Register now for the Elon Law Review’s 2019 symposium – Sept. 27

"A Symposium to Assess Judicial Independence in 2019" will feature contributions from some of the nation's top legal scholars and political observers visiting Elon Law in downtown Greensboro.

An Elon Law Review symposium to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Judiciary Act of 1869 – legislation that established nine as the number of justices to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States – is now open for registration.

“Celebrating 150 Years of Nine Justices While Wondering About the Supreme Court in Contemporary America: A Symposium to Assess Judicial Independence in 2019” has been approved for 5.0 CLE hours from the North Carolina State Bar and is no cost to attendees.

From left: Akhil Reed Amar, Penny J. White, David Gergen and Alicia Bannon are among the presenters at the Elon Law Review’s 2019 symposium on judicial independence.

The symposium is Friday, Sept. 27, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Elon Law (201 N. Greene Street, Greensboro). Lunch is provided. Register here.

Presenters and panelists include:

  • Akhil Reed Amar (Yale Law School)
  • Alicia Bannon (Brennan Center’s Democracy Program)
  • David Gergen (former presidential advisor and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Melanie Kalmanson (Akerman LLP)
  • Josh Kastenberg (University of New Mexico School of Law)
  • Bruce Ledewitz (Duquesne University School of Law)
  • Brian Leonard (B.K. Leonard Law Firm)
  • Ron Nelson (University of South Alabama)
  • Penny J. White (University of Tennessee College of Law)
  • The Hon. James Wynn (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit)

The one-day symposium will review the history of partisan influence on the Supreme Court as well as consider contemporary challenges to the Court’s independence together with prospective effects that current changes could evoke. It is intended to cover the broad area of judicial independence utilizing both historical analysis and commentary on contemporary issues involving the judiciary, federalism, and separation of powers.

Brian Leonard (left) and Bruce Ledewitz

Topics will include previous attempts and modern calls for altering the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, concerns of national security and their effect on the judicial process, current changes the judiciary by state legislators, and developments regarding constitutional restraints in administrative law.

The program is being coordinated by Elon Law Review symposium editors Zachary Green L’19 and Kathryn Magoon L’19.

“This year’s symposium is a chance for lawyers and scholars to hear from some of the country’s leading legal minds on a topic of growing importance,” Green said. “The blend of unique perspectives ensures the event has much to offer to practicing attorneys, political scientists, and academics alike.” 

Magoon also emphasized the ways symposium guests can benefit from the program.

“We’re looking forward to offering attendees an opportunity to discuss the Supreme Court’s role in today’s political climate with their peers from across the nation,” she said. “The historical and future considerations presented at our symposium will provide many perspectives on issues that are increasingly important to our judicial system.”


Contact Elon Law Review symposium editors Kathryn Magoon ( or Zachary Green ( with questions about the event.


About Elon Law:

Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the preeminent school for engaged and experiential learning in law. With a focus on learning by doing, it integrates traditional classroom instruction with course-connected, full-time residencies-in-practice in a logically sequenced program of transformational professional preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides distinctive value by lowering tuition and permitting graduates early entry into their legal careers.