The opening event of Harvard Law School’s Bicentennial summit was one for the history books. Gathering at Sanders Theater were six Supreme Court justices (five current and one retired): Neil Gorsuch ’91, Elena Kagan ’86, David H. Souter ’66, Stephen G. Breyer ’64, Anthony M. Kennedy ’61, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. ’79. In a roundtable discussion with Dean John F. Manning ’85, the justices shared memories and more than a few priceless anecdotes.
Ernest Shackleton’s first journey to the Antarctic in the early 1900s ended in a very public failure. On his second journey, in a race to the South Pole, he turned back within 100 miles of his goal. In his third expedition, not only did he fail to traverse Antarctica, but his ship was destroyed by ice, stranding the crew on ice floes for more than a year. So why do law and business students and executives in legal and business organizations study Shackleton as an example of successful leadership?
It’s a common refrain that immigrants taking the U.S. citizenship test know more about the workings of the federal government than the average holder of a U.S. birth certificate. A group of experts dedicated to grappling with the themes outlined in the Constitution gathered Monday at Harvard Law School (HLS) to explore that disturbing trend and the importance of civics.
On Monday, April 1, Harvard Law School and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools present an all-day conference on Civics Education, including a noon-time conversation with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice David Souter, and other special guests.
David Souter hung up his judge’s robes more than three years ago, after nearly two decades on the nation’s highest court. But on Thursday night, the retired Supreme Court justice seemed as sharp as ever as he directed his easygoing, often droll, always astute wit at the Harvard Law School students arguing before his bench during the final round of the 102nd Ames Moot Court Competition.
At HLS Reunion Weekend last weekend, Justices Breyer and Souter (who retired from the court in 2009) exchanged good-humored banter and insights about their service on the nation’s highest court, in an event, “A Conversation with the Justices,” moderated by HLS Dean Martha Minow.
In a Commencement Day speech to Harvard’s newest graduates, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter ’66 said Thursday (May 27) that judges have no choice but to interpret the U.S. Constitution beyond its plain language, and he criticized those who argue that its meaning “lies there … waiting for a judge to read it fairly.”
Harvard Law School graduation festivities began on Class Day, Wednesday, May 26, and continued through Commencement Day on Thursday, May 27. This year, the Law School conferred a total of 761 degrees—589 J.D.s, 161 LL.M.s, and 11 S.J.D.s.
David H. Souter ’66, a native New Englander and Harvard alumnus who served nearly two decades on the U.S. Supreme Court before stepping down in 2009, will be the principal speaker at the Afternoon Exercises of Harvard’s 359th Commencement.
Last spring, David Hackett Souter ’66—the U.S. Supreme Court’s 105th justice—announced his retirement and stepped down at the end of the term. We asked four alumni who had firsthand experience with the justice for their reflections.