Supreme Court: The Age of Holmes and Brandeis


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The influence of two men—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Louis Dembitz Brandeis— will be examined in this seminar on American constitutional development from 1902 to 1939. Although the phrase “Holmes and Brandeis dissenting” led many people to believe that they shared a common jurisprudential philosophy, the differences between them are as important as the areas in which they agreed.

The seminar will consider the biographies of the two men, the classical legal thought that dominated the Court throughout most of this period, the important cases in which they wrote—mainly in dissent—and the influence of those opinions on subsequent cases.

The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions. Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar.

Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their C.V. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org until November 15, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter. For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to MMarcus@nyhistory.org.

The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association. The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity.

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