Public Law Colloquium

The Public Law Colloquium is part of a thriving public law program at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Activities include scholarly conferences and speakers at faculty workshops; colloquia on positive political theory, international and comparative law, and constitutional law; and senior research projects aimed broadly at public law topics of all sorts. In an effort to expand the depth and quality of legal research in public law, Northwestern Law has invited leading scholars from across the country to participate with our students in the Public Law Colloquium Series.

The colloquium will explore a wide range of topics and methodologies, featuring both the theory and practice of constitutional interpretation and issues arising from the administrative state. Students and faculty will meet with visiting scholars to exchange views and comment on working papers. Presenters will receive valuable feedback and suggestions for how to expand or improve their research, and Northwestern Law students will gain a broader understanding of public law, legal theory, and the latest developments in scholarly research.

Spring 2024

Organized by Professor Erin Delaney.

All sessions will take place on Thursdays from 4:30-6:20 pm in LM 204.

January 25
Bridget Fahey,
University of Chicago Law School
Data as Power and Structural Constitutional Law

February 8
Allison Orr Larsen, Alfred Wilson & Mary I.W. Lee Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
Norm Erosion on the Courts of Appeals

February 22
Tejas Nerechania, UC Berkeley School of Law
What Splits?

March 7
Fred Smith, Jr., Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory Law 
The Right to No

March 28
Sam Erman, Michigan Law School 
Status Manipulation: A History of U.S. Racial Borders

April 11
Payvand Ahdout, UVA School of Law 
Political Mootness


Spring 2023

Organized by Professor Michael Kang.

All sessions will take place on Thursdays from 1:30-3:20 pm in MC185.

January 26
Will Baude, University of Chicago, The Law School
General Law and the Fourteenth Amendment

February 9
Franita Tolson, USC Gould, School of Law
In Congress We Trust?: Enforcing Voting Rights from the Founding to the Jim Crow Era

February 23
Marin Levy, Duke Law
Are Federal Judges National Judges?  State Representation and the Federal Courts of Appeals

March 9
Nancy Leong, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
How Local Governments Hire With Impunity

March 30
Albert Yoon, University of Toronto, Law
Some Are More Equal than Others: A Study of USSC Clerks

April 13
Rachel Rothschild, University of Michigan, Michigan Law
Juristocracy and Administrative Governance: From Benzene to Climate

Spring 2022

Organized by Professors Erin Delaney and Michael Kang

All sessions will take place on Thursdays from 4:00-5:50 pm

January 27
Ryan Doerfler, University of Chicago School of Law
Late-Stage Textualism

February 10
Guy-Uriel Charles, Harvard Law School
The Shame of the Territories

February 24
Robert Yablon, University of Wisconsin Law School

March 10
Ming Hsu Chen, University of Colorado Boulder School of Law
Limits of Formal Citizenship

March 31
Christina Ponsa-Kraus, Columbia Law School
Empire by Gaslight: U.S. Constitutionalism in Puerto Rico

April 14
Kate Andrias, Columbia Law School
Constitutional Clash: Labor, Capital, and Democracy  

Spring 2021

Organized by Professor Zachary Clopton

All sessions will take place Tuesdays from (2-3:50pm) on Zoom

January 26
Karen Tani, Seaman Family University Professor, University of Pennsylvania
From Disability Rights to Disempowered Rights-Givers: The Lost Disability History of the “New Federalism” (by request)

February 9
Miriam Seifter, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
Countermajoritarian Legislatures - Appendix (by request)

February 23
Christian Burset, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire (by request)

March 9
Timothy Lovelace, John Hope Franklin Research Scholar and Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Is Foreign Interference So American? (by request)

March 23
Jennifer Nou, Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
Regulatory Diffusion (coauthored with Julian Nyarko) (by request)  

Spring 2019

Organized by Professor Andrew Koppelman

All sessions take place on Mondays from 4:00pm - 5:50pm in the Faculty Commons.

February 4
Thomas C. Berg, James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of St. Thomas School of Law
Religious Liberty in a Polarized Age

February 18
Aziz Z. Huq, Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
Article II and Antidiscrimination Norms

March 18
David E. Bernstein, George Mason University Foundation Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School
Race Definitions in American Law

April 15
Joseph R. Fishkin, Marrs McLean Professor in Law, University of Texas at Austin
The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution  

Spring 2018

Organized by Professors John McGinnis and James Pfander

All sessions take place on Mondays from 4:00pm - 5:50pm in Rubloff 339.

January 29
Neal Devins, Sandra Day O'Connor Professor of Law, William & Mary
The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court

February 12
Fred Smith, Associate Professor of Law, Emory Law
Abstention in the Time of Ferguson

February 26
Abbe Gluck, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy, Yale Law School
What is Federalism in Health Care For?

March 12
Honorable Amy Barrett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Congressional Insiders and Outsiders

April 2
William Ewald, University of Pennsylvania Law School
The Archival Problem in Constitutional History