The desire for a fresh look at the history of education in the United States of America inspired an admirably bold new work by Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and award-winning constitutional law scholar, Justin Driver. Among many other accomplishments, Driver is the Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, a member of the America Law Institute and the American Constitution Society’s Academic Advisory Board, and an editor of highly regarded The Supreme Court Review. His new book, “The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind“, explores a unique theme: the intersection of law, democracy, and education in the US.
Thankfully the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University, held an event on November 2 where the expert author was received by Adam White to talk about his new book. In the video below the two take a fascinating walk through several recent cases involving school reforms that have altered the federal constitution. Adam White is a Hoover Institution research fellow and an assistant professor of law at George Mason University’s new Antonin Scalia Law School. Here is a brief event description provided by the Hoover Institution:
In his famous study of American democracy nearly two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that one “cannot doubt that in the United States the instruction of the people serves powerfully to maintain a democratic republic.” It remains true in our time, as in Tocqueville’s. But the reverse is also true: our democracy and the laws that it produces exert a powerful influence on education-on the people who teach, on the students who learn, and on the ideas that they discuss.
And because our political disputes inevitably become legal ones, the Supreme Court has played an immense role in shaping American education-most famously in Brown v. Board of Education, but also in free-speech cases like Tinker v. Des Moines, and equal-protection cases like Parents Involved v. Seattle School District No. 1.
Professor Justin Driver explores the complex relationship in a new book: The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind. It will be the subject of the latest conversation in the Hoover Institution’s series, Opening Arguments.
The event lasted about an hour and thirty minutes. Take a look!