Call for Papers - University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review - The Vitality of Cooper v. Aaron after 60 Years

Posted by Kyla Bishop, community karma 27

The Law Review of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law is pleased to announce a call for papers for its 2018 Symposium. “Cooper v. Aaron: Still Timely at Sixty Years,” to be held on Friday, September 28, 2018. 

Sixty years ago, the United States was roiled by the struggle to overcome racial segregation. John and Thelma Aaron and others filed suit in federal court in Arkansas for the purpose of integrating Arkansas schools subsequent to Brown v. Board of Education. This lawsuit led to a federal court order to integrate the Little Rock public schools and the subsequent turmoil surrounding the attendance of Central High by the Little Rock Nine. 

The state government continued to resist desegregation, however. The Little Rock School Board sought to postpone implementation of its citywide school desegregation plan for almost three years because of public opposition. Ultimately, the case reached the United State Supreme Court, which met in special session for only the third time in its history, in August and September 1958 to hear oral argument. The unanimous per curiam opinion of the court in Cooper v. Aaron held that state government officials could not suspend their desegregation efforts in the face of violent opposition because defying the Brown decision was tantamount to breaking their oaths to uphold the Constitution. 

Cooper resoundingly established the supremacy of the federal constitution but it also established the more controversial notion of the supremacy of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution. 

The Law Review of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law is proud to present a symposium on the significance of Cooper v. Aaron on its sixtieth anniversary. The issues raised by Cooper are still the subject of vibrant debate. Increasingly, state and local officials seek to avoid enforcing or following federal mandates ranging from the Obergerfell same sex marriage decision to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to enforcing immigration law. We seek articles on these and other topics as well as articles on the local significance of Cooper and its continuing vitality in an age of political and legal polarization. 

The Law Review of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law will publish articles from the symposium in an issue of volume 41 slated for release in the spring of 2019. We encourage all interested potential authors to respond. Authors should submit an abstract and a cover letter to Shelby Howlett, Symposium Editor, at The deadline for submissions for article proposals is May 31, 2018; completed articles will be due on November 30, 2018. Please feel free to email Ms. Howlett with any questions.


about 6 years ago