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Adrian Vermeule

  • John F. Manning at podium

    ‘Without the Pretense of Legislative Intent’: John Manning delivers Scalia lecture

    March 13, 2017

    On March 6, John Manning ’85, Harvard Law School deputy dean and Bruce Bromley Professor of Law, delivered a talk, "Without the Pretense of Legislative Intent," as part of the Scalia lecture series at HLS.

  • Law School receives Scalia papers

    March 7, 2017

    The family of the late Antonin Scalia, J.D. ’60, who was a leading associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, announced Monday that it will donate his papers to the Harvard Law School (HLS) Library...“We are deeply grateful to the Scalia family for donating Justice Scalia’s papers to his alma mater,” said John Manning, deputy dean and Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at HLS and a former clerk to Scalia...Adrian Vermeule, the Ralph S. Tyler Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law at HLS and also a former Scalia clerk, said, “Justice Scalia was, indisputably, the most influential and interesting justice of his generation, and a brilliant academic as well. His papers will be of surpassing value to future scholars, and it is fitting that they should find a home at Harvard Law School.”...Jonathan Zittrain, the George Bemis Professor of International Law and director of the library, said, “The Harvard Law School Library serves not only the campus community, but the world at large..."

  • Antonin Scalia

    Scalia family donates late justice’s papers to Harvard Law School Library

    March 6, 2017

    The family of the late Antonin Scalia ’60, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has announced that it will donate his papers to the Harvard Law School Library.

  • The Flight 216 Selection

    February 2, 2017

    An op-ed by Adrian Vermeule. Judge Neil Gorsuch is a walking, talking Hollywood writer's pitch: “I've got it! Antonin Scalia meets Jimmy Stewart!” Gorsuch, who famously resembles Stewart, complete with lanky charm, also has the intelligence, skills, and pen of a worthy successor to Scalia. His opinions are clear, amusing, pointed, and legally acute. Scalia could reach greater heights of prose style, sometimes with an acid brilliance that Gorsuch is perhaps too courtly to employ. On the other hand, lower-court judging is a cramped stage, and a Justice Gorsuch would have more scope to unfurl his indisputable talents.

  • Andrew Crespo, Cass Sunstein, and Adrian Vermeule, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. sitting at table with microphones

    Trump and the law

    November 28, 2016

    At a recent event, several HLS professors discussed the scope and limits of a president’s executive and judicial powers, the role the courts may play, and the ways in which Trump could reshape the authority and operation of an array of government agencies.

  • Trump and the law

    November 27, 2016

    As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office in January, the legal community has begun to ponder and prepare for the changes the incoming administration may make...Adrian Vermeule ’90, J.D. ’93, the Ralph S. Tyler Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law at HLS, sees two possible prospects for administrative law under Trump. One involves what he called “bipartisan retrenchment.”...Four major signposts during the first 100 days will show whether the Trump administration will transform executive authority or not, said Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. First, how does the Trump administration handle ostensibly independent regulatory commissions such as the Security and Exchange Commission or the Federal Reserve?...With the executive branch’s role leading the trends in America’s criminal justice system and criminal justice reform, the effect that Trump’s presidency will have in this realm, given that his positions on a number of issues are either unformed or shifting, is still unknown, said criminal law professor Andrew Crespo.

  • The “Thick Line” of 2016

    November 11, 2016

    An op-ed by Adrian Vermeule: In transitional justice, the "thick line" is a deliberate policy of forgetting what went before. I want to suggest a version of the thick line for the 2016 election campaign; more specifically, a one-year moratorium on pointing out the inconsistency or even hypocrisy of others, based on statements they made during the campaign.

  • Finding stable ground

    November 4, 2016

    An interview with Adrian Vermeule: In the midst of scandals, intra-ecclesial ideological battles, and a widespread attitude of indifference—if not scorn—toward religion in general and the Catholic faith in particular, a steady stream of courageous souls continue to convert from other confessions—or no confession—to the Catholic faith. ...Below, Adrian Vermeule, the Ralph S. Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, answers a few questions about his own recent conversion experience.

  • There is no middle way between atheism and Catholicism, says Harvard professor who has converted

    October 31, 2016

    A Harvard law professor who experienced a dramatic conversion to Catholicism has suggested there is no middle way between atheism and the Church. In an interview with Christina Dearduff, Dr Adrian Vermeule said that the logic behind his Catholic beliefs is inspired by Blessed John Henry Newman. He said: “Raised a Protestant, despite all my thrashing and twisting, I eventually couldn’t help but believe that the apostolic succession through Peter as the designated leader and primus inter pares is in some logical or theological sense prior to everything else – including even Scripture, whose formation was guided and completed by the apostles and their successors, themselves inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

  • Trading liberty for security

    September 6, 2016

    By Adrian Vermeule '93: Thanks largely to initiatives by Presidents of both parties, American law and policy has adapted flexibly to the new environment, trading off some liberty for greater gains in security. Continue Reading »

  • Justice Salia

    HLS Reflects on the Legacy of Justice Scalia

    May 10, 2016

    With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia ’60 of the U.S. Supreme Court on February 13 has come an outpouring of remembrances and testaments to his transformative presence during his 30 years on the Court. On February 24, Dean Martha Minow and a panel of seven Harvard Law School professors, each of whom had a personal or professional connection to the justice, gathered to remember his life and work.

  • What Legitimacy Crisis?

    May 9, 2016

    An op-ed by Adrian Vermeule. I admire the spirit of Philip Wallach’s essay. Excepting his rather defensive one-liners about the professors of administrative law, he tries to put a range of views about the administrative state in their best light, mining truth from wherever it lies and proposing a middle way of incrementalist legislation to discipline the bureaucracy. It therefore feels almost churlish to argue, as I will, that there is no need for even a moderate solution because there is no demonstrated problem to begin with. Although the spirit of the essay is admirable, the substance is weak. Three concepts are indispensable to any discussion of a putative “legitimacy crisis” in the administrative state: delegation, the presidency, and welfare, in the sense of well-being.

  • Justice Antonin Scalia on a panel speaking to another panelist behind a wooden desk

    Harvard Law School reflects on the legacy of Justice Scalia

    March 1, 2016

    On Feb. 24, a panel of Harvard Law School professors, all of whom had personal or professional connections to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, gathered to remember his life and work.

  • Death of a judicial giant

    February 15, 2016

    “Nino was memorably smart, gregarious, funny, playful — a good pal — as well as plainly serious about his studies,” recalled Frank Michelman, the Robert Walmsley University Professor emeritus at Harvard, whose friendship with Scalia began in 1957 when they entered HLS together. The two shared an office while working on the Law Review. “We talked about everything that came along, and I had no inkling then of differences between us over matters legal or political that developed or became apparent later.

  • Imagine there’s no Congress

    January 12, 2016

    An op-ed by Adrian Vermeule. In the spirit of John Lennon, let’s imagine, all starry-eyed, that there’s no U.S. Congress. In this thought experiment, the presidency and the Supreme Court would be the only federal institutions, along with whatever subordinate agencies the president chose to create. The court would hold judicial power, while the president would make and execute laws. The president would be bound by elections and individual constitutional rights, but there would be no separation of legislative from executive power. Would such a system be better or worse than our current system? How different would it be, anyway?

  • Adrian Vermeule at a desk smiling

    Vermeule co-editor of new online review of books

    March 20, 2015

    Harvard Law School Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 is the co-editor of a new online review of books, The New Rambler. Co-edited by Vermeule, Stanford University Professor Blakey Vermeule and University of Chicago Law Professor Eric Posner, The New Rambler publishes reviews of books about ideas, including literary fiction.

  • The Constitution of Risk

    November 5, 2014

    An op-ed by Adrian Vermeule. How should we approach legal decisions regarding private property for public use? How can constitutional risk be managed in order to maximise the benefits? In this article adapted from the author’s book The Constitution of Risk, Adrian Vermeule explores such questions, looking at the role of constitutional risk within free market development, financial regulation, and how constitutional rulemakers are able to optimise strategy in these fields.

  • Illustration of a human silhouette on a flight of stairs with caution signs on the steps

    Cautious about the Precautionary Principle

    May 15, 2014

    When writing laws, trying to prevent official abuse can actually create or exacerbate the very risks they are intended to avoid, argues Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 in his new book, “The Constitution of Risk.”

  • Adrian Vermeule at a desk smiling

    In his latest book on constitutional decision-making, Vermeule exposes the risks of risk-aversion (video)

    April 15, 2014

    When writing laws, trying to prevent official abuse can actually create or exacerbate the very risks they are intended to avoid, argues Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 in his new book, “The Constitution of Risk.”

  • Faculty Sampler: From medical tourism to the system of the Constitution

    December 6, 2012

    “Medical tourism—the travel of patients who are residents of one country (the ‘home country’) to another country for medical treatment (the ‘destination country’)—represents a growing and important business," writes Assistant Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03 in a recent article.

  • Professor Adrian Vermeule '93

    Vermeule in Jotwell: Bureaucratic Nirvana

    December 6, 2012

    In a recent review essay for the online journal Jotwell, Harvard Law School Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 takes a look at Norton E. Long’s article “Bureaucracy and Constitutionalism,” published in 1952 in the American Political Science Review.