The Notre Dame Law School has long pursued excellence in Constitutional Law, and more broadly, in the field public law—the law that regulates the structure of government and its relations with individuals and foreign nations. The Law School’s Program of Study in Public Law provides a foundational course of study for students interested in government lawyering, judicial clerkships, criminal justice, constitutional litigation, administrative regulation and adjudication, public policy, and many other public law fields.
This spring, the University of Notre Dame launched inaugural online courses with edXD.org, a non-profit platform for online education. The interactive massive open online courses (MOOCS) are designed to offer and enrich education for all. Program faculty member, Tricia Bellia, will be teaching one of the inaugural courses, “Understanding Wireless: Technology, Economics, and Policy.”
Each year, a number of Notre Dame Law School graduates serve as judicial clerks in federal and state courts across the nation. Among the most prestigious employment opportunities for a new or recent law school graduate, clerkships provide lawyers with the rare opportunity to participate in the judicial decision-making process from inside the court system.
The Program on Constitutional Structure hosted a conference, “The Common Law in an Age of Regulation," on February 6, 2015, at the Notre Dame London Law Centre. The world's legal systems that claim the common law as their heritage operate today in an age of increasing statutory and administrative regulation
A.J. Bellia, O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law, joined Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on a panel at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (“AALS”). The panel discussed the role of history in Federal Courts jurisprudence.
Andrea Pin (PhD, University of Turin, Italy) was a fall 2014 Notre Dame Kellogg Institute for International Studies visiting fellow. He is senior lecturer at the University of Padua, where he teaches constitutional law, comparative public law, and Islamic law. His interests include constitutionalism in Middle East as well as on comparative perspectives on religious liberty, constitutional interpretation, and federalism. While at Notre Dame, he was also a visiting professor of European Union law at the Notre Dame Law School.
The University of Notre Dame has appointed NDLS Professor A.J. Bellia to serve as the inaugural O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law.
This Endowed Chair is funded by a significant gift from Judge Thomas W. and Elaine S. O’Toole to support the study and teaching of constitutional law at Notre Dame Law School. Judge O’Toole, who obtained his B.A. from Notre Dame and his L.L.B. from the University of Arizona, long served with distinction on the Maricopa County Superior Court.…
The Program on Constitutional Structure will host a conference, "The Common Law in an Age of Regulation" on February 6, 2015 at the Notre Dame London Law Centre. The world's legal systems that claim the common law as their heritage operate today in an age of increasing statutory and administrative regulation. The conference will gather scholars from the Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States to consider six papers that address the role of the common law in an age of regulation. …
This summer Notre Dame Law school students held over 50 federal and state summer clerkships or internships. Twenty-seven students worked in federal clerkships, with the rest working in state or local clerkships. Law students gained experience with judges throughout the country in district, circuit, appeals, trial, and bankruptcy courts.
In his new article, Reading Statutes in the Common Law Tradition (forthcoming Virginia Law Review), Professor Jeff Pojanowski examines the role common law tradition plays in statutory interpretation. Jurists and scholars concur that the common law points away from formalist interpretive approaches like textualism and toward a more creative, independent role for courts. Professor Pojanowski notes that they simply differ over whether the common law tradition is worth preserving. Contemporary debate offers a choice between continuing with common law tradition or formalist interpretation that breaks with that heritage.
In a forthcoming article, Professor A.J. Bellia examines important questions surrounding the powers of federal courts under the Constitution. The article—entitled The Process Acts and the Alien Tort Statute—confronts the question whether federal courts have power to adjudicate causes of action that neither Congress nor state law has created. Courts and scholars have long debated whether federal courts enjoy the power to hear such actions—commonly called “federal common law” causes of action—or whether they only have power to hear actions that Congress or a state has made through its regular lawmaking processes. In debating such questions, judges and scholars usually presume, as a historical matter, that early federal courts had power to find causes of action in general common law.
In an important recent decision, U.S. v. Cannon (2014 WL 1633160), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit relied heavily upon the work of Notre Dame Law School Professor Jennifer Mason McAward in interpreting the scope of Congress’s power to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Section Two of the Thirteenth Amendment empowers Congress to enforce the prohibition on slavery and involuntary servitude by addressing the “badges and incidents of slavery.” The court used Professor Mason McAward’s article, Defining the Badges and Incidents of Slavery (published in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law), to understand the scope of that constitutional provision.
Professor Randy Kozel has published a review essay, "Institutional Autonomy and Constitutional Structure," in the Michigan Law Review. The essay -- which discusses Paul Horwitz's book, "First Amendment Institutions" -- considers the role of institutions such as churches, universities, and the media as components of the structural framework of the U.S. Constitution.…
Gerry Bradley was quoted in the several news sources this week on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision.
- National Catholic Register article Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood …
NDLS Professor A.J. Bellia Jr. has been honored by the Virginia Law Review for co-authoring (with George Washington University Law Professor Bradford R. Clark) one of the most influential articles published by the Virginia Law Review in the past 100 years.
Bellia’s article, The Law of Nations as Constitutional Law, 98 Va. L. Rev. 729 (2012), explores the history and role of international law in U.S. courts under the Constitution.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. visited Notre Dame Law School April 10 as the Judge James J. Clynes Visiting Chair.
In the afternoon the Justice participated in a fireside chat with NDLS Professor William Kelley, an event that was sponsored by the NDLS Program on Constitutional Structure, the Federalist Society, and the Department of Political Science’s Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies.