November 10, 2014 "Conversations on the Enduring Legacy of the Great Charter" Symposium, Dec. 9

David Rubenstein to Interview U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

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Scholars, historians and contemporary thinkers will discuss how Magna Carta’s political and legal traditions have carried into our current times at a Library of Congress symposium on Dec. 9. The symposium, “Conversations on the Enduring Legacy of the Great Charter,” is being held in conjunction with the Library’s exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor.”

The afternoon program, “Contemporary Conversations on Magna Carta,” is open to the public and starts at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The symposium, organized by the Law Library of Congress, is free. Tickets are not needed.

A highlight of the program is an interview by David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen G. Breyer. The interview, “American Law and the Great Charter,” begins at 2:05 p.m.

The Library of Congress exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor,” which runs through Jan. 19, 2015, celebrates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and illustrates the great charter’s influence on laws and liberties throughout the centuries. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from Lincoln Cathedral in England, one of only four surviving copies issued in 1215. The exhibition features 76 items drawn from the collections at the Library of Congress.

Featured Speakers for the Afternoon Program

Opening remarks by Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Dizard Jr.

“American Law and the Great Charter”
David Rubenstein conducts an interview with Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer

“Drafting Modern Constitutions”
Participants: A.E. Dick Howard, White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Virginia School of Law; Cornelius “Neil” Kerwin, president of American University; and David Fontana, Associate Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School. Moderated by Jeffrey Rosen, president and chief executive officer, National Constitution Center

“Rule of Law in the Contemporary World: Civil Liberties and Surveillance”
Participants: Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Member, Committee on the Judiciary, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations; Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Member, Committee on the Judiciary, and Member, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Moderated by Orin Kerr, Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School

“Proportionality Under the Eighth Amendment”
Participants: Vicki Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professorship of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; Craig Lerner, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, George Mason University Law School. Moderated by Carrie Johnson, justice correspondent, National Public Radio

“The Enduring Value of Magna Carta”
Participants: Jonathan Jacobs, director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics and chairman of the Department of Philosophy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; William C. Hubbard, president, American Bar Association, and partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. Moderated by Roberta Shaffer, retired Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress.

“An International Perspective”
Sir Robert Worcester, chairman of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee

Closing Remarks
David S. Mao, Law Librarian of Congress

The Library’s exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” is made possible by The Federalist Society and 1st Financial Bank USA. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, BP America, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, White & Case LLP, The Burton Foundation for Legal Achievement, the Office of the General Counsel of the American University, and other donors as well as contributions received from Thomson Reuters, William S. Hein & Co., Inc., and Raytheon Company through the Friends of the Law Library. The Library also acknowledges the support and assistance provided by the British Council. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Law Library of Congress was established in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law Library of Congress contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 14-198
ISSN 0731-3527