Rodel Judicial Class of 2023 Meets for Second Seminar

The 2023 Rodel Judicial Fellowship held its second seminar this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Hotel Condado Vanderbilt. Seventeen federal judges and supreme court justices from across the country gathered to discuss the role of judges in American democracy, constitutional interpretation, and leadership on and off of the bench. This weekend, like every Rodel seminar, was anchored by 100-120 pages of intense scholarly reading.

Vibrant discussions on canons of statutory and constitutional interpretation were led by professors Alexandra Lahav of Cornell Law School and Benjamin Eidelson of Harvard Law School. Kaye Monk-Morgan, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center, led a spirited examination on the concept of judges as leaders, challenging those on the bench to exercise leadership with their colleagues, staff, and other members of the bar. Jeff King, Founding Director of the Fellowship, concluded the weekend examining the dynamics of judging in challenging times with discussions about historically important moments in the American judiciary and how they inform us today.

This seminar advanced Rodel’s goals of helping judges learn from their colleagues with different backgrounds, experience, and jurisprudential philosophies, reflect on their personal experiences on the bench, and explore the ways judges lead in the American democracy. Participants expressed their appreciation for this unique opportunity and the bonds it created between judges who otherwise would never have met. These opportunities for personal growth, jurisprudential learning, and mutual understanding will continue as the cohort studies with leading British judges, lawyers, and academics in England in 2025.