2023 Academic Symposium
On March 31 & April 1, 2023, NCJI and SMU Dedman School of Law will cosponsor a provocative and insightful academic symposium at the SMU Law campus in Dallas, for attorneys, law professors and students, judges and law clerks, nonprofits, and public officials. An outstanding faculty of law professors, judges, and attorneys will explore original research prepared for the Symposium, and will debate a multitude of aspects of the future of substantive due process in America.
Symposium Videos / Program Agenda / Faculty Bios / Symposium Draft Papers / Symposium Donors
- The importance of the SDP doctrine to our democracy
- An historical analysis of SDP
- Secrecy and transparency in SDP litigation
- The role of state courts and state constitutions
- Challenges in litigating civil rights claims
- The substance of rights to and in courts
- End-of-life care
- The fundamental right to free movement
- Individual vs. states’ rights in gender/reproductive issues
- Civil right to counsel
- Academic freedom in public universities
- The “originalist” perspective
- Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center
- Dustin Benham, Texas Tech University School of Law
- F. Paul Bland, Jr., Public Justice
- Howard Braswell, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University
- Kathy Cerminara, Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeast University
- Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Berkeley School of Law (Keynote address)
- Simona Grossi, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Helen Hershkoff, NYU School of Law
- Johanna Kalb, University of Idaho College of Law
- Joseph Kobylka, SMU Department of Political Science
- Nance Leong, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
- Robin Maril, Willamette University College of Law
- Jonathan Marshfield, University of Florida Levin College of Law
- Seema Mohapatra, SMU Dedman School of Law
- Judith Resnik, Yale Law School
- Paul M. Smith, Georgetown University Law Center
- Noah Smith-Drelich, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Symposium Faculty Chair: Thomas Wm. Mayo, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law
- Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law
- Jennifer Bennett, Gupta Wessler PLLC
- Hon. David C. Godbey, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- Hon. Erin A. Nowell, Justice, Texas Fifth Court of Appeals
- Thomas Melsheimer, Winston & Strawn, LLP
- Justice Ken Molberg, Justice, Texas Fifth Court of Appeals
- Jon Pollock, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel
- Ellen Presby, Ferrer, Poirot, Wansbrough
- Sherry Skeen, Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund, Inc.
Fees, CLE, Registration
Free to judges, academics, law students, public officials and Fellows of NCJI.
All others: $250 – full symposium / $150 – 1 day / $100 – virtual
The program has been approved for 9.25 CLE credits by the State Bar of Texas for in-person and virtual attendance. Those seeking credit outside of Texas may apply with their state CLE authority.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-944-2841.
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Lumen Hotel across the street from SMU Law School. The block expires on March 15. To make a reservation, use this link or phone the hotel at 214-219-2400. Be sure to mention the NCJI/SMU Symposium when making your reservation to get the special rate.
In the words of Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of Berkeley Law (keynote speaker for the symposium), “[t]here is no concept in American law that is more elusive or more controversial than substantive due process. Substantive due process has been used in [the 20th] century to protect some of our most precious liberties. . . . Substantive due process asks the question of whether the government’s deprivation of a person’s life, liberty or property is justified by a sufficient purpose.” (Erwin Chemerinsky, Substantive Due Process, 15 Touro L. Rev. 1501 (1999).)
Today, constitutional rights that have until recently been treated as matters of settled law are under serious threat. Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al., 142 S. Ct. 2228, 2301-02 (2022) (overruling Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)), wrote that, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of [the U.S. Supreme] Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ . . . we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents. . . . After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated.”
The National Civil Justice Institute is a national legal nonprofit created by trial attorneys in 1956 to support the U.S. civil justice system. Our programs and publications provide a balanced view of the role of the civil courts in sustaining American democracy.
SMU Dedman School of Law
Founded in 1925, SMU Dedman School of Law has a national and international reputation of training prominent lawyers that lead international law firms, serve as CEOs and general counsels to some of the nation’s largest corporations, and serve as judges and public servants across the globe.