Symposium to Examine the Scope of Presidential Power

The Willamette Center for Law and Government is pleased to sponsor a symposium focusing on the scope of presidential authority under the U.S. Constitution. Among the topics to be discussed are the power of the president to commit military forces to combat without prior congressional or United Nations approval, to curtail the civil liberties of U.S. or foreign citizens for reasons of national security, to control the regulatory actions of federal administrative agencies, and to influence the interpretation of federal statutes.

“Presidential Power in the 21st Century,” [PDF] will be held Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.; the event will close at 4:30 p.m.

A highlight of the symposium will be a luncheon presentation by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will participate in a building dedication ceremony for the College of Law’s new Oregon Civic Justice Center in the morning and will receive an honorary degree from Willamette University later in the day.

The keynote address will be presented by Neal Devins of William & Mary School of Law. A civil rights and constitutional law specialist, Devins is director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law. He is the author of numerous books, including Shaping Constitutional Values: The Supreme Court, Elected Government and the Abortion Dispute and articles in the Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California and William & Mary law reviews. He is also editor of the Duke University Press book series Constitutional Conflicts.

The symposium registration fee is $80 for Bar and non-Bar members. Registration is free for law students with valid student identification. Oregon Continuing Legal Education credits are pending.

For conference registration information, please call the Willamette Center for Law and Government at 503-370-6046 or send an e-mail to Reyna Meyers at