Mitchell Hamline professors Michael Steenson and Mehmet Konar-Steenberg will present their popular CLE on Oct. 26 that reviews key recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Over the past decade, the duo has made it an annual look at what cases the court had decided in its previous term. The event will review the 2021-22 term, which included several major decisions – most notably was the Dobbs decision that overturned abortion protections guaranteed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
“There is always a significant amount of interest in the work of the Supreme Court, given the high-stakes cases it decides,” said Steenson, who has also presented similar programs through the Minnesota Attorney General’s office for roughly the past quarter century. “The issues the Court resolves appear to be inherently political. Resolution of those issues, no matter the rationale or ideology that is applied, is often labeled political. Shifts in the composition of the Court mean a shift in ideology.”
“Preparing for this presentation every year is one way we make good on our law school’s commitment to practitioners,’ added Konar-Steenberg. “We talk about the high-profile cases, for sure. But we also talk about cases that will never make it into the news that are nevertheless important to practitioners.
“The Supreme Court’s pronouncements on doctrines like preemption or deference to agency decisions don’t always rule the headlines, but they are important to everyday legal work.”
Steenson and Konar-Steenberg are part of the roster of Mitchell Hamline faculty that teach constitutional law. The changes in the makeup of the Court in the past four years are important to study, they add. “We are all looking for insights to help us understand what the Court did and why,” said Steenson. “What the Court does goes to the very heart of our judicial system.”