Centuries after it was ratified on September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution remains a dynamic, evolving, and central part of America’s system of governance.
Faculty, students, and other members of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School community have played integral roles in the continued process of interpreting, analyzing, and critiquing the document and its application to contemporary issues of American law.
Here are some highlights:
Leaked Dobbs Opinion
When the Supreme Court’s Dobbs opinion leaked, Penn Carey Law collected responses from faculty and alumni reacting to the Court’s stark deviation from constitutional precedent.
At The Guardian, Prof. Dorothy Roberts explains why the reproductive justice movement must be more collective and go beyond abortion rights.
Threats to LGBTQ+ Equal Protection
In an interview with Penn Today, Prof. Tobias Wolff explains that recent anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas “raises profound questions about the constitutional protection afforded the parent-child relationship, the demand that child welfare policy serve the best interest of the child, and the principle of equal human worth under the Equal Protection Clause.”
Criminal Justice & the Rule of Law
Prof. Claire Finkelstein explores presidential immunity in a paper published in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.
Slavery in Pennsylvania
In interdisciplinary partnership with a small group of professors across the university, Prof. Sally Gordon secured a Klein Family Social Justice Grant for Free State Slavery and Bound Labor: Pennsylvania, a project that includes the creation and launch a course examining slavery in Pennsylvania, where the effects of race-based bondage have long been underestimated.
Weakening Miranda Rights
Senior Fellow David Rudovsky spoke to KYW News Radio about the Supreme Court’s decision in Vega v. Tekoh, which held that a violation of the Miranda rules does not provide a basis for a §1983 claim.
Judicial Ethics & Responsibility
Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court spoke about implicit and structural bias during the Provost’s Lecture on Diversity and the Owen J. Roberts Lecture in Constitutional Law.
Prof. Kermit Roosevelt explains judicial activism in a historical sense, and how justices today interpret the Constitution and federal and state policies.
The Right to Vote
Penn Carey Law offers several public interest law and pro bono opportunities centered on upholding and furthering democracy, as well as thematic, timely courses and a voting rights fellowship.
Tomorrow’s Constitutional Leaders
Following clerkship positions in the Eleventh and Third Circuits, Daniella Cass C’19, L’22 will clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito during the 2024-2025 term.
After a summer interning with the Constitutional Accountability Center, Devontae Torriente L’24 sees the current moment as ‘A Crisis and an Opportunity,’ as there is potential for growth, progress, and optimism amidst a significant departure from established constitutional precedent.
Yen-Ting “Eddy” Lin LLM’21 pursued an LLM degree at Penn to better understand legal systems around the world, and he uses this knowledge to continue to advocate for young peoples’ democratic rights.
Read more on how the Law School community is involved with today’s pressing constitutional issues.