When a court refrains from declaring a law unconstitutional it often explains that the law represents the “Will of the People” and that mere judges should invalidate that “Will” very sparingly. But what actually is the “Will of the People?” Does it even exist in the first place? And even if it does to some degree, how many of our laws really exist because of it? Further, what do the answers to these questions have to say about judicial review? If the “Will of the People” isn’t all it’s often thought to be, does that mean courts should be more engaged with finding laws to violate the Constitution?
This conference brings together leading experts on these issues from law, political science, and economics to address the same central questions (1) Does the “Will of the People” exist and if so to what extent? And (2) what does the answer to question (1) have to say for judicial deference to the political branches on questions of constitutionality? Several experts will present their essays answering these questions, and others will provide commentary on these overlooked issues of American democracy and constitutional law. The essays will later be published in the George Mason Law Review. Please join us in person or online for a fascinating day of conversation.
Will of the People, a Law Perspective
Barry Friedman – Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and Affiliated Professor of Politics
Margaret Lemos – Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Ilya Somin – Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
David Bernstein – University Professor and Executive Director, Liberty & Law Center, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
The Will of the People, a Political Science Perspective
. Jarpa Dawuni – Associate Professor, Howard University
Joseph Ura – Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University
Keith E. Whittington – William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University
Dana Berliner – Senior Vice President and Litigation Director
The Will of the People, an Economics Perspective
Stefanie Haeffele – Senior Research Fellow, Deputy Director of Academic and Student Programs, and a Senior Fellow for the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Jayme Lemke – Senior Research Fellow and a Senior Fellow with the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Francesco Parisi – Professor of Law at University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna