Richard H. Fallon, Jr., the Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will discuss law and legitimacy in the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library. This is the second part in the three-part series speaker “Democracy: The Constitution, The Courts and The People,” which is a partnership between the Jesup, the League of Women Voters of Maine—Downeast and Acadia Senior College.
Fallon, who has written extensively about constitutional law and federal courts law, will mix a theoretical discussion of what “law” and “legitimacy” are in terms of the Court as well as answer more practical questions about the changes on the court and what some of the recent rulings mean. Fallon will base some of his discussion on his book “Law and Legitimacy in the Supreme Court” which looks at judicial legitimacy based on an ideal of good faith in constitutional argumentation. Good faith demands that the Justices base their decisions only on legal arguments that they genuinely believe to be valid and are prepared to apply to similar future cases. He will then look at the shifts in the court, including having had Brett Kavanaugh replace Anthony Kennedy. Finally, he will focus on some of the biggest decisions of the year on topics including gerrymandering and census, and discuss if they are indications of a “legitimacy crisis” on the Court.
Fallon, joined the Harvard Law School faculty as an assistant professor in 1982, was promoted to full professor in 1987, and is currently the Story Professor of Law and an Affiliate Professor in the Harvard University Government Department. Fallon is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School. He also earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Before entering teaching, Fallon served as a law clerk to Judge J. Skelly Wright and to Justice Lewis F. Powell of the United States Supreme Court. Fallon is the author of “Law and Legitimacy in the Supreme Court,” “The Dynamic Constitution,” and “Implementing the Constitution” and a co-editor of “Constitutional Law: Cases-Comments” and Hart & Wechsler’s “The Federal Courts and the Federal System.” He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute.
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be live music before the talk with the Beech Mountain Project and a free, catered reception following the talk. For more information, contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245.