Distinguished Roster of Legal Luminaries Includes Two Supreme Court Justices, Constitutional Scholar, ACLU President


Miami Law students this semester have a bumper crop of nationally prominent legal scholars to choose from as far as guest speakers are concerned. They include U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who spoke on campus Feb. 1, and her colleague, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who will be a guest of the law school on Feb. 11.

Justice Kennedy is scheduled to teach a Constitutional Law class and will spend some time with students before having lunch with members of the law faculty. At 5:30 p.m., he will give a talk in the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center as part of the Robert B. Cole Distinguished Jurist Lecture Series, an event for which tickets are no longer available. Justice Kennedy took his seat on the Supreme Court on Feb. 18, 1988, after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, Justice Kennedy has often been the swing vote in many of the Court's 5-4 decisions.

Susan Herman, the President of the American Civil Liberties Union, will hold an informal conversation with Miami Law students and faculty at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7 in Room D201, the law library reading room. Professor Herman will discuss career prospects in public-interest law, upcoming Supreme Court cases, the Patriot Act, targeted killings, and other matters. Her book, "Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy," takes a hard look at the human and social costs of America's war on terror. Professor Herman holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties.

Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case in 1973, will speak at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the Storer Auditorium. Dr. Weddington, a professor and women's rights advocate, was awarded the Margaret Brent Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Margaret Sanger Award, its highest honor. Dr. Weddington is featured in a new PBS documentary on the women's movement.

Many Miami Law students seized the chance to hear three other notable speakers in recent days: Catharine A. MacKinnon, a renowned lawyer, teacher and activist on sexual-equality issues, delivered the keynote speech at a conference titled "Human Trafficking: Demand, Legislation, and Prosecutions," on Jan. 25 in the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center; Dale Jamieson, Director of Environmental Studies at New York University, lectured on "Science and Law for the Anthropocene" on Jan. 28 in the Faculty Meeting Room, a lecture that served as the launch of Miami Law's newest joint-degree program, a J.D./Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy; and Professor Geoffrey R. Stone, one of America's leading constitutional scholars and authors, who spoke about "The Supreme Court and Conservative Judicial Activism" on Feb. 4 at the law school as part of the John Hart Ely Lecture series.