Almost 30 constitutional scholars and political scientists from around the world joined Maryland Carey Law faculty March 2 in celebrating Mark Graber’s appointment as a University System of Maryland Regents Professor. Graber, a leading authority on constitutional law and politics, is the only faculty member of the University of Maryland, Baltimore to receive the honor.
“Mark joins an elite group, as one of just seven Regents Professors in the System’s history,” said Dean Donald B. Tobin. “We couldn’t be more proud of our colleague or more thrilled for his success.”
Scholars recognize Graber as the founder of the American Constitutional Development movement, which uses tools from law, history, government and political science to analyze constitutional doctrine. “I think it is fair to say that [Graber’s] is the leading figure in the field of American constitutional development, bar none,” remarked Sanford Levinson, professor at the University of Texas Law School.
The appointment celebration included a lecture from Graber that explored what may be a crisis of constitutionalism in the US and a discussion of the four factors he believes are necessary to maintain a healthy constitutional democracy. These include:
Graber’s presentation was part of the 2017 Maryland Discussion Group on Constitutionalism, an annual event known as the “Schmooze,” that this year attracted scholars from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown, UC Berkeley and other U.S. universities as well as faculty from several international institutions, including Oxford and Hebrew Universities. Participants, who share informal papers, discussed whether the recent election in the U.S., the Brexit referendum and the failed coup in Turkey are evidence of a global crisis in constitutional democracies.
Graber’s view was clear. “We cannot escape politics,” he said in closing his presentation. “Constitutional democracy will survive…only if we persuade our fellow citizens of [its] virtues and preconditions through existing channels of communication and mobilization or the new channels of mobilization and persuasion we create…”