Post Date: March 15, 2004

Two panels of academic experts, practitioners and activists from across the nation will gather for the Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation’s Spring Symposium on March 15 at 1:30 p.m. in the Austin West auditorium at Harvard Law School. The event is free and open to the public.

The filibuster panel will examine the filibuster, the parliamentary tactic that Democrats have recently used to block several of President Bush’s controversial nominees to federal judgeships and is regularly used by the party in opposition, Democrat or Republican, to block controversial bills. The panel will include Lloyd Cutler, former counsel to Presidents Clinton and Carter and now senior counsel at the Washington law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP. Cutler has argued in the past that the filibuster–now used so dramatically by his political allies–is unconstitutional. He will be joined by John McGinnis, professor of law at Northwestern School of Law; and Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science at Brown University. Harvard Law School Professor Richard Parker will moderate.

The minority caucuses panel will examine whether minority caucuses in Congress effectively represent minority interests. Discussion will focus on the Congressional Black Caucus and touch on the more general issue of minority representation in Congress. The panel will be moderated by Harvard Law School Professor Heather Gerken. The panel will include David Bositis, senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Professor Carol Swain of Vanderbilt University; and Professor Susan Webb Hammond of American University.