University of Illinois College of Law
CLE Lunch & Learn
“How Senate Confirmation Hearings Should Better Educate Senators and the American Public: The Instructional Necessity of Case-Specific Questioning”
October 29, 2020 | 12-1 p.m.
Vikram D. Amar
Dean & Iwan Foundation Professor of Law
University of Illinois College of Law
This course is approved for 1.00 Illinois MCLE general credit hours.
This session will address the arguments made by Supreme Court nominees and others that Court nominees are constrained, in their Senate hearings on possible confirmation, from expressing their specific views on legal issues and cases of the day. Nominee articulation of such case-specific views is not only permissible, but it is also necessary for the Senate, and for the country, to learn anything meaningful about the Court, the nominees, the Constitution, and the relationship between them.
Vikram David Amar is the Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He joined Illinois as its dean in 2015, after having been a professor of law for many years at law schools in the University of California System, most recently the UC Davis School of Law, where he served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Amar is one of the most eminent and 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 the hardbound and soft-cover one-volume hornbooks that derive from it. He is also a co-author (along with Jonathan Varat) of Constitutional Law: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 15th ed. 2017), a co-author on multiple volumes of the Wright & Miller Federal Practice and Procedure Treatise (West Publishing Co. 2006), and a co-author (along with John Oakley) of a one-volume treatise on American Civil Procedure (Kluwer, 2008). He writes a biweekly column on constitutional matters for Justia.com and a monthly column on legal education for abovethelaw.com, is a frequent commentator on local and national radio and TV, and has penned dozens of op-ed pieces for major newspapers and magazines.
A strong proponent of public and professional engagement, Amar is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as a consultant for, among others, the National Association of Attorneys General, the United States Department of Justice, the California Attorney General’s Office, the ACLU of Southern California, and the Center for Civic Education. For one year he chaired the Civil Procedure Section of the Association of American Law Schools.
Amar earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and his juris doctor from Yale Law School, where he was an articles editor for the Yale Law Journal. He then clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court before joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he handled a variety of complex civil and white-collar criminal matters. It appears that dean Amar was the first person of South Asian heritage to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, and was the first American-born person of Indian descent to serve as a dean of a major American law school. Follow Dean Amar’s bi-weekly column on Justia.com and his monthly column on Above the Law, and read archived posts from his FindLaw.com column.
Free and open to the public.
Registration required for Illinois MCLE credit.
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Meeting ID: 894 3232 2937