News Archive

Jorde Symposium 2010

Photos by Jim Block

The 12th Brennan Center Jorde Symposium, presented by the California Law Review, took place October 5, 2010. The keynote speaker was Judge Richard Allen Posner, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Topic:  "The Rise and Fall of Judicial Self-Restraint." Judge Posner delivered a lecture on the history of the theory of judicial self-restraint as articulated primarily by Thayer, Holmes, Brandeis, Frankfurter, and Bickel (the "Thayerians"). He discussed and evaluated the various grounds on which the theory (or tradition) has been defended, and discussed its virtual abandonment by the academy and its rejection by both wings of the Supreme Court and inquired into the reasons for its rise and fall.
Commentators on Judge Posner’s lecture were Pamela S. Karlan, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School; and Larry Kramer, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean, Stanford Law School. 

About the Jorde Symposium:
The Brennan Center Jorde Symposium, an annual event, was created in 1996 to sponsor top scholarly discourse and writing from a variety of perspectives on issues that were central to the legacy of William J. Brennan, Jr.
The Brennan Center named the Symposium in honor of its major benefactor Thomas M. Jorde, former Brennan clerk and Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall. A unique feature of the Symposium is that, each year, the honored lecturer presents the same lecture at two different sites, one in the fall, and another in the spring, with a different pair of prominent commentators at each site. The fall lecture is typically held at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall, where Tom Jorde taught for many years. The spring lecture is at a different law school every year. Both lectures and the four commentaries are published annually in the California Law Review.

Read Kelly Williams' write-up about the lecture.

Watch the video of the talk here: