Monday, September 18, 2017
Michael Klarman, professor of law at Harvard University, will discuss the ways in which the U.S. Constitution was a more nationalizing and democracy-constraining document than most Americans anticipated; explain why the Philadelphia Convention did what it did; and how the Federalists managed to convince the country to ratify a constitution that constrained populist influence on the national government.
Michael J. Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1983, and his D. Phil. in legal history from the University of Oxford in 1988, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After law school, Klarman clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and served there until 2008 as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History.
Klarman’s most recent book, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the US Constitution (2016), was a finalist for both the George Washington Book Prize and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. His first book, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2004), received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History. He is also the author of From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage (2012), Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement (2007), and Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History (2002), which is part of Oxford University Press’s Inalienable Rights series.
Klarman has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, which are primarily in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional history. In 2009, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Professor Klarman will deliver the 2017 Salvatori Center’s Lofgren Lecture on American Constitutionalism.