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Karlan to deliver Phi Beta Kappa/Lane lecture on constitution March 14

Pamela Karlan will speak at noon March 14 at Hamann Auditorium on "Keeping Faith with the Constitution."
Pamela Karlan will speak at noon March 14 at Hamann Auditorium on "Keeping Faith with the Constitution."

Since 1789, other nations’ constitutions have come and gone. By one recent estimate, national constitutions last only an average of 17 years. The United States Constitution, by contrast, not only endures — it thrives. Why?

On March 14, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Pamela Karlan, of Stanford Law School, will deliver a free, public lecture, “Keeping Faith with the Constitution.” The noon lecture is at Hamann Auditorium at the College of Law.

In this lecture, Karlan describes and defends an approach to constitutional interpretation that is richer than originalism or strict construction, more consistent with the history of our constitutional practice, and more persuasive in explaining why the Constitution remains authoritative more than 200 years after the nation’s founding.

Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Her primary scholarly interests lie in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional litigation, with an emphasis on voting rights and antidiscrimination law. She has published dozens of scholarly articles as well as three casebooks and a monograph, “Keeping Faith with the Constitution.” She has argued seven cases before the Supreme Court and participated as counsel for one of the parties or for an amicus in more than 50 more.

A former law clerk to District Judge Abraham D. Sofaer and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, she has served as assistant counsel and remains a cooperating attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and recipient of three awards for excellence in teaching.

The lecture is the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Public Lecture and the Lane Lecture at the College of Law. The department of political science is an additional co-sponsor.