Constitution Day 2023
Dobbs, Democracy, and Distrust
Monday, October 2, 2023, 6:00 p.m.
Stockton University Campus Center Event Room
Melissa Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, family law, criminal law, and reproductive rights and justice. Her scholarship has appeared in a range of legal and lay publications, including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Nation. Murray also serves as a legal analyst for MSNBC and is a co-host of Strict Scrutiny, a Crooked Media podcast about the Supreme Court.
A graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Prior to joining the NYU Law faculty, Murray was the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the law school’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction, the Association of American Law School’s Derrick A. Bell Award, and, from March 2016 to June 2017, served as interim dean of the law school.
The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) continue to reverberate around the country. Professor Murray's keynote address will examine how the impact of this ruling is not siloed to women's rights or reproductive rights. She will explore how Dobbs happened at a time when the Court has also issued a range of anti-democratic decisions (on voting rights, redistricting, etc.), and how these realities intersect to make it much harder for state or national policy to reflect majority views on not only abortion but many other issues on the political agenda.
Professor Murray recommends the following readings that complement her keynote address:
- Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022)
- "The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade" John Hart Ely (available through the Richard E. Bjork Library)
- "The Link Between Voting Rights and the Abortion Ruling" Leah Litman, Melissa Murray and Kate Shaw in The Washington Post
- "Abortion Legislation is a Democracy Issue" League of Women Voters
- Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review John Hart Ely (available through the Richard E. Bjork Library)
Interested in learning more about Professor Murray's scholarship? Check out these selected publications from Professor Murray or visit her website for additional information.
- “Abortion, Sterilization, and the Universe of Reproductive Rights”William and Mary Law Review (2022)
- “Pandemics, Privatization and the Family” with Caitlin Millat. New York University Law Review (2021)
- “Race-ing Roe: Reproductive Justice, Racial Justice, and the Battle for Roe v. Wade” Harvard Law Review (2021)
- “Consequential Sex: #Metoo, Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Private Sexual Regulation” Northwestern University Law Review (2019)
- Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories. Casebook with Katherine Shaw and Reva Siegal.
- “The End of Roe v. Wade and New Legal Frontiers on the Constitutional Right to Abortion” with Glenn Cohen and Lawrence O. Gostin.Journal of the American Medical Association (2022)
- “Americans Are Losing Their Right to Not Conform” New York Times. July 6, 2022.
- “The Link Between Voting Rights and the Abortion Ruling” with Leah Litman and Kate Shaw. The Washington Post. June 28, 2022.
- “Dobbs, Abortion Rights and the State of U.S. Democracy” Ms. Magazine. May 15, 2023.
- “Real-Life Effects of Court Rulings Should Matter as Well as the Law”New York Times. March 18, 2016.
- Video: Democracy and its Discontents: A Conversation with Melissa Murray Amherst College, December 6, 2021.
- Video: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in conversation with Interim Dean Melissa Murray UC Berkeley School of Law, March 10, 2017.
2023 Constitution Day Planning Committee
Claire Abernathy, Co-Chair
Lauren Balasco, Co-Chair
John Froonjian, Co-Chair
Sara Faurot Crowley
Angelina Clancy (Constitution Day Fellow)
Raneen Rehani (Constitution Day Fellow)
Jenna Samiz (Constitution Day Fellow)
Joseph Wozniak (Constitution Day Fellow)
About Constitution Day
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the United States Constitution. Stockton University began celebrating this important occasion in 2006 as a result of a new federal law designating September 17th of each year as Constitution Day. The law—championed by Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia--requires public schools, universities and governmental entities to offer educational programs to promote a better understanding of our Constitution.
Professor Linda J. Wharton proposed to then-Provost David Carr that Stockton offer a series of events each September that focus on important constitutional issues. From 2006 until 2022, Professor Wharton chaired the Constitution Day Planning Committee, which includes a dedicated group of faculty and staff. Administrative support is provided by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.
Over the years the Committee has partnered with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, the Stockton University Foundation, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, the Office of the Provost, and the American Democracy Project/Political Engagement Project to offer a variety of events, including keynote presentations by prominent legal scholars, journalists and practitioners annually.
Past Constitution Day Speakers at Stockton: