Richard D Parker

Paul W. Williams Professor of Criminal Justice

Hauser 514

617-495-7925

Assistant: Maura Kelley / 617-495-4642

Biography

Richard Parker is Williams Professor of Justice at Harvard Law School. He has taught Constitutional Law and Criminal Law there since 1974. Before that, he was a clerk on the United States Supreme Court and an attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund. He is the author of a book entitled “Here, The People Rule”: A Constitutional Populist Manifesto (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Areas of Interest

Richard D. Parker, The Effective Enjoyment of Rights, 12 German L.J. 452 (2011).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, Homeland: an Essay on Patriotism, 25 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 407 (2002).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, "Here, The People Rule": A Constitutional Populist Manifesto (Harvard Univ. Press 1994).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Constitutional Law
,
Legal Profession
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Book
Abstract
Democracy—its aspirations, its dangers—is what, most fundamentally, our Constitution is about. The question, Richard Parker argues in this powerful book, is how to imagine our democracy. Provocative in style and substance, this manifesto challenges orthodoxies of constitutional legal studies, particularly the idea that constitutionalism and populist democracy stand opposed. Parker presents a populist argument. He contends that the mission of constitutional law should be to promote, not limit, the expression of ordinary political energy—thus to extend, rather than constrain, majority rule. At the root of the matter, Parker finds a question of “sensibility”—assumptions and attitudes about the political energy of ordinary people. He approaches this sensibility in a novel way, through a work of fiction about politics, Thomas Mann’s Mario and the Magician. Offering two “takes” on the story, Parker shows how it evokes—and elucidates—our deepest, most problematic attitudes about popular political energy in our own democracy. He goes on to elaborate these attitudes within our practice of constitutional argument. This is a book about the people, and for the people, a reimagination of constitutional law’s populist potential. It will disorient—then reorient—the thinking of everyone who is concerned about democracy and the Constitution.
Richard D. Parker, Two Concepts of Government, 102 Nw. U. L. Rev. 465 (2008).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, The Good Lawyer, in Screening Justice--the Cinema of Law: Significant Films of Law, Order, and Social Justice (Rennard Strickland et al. eds., 2006).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Arts & Entertainment Law
Type: Book
Abstract
The work serves as a guide to understanding law, the rhetoric of law and images of justice. The book will introduce readers to new films as well as help create new perspectives on familiar classic movies.
Richard D. Parker, Five Theses on Identity Politics, 29 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 53 (2005).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Presentation
Richard D. Parker, Democratic Honor: Liberal and Populist, 39 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 291 (2004).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, In Memoriam: John Hart Ely (John, Fred, and Ginger), 117 Harv. L. Rev. 1751 (2004).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, Judicial Review and Administration Action, in Common Law, Common Values, Common Rights: Essays on Our Common Heritage By Distinguished British and American Authors (A.B.A., West Group 2000).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Courts
,
Administrative Law & Agencies
Type: Book
Richard D. Parker, Power to the Voters, 24 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 179 (2000).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Politics & Political Theory
,
Elections & Voting
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, Taking Politics Personally, 12 Cardozo Stud. L. & Literature 103 (2000).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, The Mind of Darkness, 110 Harv. L. Rev. 1033 (1997).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, "Here The People Rule": A Constitutional Populist Manifesto, 27 Val. Univ. L. Rev. 531 (1993).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Abstract
Let me begin at the end. I want to give you some sense of where I'm going. Then, you'll begin to see where I'm coming from. I'm going to challenge three basic ideas-three connected orthodoxies-central to conventional discourse about constitutional law. They are: (1) The idea that we must define constitutional democracy as opposed to populist democracy: that constitutional constraints on public power in a democracy are meant to contain or tame the exertion of popular political energy rather than to nurture, galvanize, and release it. (2) The related idea that constitutional law is "higher" law, its substance and process superior to "ordinary" law and politics not just functionally, but (somehow) in essential quality as well. (3) The consequent idea that the main mission of modem constitutional law is to stand "above the battle" so as to protect "individuals" and "minorities" against the ruling "majority." I am going to urge, in fact, that constitutional law should be devoted as much-and even more-to promote majority rule as to limit it.
Richard D. Parker, Issues of Community and Liberty, 8 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 287 (1985).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Richard D. Parker, The Past of Constitutional Theory--and Its Future, 42 Ohio St. L.J. 223 (1981).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Law & Political Theory
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article

Current Courses

Course Catalog View

Hauser 514

617-495-7925

Assistant: Maura Kelley / 617-495-4642