The Harrisburg campus welcomed Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Saylor to the moot courtroom recently, where he gave his second lecture in his role as the school’s distinguished jurist in residence.
Saylor’s remarks, titled, “Power and Prerogative: Reflections on Judicial Suspension of Laws” were delivered to law students, professors and members of the Pennsylvania legal community on Tuesday, March 22.
Saylor called it a “very serious matter” for the court to invalidate enactments of the political branch, and while he said there is sometimes legitimate need for the judiciary to assert its role, he also stressed the importance of judicial restraint and economy.
“I believe an absolute and reflexive approach to Supreme Court power should be eschewed in favor of a more evaluative approach,” Saylor said. “Whatever we do, bruises are expected, but these can be mitigated by maintaining a judicious approach to power and prerogative.”
Saylor, a member of the Supreme Court since 1998, teaches a seminar on constitutional law through Widener’s Law & Government Institute
. Widener created the institute more than a decade ago in response to a growing need for the study and development of administrative and constitutional law, especially in the states. Students who study through the institute program earn certificates at graduation that reflect their specialty in areas of administrative/constitutional law, consumer law, environmental law or legislation.
Saylor has been the distinguished jurist in residence since 2009. He commended Widener and its leaders for organizing programs like the lecture to foster an ongoing discussion.
“I’m appreciative of the school’s Law & Government Institute and the learning opportunities it affords our students to have at Widener,” he said.