18, 2010.

Fall 2009 

Michael Greve, American Enterprise Institute, "Conservatives and the Courts," Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lynn Mather, Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Buffalo, "Rethinking Lawyer Fidelity," Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spring 2009

Nancy Scherer, associate professor of political science, Wellesley College, “Does Descriptive Racial Representation Enhance Institutional Legitimacy? The Case of U.S. Courts,” Thursday, April 23, 2009

Roundtable discussion of Tom Keck's Beyond Backlash: Assessing the Impact of Judicial Decisions on LGBT Rights, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.

Fall 2008

Mark Graber, University of Maryland Law School, visiting professor of government, Harvard University: “The Countermajoritarian Difficulty: From Courts to Congress to Constitutional Order,” Monday, November 17, 2008.

Robert Kagan, University of California, Berkeley, visiting professor of government, Harvard University: “Compliance Costs, Regulation, and Environmental Performance: Controlling Truck Emissions in the US,” Monday, December 15, 2008.