Friday, October 9, 2020

Read the articles from the symposium.

The Northwestern University Law Review is thrilled to announce it will host its annual symposium this fall in partnership with the Duke Center for Firearms Law. This year’s symposium will take place virtually on Friday, October 9, 2020, and will explore the future of the Second Amendment. It has been over a decade since the Supreme Court decided a significant Second Amendment case and, with the new addition of Justice Kavanaugh to the bench, the Court could be ready to start a new chapter for the right to keep and bear arms. This symposium will explore what the future might hold. It will examine, among other topics, the Second Amendment’s role in private and public spaces, the socio-political environment, and urban gun violence.

Schedule | Presenters

Please register to receive the Zoom link for the program (and to sign up for Illinois CLE).

This program is pending approval for 5 general CLE credit hours in the state of Illinois. Attendance will be tracked via Zoom reports (log on/log off times) and registrants will be asked to provide their Illinois ARDC numbers in order to receive credit. Per the Illinois MCLE Board rules, credit will be rounded down to the nearest quarter hour. Certificates will be distributed within 60 days of the program date.

For further information, please contact Elliot Louthen, Symposium Editor.

Symposium Schedule


(All times are Central Daylight Time.)

9:00-9:15 Introductory Remarks

9:15–10:25 Panel I: The Shape of the Right

Moderator: Kate Shaw
Panelists: Alice Ristroph, Renee Lettow Lerner, and Darrell Miller

10:25–10:30 Break

10:30–11:45 Panel II: The Power to Regulate

Moderator: Abbe Gluck
Panelists: Reva Siegel & Joseph Blocher, Nelson Lund, Brannon Denning, and Jake Charles

11:45–11:50 Break

11:50–12:40 Keynote Address: A Discussion with Senator Chris Murphy About His New Book, “The Violence Inside Us”

12:40–1:00 Lunch Break

1:00–2:15 Panel III: Theory and Conflict

Moderator: Joseph Blocher
Panelists: Mike Dorf, Robert Leider, and Dave Kopel

2:15-2:20 Break

2:20–3:35 Panel IV: Firearms and Chicago

Moderator: Sanford Levinson
Panelists: Stephanie Kollmann, Zach Fardon, Kofi Ademola

3:35-3:45 Closing Remarks


Kate Shaw

Kate Shaw is a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. Before joining Cardozo, Professor Shaw worked in the White House Counsel’s Office as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. She clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Professor Shaw graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University and with a J.D. magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Northwestern University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review and won the John Paul Stevens Award. Her scholarly work has appeared, among other places, in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Texas Law Review, and the Georgetown Law Journal, and her popular writing has appeared in the New York TimesSlate, and the Take Care blog. She recently edited the book “Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories,” with Reva Siegel and Melissa Murray. She also serves as a contributor with ABC News, co-hosts the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny, and serves as a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS). 

Alice Ristroph

Alice Ristroph joined the Brooklyn Law School faculty in 2017. She teaches and writes in criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, and political theory, with particular emphasis on issues of violence and resistance. Her recent work examines laws that regulate state violence, focusing especially on the law’s distribution of risks of physical harm. She has also been studying ways in which the law suppresses, tolerates, or even facilitates various forms of resistance to criminal justice institutions. Her scholarship has appeared in Duke Law JournalYale Law JournalCalifornia Law ReviewConstitutional CommentaryVirginia Law ReviewUCLA Law Review, and other journals. Professor Ristroph is a member of the American Law Institute. She serves on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Jurisprudence. In fall 2017, Professor Ristroph was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Before joining the BLS faculty, Professor Ristroph taught at Seton Hall and University of Utah. Before entering law teaching, she was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. (political theory) from Harvard University.

Renée Lettow Lerner

Renée Lettow Lerner is Donald Phillip Rothschild Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School. Professor Lerner works in the fields of U.S. and English legal history, civil and criminal procedure, and comparative law. She advises judges, lawyers, and government officials from the United States and countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia about the differences between adversarial and nonadversarial legal systems. She writes extensively about the history of American juries. Her work includes not only scholarly articles, but also online publications intended for a broader audience of legal professionals and the public. In many different settings, she has debated the role of juries with other academics and with lawyers. She has a book forthcoming with Oxford University Press in the Very Short Introduction Series entitled “The Jury.” She is also working on a book about the American civil jury, from the colonial period to the present. Professor Lerner received an AB summa cum laude in history from Princeton University. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she studied English legal history. At Yale Law School, she was Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 2003 to 2005, she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jennifer Carlson

Jennifer Carlson is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Government & Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Her work examines gun politics, policing and public law enforcement, the politics of race and gender, and violence. She is fascinated by how societies distinguish and regulate legitimate force versus criminal violence. Her book on the politics of gun carry, Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline, was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. Drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation at firearms classes, activist events, shooting ranges, and online gun forums, the book examines the growing popularity of gun carry among American men. Her current project examines gun law enforcement in Arizona, California and Michigan through interviews with police chiefs and observation of gun licensing procedures. In addition to her academic work, she has written for popular audiences in venues such as the Detroit NewsLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Abbe Gluck

Abbe R. Gluck is a Professor of Law and the founding Faculty Director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School. She is also Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine) at Yale Medical School and a Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale. She is a member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Yale Program on Addiction Medicine, an Executive Committee member of Yale’s ISPS Health program and directs the Yale Law School Medical Legal Partnership Program. She joined Yale Law School in 2012, having previously served on the faculty of Columbia Law School. She is an expert on Congress and the political process, federalism, civil procedure, and health law, and is the chair emerita of Section on Legislation and the Law of the Political Process for the Association of American Law Schools. Gluck has extensive experience working as a lawyer in all levels of government. She earned her B.A. from Yale University, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Following law school, she clerked for then-Chief Judge Ralph K. Winter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Gluck’s scholarship has been published in the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the New England Journal of MedicineHealth Affairs, and many other journals. 

Reva Siegel

Professor Reva Siegel is the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Siegel’s writing draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution.  Her publications include Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (with Brest, Levinson, Balkin & Amar, 2014); The Constitution in 2020 (edited with Jack Balkin, 2009); and Directions in Sexual Harassment Law (edited with Catharine A. MacKinnon, 2004). Professor Siegel received her B.A., M.Phil, and J.D. from Yale University, clerked for Judge Spottswood Robinson on the D.C. Circuit, and began teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Siegel is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History. She serves on the board of Advisors and the Board of Academic Advisors of the American Constitution Society and on the General Council of the International Society of Public Law.

Joseph Blocher

Joseph Blocher’s principal academic interests include federal and state constitutional law, the First and Second Amendments, legal history, and property. His current scholarship addresses issues of gun rights and regulation, free speech, sovereignty, and refugee law. He has published articles on those and other topics in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law ReviewDuke Law Journal, Yale Journal of International Law, and other leading journals. He is co-author of Free Speech Beyond Words (NYU Press, 2017) and The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He has also written for the New York Times, VoxQuartzThe News & Observer and other public outlets, and serves as Co-Director of the Center for Firearms Law. He returned to his hometown of Durham to join the Duke Law faculty in 2009, and received the law school’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012. Before coming to Duke, he clerked for Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he assisted the merits briefing for the District of Columbia in District of Columbia v. Heller. Blocher received his B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Rice University, and studied law and economic development as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana and as a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University, where he received an M.Phil in Land Economy. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as comments editor of the Yale Law Journal, symposium editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review, notes editor of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, participated in or directed several clinics, and was co-chair of the Legal Services Organization.

Nelson Lund

University Professor Nelson Lund is the author of Rousseau’s Rejuvenation of Political Philosophy: A New Introduction. He has also written widely in the field of constitutional law, including articles on constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Speech or Debate Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Uniformity Clause. In addition, he has published articles in the fields of employment discrimination and civil rights, the legal regulation of medical ethics, and the application of economic analysis to legal institutions and legal ethics. Professor Lund graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, after which he received an MA in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and a PhD in political science from Harvard University. He left the faculty of the University of Chicago to attend its law school, where he served as executive editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and chapter chairman of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. After law school, he held positions at the United States Department of Justice in the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of Legal Counsel. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. Following his clerkship with Justice O’Connor, Professor Lund served in the White House as associate counsel to the president from 1989 to 1992.

Brannon Denning

A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Professor Denning earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee School of Law. He then spent two years in the health law group at Baker Donelson Bearman and Caldwell PC in Memphis. Opportunity led Denning north in 1997 to Yale Law School where he took a position as a research associate and Senior Fellow. He earned an LL.M. from Yale in 1999. From 1999-2003, he taught at Southern Illinois University School of Law before joining the Cumberland faculty. During the summers, Denning has regularly taught constitutional law at the University of Tennessee College of Law and in Cumberland’s Study Abroad Program at Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University. He served as the associate dean for academic affairs at Cumberland from 2014-2020. Denning writes in the area of constitutional law; specifically he has written on the Commerce Clause and the dormant commerce clause; judicial and executive branch appointments; the constitutional amendment process; foreign affairs and the Constitution; and the Second Amendment. He collaborated with Boris I. Bittker, Late Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale on Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate Commerce and Foreign Commerce (Aspen Law and Business 1999), and is the sole author of the second edition. In 2016, he published Guns and the Law: Cases, Materials, and Explanation (with Andrew Jay McClurg), a casebook published by Carolina Academic Press that covers various aspects of the legal regulation of firearms from the Second Amendment to the laws governing the use of deadly force.

Jake Charles

Jake Charles is a lecturing fellow and executive director of the Center for Firearms Law.  He writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law. His primary academic interests include the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues confronting nascent Second Amendment jurisprudence and the immunity and related questions surrounding affirmative litigation against the firearms industry. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Virginia Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, and Law & Contemporary Problems, among others. Charles is frequently asked to comment on legal issues surrounding gun laws and politics; he has been quoted in news stories on CNNNPRPolitifactNewsWeekMother Jones, local public radio, and others. He has also been invited to speak in numerous public forums about the Second Amendment and the debates over the history and politics of the right to keep and bear arms. Charles joined the Center for Firearms Law in 2019 after practicing in the appellate group at McGuireWoods LLP, where he briefed cases in numerous federal and state appellate courts. He was also a member of the firm’s products liability litigation group. Charles previously clerked for Judge Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before his clerkships, Charles practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he represented clients in government and congressional investigations. Charles graduated magna cum laude from Duke Law School; during law school, he served as notes editor for the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also holds a master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political philosophy from Duke. Prior to law school, Charles earned master’s degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University and a bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology from the University of California, Irvine.

Sanford Levinson

Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, joined the University of Texas Law School in 1980. Previously a member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, he is also a Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. Levinson is the author of approximately 400 articles, book reviews, or commentaries in professional and popular journals—and a regular contributor to the popular blog Balkinization. He has also written six books. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association in 2010. He has been a visiting faculty member of the Boston University, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, and Yale law schools in the United States and has taught abroad in programs of law in London; Paris; Jerusalem; Auckland, New Zealand; and Melbourne, Australia. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1985-86 and a Member of the Ethics in the Professions Program at Harvard in 1991-92. He is also affiliated with the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jewish Philosophy in Jerusalem. A member of the American Law Institute, Levinson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. He is married to Cynthia Y. Levinson, a writer of children’s literature, and has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Mike Dorf

Michael C. Dorf, the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, has been teaching law since 1992. He has authored or co-authored six books and over one hundred scholarly articles and essays for law journals and peer-reviewed science and social science journals. He also frequently writes for non-lawyers. In addition to occasional contributions to The New York Times, USA Today,, The Los Angeles Times, and other wide-circulation publications, Professor Dorf has been writing a bi-weekly column since 2000 and publishes a popular blog, Dorf on Law. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. After law school, Dorf served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. He has worked with several law firms and maintains an active pro bono practice mostly consisting of writing Supreme Court briefs. Before joining the Cornell faculty, Professor Dorf taught at Rutgers-Camden Law School for three years and at Columbia Law School for thirteen years.

Darrell Miller

Darrell A. H. Miller writes and teaches in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, civil procedure, state and local government law, and legal history. His scholarship on the Second and Thirteenth Amendments has been published in leading law reviews such as the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Columbia Law Review, and has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals, the United States District Courts, and in congressional testimony and legal briefs. With Joseph Blocher, he’s the author of The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Miller began his academic career at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he twice received the Goldman Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Prior to joining the academy, Miller practiced complex and appellate litigation in Columbus, Ohio. He is a former clerk to Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Miller graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. In addition to his law degree, Miller holds degrees from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar, and from Anderson University.

Robert Leider

Robert Leider is an Assistant Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. His scholarly interests are in criminal law, criminal procedure, and constitutional law, especially concerning questions about the use of force and the rule of law. He has written on the law of self-defense, the constitutional allocation of military power, and gun control. Among other places, he has published in the Florida Law Review (forthcoming), the Indiana Law Journal, and the Wall Street Journal. Before joining Antonin Scalia Law School, Professor Leider was at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC. He was previously with Mayer Brown LLP and was an Olin-Searle-Smith Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has clerked for Judge Diane S. Sykes, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and Justice Clarence Thomas. Professor Leider earned a BA, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in Philosophy (dissertation defended with distinction) from Georgetown University. While at Yale, he served as an articles editor for the Yale Law Journal. Professor Leider teaches criminal law and torts.

Dave Kopel

David B. Kopel earned his JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, and his BA, with Highest Honors in History, from Brown University. He is Research Director of the Independence Institute, a public policy research organization in Denver, Colorado, and is an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C. He is also Vice-Chair of the Colorado State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and a trustee, of the Anne S.K. Brown Military History Collection at the Brown University Library. Kopel is one of several contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy, a group weblog of law professors, which is part of Reason Magazine. He has written hundreds of opinion articles for periodicals such as the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesLos Angeles Times, and Denver Post. He is the author of 17 books, and over 100 scholarly articles published in journals from Harvard, Yale, the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Brown University, and others. His topics include constitutional law, international law, criminal justice, technology, antitrust, media issues, and environmental policy. In 2008, he appeared before the United States Supreme Court as part of the team presenting the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. His Heller amicus brief for a law coalition of law enforcement organizations and district attorneys was cited four times in the Court’s Heller opinions. His brief in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) was cited by Justice Alito’s plurality opinion, and twice by Justice Stevens’ dissent.

Stephanie Kollmann

Stephanie Kollmann is the Policy Director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Since 2010, she has managed juvenile and criminal justice research and reform projects largely aimed at reducing ineffective and adult-derived approaches to young people, including youth incarceration. She has written and contributed to policy reports issued by the legal clinic, state commissions, and community groups on a range of topics (juvenile jurisdiction and criminal transfer, youth reentry and community supervision policy, timely release from state prisons, gun violence, sexual offending) and regularly advises policymakers in Illinois and elsewhere on issues of justice reform and implementation.

Zach Fardon

Zach Fardon is Managing Partner and Head of Litigation of King & Spalding’s Chicago office and a partner in the Special Matters and Government Investigations practice. As a former United States Attorney in Chicago, Zach led one of the top prosecutor’s offices in the country and oversaw successful investigations and prosecutions in areas of financial crime, corporate misconduct, fraud, public corruption, gangs, terrorism and other criminal and civil matters.  During his 27 years in the private and public sectors, including over 12 years as a federal prosecutor, Zach has built a reputation as a careful, discrete problem solver and an elite trial lawyer. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Association, Zach has extensive experience in bet-the-company civil and criminal trials as well as high-stakes government and internal investigations. He has tried numerous cases, on both sides of the table, including the successful corruption trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan. Zach is also a committed advocate for finding long-term solutions to Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. He is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, where he currently teaches a seminar on that topic. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of Vanderbilt Law School and the Advisory Council of BAM (Becoming a Man).

Kofi Ademola

Kofi Ademola is a prison & police abolitionist who is currently an adult advisory for the youth led violence prevention org called GoodKids MadCity. He is a former leader with BLM Chicago who co-organized getting the constant decree developed and passed. He’s dedicated his life to the Pan African struggle for Black liberation & sovereignty, while also fighting to dismantle white supremacy and racial capitalism.