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William Howard Taft Lecture on Constitutional Law

The lecture was established in 1986 to honor the contributions of the only person to have served as both President (1909-1913) and Chief Justice (1921-1930) of the United States.

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati on Auburn Avenue in 1857. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati Law School, the genesis of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He served as Dean of the newly founded University of Cincinnati Law Department from 1896-1900 and was instrumental in the merger of this department and his alma mater in 1897.

Taft Lecturers

2013
David A. Strauss
Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School
Constitutional Fundamentalism and the Power of the President: The Battle Over Recess Appointments

2012
Steven Calabresi
Professor of Law
Northwestern University School of Law
The Right to Buy Health Insurance Across State Lines: Crony Capitalism and the Supreme Court

2011
MIchael C. Dorf
Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law
Cornell University Law School
Tainted Law

2010
Vicki C. Jackson
Camack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law
Georgetown University Law Center
"To Endure for Ages to Come": The U.S. Constitution in a Transnational Era

2009
Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine, School of Law
Government Speech and the First Amendment
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2008
G. Edward White
David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
Revisiting the Foundational Ideas of the Framers' Constitution

2007
Robert Post
David Boies Professor of Law
Yale Law School
Mr. Taft Takes Charge

2006
Suzanna Sherry
Herman O. Loewstein Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University Law School
Democracy and the Death of Knowledge

2006
Randy E. Barnett
Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law
Scalia's Infidelity: A Critique of "Faint-Hearted" Originalism

2004
Peter H. Irons
Professor of Political Science
University of California at San Diego
War Powers: How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution

2003
Barry Friedman
Professor of Law
New York University School of Law
The Importance of Being Positive: The Nature and Function of Judicial Review

2002
Pamela S. Karlan
Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law
Stanford Law School
Bullets and Ballots: The Exceptional History of the Right to Vote

2001
Edward J. Larson
Richard B. Russell Professor of History and Law
University of Georgia
The Meaning of the Human Genome Project for Disability Law

2001
Sylvia A. Law
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law, Medicine & Psychiatry
New York University School of Law
The Practical Impact of the Supreme Court's Federalism Revolution

1999
Kevin Boyle
Professor of Law
University of Essex
Establishing Accountability for Gross Violations of Human Rights: The Case of Turkey

1998
Akhil R. Amar
Southmayd Professor of Law
Yale Law School
Presidents Without Mandates

1998
Hon. Gilbert S. Merritt, Jr.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
From the Scopes Trial to the Human Genome Project: Where is Biology Taking the Law?

1995
John Frohnmayer
Former Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts
Praying the Constitution Survives

1994
Lee C. Bollinger
Provost
Dartmouth College
Public Institutions of Culture and the First Amendment: The New Frontier

1993
Alan K. Simpson
U.S. Senator, Wyoming
Supreme Court & Confirmation Process

1992
Hon. Patricia M. Wald
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit
Upstairs/Downstairs at the Supreme Court: Implications of the 1991 Term for the Constitutional Work of the Lower Courts

1991
Kenneth W. Starr
Solicitor General of the United States
William Howard Taft: The Chief Justice as Judicial Architect

1990
Benno Charles Schmidt, Jr.
President, Yale University
Free Speech in the Age of Anxiety

1989
Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor
U.S. Supreme Court
The Judiciary Act of 1789 and the American Judicial Tradition

1988
Hon. Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court
Originalism: The Lesser Evil

1987
Orrin Hatch
U.S. Senator, Utah
Modern Marbury Myths

1986
Hon. Carl E. McGowan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Inaugural Taft Lecture