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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

A Theory of Judicial Review


Monday, February 29, 2016
12:00 p.m.
Barat House, Boston College Law School

Featruing Michael Perry, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University

Lecture drawn from the forthcomig book A Global Political Morality: Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism.

Lunch will be served. Please register to attend A Theory of Judicial Review »

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about the event


Since the end of the Second World War, there has emerged what never before existed: a truly global morality. Some of that morality – the morality of human rights – has become entrenched in the constitutional law of the United States. Michael Perry's latest book, "Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States" explains the morality of human rights and elaborates on three internationally recognized human rights that are embedded in U.S. constitutional law: the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment; the right to moral equality; and the right to religious and moral freedom. The implications of one or more of these rights for three great constitutional controversies – capital punishment, same-sex marriage, and abortion – are discussed in-depth. In his lecture, Perry addresses the question of the proper role of the Supreme Court of the United States in adjudicating these controversies, and ways in which Judicial Review informs global morality.

about the speaker


Michael Perry

Michael Perry is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. He specializes in Constitutional Law, Human Rights, and Law and Religion. He is the author of twelve books and over eighty articles and essays. His most recent titles include: Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States (2013); Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (2007); Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (2009); and The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy (2010). 

Perry did his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, majoring in philosophy and minoring in theology (A.B., 1968). He studied law at Columbia University (J.D., 1973), and then served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein (1973-74) and, a year later, to U.S. Circuit Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler (1974-75). Before coming to Emory, Perry was the inaugural occupant of the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University (1990–97), where he taught for fifteen years (1982–97). He then held the University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University (1997–2003). Perry began his teaching career at the Ohio State University College of Law (1975–82) and has taught as a visiting professor at a number of prestigious law schools.