The Quinlan Lecture 2014

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Arthur Liman Professor of Law
Yale Law School

Professor Resnik’s discussion will show – through photographs and images – the evolution of democratic courts.  By looking at controversies about courthouse walls, Professor Resnik will track the transformation of courts into venues requiring egalitarian public interactions.  She will also discuss evolving risks to judicial independence from private dispute and agency adjudication.


Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches about federalism, procedure, courts, prisons, equality, and citizenship.

Professor Resnik’s books include Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (with Dennis Curtis, Yale University Press, 2011); Federal Courts Stories (co-edited with Vicki C. Jackson, Foundation Press 2010); and Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (co-edited with Seyla Benhabib, NYU, 2009). Recent articles include Globalization(s), privatization(s), constitutionalization, and statization: Icons and experiences of sovereignty in the 21st century (International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2013); Comparative (In) Equalities: CEDAW, the Jurisdiction of Gender, and the Heterogeneity of Transnational Law Production (International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2012); Fairness in Numbers (Harvard Law Review, 2011); Detention, The War on Terror, and the Federal Courts (Columbia Law Journal, 2010); Ratifying Kyoto at the Local Level (with Joshua Civin and Joseph Frueh, Arizona Law Review, 2008); Interdependent Federal Judiciaries: Puzzling about Why and How to Value the Independence of Which Judges (Daedalus 2008); and Law’s Migration (Yale Law Journal, 2006).

In 2011, Representing Justice was selected by The Guardian as one of the year’s ten best legal reads; in 2012, by the American Publishers Association as the recipient of two PROSE awards for excellence in social sciences and in law/legal studies, and by the American Society of Legal Writers for the 2012 SCRIBES award. In 2014, Representing Justice won the Order of the Coif award, presented every two years in recognition of a book’s outstanding contributions to legal scholarship.

Professor Resnik has chaired the Sections on Procedure, on Federal Courts, and on Women in Legal Education of the American Association of Law Schools. She is a Managerial Trustee of the International Association of Women Judges. Professor Resnik served as a founder and as a co-chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum, begun in 2001.

At the Law School, Professor Resnik now chairs the Global Constitutional Law Seminar, a part of the Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. She is also the founding director of Yale’s Arthur Liman Program and Fund, supporting fellowships for law graduates and for undergraduates at certain colleges, and sponsoring colloquia and seminars on the civil and criminal justice systems. From its inception in 1997 through 2013, 94 graduates of the Yale Law School have held Liman Fellowships. During the past few years, the Liman Program has been working on a series of projects related to the isolation of individuals in prison — in terms of both the geographical placements of prisons and the rules under which prisoners live. In February of 2014, the Liman Program submitted its statement, The Policies Governing Isolation in U.S. Prisons, for the Hearing, Reassessing Solitary Confinement II, before the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights.

Professor Resnik is also an occasional litigator; she argued Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, decided in 2009 by the United States Supreme Court; she also argued years earlier in a case about the Resnik, Judith Yale Web Biographical Statement, updated March 11, 2014 admission of women to the Rotary Club. Professor Resnik has testified before Congress, before rulemaking committees of the federal judiciary, and before the House of Commons of Canada. In the spring of 2011 and of 2012, Judith Resnik was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia Law School. In 2014-2015, she will be a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

In 1998, Professor Resnik was the recipient of the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the Commission on Women of the American Bar Association. In 2001, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002, a member of the American Philosophical Society, where she delivered the Henry LaBarre Jayne Lecture in 2005. In 2008, Professor Resnik received the Outstanding Scholar of the Year Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. In 2010, she was named a recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Prize, awarded to outstanding faculty in higher education in the fields of psychology or law. That year, Professor Resnik also had a cameo role in the Doug Liman film, Fair Game. In 2013, Professor Resnik was given the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award, the highest honor presented by the National Association of Women Lawyers. Professor Resnik also holds a term appointment as an Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London.