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History of Law

“The Case of the Speluncean Explorers" -- The Classic Law Review Article Revisited - Podcast

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Pocast
James Allan, James A. Haynes, Dan Priel, Frederick Schauer June 24, 2015

It is the year 4300 in an imaginary jurisdiction named Newgarth. Old questions dominate the deliberations of the Supreme Court as Chief Justice Truepenny and his four colleagues present their opinions in the appeal of a notorious murder verdict. Each Justice presents and defends his analysis and disposition of the appeal. The opinions offer considered views of law, justice, judges' work and larger public opinion. No pale pastels for the Truepenny Court, as its members alternately resort to the broad brush and the fine scalpel. The final effect is one of a well written teaching tool and also an essay on our flawed human condition.

Prof. Lon L. Fuller, in his article, “The Case of the Speluncean Explorers,” presented his ideas in the form of a dialogue, without footnotes. The Harvard Law Review published it in February 1949. In a sense it is a work of moral imagination. In another sense it is so dated as to be almost antiquarian. The members of Supreme Court of Newgarth are male and the legal analysis they offer and the language they use are distinctly old-fashioned. In some quarters it would be regarded as a discredited tool of oppression. That said, Prof. Fuller still entertains and teaches the reader, 65 years later. The questions and worries that lawyers and judges share with the Justices of Newgarth still loom in the 21st century.

Our discussion panel was composed of legal scholars from Canada, Australia, and the United States. In a real sense, its diversity shows the continuing relevance and appeal of this legal classic.

  • Prof. James Allan, Garrick Professor of Law, University of Queensland, TC Beirne School of Law
  • James A. Haynes, Attorney and Alternate Judge, U.S. Department of Labor, Employees Compensation Appeals Board
  • Prof. Dan Priel, York University Osgoode School of Law
  • Prof. Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

The Constitution: An Introduction - Podcast

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
Michael S. Paulsen, Kevin Walsh May 07, 2015

In their new book, The Constitution: An Introduction, constitutional scholar Michael Stokes Paulsen and his son, Luke Paulsen, write a lively modern primer on the U.S. Constitution. Beginning with the Constitution’s birth in 1787, Paulsen and Paulsen offer a tour of its provisions, principles, and interpretation, introducing readers to the characters and controversies that have shaped the Constitution in the 200-plus years since its creation. In a review published in Engage, the Law Journal of the Federalist Society, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito praises the book’s unique format: “Professor Paulsen and his son began this collaboration when Luke was in high school and continued throughout his college years at Princeton. It is easy to imagine this process as a conversation between a father, who has been immersed in the study of the Constitution for his entire adult life, and a bright son, who brings a new perspective and challenges the father to explain and defend.” Justice Alito goes on to say that the book “invites readers to become personally engaged in the discussion of the Constitution that began in the fall of 1787 when the citizens of the states debated ratification.” In this spirit of debate, both of the authors joined University of Richmond School of Law Professor Kevin Walsh and answered audience questions on a Teleforum conference call.

  • Luke Paulsen, Co-author, The Constitution: An Introduction
  • Prof. Michael S. Paulsen, Co-author, The Constitution: An Introduction, Distinguished University Chair and Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Prof. Kevin C. Walsh, University of Richmond School of Law

Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document - Podcast

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
Michael S. Lee April 22, 2015

The still-unfolding story of America’s Constitution is a history of heroes and villains—the flawed visionaries who inspired and crafted liberty’s safeguards, and the shortsighted opportunists who defied them. Those stories are known by few today.

In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensable provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. Senator Mike Lee joined a Teleforum conference call for a special discussion with Federalist Society members regarding his new book.

  • Hon. Michael S. Lee, United States Senate