Federal Courts and Nominations

A Debate on “The Dirty Dozen”: The Worst Supreme Court Cases in the Modern Era?


Tuesday, July 15, 2008
3:45 pm
American Constitution Society

Released in May 2008, The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom analyzes what co-authors Robert Levy of the Cato Institute and William Mellor of the Institute for Justice view as the worst U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the modern era. The authors include cases on a wide range of topics including interstate commerce, affirmative action, economic rights, and campaign finance. The book has contributed to an energetic, wide-reaching debate about the Supreme Court, generating an extensive range of opinions among legal professionals, concerned non-lawyers, and Court followers about the impact of the cases discussed and the role of the Court. The American Constitution Society and The Cato Institute were pleased to provide a public platform for this important debate. Leading practitioners and academics from different perspectives discussed the book and debated whether the cases selected by the author are in fact the twelve worst cases in recent times.

The debate featured:

  • David Barron, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Doug Kendall, Founder and President, Constitutional Accountability Center
  • William Mellor, Co-Author of “The Dirty Dozen”; President and General Counsel, Institute for Justice
  • Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review, Cato Institute
  • Moderator, Amanda Frost, Assistant Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

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