Curtis Bradley, the William Van Alstyne Professor of Law, is helping to organize a conference that will take place at Columbia Law School on Sept. 21, concerning the topic, “Are Government Institutions Constrained by Law?”
The conference will explore questions such as the extent to which legal constraints on the government depend on judicial review, whether and under what conditions government actors internalize legal norms, and the interrelationship of politics and law in this context. Participants include some of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional law, with Bradley and Professor Margaret Lemos among them.
Bradley is organizing the conference with Columbia law professor Trevor Morrison, with whom Bradley has been collaborating on an extensive article, to be published later this year in the Harvard Law Review, on the role that historical practice plays in defining government authority. Bradley and Morrison are also each teaching seminars this fall at their respective law schools on that same topic, and they will have the Duke and Columbia students interact in preparing research papers. Eventually the two plan to write a book that considers the many ways in which the powers of Congress, the president, and the courts have been defined by historical practices, and the extent to which these practices serve to limit the exercise of government authority.