Annual Kissel Lecture in Ethics with Pamela Karlan


Thursday, February 13, 2020, 5:00pm to 6:30pm


Milstein East C, Wasserstein Hall - Harvard Law School

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Title: "Restoring Democracy: Lessons from Offender Re-enfranchisement"  

Abstract: Karlan explores what the recent success of the offender re-enfranchisement movement tells us about both constitutional and popular approaches to democracy. Why has this movement succeeded even during a time when restrictive voting practices have been introduced elsewhere? What is the relationship between offender re-enfranchisement and criminal justice more broadly.

Pamela Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and a founder and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. She has argued nine cases before the Court.

Karlan’s primary scholarship involves constitutional litigation, particularly with respect to voting rights and antidiscrimination law. She has published dozens of scholarly articles and is the co-author of three leading casebooks as well as a monograph on constitutional interpretation—Keeping Faith with the Constitution (Oxford University Press). She has received numerous teaching awards.

Karlan’s public service including clerking for U.S Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, a term on California’s state Fair Political Practices Commission, and an appointment as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. There, she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service (the Department’s highest award for employee performance) for her work in implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and the John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice for her work on Title VII and gender identity.

The Kissel Lecture in Ethics is named for the late Lester Kissel, a graduate of Harvard Law School and longtime benefactor of Harvard University's ethics programs and activities.