The Conspiracy goes (off off) Broadway

April 11, 2014

Last night, at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC, members of the Volokh Conspiracy participated in a panel discussion of the free speech issues raised by the play Arguendo, which concerns the Supreme Court oral argument in Barnes v. Glen Theatre. The 1991 decision involved whether “nude dancing” was a protected form of speech under the First Amendment. The dialogue of the play consists almost 100% of the actual words of the arguments made in the case and the actual questioning by the justices. But the visual effects and choreography while all that is being said is arresting, engaging and funny. (There was lots of laughter at the real oral argument too.)  Still, it is remarkable how much of the real argument is understandable to the audience. Another  very cool feature of this play is that there is a live discussion with panels of legal experts after every performance. You can read the full roster of panels here.  This video gives a nice taste of the production:

We appreciated the many readers of the Volokh Conspiracy who were in attendance, including one who was a dead ringer for a young Eugene Volokh, colorful tie and all. Here we are after the performance (from left to right): Stewart Baker, Randy Barnett, John Collins (Artistic Director, Elevator Repair Service), Ilya Somin and moderator Nick Rosenkranz):

After Arguendo @ Woolly Mammuth
The Volokh Conspiracy on Stage @ Woolly Mammoth

It is good to be a Conspirator.

Randy Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center, and Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. His books include: Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton, 2d. ed 2014); and The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 2d. ed. 2014).
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