Skip to main content
Past Event

The Conservative Legal Movement and the Future of Liberal Jurisprudence

The conservative legal movement has shown remarkable success at defining the terms of the debate over jurisprudence, while the various visions of liberal theories of law that confront conservative orthodoxy have struggled to gain currency in the political sphere. Conservative legal theorists have coalesced around a relatively compact and politically effective set of ideas while their liberal critics have offered a diverse series of responses. In the face of conservative victories, can liberals forge a coherent response? Or will differences among liberals get in the way? What events might shake up the current state of the debate?

On December 1, the Brookings Institution hosted a conference on the asymmetry between liberal and conservative visions of jurisprudence. Participants discussed how modern conservative orthodoxy arose, the competing visions of liberal jurisprudence, and the prospects for political backlash against conservative orthodoxy and for a resurgence of liberal jurisprudence.

Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.


9:30 AM -- Welcome

9:45 AM -- Opening Remarks

10:15 AM -- The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement


Pamela S. Karlan

Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford Law School

1:25 PM -- Featured Speaker

2:25 PM -- Will There be a Backlash? Lessons for the Future

11:45 AM -- The Liberal Response: Not One, But Many


Jeffrey Rosen

Former Brookings Expert

Professor - The George Washington University School of Law

President and CEO - National Constitution Center

Contributing Editor - The Atlantic


James E. Ryan

William L. Matheson & Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law

More Information

(202) 797-6105

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.


Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings