Opening Plenary: Facing the Law

March 23, Thursday, Opening Plenary Facing the Law

4-5.45pm, to be followed by a reception (5.45-6.30pm)

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overthrew Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 landmark legislation that made abortion a federal right.  In his arguments for why this needed to happen Justice Samuel Alito pointed to the weakness of its legal arguments, the abuse of judicial authority and the damage to constitutional law.  In other words, the overturning of the law had apparently little to do with fundamental rights, shared values, common visions and changes to them but everything to do with indeterminacies within the law that was now felt to be intolerable and sought to be determined.  One should call this a cynical deployment of technical reasoning on Alito’s part but it nonetheless provokes us to ask how does law, any body of law, embed, proliferate and discipline various kinds of indeterminacies?  How do we sense these out?  How do we live with them? And what finally makes them intolerable? 

Plenary Speakers:

Monica Bell, Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale University

Sameena Mulla, Associate Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Emory University

Annelise Riles, Professor of Law, Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Associate Provost for Global Affairs, Northwestern University 

Chair:  Anna Wherry (JD), graduate student, Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

Other panels and roundtables (schedule to be determined)