Foulston Siefkin Lecture, 2011: Susan A. Bandes
Washburn University School of Law
and the Washburn Law Journal
proudly present the
34th Annual Foulston Siefkin Lecture
Susan A. Bandes
Distinguished Research Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law
"Moral Imagination in Judging"
Watch Professor Bandes' lecture (51 minutes)
Professor Susan A. Bandes is widely known as a scholar in the areas of federal jurisdiction, criminal procedure and civil rights, and more recently, as a pioneer in the emerging study of the role of emotion in law. She received her bachelor's degree from The State University of New York at Buffalo and earned her juris doctor from the University of Michigan.
President Obama has often invoked empathy and moral imagination as essential capacities for judges and others who seek a more just society. Critics have charged that these terms are simply code words for liberal judicial activism, and that empathy and moral imagination are at odds with rule of law values. Professor Bandes' talk considered what it might mean for a judge to exercise the qualities of empathy and moral imagination. It paid particular attention to two famous developments in Supreme Court precedent: the Court's rejection of "separate but equal" in Brown v. Board of Education and its overruling of anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas.
Bandes' legal career began in 1976 at the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender. In 1980, she became staff counsel for the Illinois A.C.L.U., where she litigated a broad spectrum of civil rights cases and helped draft and secure passage of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. She joined the DePaul University College of Law faculty in 1984, and was named Distinguished Research Professor in 2003. She has received numerous awards from both the law school and the university for her teaching, scholarship and service. Her articles appear in, among others, the Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago, Michigan and Southern California law reviews, as well as peer-reviewed journals including Law and Social Inquiry, Constitutional Commentary, and the Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities. Her book on the role of emotion in law, entitled The Passions of Law, was published by NYU Press in January 2000 and released in paperback in 2001.
Bandes presents her work frequently at academic symposia and workshops, as well as to non-academic legal groups such as the American Constitution Society. Her recent pro bono activities include acting as co-reporter for the Constitution Project's bipartisan Death Penalty Initiative, which produced the report Mandatory Justice: Eighteen Reforms to the Death Penalty, and serving on the advisory board to the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice's study of the criminal justice system in Cook County, Illinois.
has sponsored the Foulston Siefkin Lecture since 1978 to enrich the
quality of education at Washburn University School of Law.
Articles derived from the lectures are published by
the Washburn Law Journal.