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The Promise and Limits of State Constitutions

As the Supreme Court steps back on individual rights, state constitutions are filling the void. Do we fully understand their role and importance?

New York
an illustration of U.S. states

Feb. 8 // 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Feb. 9 // 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Vanderbilt Hall, NYU School of Law
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

For much of the past century, the U.S. Supreme Court was the primary guardian of civil rights and liberties. In many areas the Court is now backing away from that role, and legal scholars and citizens alike are scrambling to understand this new reality. 

This process has ushered in a new focus on state constitutions and the courts that interpret them. Fifty separate state constitutions provide numerous rights that do not appear in the federal constitution, and those constitutions are understudied.

Join the Brennan Center for Justice, State Court Report, and the New York University Law Review for a live two-day event on February 8 and 9 at NYU School of Law’s Vanderbilt Hall. Judges, academics, and lawyers will dive into the nuances and importance of state constitutional law. As Justice William J. Brennan Jr. once wrote, state courts “ought to be the guardians of our liberties.” It’s time to better understand them. 

Produced in partnership with State Court Report and NYU Law Review

This event has been approved for nine New York State CLE credits in the category of Areas of Professional Practice. The credit is both transitional and non-transitional; it is appropriate for both experienced and newly admitted attorneys. NYU School of Law is an accredited provider of CLE in New York State. If you are seeking CLE credit for a different state, we recommend you consult with your state’s CLE Board to ascertain regulations on reciprocity.

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