“Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.”
- Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.
Institute of Bill of Rights Law Mission
The mission of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law (IBRL) is to contribute to the ongoing national dialogue about issues relating to the U.S. Constitution and our Bill of Rights. One of the guiding philosophies of the Institute is the conviction that our collective understanding of constitutional issues is enhanced significantly when experts from diverse disciplines—lawyers, journalists, historians, political scientists, economists, sociologists, and politicians—are brought together for serious discussion and debate. Following this interdisciplinary approach, the Institute provides a forum for airing and debating matters of law and policy as a means of increasing our understanding of important constitutional issues. The Institute has been actively involved in its mission since 1982, when it was founded at the law school.
The Institute performs its functions in a manner consistent with its ties to a professional school and an institution of higher education. It undertakes no lobbying and adopts no partisan political stance.
Supreme Court Preview
This year's panelists bring a combined wealth of knowledge and perspective to the Preview programming. Sixteen of our participants have collectively argued around 400 cases before the Supreme Court, including Same-Sex Marriage and the Affordable Care Act from this past term. We will also be joined by four former US Solicitor Generals, three federal court of appeals judges (one retired), and journalists from the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and The Los Angeles Times.
The Preview will begin on Friday, September 25th at 5pm with our Moot Court. This year's case, Friedrichs et al, v. California Teachers Association, et al, will focus on Freedom of Speech in Public Sector Unions. The Preview will continue at 9am on Saturday morning with expert panel sessions focused on the term's most controversial topics, including: the death penalty, abortion, voting rights, and affirmative action. The Preview will conclude at 4pm on Saturday.