The Subjects of the Constitution: A New Theory of Judicial Review

An Alpheus T. Mason Lecture on Constitutional Law and Political Thought: The Quest for Freedom

November 4, 2014
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Nicholas Quinn RosenkranzProfessor of Law, Georgetown University Law School

Professor Rosenkranz begins with a humble question that is almost universally overlooked—what he calls the “who” question:  Who has violated the constitution?  This simple question turns out to solve countless vexed puzzles of constitutional doctrine.  And as they are solved, it becomes clear that this approach constitutes a unique new lens through which to read the Constitution and an important new model of judicial review.

Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz teaches constitutional law and federal jurisdiction at Georgetown Law School, and writes articles for the Harvard Law Review and the Stanford Law Review. He is currently developing a new theory of constitutional interpretation and judicial review. The first installment, entitled The Subjects of the Constitution, was published in the Stanford Law Review in May of 2010, and it is the single most downloaded article about constitutional interpretation, judicial review, and/or federal courts in the history of SSRN. The second installment, The Objects of the Constitution, was published in May of 2011, also in the Stanford Law Review. The comprehensive version is forthcoming as a book by Oxford University Press. He has served and advised the federal government in a variety of capacities. He clerked for Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1999-2000), and for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the U.S. Supreme Court (October Term 2001). He served as an Attorney-Advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice (November 2002 - July 2004). He often testifies before Congress as a constitutional expert—most recently before the House Judiciary Committee, regarding the President's duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." He has also filed briefs and presented oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. His most recent Supreme Court brief was recently featured in the National Law Journal. He is a member of the New York Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.  He is an Associate Fellow of Pierson College at Yale University, and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He also serves as co-chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Federalist Society, and as the faculty advisor to the Georgetown Chapter. He earned his BA and JD at Yale University.


The Subjects of the Constitution: A New Theory of Judicial Review


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Funded by:

The Bouton Law Lecture Fund

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