Paul Horwitz's Post-Conference Thoughts

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Professor Paul Horwitz recently posted some thoughts about the 2020 Conference. In addition to commenting on his own panel ("Individual Rights," also featuring Columbia's Elizabeth Emens, Nortre Dame's Rich Garnett, and Seton Hall's Alice Ristroph), he has a few things to say about the 2020 project more broadly. From Prawfsblog:

"What struck me about the conference was that it was directed around a "project" (an oft-used term over the weekend) whose terms are still quite uncertain, and to which not everyone who served as a panelist had signed on.  Some panelists were decidedly social activists who believe the value of the Constitution in 2020 project is that it will lead to a more just society along the lines they would like to see; to some extent, constitutionalism was present but only sitting in the passenger seat for these panelists.  Other panelists, and perhaps the organizers themselves, are good-faith constitutionalists who believe that there is room for a politically progressive constitutionalism and see the goal as constructing a vision of progressive constitutionalism that is both theoretically legitimate and politically saleable.  Other panelists (Rick and I fall in this category, I think) are very happy to think about what the Constitution requires and think there is always room to rethink its meaning and that there is value in doing so, but we come from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and political perspectives, and don't care so much whether the Constitution in 2020 is a progressive one or not, let alone whether it can be sold to the ranks of political progressives."

 

What's the upshot of these three different groups of panelists all being included in one conference? Read on...