Program on Law and State Government fellows to present research at symposium next week

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The exterior of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. (IL file photo)

The 2023 fellows in Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s Program on Law and State Government will present their research on the concept of “liberty” at the annual PLSG Symposium next week.

The symposium on Sept. 22 will feature research presentations by Forrest Manning and Ashley Rosenblatt, the 2023 PLSG fellows.

During their fellowship, Manning and Rosenblatt explored how different and deeply held beliefs about liberty play out in approaches to quintessential state government areas of regulation such as K-12 education, workforce development, economic issues and public health.

“Theirs is one of the most expansive PLSG Fellowship topics ever tackled,” IU McKinney professor Cynthia Baker, faculty adviser for the fellowship since 1999, said in a news release. “Since our first meeting, Forrest, Ashley, and I have been discussing the many ways people use the term ‘liberty’ to champion their causes. State governments’ responses to pleas for liberty are changing how public tax dollars are used and how people engage with democracy at the state government level.”

Manning’s research explores the contours of liberty in the context of transportation, driving laws and urban planning. It also encompasses how current law regarding Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizures diminish personal liberty in automobile-centric populations.

“Liberty seems to be somewhere in every legal conversation,” Manning said in a news release. “I want to explore what liberty looks and feels like in different areas of life. And I think applying it in the state government context has the possibility of changing the legal conversation.”

According to IU McKinney, Manning is a fellow of the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity and a recipient of the Tuchman Bobrick Scholarship. He entered law school with experience in local government in his hometown of Petersburg, serving as an elected member and secretary of the Pike County School Corporation board and as an appointed member of the Pike County Redevelopment Commission, as well as several other civic boards and organizations.

For her part, Rosenblatt spent her year as a fellow looking at liberty in the context of privacy and economic freedoms. Her scholarship focuses on environmental, social and governance measures and how states across the nation are laying the groundwork through a new lens of economic liberty.

Rosenblatt also explores how policymakers and lawyers are responding to related economic development issues such as noncompete agreements and K-12 policy. Additionally, she has researched the expanding role of state governments related to individual citizens’ right to privacy.

Rosenblatt has worked for the Indiana General Assembly and spent more than a decade in the private sector working for a wine and spirits company prior to returning to law school. During her time at IU McKinney, she has been chosen twice as the Outstanding Member of the Year for the Women’s Caucus, in addition to externing for Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch and the Indiana Commercial Court as well as the Indiana Gaming Commission.

“I have a passion for state government and believe that both the private and public sectors have a role in making life better for Indiana citizens,” Rosenblatt said in the news release. “My goal … is to explore thoughtful conversations and to provide real, practical solutions that can make an impact for all Hoosiers.”

Next week’s symposium will also feature a keynote address from Shawn Fields, an associate professor of law at California Western School of Law. He’ll present “Decriminalizing Movement: Decoupling Police from (Most) Motor Vehicle Regulation.”

Additionally, Stevie Pactor of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana will host a conversation entitled “Liberty Through Privacy: The Aftermath of Dobbs.

Registration is required. More information about the symposium is available online.

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