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22nd Annual Supreme Court Preview to feature W&M Chancellor

  • Welcome
    Welcome  The Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the William and Mary Law School has hosted a Supreme Court Preview for the last 22 years. Institute Director Neal Devins welcomes participants to the 2008 Preview.  Photo by Suzanne Seurattan.
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The Institute of Bill of Rights Law marks the commencement of the new term of the United States Supreme Court each fall with its Supreme Court Preview Conference. The Preview brings together distinguished guests for a day and a half to discuss and analyze the Court's upcoming term. This year's Preview panelists include three former solicitors general; two federal appeals court judges; and leading Supreme Court journalists, advocates, and academics. Fourteen participants at the Preview have argued a total of over 285 cases before the Court. This year, we are also honored to include Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Supreme Court Justice (Ret) and Chancellor of the College of William & Mary.

W&M Chancellor, Sandra Day O'ConnorThe Preview will kick off with its noted Moot Court on Friday, October 2 at 6:00 pm. This year's Preview will moot Graham v. Florida, a case pondering whether the imposition of a life sentence on a thirteen-year-old for a non-homicide violates the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Advocates at the Moot will include John Blume of Cornell Law School (Director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project) and Kevin C. Newsom of Bradley Arant (a former Solicitor General in Alabama), both seasoned Supreme Court advocates.
In addition to the moot, the Friday night program also includes panels discussing the arrival of Justice Sotomayor and a look ahead at "The Court in 2020." On Saturday, panels will discuss upcoming cases in Business Law, Criminal Law, First Amendment, and Individual Rights Law. In a new format, the Saturday program will also feature lunchtime breakout sessions on Appeals Court Judging; Race and the Roberts Court; and Appellate Advocacy. The breakout sessions will give participants a chance to convene in smaller sessions with our distinguished guests. Lunch will be provided to registrants.

The Preview will conclude with a panel featuring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the DeWitt Wallace Museum's Hennage Auditorium. Justice O'Connor and other panelists will discuss the role states play in shaping constitutional law and norms; how the Court changed during O'Connor's tenure; and whether justices should ideally retire from the Court in time to have an active post-Court life.

Distinguished participants at this year's Preview include,

* Joan Biskupic, USA Today
* John Blume, Cornell Law School;  Director, Cornell Death Penalty Project
* Beth Brinkmann, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice
* Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law
* Paul Clement, King & Spalding
* Walter Dellinger, O'Melveny & Meyers
* Lyle Denniston, SCOTUS Blog
* Davison Douglas, Dean, William & Mary School of Law
* Miguel Estrada, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
* Gregory Garre, Latham & Watkins
* Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina Law School
* Thomas C. Goldstein, Akin Gump
* Pam Karlan, Stanford Law School
* Adam Liptak, The New York Times
* Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
* Deanne Maynard, Morrison & Foerster
* Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School
* Kevin C. Newsom, Bradley Arant
* Sandra Day O'Connor, Justice, Supreme Court of the United States (Ret), Chancellor, College of William & Mary
* Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin
* David Savage, The Los Angeles Times
* Suzanna Sherry, Vanderbilt Law School
* Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News
* David Strauss, University of Chicago Law School
* Jeffrey Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
* William Van Alstyne, William & Mary School of Law
* Timothy Zick, William & Mary School of Law
Paid registrants receive a 500-page notebook of supporting materials about the Court's pending cases, including the relevant federal Courts of Appeals decisions. CLE credit is available.

For more information about the Preview and to register, please visit