“The Courts and the Culture Wars: Judicial Politics in Polarized Times”


Professor Thomas Keck

Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics

Why is it that judges seem to play such an outsized role in polarized political conflicts in the contemporary United States? Partisan critics of the courts would say that the judges are unaccountable activists, blithely substituting their own preferences for those of popular majorities. But judges themselves insist that they are merely legal “umpires,” dispassionately calling balls and strikes with no concern for who wins and loses. Arguing that neither of these descriptions is remotely accurate, Professor Keck will provide a guided tour through contemporary debates about the role of judges in American democracy, focusing on four of the most polarized issues in contemporary constitutional politics: abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, and gun rights.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Reception 5:30 pm
Program 6:30 pm

Carnegie Institution for Science
1530 P Street, NW
Washington DC 20005

Space is limited and reservations are required.

Please RSVP no later than Tuesday, March 8th to


Please include your name, title, organization, and phone number

You are welcome to bring a guest.

One thought on ““The Courts and the Culture Wars: Judicial Politics in Polarized Times”

  1. DC alums, I’m looking forward to seeing you next month! This should be a great event and we’re really looking forward to trying out this new venue. Call your friends and make sure they’re coming. See you soon, Norma

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