HLS Library Book Talk: The Hughes Court From Progressivism to Pluralism, 1930 to 1941

Tuesday, April 5, 12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern time via Zoom Webinars
Written By Mark Tushnet, Cambridge University Press, published January 2022

Join us for a discussion on The Hughes Court From Progressivism to Pluralism, 1930 to 1941 with author Mark Tushnet and panelists Nikolas Bowie, Richard Fallon, Kenneth Mack, and Adrian Vermeule. This event is free and will be recorded. Registration is required. If you, or an event participant, require disability-related accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at [email protected]. Register at https://bit.ly/TushnetMarch2022.

More about the book from Cambridge University Press: The Hughes Court: From Progressivism to Pluralism, 1930 to 1941 describes the closing of one era in constitutional jurisprudence and the opening of another. This comprehensive study of the Supreme Court from 1930 to 1941 – when Charles Evans Hughes was Chief Justice – shows how nearly all justices, even the most conservative, accepted the broad premises of a Progressive theory of government and the Constitution. The Progressive view gradually increased its hold throughout the decade, but at its end, interest group pluralism began to influence the law. By 1941, constitutional and public law was discernibly different from what it had been in 1930, but there was no sharp or instantaneous Constitutional Revolution in 1937 despite claims to the contrary. This study supports its conclusions by examining the Court’s work in constitutional law, administrative law, the law of justiciability, civil rights and civil liberties, and statutory interpretation.

Mark Tushnet is an Emeritus Professor at Harvard Law School. He graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School and served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall.  He specializes in constitutional law and theory, including comparative constitutional law. His research includes studies of constitutional review in the United States and around the world, and the creation of other “institutions for protecting constitutional democracy.” He also writes in the area of legal and particularly constitutional history, with works on the development of civil rights law in the United States and a history of the Supreme Court in the 1930s.

Nikolas Bowie is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is a historian who teaches courses in federal constitutional law, state constitutional law, and local government law. Professor Bowie’s research focuses on critical legal histories of democracy in the United States. He has written about the exclusion of workers from corporate governance, the exclusion of immigrants from constitutional governance, and the relationship between self-government, written constitutions, and judicial review. Professor Bowie received a BA in history from Yale and a JD and PhD in history from Harvard. He clerked for Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the US Supreme Court.

Richard H. Fallon, Jr. is the Story Professor of Law and an Affiliate Professor in the Government Department. Fallon is a graduate of Yale University (History, 1975) and Yale Law School (1980). He also earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University (1977), which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Before entering teaching, Fallon served as a law clerk to Judge J. Skelly Wright and to Justice Lewis F. Powell of the United States Supreme Court. Fallon has written extensively about Constitutional Law and Federal Courts Law. He is the author of The Nature of Constitutional Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Law and Legitimacy in the Supreme Court (Harvard University Press 2018), The Dynamic Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2d ed. 2013) and Implementing the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2001) and a co-editor of Constitutional Law: Cases-Comments-Questions (13th edition 2020) and Hart & Wechsler’s The Federal Courts and the Federal System (7th ed. 2015). Fallon is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute.

Kenneth W. Mack is the inaugural Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law, Affiliate Professor of History at Harvard University, and the co-faculty leader of the Harvard Law School Program on Law and History. A member of the American Law Institute, his work has been published in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Journal of American History, and other scholarly journals. In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise. Before joining HLS, he clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of the firm Covington & Burling.

Adrian Vermeule is the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law. Before coming to the Law School, he was the Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. The author or co-author of nine books, most recently Law’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative State (2016), The Constitution of Risk (2014) and The System of the Constitution (2012). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. His research focuses on administrative law, the administrative state, the design of institutions, and constitutional theory. Having grown up in Cambridge and attended Harvard College ’90 and Harvard Law School ’93, Vermeule lives in Cambridge still.

Cover for The Hughes Court From Progressivism to Pluralism, 1930 to 1941 by Mark Tushnet
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