Conference: "Constitutional Reconstruction: History and the Meaning of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments"


Location: 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Hall (View on map )

Full Schedule 2021 Nd Law Symposium Set 2

The CCCG and Notre Dame Law Review is proud to present this year's annual NDLR Symposium, "Constitutional Reconstruction: The History and the Meaning of the Thirteenth,Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments"

Events include the keynote address on Friday, October 28, delivered by Prof. Laura Edwards (Princeton): "The Reconstruction Amendments: America's Rights Revolution". More information can be found here

Workshop discussions will take place on Friday, October 29 in 1030 Nanovic Hall.


8:30 am "The Meaning of Freedom: How Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment Changed the American Constitution"

Amul Thapar, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

G. Marcus Cole, Notre Dame Law School

Kate Masur, Northwestern University

Rebecca E. Zietlow, University of Toledo


10:45 am "The Meaning of LibertyThe Drafting and Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment"

Jeffrey S. Sutton, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Jason Mazzone, University of Illinois College of Law

Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Michael Zuckert, University of Notre Dame


1:45 pm "The Meaning of SuffrageThe Drafting, Ratification, and Enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment"

Janice Rogers Brown, Judge (ret.), U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Vikram David Amar, University of Illinois College of Law

Travis Crum, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Bradley Rebeiro, Brigham Young University Law


Laura Edwards

Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty

Princeton University

Laura F. Edwards is the Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University. A legal historian whose research focuses on the nineteenth-century United States, Professor Edwards teaches courses in the history of law in the United States at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her most recent book is A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Her next book project is Only the Clothes on Her Back: Textiles, Law, and Commerce in the Nineteenth-Century United States. 


Amul Thapar

Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

 Prior to his confirmation to the Sixth Circuit, the Honorable Amul Thapar served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. While a U.S. Attorney, Thapar was appointed to the Attorney General's Advisory Committee and chaired the Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture Subcommittee. He also served on the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee, the Violent Crime Subcommittee and the Child Exploitation working group. He is the first Article III judge of South Asian descent. 


G. Marcus Cole

Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law

Notre Dame Law School

Dean Cole is a leading scholar of the empirical law and economics of commerce and finance.

He was a faculty member at Stanford Law School from 1997 until he came to Notre Dame in 2019. His recent research has involved the ways in which the world’s poor are using technology to solve their own problems, often in the face of government restrictions hindering such solutions. Dean Cole’s extensive legal and scholarly background includes serving as a national fellow at the Hoover Institution, a fellow at the University of Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics, and a visiting professor at several institutions around the world


Kate Masur

Professor of History, Board of Visitors Professor

Northwestern University 

Kate Masur (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2001) specializes in the history of race, politics, and law in the nineteenth-century United States. She is the author of Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (W. W. Norton, 2021) and numerous other books and articles including An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (UNC Press, 2010), and, with Gregory Downs, The World the Civil War Made (UNC Press, 2015).


Rebecca E. Zietlow

Distinguished University Professor and Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values

The University of Toledo College of Law

Rebecca E. Zietlow teaches Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, and Constitutional Litigation. Professor Zietlow's scholarly interest is in the study of the Reconstruction Era, including the meaning and history of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. Professor Zietlow is also an expert on constitutional theory, examining constitutional interpretation outside of the courts. Her most recent book, The Forgotten Emancipator: James Mitchell Ashley and the Ideological Origins of Reconstruction was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.


Jeffrey S. Sutton

Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

 The Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton is Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Chief Judge Sutton was nominated to the court by President George Walker Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate in April 2003. He earned his law degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1990 and subsequently clerked for the Honorable Thomas Meskill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as well as two Supreme Court Justices, the Honorable Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and the Honorable Antonin Scalia. Chief Judge Sutton was in private practice in Columbus from 1992 to 1995 and 1998 to 2003, and served as Solicitor General of Ohio from 1995 to 1998. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and as a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. Chief Judge Sutton has authored books and articles on a wide variety of topics including state constitutional law and federalism.


Jason Mazzone

Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Director of the Illinois Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law 

Professor Jason Mazzone’s primary field of research and teaching is constitutional law and history. He works principally on issues of constitutional structure and institutional design with a particular focus on relationships between structural arrangements and individual rights. His groundbreaking work on the Constitution of the United States has appeared in dozens of prominent legal journals. He is currently working on two books: one a global study of the future of constitutional rights; the other, a study of how the U.S. Constitution serves as both a unifying and dividing force in American society. 


Christopher Schmidt

Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at the Chicago-Kent College of Law

A member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 2008, Professor Schmidt teaches in the areas of constitutional law, legal history, comparative constitutional law, and sports law. He has written on a variety of topics, including the historical development of the Fourteenth Amendment, the history of Brown v. Board of Education, the Tea Party as a constitutional movement, how Supreme Court Justices communicate with the American people, and the rise of free agency in Major League Baseball. Professor Schmidt is the author of two books: The Sit-Ins: Protest and Legal Change in the Civil Rights Era (University of Chicago Press, 2018); and Civil Rights in America: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He is currently working on a new book project, a history of the U.S. Supreme Court and its relationship with the American people over the last century.


Michael Zuckert

Nancy R. Dreux Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

University of Notre Dame

 Professor Michael Zuckert has published extensively in both Political Theory and Constitutional Studies, and is the founding editor of American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture. His books include Natural Rights and the New Republicanism, the Natural Rights Republic, Launching Liberalism, and (with Catherine Zuckert) The Truth About Leo Strauss and Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy, in addition to many articles. He has also edited The Spirit of Religion & the Spirit of Liberty and (with Derek Webb) The Antifederal Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle. He is completing Natural rights and the New Constitutionalism, a study of American constitutionalism in a theoretical context.


Janice Rogers Brown

Judge, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (ret.)

Judge Janice Rogers Brown served as a United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 2005 to 2017. From 1996 to 2005, Brown was an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Previously, she served as an Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento and as the Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson.  She was nominated to the D.C. Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2005 and  retired from the bench in 2017.


Vikram David Amar

Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law

Illinois College of Law

Dean Vikram David Amar is one of the most frequently cited authorities in constitutional law, federal courts, and civil procedure. He has produced several books and over 60 articles in leading law reviews. He is a co-author (along with Akhil Reed Amar and Steven Calabresi) of the upcoming edition of the six-volume Treatise on Constitutional Law (West Publishing Co., 6th ed. 2021) pioneered by Ron Rotunda and John Nowak as well as a number of other case law volumes. It appears that Dean Amar was the first person of South Asian heritage to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court when he clerked for Justice Harry Blackmun, and was the first American-born person of Indian descent to serve as a dean of a major American law school.


Travis Crum

Associate Professor of Law

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Professor Travis Crum’s scholarship explores the relationship between voting rights, race, and federalism. His current projects examine the Fifteenth Amendment as an independent constitutional provision and the role of racially polarized voting in redistricting. Professor Crum’s scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Cornell Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. He served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy and Associate Justice (Ret.) John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Bradley Rebeiro

Associate Professor of Law

Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School 

Professor Bradley Rebeiro’s research ranges from U.S. constitutional history to comparative constitutional inquiries. He studies the philosophy of law, as well as the influence of political thought on constitutional jurisprudence. His dissertation, “Natural Rights (Re)Construction: Frederick Douglass and Constitutional Abolitionism,” investigates the constitutional thought of Frederick Douglass and its influence in the antebellum period and Reconstruction. Professor Rebeiro earned his J.D. from J. Reuben Clark School of Law in 2017, and his B.A. from Brigham Young University in 2014. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in constitutional studies and political theory at the University of Notre Dame.