From FDR to Obama

New Deal

Some amateur and professional historians alike have drawn parallels between the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and whether the era of FDR holds lessons for the current political and economic climate. A Penn Law School symposium, “FDR and Obama: Are there Constitutional Law Lessons from the New Deal for the Obama Administration?” explores these questions, and will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Levy Conference Center, 3400 Chestnut St.

The symposium will address whether the FDR and Obama eras are similar enough to draw parallels in terms of policy and law; how the legacy of the Roosevelt Supreme Court may affect future litigation over the Obama administration’s policies; whether new constitutional principles are needed as the Supreme Court addresses health care and financial reform; how the Supreme Court’s commerce clause jurisprudence may be affected in this litigation; and what comparisons may be made between the current court’s federalist and anti-federalist proponents and that of the Hughes court and the Roosevelt era.

The symposium will also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Penn Law Journal as well as the opening of Penn Law’s newest building, Golkin Hall. For more information, go to and click on the “Events” tab at the top of the page.

Originally published on December 15, 2011