Cristina Rodríguez, J.D., will present, "Partisan Polarization, the Supreme Court, and Prospects for Reform" at The University of New Mexico School of Law on Thursday, Feb. 23. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Registration is required and can be completed on the UNM School of Law website

Rodríguez will present her lecture as a Distinguished John Field Simms, Sr. Memorial Lecturer. The talk will consider whether and how institutional reform might revitalize our constitutional government, like the Supreme Court.

About the lecture:

The Constitution and the institutions it creates should form a government whose structures work well in the sense that they together should enable democracy, self-government, and human flourishing.

But public confidence in our constitutional institutions, including the historically vaunted Supreme Court, has eroded substantially in recent years, and the political culture that sustains these institutions is riven, alienating, and polarized.

With a focus on recent calls to reform the Supreme Court, this lecture will consider whether and how institutional reform might revitalize our constitutional government, with an emphasis on the great stakes of these questions.

Rodríguez is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law and Counselor to the Dean at Yale Law School. Her fields of research and teaching include constitutional law and theory, immigration law and policy, administrative law and process and citizenship theory.

She has served as co-chair for President Joe Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale Law School, she was a professor at New York University School of Law for eight years. She has also been a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford, Harvard and Columbia Law Schools.

This endowed lecture series honors the memory of highly respected trial lawyer John F. Simms, who served on the New Mexico Supreme Court and as a University of New Mexico Regent.

Past Simms Lecturers have included justices of the United States Supreme Court, presidents of universities, law deans and professors, high-level government officials, and United States Court of Appeals judges.

Learn more on the School of Law website.