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In 1977, the publication of Justice William Brennan’s article, “State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights,” provoked many litigators to look to the state courts to enhance individual liberties beyond the scope of the federal constitution. Panelists will discuss the legacy of Justice Brennan’s call for state constitutions to serve as a bulwark for individual liberties. How have state courts responded? Panelists will also discuss if the advancement of federalism has been an unintended consequence of this call to action. They will also discuss what this trend toward greater state judicial engagement means for the separation of powers and legislative action.

This panel was part of the 2017 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 28, 2017.

Forty Years Later: The Brennan Article and State Constitutions
9:05 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.                      

  • Dean James A. Gardner, Interim Dean, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Bridget and Thomas Black Professor, University at Buffalo School of Law
  • Prof. Kenneth Miller, Claremont McKenna College
  • Prof. Derek Muller, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Jay Bybee, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President, The Federalist Society

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Views and opinions expressed by the Federalist Society are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.