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Oct 19

The Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture

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"Suppose Joseph Story Had Been Right, and Brutus Had Been Wrong"

The Center for Legal and Judicial Studies is honored to host Judge Alice M. Batchelder as the fourth speaker of our aptly named Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture.

Judge Batchelder contemplates some examples of what might not have occurred had the Supreme Court throughout its history agreed with Justice Story that “[a] more alarming doctrine could not be promulgated by any American court, than that it was at liberty to disregard all former rules and decisions, and to decide for itself, without reference to the settled course of antecedent principles,” and accordingly not fulfilled the Anti-Federalists’ warning that “in their decisions [the Supreme Court] will not confine themselves to any fixed or established rules, but will determine, according to what appears to them, the reason and spirit of the constitution.”

The namesake of the lecture – the eminent jurist Joseph Story – became the youngest Associate Justice ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court when he was appointed by President Madison in 1812. Story made a significant mark on American law in his thirty-three years on the bench, but his greatest contribution to jurisprudence is his renowned Commentaries on the Constitution, in which he set forth a philosophy of judicial restraint. This lecture series celebrates his legacy.

More About the Speakers

The Honorable Alice M. Batchelder
Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit

Hosted By

Edwin Meese III Edwin Meese III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus Read More