On Wednesday, October 3, the Harvard Chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) will host its kick-off event with an address by Judge Abner Mikva. In his speech, “Bringing Justice Back to Law,” Mikva will argue that conservative lawyers have “out hustled” those on the left, which has resulted in a narrow interpretation of legal doctrine.

Mikva, currently a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, has served as White House counsel under President Clinton, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a five-term U.S. congressman.

“ACS will provide a forum for debates between the left and right,” says Harvard Law Professor Heather Gerken, ACS faculty advisor. “And it will provide an opportunity for progressive and liberal students to build a new, more humane jurisprudence.”

Established earlier this year, ACS seeks to counterbalance to the conservative Federalist Society, which was founded in 1982.

“Now, more than ever, we are in desperate need of the rule of law not as a slogan but as a reality, of civil liberties in the fullest sense of that term, of compassion and respect for human dignity, of civil rights and for the full recognition of the plight of people of color living in the United States,” said Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe at ACS’s first organizational meeting.

In addition to Tribe, the ACS board of advisors includes national leaders including former Governor Mario Cuomo, former U.S. Solicitor General Drew Days, and Harvard Law School Professor Christopher Edley. Students and faculty at more than 70 campuses across the country are currently working to form ACS chapters. ACS seeks to accomplish its goals through speaking programs, public education efforts, and other activities.

The Mikva address will begin at 7 p.m. in the Austin North classroom.