Title

When and How (If at All) Does Law Constrain Official Actions?

Abstract

University of Virginia Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Frederick Schauer delivered the University of Georgia School of Law's 105th Sibley Lecture. Schauer's lecture titled "When and How (If at All) Does Law Constrain Official Action?" took place Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom. According to Schauer, although Americans claim to live in a country whose decisions are highly influenced by law and courts, the reality may be quite different. "Across the political spectrum officials and public figures are politically and reputationally rewarded for doing the right thing even if it violates the law and punished for doing the wrong thing even when the law commands it. Identifying the relatively small importance of law as law, and of law as distinct from its power to punish violators, should give us pause when we assume too easily the importance of law in American public life," he said. Schauer teaches courses in constitutional law, evidence and the philosophy of law at the University of Virginia. He is also the Stanton Professor of the First Amendment Emeritus at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he taught from 1990 to 2008. Additionally, Schauer served as academic dean and acting dean at the Kennedy School and taught courses in evidence and the First Amendment at the Harvard Law School.

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