Federalism in the Era of Trump: Resistance, Reform, and Compromise
The Annual Walter F. Murphy Lecture in American Constitutionalism
Heather Gerken '91, Dean; Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Sanctuary cities. Marijuana legalization. Environmental reform. Federalism has long been the darling of conservatives, but progressives are increasingly turning to state and local power in the age of Trump. Dean Gerken will explain why state and local policy can serve as a tool of resistance and an incentive for compromise. In doing so, she will urge progressives and conservatives alike to move beyond outdated notions of state power and embrace a federalism suited for the 21st century.
Heather Gerken ‘91 is the Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law. A founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism, her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent. She founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law, the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project (SFALP), a partnership between Yale Law School and the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale, Dean Gerken served as an appellate lawyer and on the Harvard Law School faculty. She also clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. Dean Gerken’s scholarship has been featured in The Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, as well as in numerous popular publications, including The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, NPR, the New York Times, and Time. In 2017, Politico Magazine named her one of The Politico 50, a list of idea makers in American politics. A native of Massachusetts, Dean Gerken graduated from Princeton University, where she received her A.B. degree, summa cum laude, in 1991. A Darrow Scholar, she graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, summa cum laude, in 1994. Dean Gerken currently serves as a trustee of Princeton University.
- Program in Law and Public Affairs