UCLA Law Review Symposium Tackles Constitutional Threats

20180205 LawReviewSymposiumJusticeCuellarAs Trump Administration policies and statements are threatening established norms of governance, UCLA Law Review’s 2018 symposium struck an especially timely note by gathering preeminent scholars and national thought leaders in constitutional and administrative law.

The Feb. 2 event, “The Safeguards of Our Constitutional Republic,” featured panels that examined many of the most vital issues of the Trump era: the separation of powers; federalism and the role of state, local and tribal governments; civil society; the administrative state; and norms, ethics and constitutional culture. Prominent participants included David Alan Sklansky of Stanford Law School’s Criminal Justice Center, Aziz Huq and Jennifer Nou of the University of Chicago Law School, Kate Andrias of the University of Michigan Law School, and Adam Zimmerman of Loyola Law School.

In the conference’s keynote address, California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar (pictured) underscored the value of restraining “abuse of official power,” noting that constitutional checks serve a strong purpose. Vigilantly preventing the fraying of institutions is paramount, he said, because seemingly disparate areas of government actually work in unison to protect civil rights and the rule of law. “Nothing,” he said, “operates in a vacuum.”

UCLA Law professor Jon D. Michaels — whose new book, Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic, addresses many of the day’s themes — served as the event’s faculty chair, with support from assistant professors Kristen Eichensehr and Blake Emerson. Assistant professor E. Tendayi Achiume also moderated a panel.