Book Forum

The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty

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Date and Time
March 23, 2009 12 - 2 PM EDT
Featuring author Helen J. Knowles, State University of New York, Oswego; With comments by Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center; Moderated by Roger Pilon, Director, Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies;

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy sits at the center of the Roberts Court. Two terms ago he was in the majority in all 24 of the 5/4 decisions. During that term, in fact, he was in the majority in all but two of the Court’s decisions, and his pivotal role on the Court continues. It is no stretch, therefore, to call today’s Supreme Court the Kennedy Court. Yet only now do we have the first book‐​length study of Justice Kennedy and his constitutional jurisprudence. Author Helen Knowles examines how Kennedy’s background as a law student and classroom teacher has influenced his judicial philosophy. The book begins by examining Kennedy’s judicial thought in the context of libertarian thought. Knowles does not call the justice a libertarian. Instead, in a sympathetic but not uncritical analysis, she uses libertarian philosophy, focusing on privacy, race, and speech cases, to draw out Kennedy’s views about limited government and individual liberty. Please join us for a discussion of Justice Kennedy’s “modest libertarianism,” with comments by one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars, Professor Randy Barnett.