Law symposium features retired justice

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens visited campus in November as part of the Georgia Law Review’s symposium 50 years after the resolution of New York Times v. Sullivan. In his keynote address at the Chapel, Stevens argued against relying too much on history to interpret law. Originalism—the political theory that the original intent or meaning of the U.S. Constitution or laws should be used in judicial interpretations—relies heavily on history that may not be entirely accurate. “History is, at best, an inexact field of study,” Stevens said. “Even the most qualified historians may interpret events differently.”
 Stevens was appointed to the high court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford. He retired from the court in 2010 at age 90.

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Photo by Paul Efland.