Federalist Society Event Audio
Summary: The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. This podcast feed contains audio files of Federalist Society panel discussions, debates, addresses, and other events related to law and public policy. Additional audio and video can be found at www.federalistsociety.org/multimedia.
Clearly, we live in a very different society from that of the founding period. Size of both population and territory, speed of communication, and America's role in the world are but three examples of many differences. Equally clear is that these changes require adaptation, even if the original design was perfect. But how true have those changes been to the structure and spirit of that design? Have the required changes in practice been consciously or unconsciously used as a way to alter the original conception? What has been lost that would be valuable today? Are there better ways to adjust the Congressional role to major changes in society? Hypothetically, how would Congress handle a greatly increased volume of work in the unlikely event that the size of the government was halved, and could it do so without excessive reliance on the Administrative State? Is Congress dysfunctional today? If so, how can we improve it? -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 13, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Mr. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute; Prof. Neal E. Devins, Sandra Day O'Connor Professor of Law, Cabell Research Professor, Professor of Government, and Director, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, William & Mary Law School; Prof. David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University; Prof. Gillian E. Metzger, U.S. Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; and Prof. Neomi Rao, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law. Moderator: Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society.
This panel of current and former state Attorneys General will examine the relationship between the federal and state governments, vertical separation of powers, as well as the regulatory regime within states. Many state AG offices are litigating more, and more important cases, than ever before. A recent spate of lawsuits has pitted a fair number of states against the federal government, challenging underlying federal authority for discreet actions taken. Meanwhile, laws and regulations by state government actors, including business licensing and other regulations governing business and employment, are being challenged by others, often defended by state Attorneys General. The panel will discuss and debate these and other emerging challenges. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 13, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Hon. Adam Laxalt, Attorney General, State of Nevada and Hon. William H. Pryor Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Moderator: Mr. Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates. Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society.
This panel was held during the 2015 National Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Hon. Sam Brownback, Governor, State of Kansas; Hon. Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia; Hon. Pete Ricketts, Governor, State of Nebraska; and Hon. Scott Walker, Governor, State of Wisconsin. Moderator: Mr. William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard. Introduction: Hon. David M. McIntosh, President, Club for Growth and Vice Chairman, The Federalist Society.
Panelists will examine the impact of the FCC's Open Internet Order and reclassification of broadband as a public utility and explore possible alternative regulatory regimes. What will the courts do? What should Congress do? What should a new Administration make its first broadband priorities? With the convergence of technologies, should the current platform-specific regulation be replaced with a more flexible, service-based regulatory scheme? How could such regulations impact developing business models and evolving technologies? How is the US faring against the rest of the world in the quest for broadband leadership? -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Mr. Earl W. Comstock, Partner, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC; Mr. Miguel A. Estrada, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Ms. Roslyn Layton, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; and Mr. Robert Quinn, Senior Vice-President – Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T. Moderator: Hon. David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. Introduction: Ms. Kelly A. Donohue, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.
With the U.S. Supreme Court cert grant in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, religious liberties is once again in the legal and media spotlight. What is the recent record of the government in protecting religious liberty? Our panel will discuss everything from the contraceptive mandate and its exemptions to ministerial hiring, RLUPA, the faith-based initiative, the Planned Parenthood controversy, and everything in between. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, Founder & Senior Director, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; Mr. William P. Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law; Mr. William L. Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, Americans United for Life; and Mr. Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates. Moderator: Hon. Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Critics argue that, given this mandate, too much of the lawmaking power is exercised by unelected people in unaccountable agencies. These bureaucracies make “law" by both formal and informal regulation, and oftentimes both enforce their own laws and adjudicate their own enforcement actions. Some have even been given self-funding mechanisms, which removes them from even the check of Congress's appropriation power. Proponents of such delegation argue that administrative agency staff have expertise in myriad substantive areas that legislators could never obtain, and that what critics describe as a lack of accountability is actually insulation from political pressure and influence. They assert that delegations of lawmaking power are permissible if Congress provides an “intelligible principle" setting the boundaries within which the agencies are permitted to operate. The Supreme Court has, under this standard, upheld such broad grants of power to the agencies as legislative direction to regulate “in the public interest," for the “public convenience, interest, or necessity," to do what is “just and reasonable," or to prevent “unfair methods of competition." In other words, critics assert, the “intelligible principle" limitation on delegations of lawmaking power is no limitation at all. The last time the Court struck down an act of Congress because it delegated lawmaking power was in the 1935 case of Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, and that case involved a double delegation, first to the executive and then to a committee of private businesses. -- The phenomenon of agency officials making most of the nation's laws expanded when the Court decided, in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, (1984) to start deferring to agency interpretation of ambiguous statutes. Several members of the Court have started to question this state of affairs, and this past term, in three separate opinions, Justice Thomas called on the Court to revisit both Chevron deference and the demise of the non-delegation doctrine. Others fear an over-empowered, unelected judiciary. One response to reliance on Chevron deference was offered by Chief Justice Roberts in the King v. Burwell case. There, the Chief (writing for a 5-4 majority) declined to defer to the agency's interpretation of the statute, and instead applied Chevron deference to the Court's own interpretation. This panel will address the present state of affairs and the possible roads forward. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law; Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Boyden Gray & Associates and former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union; Mr. Neal K. Katyal, Hogan Lovells and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General; and Mr. David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, BakerHostetler. Moderator: Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit.
Our nation's private sector labor law is a product of the New Deal and the industrial age. In its first edition, the 1935 Wagner Act, employee rights to organize were recognized and employer unfair labor practices were defined. Twelve years later, the pendulum swung and union unfair labor practices were added to the Act. To address corruption, the 1959 Landrum-Griffin Act was enacted to require labor organizations, employers, and labor relations consultants to file annual reports, and union members were granted a Bill of Rights. The NLRA was last amended in 1974, addressing the health care industry. -- Over the past 80 years, our nation's economy, indeed, the global economy, has changed significantly. While some efforts have been made over the last four decades to amend federal labor law, none have succeeded. To fill the vacuum, the National Labor Relations Board has stepped in as what some would describe as a quasi-legislature, issuing decisions and rules reflecting the Board's political majority's bias to circumvent Congressional deadlock. -- Should labor law be viewed as a vehicle to restore organized labor's density of 60+ years ago or to ensure employee rights to join or not join a labor union? Or, should labor law be overhauled to ensure labor unions' presence globally and to empower organized labor to affect or determine global work standards and business models generally? And, should labor law be politically aligned with one party? Is labor law about the American citizen/worker or about organized labor's institutional survival? -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Richard Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law. Director, Classical Liberal Institute, New York University School of Law; Hon. John N. Raudabaugh, Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law, Ave Maria School of Law; Mr. Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs, AFL-CIO; and Mr. Mark Schneider, General Counsel, Int'l Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Moderator: Hon. Joan L. Larsen, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Michigan.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently increased its use of administrative proceedings, before Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), to seek civil penalties, as an alternative to proceeding in an Article III court. Other federal regulatory and enforcement agencies use ALJs for various purposes at various rates. Although no single set of rules governs all ALJs, they typically differ from Article III courts in important ways, bringing their use under recent criticism. As two examples, ALJs do not enjoy life tenure and they are sometimes employed by and answerable to the agency itself. Our panel will discuss the pros and cons of the use of ALJs at the SEC and other agencies. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. John S. Baker, Jr., Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Mr. Stephen J. Crimmins, Shareholder, Murphy & McGonigle PC; Prof. Todd E. Pettys, H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation, University of Iowa College of Law; and Prof. Tuan Samahon, Villanova University School of Law. Moderator: Hon. F. Scott Kieff, Commissioner, International Trade Commission.
Lawmakers are quick to complain about government agencies exceeding their authority. While some complaint is justified, Congress itself contributes to the problem. From delegating too much discretion to agencies, to not taking action to rein them in, Congress has contributed enormously to today's Administrative Leviathan. The judiciary also plays a major role. Judicial deference to agency interpretations permits agencies to develop rules that are neither supported by Congressional findings, nor grounded in statutory text. As we have seen recently, even when Congress has the will to reassert its legislative authority, as by opposing a rule, obstacles can prevent it, such as a Presidential veto. The biggest losers in this state of affairs are the American people. Contrary to Constitutional design, Americans have significant laws imposed upon them not by their representatives, but by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. What remedies can Congress employ to rein in the Administrative State/Executive Branch overreach? How can it stop contributing to the problem? Is judicial deference to agencies compatible with Congress's over-delegation to them? Does this combination properly respect Congressional lawmaking responsibility? This panel will explore the current state of these trends that are undermining separation of powers and our representative democracy. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Hon. Tom Coburn, Former United States Senator, Oklahoma; Mr. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute; Prof. Jonathan Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University Law School; and Prof. Michael Uhlmann, Claremont Graduate University. Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, U.S Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. Introduction: Hon. Eileen J. O'Connor, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
It has been ten years since John Roberts was appointed as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. During his confirmation hearing, Chief Justice Roberts promised to be a Justice who would "call balls and strikes." In his first decade on the Court, he has written for the Court in some of most consequential cases in recent history and dissented in others. He has been both applauded and criticized by both ends of the political spectrum. He also has begun to craft his legacy as Chief Justice and leader not only of the Supreme Court but of the entire federal judiciary. This panel will present a range of views on the first ten years of the Roberts Court. The panelists bring a variety of perspectives: practitioner, journalist, academic, and Senate staff at the time of his confirmation. They will discuss the substance of the Roberts Court's opinions, what legacy the Chief Justice is crafting, whether he is succeeding in shaping the Court into a "Roberts Court," and whether his jurisprudence is consistent with what was expected at the time he was appointed. -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Mr. Michael A. Carvin, Partner, Jones Day; Ms. Jan Crawford, Political Correspondent and Chief Legal Correspondent, CBS News; Mr. Steven J. Duffield, Former Chief Counsel, Senator Jon Kyl; and Prof. Michael S. Paulsen, Distinguished University Chair and Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law. Moderator: Hon. Carlos T. Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Introduction: Hon. Rachel Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce.
Assistant to the President and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston delivered this address at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015. He was introduced by Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society.
What was the founders' conception of the role of Congress? Was that conception clearly understood? To what degree was that conception followed during our nation's early years and to what degree did early Congresses follow the Constitution? To what degree were members of Congress representing their districts and to what degree were they representing national interests? In what ways did the Senate and the House originally operate differently? Originally, the prevailing view was that “the laws that free men live under are the laws that have been hauled up." In other words, we are ruled by the laws that we and our neighbors made. Was this ever true? -- This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Akhil R. Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University; Dr. Louis Fisher, Scholar in Residence, the Constitution Project; Prof. Tara J. Helfman, Associate Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law; and Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. Moderator: Hon. James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (ret.) and former U.S. Senator.
Senator Mike Lee opened the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on November 12 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Senator Lee discussed the role of Congress.
On September 19, 2015, The Federalist Society hosted the 2015 Texas Chapters Conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. In this session, Keith Hennessey, former Assistant to President George W. Bush for Economic Policy and Director of the U.S. National Economic Council, was interviewed about The 2008 Financial Crisis. Interviewer: Marc Kesselman, former General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture and former Deputy General Counsel of Office of Management and Budget. Introduction: William Peterson, Beck Redden LLP and President, Houston Lawyers Chapter.
On September 19, 2015, The Federalist Society hosted the 2015 Texas Chapters Conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings welcomed the attendees at the start of the conference. The following panel featured a retrospective on the War on Terror and the Rule of Law. -- Featuring: Hon. Michael Chertoff, former Secretary, Department of Homeland Security; Hon. William Haynes, II, former General Counsel, Department of Defense; Hon. Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General, Department of Justice; and Hon. Larry D. Thompson, former Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice. Moderator: Mr. John Rizzo, former Acting General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency.