2005 Founders' Celebration Events

A Conversation on the Relevance of Foreign Law
for American Constitutional Adjudication with
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia & Stephen Breyer

Dean Claudio Grossman with Justices Breyer and Scalia

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Association of Constitutional Law
January 13, 2005
Washington College of Law

Since Thursday's historic public discussion between Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Breyer at WCL, and co-sponsored with the U.S. Association of Constitutional Law, there have been an unprecedented 50,000 hits on WCL's Web site from those wishing to access a transcript or watch the C-SPAN broadcast.

"The enthusiasm with which this event has been received is an expression of, not just the distinguished debaters, but also the importance of the debate as we reflect on the 55th Presidential Inauguration - a celebration of the democratic process," said Claudio Grossman, dean of the Washington College of Law."

"WCL is an open and inviting environment, committed to asking and answering probing questions. The question of whether American jurists should consider foreign legal precedent when deciding U.S. constitutional law is in direct correlation to the inter-play of international and domestic law, the importance of the rule of law and the critical role of legal education in presenting and upholding these ideas. We will continue to instigate the dialogue by bringing some of the greatest legal minds here to discuss issues of law and policy in the public fora. Our 2005 Founders' Celebration, with more than 35 conferences and events in process, will be a reflection of our commitment to this very important goal," Grossman said.

WCL was pleased to welcome Justices Scalia and Breyer to discuss "The Relevance of Foreign Law for American Constitutional Adjudication," which addressed such topics as using foreign court precedent in deciding U.S. constitutional cases and whether the U.S. should take into account shifting world standards on social and moral issues such as the death penalty. The discussion was moderated by NYU Law Professor Norman Dorsen.

Video archive from C-Span (Real Audio Format)

WCL Podcast (mp3 format)

Press release and full transcript