More importantly, the contributions to this symposium have already led me to reorient my research agenda and push my thinking in a variety of directions. My work has been devoted to excavating the hidden features of our constitutional structure, the institutions that help our democracy work but are neglected by democratic theory. These features have long been overlooked because they don't fit neatly into doctrinal silos, they don't emerge seamlessly from our constitutional text, and they bear little connection to our original history. Or perhaps they simply fall within the blind spots of academics. Political and racial minorities, after all, are the darlings of most intellectuals. They are also the objects of constitutional solicitude, with amendments devoted to the fate of each. That confluence has led academics to treat rights as natural tools for promoting integration and dissent. That's all well and good. But this unduly narrow focus, combined with some genuinely ugly history, has also led scholars to endorse thin, even anemic visions of integration and dissent.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Gerken, Heather K., "ABANDONING BAD IDEAS AND DISREGARDING GOOD ONES FOR THE RIGHT REASONS: REFLECTIONS ON A FESTSCHRIFT" (2013). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4897.