The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Does the Will of the People Actually Exist?
Friday, September 10, 2021
At 8:30a.m EDT
Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
3301 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA
When a court refrains from declaring a law unconstitutional it often explains that the law represents the "Will of the People" and that mere judges should invalidate that "Will" very sparingly. But what actually is the "Will of the People?" Does it even exist in the first place? And even if it does to some degree, how many of our laws really exist because of it? Further, what do the answers to these questions have to say about judicial review? If the "Will of the People" isn't all it's often thought to be, does that mean courts should be more engaged with finding laws to violate the Constitution?
This conference brings together leading experts on these issues from law, political science, and economics to address the same central questions (1) Does the "Will of the People" exist and if so to what extent? And (2) what does the answer to question (1) have to say for judicial deference to the political branches on questions of constitutionality? Several experts will present their essays answering these questions, and others will provide commentary on these overlooked issues of American democracy and constitutional law. The essays will later be published in the George Mason Law Review. Please join us in person or online for a fascinating day of conversation.
If you come in person, a free lunch and, if you're a Virginia lawyer, we have been approved for 3 hours of CLE!
The conference features, among other luminaries, the VC's own Ilya Somin and Keith Whittington. More details about the program and registration at this link.