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Constitutional Battlegrounds: Civil Rights in a Changing Landscape

Monday, September 25, 2017 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Boston Bar Association - 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


Constitutional issues have been in the national spotlight recently, both in the media and in the courts. At a time of rapid change and constant activity on the federal, state and local levels of government, we, as attorneys, are often charged with the task of articulating and interpreting the law for our clients, families, friends and neighbors. This symposium aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of constitutional rights in the shifting political landscape.

This symposium is a project of the Boston Bar Association’s 2016-2017 Public Interest Leadership Program.

Program Agenda:

The New, New Frontier - Constitutional Law and the Federal Government - 5:00 - 6:00 PM

In its first 200+ days, the Trump Administration has already signaled a fundamental shift in federal policy with respect to significant issues such as immigration, civil rights, and the role of administrative agencies in governance. This panel will discuss the changing state of federal law and policy - as permitted and limited by the U.S. Constitution - and pertinent Supreme Court cases.

Kent Greenfield, Professor of Law and Michael and Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School

Jack M. Beermann, Professor of Law and Harry Elwood Warren Scholar, Boston University School of Law
Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice   
Mark C. Fleming, Vice Chair, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice, WilmerHale

Federalism and the Role of State Governments - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned the states acting to check and balance the actions of the federal government. Today, in many areas of our lives as citizens, the federal government plays a dominant role. This panel will discuss ways in which states can react to changes in federal policies in areas like civil rights, immigration, environmental regulation, health care, and others.

Lawrence Friedman, Professor of Law, New England School of Law

Rep. Michael S. Day, State Representative, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Bessie Dewar, State Solicitor, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Jessie Rossman, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

Networking Reception - 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Join us after the panel presentations for a chance to mix and mingle with attendees and program speakers. There will also be information available regarding pro bono and volunteer opportunities in the Greater Boston area.


Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):




Cassandra Shavney


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