PUBLISHED:October 07, 2008

Lessons Learned: The Bush Administration and Civil Rights

Oct. 7, 2008 — The Program in Public Law continues its semester-long examination of key legal and constitutional policy issues that have arisen during the Bush administration on Oct. 22, with a consideration of the administration’s approach to civil rights by Professor Goodwin Liu of the University of California - Berkeley.

This event will begin at 12:15 p.m. in room 3041 of Duke Law School. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Co-director of Boalt Hall’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity, Liu is an expert in constitutional law, education policy, civil rights, and the Supreme Court. He is the author of a number of papers relating to the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision on race-based school assignment initiatives, including “History Will Be Heard: An Appraisal of the Seattle/Louisville Decision” forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, and “Seattle and Louisville,” published in 2007 in the California Law Review.

A former Rhodes Scholar and clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States, Liu has also served as an appellate litigator at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., as special deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton administration, and as senior program officer for higher education at AmeriCorps.

The “Lessons Learned” series of public lectures features a roster of distinguished scholars, each of whom addresses a specific topic, gauging significant issues and priorities that lie ahead, and suggesting ways in which the country ought to build on the experiences of the last eight years.

“Presidents and their administrations exert great influence over the country’s public policy agenda, including over matters of legal and constitutional policy,” says Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and director of the Program in Public Law. “In discharging their constitutional responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution, presidents must also interpret the Constitution, and those interpretations then shape our on-going national conversation over its meaning, as well the content of cases that come before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, one of a president’s greatest legacies comes from the judges and justices he or she nominates to the federal bench, whose terms of office far outlive the president’s own.” In addition to the courts, topics to be addressed in the series are voting rights, science, civil rights, executive power, international law, and gender and reproductive rights.

For a full schedule of the lectures in the Lessons Learned series, visit For more information about the Oct. 22 event, contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-7248.