New Books in Constitutional Law

Date: Thursday, July 20, 2023, 12:30 – 2:30 PM ET

Discussion Description:

This webinar will discuss new books in constitutional law by Kermit Roosevelt III, Ilya Somin, Samantha Barbas, and Michael Mannheimer. Scott Douglas Gerber will moderate the webinar.

Learning Objectives:

Watch the Recording Here


Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School and the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute

Somin’s research focuses on constitutional law, property law, democratic theory, federalism, and migration rights.  He is the author of  Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2020, revised and expanded edition, 2021), Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, revised and expanded second edition, 2016), and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (University of Chicago Press, 2015, rev. paperback ed., 2016), co-author of A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-editor of Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2017).  Democracy and Political Ignorance has been translated into Italian and Japanese.

Somin’s work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including The Yale Law JournalStanford Law ReviewNorthwestern University Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalCritical Review, and others. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalLos Angeles TimesCNNNBCThe AtlanticUSA TodayThe Boston GlobeU.S. News and World ReportSouth China Morning PostNational Law Journal and Reason. He has been quoted or interviewed by The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalTimeNewsweekThe EconomistThe Christian Science MonitorFinancial TimesThe Guardian, the Associated PressCBSMSNBCNPRBBCReuters, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting CorporationRadio Free Europe/Radio LibertyAl Jazeera, and the Voice of America, among other media.

Somin’s writings have been cited in decisions by the United States Supreme Court, multiple state supreme courts and lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court of Israel. He has testified on the use of drones for targeted killing in the War on Terror before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. In 2009, he testified on property rights issues at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Somin writes regularly for the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, now affiliated with Reason magazine (previously affiliated with the The Washington Post from 2014 to 2017). From 2006 to 2013, he served as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review, one of the country’s top-rated law and economics journals.

Somin has served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has also been a visiting professor or scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Hamburg, Germany, the University of Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Zhengzhou University in China. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Somin was the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at Northwestern University Law School in 2002-2003.  In 2001-2002, he clerked for the Hon. Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Professor Somin earned his BA, Summa Cum Laude, at Amherst College, MA in Political Science from Harvard University, and JD from Yale Law School.


Kermit Roosevelt III, David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Kermit Roosevelt works in a diverse range of fields, focusing on constitutional law and conflict of laws. He has published scholarly books in both fields.

Conflict of Laws (Foundation Press, 2010) offers an accessible analytical overview of conflicts. The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions (Yale, 2006) sets out standards by which citizens can determine whether the Supreme Court is abusing its authority to interpret the Constitution.

He has published articles in the Virginia Law ReviewMichigan Law Review, and Columbia Law Review, among others.

He is also the author of two novels, In the Shadow of the Law (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005) and Allegiance (Regan Arts, 2015).

In 2014, he was selected by the American Law Institute as the Reporter for the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws.


Michael J.Z. Mannheimer, Professor of Law, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Professor Michael J.Z. Mannheimer has a national reputation among legal scholars and jurists for his research explaining and demonstrating contemporary applications of original understandings of the United States Constitution, principally involving the Bill of Rights amendments for protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and cruel and unusual punishment. He has been recognized for his work by election to the American Law Institute, the leading organization in the United States producing scholarly works to help judges, lawyers and legislators in their thinking on clarifying, modernizing and improving the law.

His scholarship is widely published in law reviews and in book form. His law review articles have been published in the Columbia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, and Iowa Law Review, and his book, The Fourth Amendment: Original Understandings and Modern Policing, is from the University of Michigan Press. It explores how the amendment to the U.S. Constitution could be applied in a reimagined approach to local policing. His work has been cited by United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, federal district courts in Massachusetts, Vermont and West Virginia, and the high courts of Connecticut, Montana and Vermont. His work on the use of the premeditation-deliberation formula to distinguish first- and second-degree murder was the winner of the Association of American Law Schools 2010 Criminal Justice Section Junior Scholar Paper Award.

Following graduation from law school in 1994 he was as a staff attorney with the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, a law clerk for Judge Sidney H. Stein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and subsequently for Judge Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at Philadelphia.

From 1997 to 1999, he worked as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City, where he practiced general commercial litigation and arbitration encompassing such diverse areas as antitrust, breach of contract, business torts, employment discrimination, ERISA, false advertising, product liability and civil RICO.

For five years before joining the Chase faculty in 2004, Professor Mannheimer served as appellate counsel and later senior appellate counsel at the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City, where he represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal from their convictions and in related collateral proceedings. He has written briefs for or argued more than forty appeals in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at New York City. He has represented clients at every level of the state and federal judiciaries, from handling sentencing proceedings, motions and hearings in the New York trial courts to filing certiorari petitions for reviews by the Supreme Court of the United States.

At Chase, he is also coordinator of the Kentucky Innocence Project, in which students investigate credible claims of wrongful convictions.

Professor Mannheimer holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School of Columbia University.


Samantha Barbas, Professor; Director of the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at University at Buffalo School of Law

Samantha Barbas researches and teaches in the areas of legal history, tort law, First Amendment law, and mass communications law. Her work focuses on the intersection of law, culture, media, and technology in United States history. Her recent research has explored the history of freedom of speech, privacy, and defamation.

Barbas holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is the author of seven books: Actual Malice: Civil Rights and Freedom of the Press in New York Times v. Sullivan (University of California Press, 2023); The Rise and Fall of Morris Ernst: Free Speech Renegade (University of Chicago Press, 2021); Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine (Chicago Review Press, 2018); Newsworthy: The Supreme Court Battle Over Privacy and Press Freedom (Stanford University Press, 2017); Laws of Image: Privacy and Publicity in America (Stanford University Press, 2015); The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons (University of California Press, 2005); and Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001). Her books have been featured in The New York Times Book Review,The Wall Street Journal, and on CNN, among other media outlets. In 2020, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award for her book Actual Malice: Civil Rights and Freedom of the Press in New York Times v. Sullivan.



Scott Douglas Gerber, Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law

Scott Douglas Gerber joined the ONU Law faculty in 2001. He is also an associated scholar at Brown University’s Political Theory Project and a member of the Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has published nine books and more than 180 articles, book reviews, op-eds, and sundry pieces. He has made approximately 100 presentations, including at Harvard Law School, Princeton University, Stanford Law School, and Columbia Law School. He is a four-time winner of the Fowler V. Harper Award for excellence in legal scholarship and a three-time recipient of the Daniel S. Guy Award for excellence in legal journalism. In 2020, he was awarded the inaugural Christopher Collier Prize from the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society.

Gerber’s Recent Publications:

A Distinct Judicial Power: The Origins of an Independent Judiciary, 1606-1787 (Oxford University Press)

First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas (New York University Press)

To Secure These Rights: The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation (New York University Press)