News & Events

On Friday, April 9th 2021, we hosted the 2021 Thomas M. Cooley Symposium discussing Professor Sean Wilentz’s book, No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding (Harvard University Press, 2018). The virtual conference featured robust discussion by over 20 law professors on the antislavery forces at the Constitutional Convention and throughout the 19th Century. We will award the Book Prize to Professor Wilentz this September at the National Archives.


On December 5th and 6th, 2019 we hosted the Sixth Annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture & Faculty Colloquium commemorating the 200th Anniversary of McCulloch v. Maryland. The distinguished lecturer was Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law who gave a talk at the United States Supreme Court. In attendance to the lecture were members of the newest cohort of Student Fellows from the Georgetown University Law Center.


On December 6th, scholars came together to further discuss McCulloch v. Maryland in an all-day academic colloquium. The colloquium consisted of five sessions discussing papers by the following authors:

  • Alison LaCroix (Chicago)
  • Eric Lomazoff (Villanova)
  • Farah Peterson (Virginia)
  • David Schwartz (Wisconsin)
  • Kevin Walsh (Richmond)

We would like to give special thanks to the Supreme Court Historical Society for co-sponsoring this event.


On April 11, we hosted our inaugural Thomas M. Cooley Judicial Lecture with Judge Joan Larsen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.Larsen’s lecture, “Respecting Local Control: State Law in the Federal System,” encouraged lawyers and judges to pay closer attention to state constitutional law, recounting her own experience as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and harkening back to Cooley’s advocacy for local control.

“State courts are too often treated in law schools and in elite legal circles as if they were the little siblings of their more sophisticated federal brethren,” she said. “But there can be no denying, even today, [that] the work of state courts matters.”

Expert criminal defense lawyer Jerome Buting talked to the Georgetown Law community in conversation with Professor Randy Barnett on Wednesday, February 27th. Buting shared some insight on new developments in Steven Avery’s case (featured in Netflix’s acclaimed series “Making a Murderer”), his path to becoming a criminal lawyer, criminal justice reform, and other topics.

The Center commemorated the 150th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Cooley’s Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations which Rest Upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union (1868) during its Fifth Annual Chase Faculty Colloquium at Georgetown Law on Saturday, December 1, 2018.

The colloquium consisted of four sessions discussing papers about substantive and interpretive issues raised by Constitutional Limitations by the following scholars:

  • Joseph Postell (Colorado) on the “reasonable regulation” of liberty from the founding to the 14th Amendment
  • Tara Helfman (Syracuse) on “Laissez-Faire constitutionalism”
  • Greg Klass (Georgetown) on the “interpretation-construction distinction” in private law
  • Larry Solum (Georgetown) on originalism and and the “interpretation-construction distinction” in public law