Liberty & Law Reading Group

What is liberty?  Why is it valuable, and what are its proper bounds?  What roles does law play in protecting, defining, and perhaps threatening liberty?  If protecting liberty is a key goal of the rule of law, is it the only one?  What other values and goals need to be balanced against the claims of liberty, and how should we go about doing so?

The Liberty & Law Reading Group provides an opportunity for faculty and students to come together in an informal setting to engage critically with texts that seek to illuminate these foundational questions.  Each term we will choose some set of readings that addresses core issues regarding the relationship between liberty and law, and meet on a biweekly basis to discuss them.  While we need to keep the size of the group during any given term limited to a number that is conducive to meaningful conversation, we welcome and encourage anyone in the law school community with an interest in these topics to join in, whatever your perspective may be.  The purpose of this conversation is to grapple with difficult questions, not to propagate any pre-determined answers.

Reading List:
~ Fall 2019: The Structure of Liberty by Randy E. Barnett

Registration for Fall 2019 is now closed. If you have any questions, please email JoAnn Koob at or Chris Newman at