“Courting Trouble? Liberalism, Judicial Power, and Community”

to be Topic of Talk on Nov. 8

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Scholar and writer Paul O. Carrese will give a talk at Middlebury College titled “Courting Trouble? Liberalism, Judicial Power, and Community” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8 in the Robert A. Jones Seminar Room of the Geonomics Center for International Studies on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). The public is invited to attend this free lecture, which will be followed by an open discussion.

As recent years in Vermont and New Hampshire have shown, judges are both powerful and controversial in American political life. Courts are the dominant arena for such national issues as abortion, independent counsel investigations, and other hotly contested political questions. Courts also are becoming more politically prominent around the globe and in international relations.

American conservatives long have complained of judicial activism, but recently several prominent political theorists have criticized the “judicializing” of politics in the name of a healthier liberalism, and especially in the name of community and self-government.

Carrese will give his presentation with the goal of initiating a subsequent discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of such powerful courts in liberal democratic politics.

Carrese won a Rhodes Scholarship upon graduating from Middlebury College in 1989, and spent several years at Oxford University, where he earned master’s degrees in both theology, and in politics and philosophy. He earned his doctorate at Boston College and taught for two years at Middlebury College before moving to a faculty position at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the department of government at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous articles, and was co-editor with Robert Faulker of a special school edition of John Marshall’s “Life of George Washington,” published by the Liberty Fund. He has completed a book, “The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicialized Liberalism,” which is under consideration for publication by several university presses.

The talk inaugurates Brainerd Commons’ “Presentations on Community Series.” Brainerd Commons is part of the Middlebury College commons system, which divides the campus into five groups of dorms housing approximately 400 students each.

For more information about the concert, please contact Jennifer Nelson, Brainerd Commons co-faculty head, at 803-443-3321.

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