• Oct 12, 2012

Cooper v. Aaron: Between Little Rock and a Hard Place

  • 5:00 PM

Friday, October 12, 2012 – Saturday, October 13, 2012
Harvard Law School

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will preside over a panel of Federal Circuit Court judges who will hear oral arguments in the hypothetical case of Oglethorpe v. Harris Wald Township on Saturday, October 13 at Harvard Law School. This judicial proceeding will revisit the key legal principles debated in the landmark 1957 Supreme Court case, Cooper v. Aaron. While not as well known as Brown v. Board of Education, Cooper v. Aaron nonetheless is considered to be a landmark because it held that states were required to enforce Court decisions even if they disagreed with them. The moot court will be the culminating event of a larger, two day conference that will examine the past, present and future of racial integration in America’s schools.

The event will begin with a keynote address Friday evening, followed by an all day conference Saturday, including a discussion with members of the Little Rock Nine. All events are free and open to the public and there will be a limited lunch available for sale Saturday.

Scheduled Events:

Friday, October 12
Location: Room 2019, Wasserstein Hall

5:00 PM – Keynote Address: Dr. Mahzarin Rustum Banaji– “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”

7:00 PM – Public Reception

Saturday, October 13
Location: Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall
*For security reasons, no backpacks will be allowed*

9:00 AM – Continental Breakfast

9:50 AM – Welcome and Overview of Conference

  • Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Founding and Executive Director, CHHIRJ

10:00 AM – Historical Context and Discussion with Little Rock Nine Members

  • Harvard Law School Professor Kenneth Mack, Author of Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Little Rock Nine Members:
    • Ernest Green
    • Carlotta LaNier
    • Terrence Roberts
    • Minnijean Brown Trickey

12:00 PM – Lunch and Presentation by Eisenhower Experts

  • Jim Newton, Author of Eisenhower: The White House Years
  • David Nichols, Author of A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution

1:50 PM – Introduction and Overview ofCooper v. AaronArgument

2:00 PM – Oral Argument before Judicial Panel

Presiding Chief Justice:

  • The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court

Justices:

  • The Honorable Bernice B. Donald, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • The Honorable Allyson K. Duncan, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • The Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • The Honorable James E. Graves, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • The Honorable Roger Gregory, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • The Honorable Raymond Lohier, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
  • The Honorable Theodore McKee, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr., Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
  • The Honorable James A. Wynn, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit

3:00 PM – Judicial Deliberation before the Public

4:30 PM – Public Reception

Video:

Event Documents:
Conference Program
Poster

Press:
Looking back at Little Rock: At HLS, Justice Breyer and nine appellate justices revisit Cooper v. Aaron (Harvard Law Today)