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.
In our nation's federalist system, the federal government's powers are limited to those that have been prescribed by the U.S Constitution, with additional powers reserved to the states. In recent years, state attorneys general have served as a robust check on executive branch overreach, increasingly using litigation to challenge federal encroachment with respect to environmental and land use issues, immigration, labor policy, and health care (among other examples). This panel will discuss what Ohio can and should do to fight federal encroachment into state affairs. How will federalism be protected during the Trump Administration? -- This panel was held during the Inaugural Ohio Chapters Conference at the Athletic Club of Columbus on Friday, March 31, 2017. -- Featuring: Hon. Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General; David Fornshell, Warren County Prosecutor; Hon. Wes Goodman, Ohio House of Representatives, District 87 and Hon. Dave Yost, Ohio Auditor of State. Moderator: Eric Murphy, Ohio State Solicitor. Introduction: Ben Flowers, President, Columbus Lawyers Chapter.
The keynote address at the Inaugural Ohio Chapters Conference was delivered at the Athletic Club of Columbus on Friday, March 31, 2017, by J.D. Vance, Author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. He was introduced by Jedidiah Bressman, President of the Ohio State University Student Chapter.
Article V of the United States Constitution permits state legislatures to call a constitutional convention to consider amendments to the Constitution. State legislatures have never utilized this procedure. Calls for an Article V Convention have increased in recent years in response to the growth of the federal government. This panel will discuss whether the States should hold an Article V Convention to amend the Constitution, with a focus on whether Ohio would benefit from such amendments. -- This panel opened the Inaugural Ohio Chapters Conference at the Athletic Club of Columbus on Friday, March 31, 2017. -- Featuring: Hon. Tom Brinkman, Ohio House of Representatives, District 27; Hon. Jennifer Brunner, Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals; Professor David Forte, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University and Hon. Matt Huffman, Ohio State Senate, District 12. Moderator: Hon. Larry Obhof, Ohio Senate President. Introduction: Matthew Byrne, President, Cincinnati Lawyers Chapter.
In Professor David Schoenbrod’s new book DC CONFIDENTIAL: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington, he asserts that in the 1960s, elected officials in Congress and the White House figured out a system for enacting laws and spending programs—one that lets them take the credit for promising good news while avoiding the blame for producing bad results. He argues that with five key tricks, politicians of both parties now avoid accounting to the people for what the government does. The result is a vicious cycle of grand promises and budget gimmicks by elected officials, failed policies, blame-shifting by politicians, and spiraling distrust of a government too dysfunctional and unaccountable to solve major problems. The book contends that the ground rules of government must change so that elected officials will once again shoulder responsibility for results. Schoenbrod also offers a practical action plan for reform including a legislative solution—the "Honest Deal Act"—which would change incentives and fundamentally reform government procedures. -- This program was held at the Rayburn House Office Building on April 19, 2017. -- Featuring: Honorable Martin Frost, Former Congressman, Vice-President, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress; Professor David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School; and Professor Adam White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University.
For the past two decades, the U.S. has experimented with “market”-based competitive wholesale electric markets. Through FERC-superintended regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), large regions of the country have procured electricity through a competitive generation model. Recently, those markets have been questioned as baseload electric resources – nuclear, coal and combined-cycle gas – have become unprofitable in the face of tax-favored renewable energy and low cost natural gas. States, in particular, have engaged in regulatory and legislative steps to rescue distressed baseload resources. The New York Clean Energy Standard, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill and moves by states as politically disparate as Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and California have brought the issue of the future of electric markets to the fore. This program will examine the legal and regulatory issues facing the states, the FERC, the courts and the entire electricity industry. -- This program was held at the National Press Club on April 18, 2017, and included an opening Keynote from Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur followed by an expert panel discussion. -- Featuring: Larry Gasteiger, Chief, Federal Regulatory Policy for PSEG; Ray Gifford, Denver Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP; Hon. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting FERC Chairman; Prof. William (Bill) Hogan, Research Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University; and Steven Schleimer, Senior Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, Calpine Corp. Moderator: Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.
The Federalist Society hosted a lunch and discussion on the role of Economic Liberty in the United States on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. -- Today, many job-seeking Americans and companies face significant government barriers that restrict their full participation in the economy. These barriers, often in the form of restrictive regulatory regimes, prevent consumers from using their skills, entering new professions, and starting new businesses. They also prevent low and middle-class Americans from moving up the ladder. Competition and free markets have the power to spur innovation, create new business models, and drive economic opportunity and growth. -- Policymakers, like Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission Maureen Ohlhausen, have begun to take actions to address these barriers. For example, Ms. Ohlhausen recently announced the creation of an Economic Liberty Task Force to advance economic liberty issues, with a particular focus on occupational licensing regulations. These topics and others were addressed. -- Speakers Include: Prof. Michelle P. Connolly, Professor of the Practice of Economics, Duke University; Clark Neily, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice; and Lawrence J. Spiwak, President, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies. Moderator: Hon. Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Acting Chairman, Federal Trade Commission. Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society.
Senator Ted Cruz gives the keynote address to open the Federalist Society's lunch and discussion on the role of Economic Liberty in the United States on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Senator Cruz was introduced by Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society.
Professor Richard Epstein delivered the keynote address titled "A common lawyer looks at the constitutional protection for freedom of speech" during the 2017 National Student Symposium at Columbia Law School on Saturday, March 4, 2017. -- The theme of this talk is what happens if we think about freedom of speech as an ideal, without any of the standard constitutional glosses—strict scrutiny, purposive interpretations—and then how does it play out. It does differ from the current law, quite radically on some key question that lie at the border line between tortious actions and free speech: offensive behavior, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, deceit, coercion and the like. The answers sometimes overlap and sometimes differ, and I hope to explain why the common law approach is superior. -- Keynote: Prof. Richard Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law. Introduction: Mr. Shiva H. Logarajah, Symposium Chair, Columbia Law School Student Chapter.
Universities have long been thought of, and cherished, as places for the free exchange of ideas. This idea has, however, come under pressure. Student groups have now routinely exercised pressure to keep people who they disagree with off campus. And safe spaces and trigger warnings—which limit speech that some have deemed offensive—have become regular features at universities across the nation. -- Many see the climate of shouting-down or protesting the expression of others' viewpoints as the symbolic beginning of an era limiting the freedom of speech on college campuses. While surveys seem to show a majority of students disagree with universities curtailing speech, even when it is offensive, vocal minorities with opposing views have been the ones capturing news headlines and the attention of the public at large. -- With the accessibility to speech provided by the internet and viral sharing of information, expression and speech spread with more ease than ever, but this same technology creates opportunities for back-lash on social media and gives a larger stage to those who would threaten the free market of ideas at our nation's universities. -- The First Amendment protects principles which have always required vigilance to maintain, and today's world makes no exception. This panel will explore how these developments have affected intellectual discourse on campus and if they are conducive to a meaningful learning experience at our universities. -- This panel was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York. -- Featuring: Prof. Robert Post, Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Prof. Phillip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Prof. Suzanne Goldberg, Executive Vice President for University Life, Columbia University; Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; and Prof. Michael McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law; Director, Constitutional Law Center; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution. Moderator: Hon. Thomas Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.
In September, 2016, the United States Commission on Civil Rights released a report entitled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. In the report, the USCCR concluded that religious exercise is in tension with individual rights of certain subsections of the American population. It then went on to make a number of recommendations that suggest that that religious exercise must give way to civil rights protections when the two come into conflict: -- Narrow Tailoring of Religious Exceptions: Federal and state courts, lawmakers, and policy-makers at every level must tailor religious exceptions to civil liberties and civil rights protections as narrowly as applicable law requires. -- Protections of Beliefs Over Conduct: The recognition of religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws and policies should be made pursuant to the holdings of Employment Division v. Smith, which protect religious beliefs rather than conduct. -- Amending the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act (“RFRA") (and State equivalents): Federal legislation should be considered to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions and only to the extent that they do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination. States with laws similar to RFRA should similarly amend their laws. -- This panel will first explore whether the USSCR Report is correct that there is, in fact, an irreconcilable tension between religious liberty and civil liberties. And second, if there is a conflict between religious liberty and civil liberties, the panel will debate whether the recommendation by USCCR to limit religious exemptions is the best way to navigate such conflict. -- This panel was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York. -- Featuring: Prof. Bill Marshall, Kenan Professor of Law, University of North Carolina; Prof. Michael Paulsen, Distinguished University Chair and Professor, University of St. Thomas; Prof. Marci Hamilton, Fox Family Pavilion Distinguished Scholar, University of Pennsylvania; and Prof. Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law; University of Virginia Law School; Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Moderator: Hon. William H. Pryor, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.
In August 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA) added new anti-discrimination guidelines for lawyers to its Model Rules of Professional Conduct through section 8.4. This section now binds lawyers to adhere to particular speech codes in the many states that have adopted it. -- The provision labels engagement “in conduct that [a] lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law." The ABA has defined discrimination and harassment to include “harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others. Harassment includes sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." The conduct guidelines extend to “the practice of law," including, “representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and other while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law." -- Some have described this section as infringing on the rights on lawyers to speak their mind, while others have argued it is necessary to prevent discrimination within the profession. This debate will discuss the implications of Model Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4 and its impact on workplace discrimination and lawyers' rights. -- This debate was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York. -- Featuring: Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law and Mr. Robert N. Weiner, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Moderator: Hon. Lavenski Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit.
Congress' passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 did not end the debate on campaign finance. Instead, it arguably created more legal questions than it did answers. -- The Act's passage quickly unleashed subsequent litigation, resulting in a number of Supreme Court decisions directly related to the BCRA and, more broadly, to general laws regulating campaign finance. These recent Supreme Court cases, including the much-discussed Citizens United decision, struck down many campaign regulations on the grounds that they infringe upon individuals' First Amendment rights. Some have charged that decisions like these have increased the influence of a privileged few in our political system. Others have argued that these decisions are not only doctrinally correct, but the prudential fears many have expressed have not been borne out. -- Still, Americans remain discontented with the current campaign finance regime. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll in 2015, 46% of respondents agree that the country needs to completely rebuild its campaign finance system, while 39% believed it requires fundamental change. Today, groups and individuals continue to fight limits on political contributions, and restrictions on political speech, while others push for stricter regulations. -- This panel will weigh in on whether decisions like Citizens United are correct as a matter of law, and if they are desirable from a policy perspective. The panel will also discuss the jurisprudential foundations of Citizens United—including the landmark case of Buckley v. Valeo—and where future fights over campaign finance regulations are likely to occur. -- This panel was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York. -- Featuring: Prof. Brad Smith, Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Professor of Law, Capital University Law School; Former FEC Commissioner; Prof. Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law; Prof. John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law; and Prof. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice; Associate Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law. Moderator: Hon. Richard J. Sullivan, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
The Internet has made information not only much more accessible, it has allowed almost anyone to be a provider of such information. -- This has not been without consequence: the refusal to take down an obscene video led to an eye-popping $140 million jury verdict and the subsequent collapse of Gawker Media. Personal e-mails or national secrets can quickly turn into political ammunition through the amplification of Wikileaks. A wide range of individuals, from Dan Rather to former President Barack Obama, have criticized the spread of misinformation. They claim false information is being dressed up as legitimate online journalism with the intent to deceive and misinform. Technology CEOs have felt the pressure. For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is devoting considerable resources to developing methods to regulate speech on his platform— probably the most significant in the world. But, as Zuckerberg himself said, “identifying 'the truth' is complicated." -- This panel will explore this new reality and whether it necessitates new regulation. Will any effort be imprecise, such that protected speech will necessarily be silenced? Does such regulation go against the principles enshrined in the First Amendment? -- This panel was presented at the 2017 National Student Symposium on Friday, March 3, 2017, at Columbia Law School in New York City, New York. -- Featuring: Prof. Richard Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Prof. Irina Manta, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University; Mr. Jameel Jaffer, Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University; and Prof. Steve Coll, Dean & Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Staff Writer, The New Yorker. Moderator: Hon. Reena Raggi, Circuit Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Opening: Dean Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, Columbia Law School.
These remarks were given by the Honorable Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States on February 4, 2017, at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. -- Vice President Pence was welcomed by Eugene B. Meyer, President of the Federalist Society. Prayer was led by Reverend Paul Rourke, SJ, Chaplain of the Georgetown University Law Center. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vance Thomas Yanney II of the Shipley School, and the national anthem was sung by Leigh Emery, Co-founder of Broadway Lights the Night.
This panel, Combating Federal Overreach, was held on February 4, 2017, at the 2017 Florida Chapters Conference at Disney's BoardWalk Inn at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. -- Featuring: Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General, Florida; Andrew Brasher, Solicitor General, Alabama; Scott Keller, Solicitor General, Texas; and Elbert Lin, Solicitor General, West Virginia. Moderator: Hon. Allen Winsor, Florida 1st District Court of Appeals and Former Solicitor General, Florida. Introduction: Rachel Nordby, Deputy Solicitor General, Florida Office of the Attorney General.