Beyond the Bench: Federal Judges, Public Engagement, & Civil Rights

event poster
Thu, 12/05/2019 - 4:30pm
McCormick 101
Event Category: 
Panel Discussion

Please join us for a panel discussion to address recent notable examples of judicial engagement in the public sphere, including speeches, books, op-eds or other opinion pieces in popular journals. The panelists will discuss recent public engagement by judges and justices about civil rights reform and explore how this engagement contributes to the public’s understanding of civil rights enforcement and the work of the federal courts.


  • The Honorable Lynn S. Adelman '61, Judge U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • The Honorable Richard M. Gergel, Judge U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Kate Shaw, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
  • Moderator:  Lynda Dodd *04, Lecturer and LAPA Fellow 2018-19, Princeton University


The John Marshall Harlan Class of 1920 Lecture in Constitutional Adjudication celebrates the legacy of John Marshal Harlan, the eighth U.S. Supreme Court justice to graduate from Princeton (current Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. '72, Sonia Sotomayor '76 and Elena Kagan '81 are the ninth, 10th, and 11th).

Past Harlan Lecturers include Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Judge Dieter Grimm, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany; Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia; Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey Stuart Rabner ’82; Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Supreme Court of Canada; Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens [ret.]; and the Honorable Andras Sajo, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Honorable Lynn S. Adelman '61
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Lynn Adelman is a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He was appointed in 1997 by President Clinton. Before becoming a judge, he practiced law in New York City where he was an attorney for the Criminal Courts Division of the Legal Aid Society and in Milwaukee. As a lawyer, he handled many constitutional cases including Wisconsin v. Mitchell, in which he argued in the Supreme Court that hate crime penalty enhancers violated the First Amendment. He also argued a number of cases in the Wisconsin Supreme Court including cases involving the governor's line item veto power, a criminal defendant's right to bail and the right to counsel of indigent parents facing termination of their parental rights. Judge Adelman also served as a Wisconsin state senator for twenty years where he chaired the senate judiciary committee. As a judge, he has authored many opinions on federal sentencing and has also published articles on a number of subjects including qualified immunity, sentencing, the First Amendment habeas corpus, decisions of the Roberts Court, and Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is a graduate of Princeton University and·Columbia University Law School.

The Honorable Richard M. Gergel
U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina

Richard Mark Gergel is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and a graduate of Duke University and the Duke University School of Law.  He practiced law for over thirty years in Columbia, South Carolina focusing on complex civil litigation and was the senior partner of Gergel, Nickles and Solomon, P.A.   He was nominated as a United States District Judge by President Barak Obama in December 2009 and was confirmed by unanimous consent by the United States Senate in August 2010.  Judge Gergel presides at the federal courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina.  He has authorized two books and numerous articles and book chapters on legal and civil rights history.  His most recent book, Unexampled Courage:  The Blinding of Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry Truman and U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring, was published by Farrar Straus and Giroux in January 2019.

Jamal Greene
Dwight Professor of Law
Columbia Law School

Jamal Greene is the Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, First Amendment, and federal courts. His scholarship focuses on the structure of legal and constitutional argument. Professor Greene is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and is a frequent media commentator on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. Prior to joining Columbia's faculty he was an Alexander Fellow at New York University Law School. Professor Greene served as a law clerk to the Hon. Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Hon. John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and his A.B. from Harvard College.

Kate Shaw
Professor of Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Kate Shaw is a Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, where she writes about executive power, the law of democracy, and reproductive rights and justice. She worked in the Obama White House Counsel’s Office, and before that was a clerk to Justice Stevens and Judge Posner. 

Her scholarly work has appeared in many law reviewsand she recently co-edited the volume Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories, with Melissa Murray and Reva SiegelShe has also written for a number of popular outlets, including the New York Times, and she serves as a Supreme Court contributor with ABC News and co-hosts the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny. 

Lynda G. Dodd *04
Lecturer, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
LAPA fellow 2018-2019
Princeton University

Lynda Dodd *04 is a Lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  She was a LAPA fellow from 2018-2019, and the  the Joseph H. Flom Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at The City University of New York-City College from 2010-2018.  Her teaching and research focuses on American political and constitutional development, constitutional law and theory, jurisprudence, and civil rights litigation. Her forthcoming book, Taming the Rights Revolution: The Supreme Court, Constitutional Torts, and the Elusive Quest for Accountability (Cambridge University Press), examines the political and legal debates regarding civil rights litigation under Section 1983, from its origins in the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to the Roberts Court era. She earned her J.D. at Yale Law School and her Ph.D. in Politics at Princeton University.