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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.