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.
The protection of conscience for health care providers has, in some arguments, been pitted against the right of an individual to receive a health care product or service. This past February, the Obama Administration revised earlier conscience clause regulations enacted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Bush Administration. What are the practical implications of these revised regulations? How will the federal government now handle complaints filed by health care providers who allege that they have been compelled to violate their moral or religious beliefs? These and other questions will be addressed by our panel of experts. Featuring Dr. M. Gregg Bloche of the Georgetown-Johns Hopkins Joint Program in Law and Public Health at Georgetown University Law Center; Dr. Farr A. Curlin of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medical Center; Prof. Robert A. Destro of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law; Prof. B. Jessie Hill of Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and Prof. Mark L. Rienzi of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law as the moderator.
On February 22, 2011, the Iowa Lawyers Chapter hosted this event on "The Future of Judicial Selection in Iowa" at the Iowa State Bar Association Headquarters. Panelists included Guy Cook, Elected Commissioner for the Iowa State Judicial Nominating Commission and Senior Partner at Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C.; Rep. Chris Hagenow of the House Judiciary Committee and Partner at Whitaker Hagenow GBMG; Rep. Kurt Swaim, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Partner at Swaim Law Firm; Prof. Stephen J. Ware of the University of Kansas School of Law; and O. Kay Henderson, News Director and Chief Statehouse Correspondent for Radio Iowa, as the moderator. Introduction by Adam C. Gregg of BrownWinick and Vice President of the Iowa Lawyers Chapter.
On March 10, 2011, the Jacksonville Lawyers Chapter and the Florida Coastal Student Chapter co-hosted an event featuring Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute. The topic of Mr. Bandow's discussion was "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act". Prof. James Woodruff of Florida Coastal School of Law gave the introduction.
On January 18, President Obama announced through a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that he would issue an executive order that would begin a review to "make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation" and would review "the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive." The Op-ed is available here. This was followed by the release of the Executive Order, available here. Our panel of experts will examine and discuss the new direction outlined by the Administration. Panelists include Hon. Ronald A. Cass of Cass & Associates, PC; Hon. E. Donald Elliott of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; Hon. Sally Katzen of Podesta Group; Prof. Jeffrey S. Lubbers of the American University Washington College of Law; and Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as the moderator.
The Nashville Lawyers Chapter hosted this panel discussion on "Attorney General Selection in Tennessee" on March 3, 2011. Speakers included Senator Mae Beavers of the Tennessee State Senate; Hon. Paul Summers of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP and Former Tennessee Attorney General; Mr. Ammon Smartt of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP and Author of "A Report on Tennessee Attorney General Selection"; and Mr. Justin Adams of Trauger & Tuke as the moderator.
Last year, in its "Honest Services Cases" the Supreme Court purported to confine the statute making it a crime to defraud another of "the intangible right to honest services" to the "core offenses" of bribery and kickbacks, discarding conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty as bases for prosecution. Has the Court succeeded? Is "bribery" in public corruption cases still too vague a concept to eliminate prosecutions that risk turning politics into a crime? What are the federalism implications of such prosecutions? Does the honest services statute have any remaining utility in the commercial context? Does it have any utility at all, or do other criminal statutes prohibiting bribery, public program fraud, extortion, and kickbacks fulfill its goals? Panelists included Mr. John Elwood of Vinson & Elkins & former Assistant Solicitor General of the United States; Mr. Ronald Safer of Schiff Hardin LLP and co-counsel in US v. Conrad Black et al.; Mr. Brian Murray of Jones Day and petitioner's counsel in Weyhrauch v. United States; and Mr. Gil Soffer, of Katten Muchin Rosenman & former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States as the moderator.
This panel will assess the role of the courts in an uncertain economic climate. Given the financial troubles plaguing the United States, how much emphasis should the judiciary place on the constitutional protection of private property? In a difficult economic climate, should a judge's empathy for those in financial distress affect his rulings? If a state defaults on its obligations, what is the appropriate role of the courts? Should a refusal to pay constitute a violation of the Takings Clause? On a broader level, to what extent do interpretive methods have financial consequences? How much stock do investors put in stability in judicial reasoning when choosing where to place their money? Does our current law protect private property too much or not enough to maximize social utility, and should that be the standard by which we judge the legal protection of property rights? Does the experience of other countries offer any lessons in this area? The Federalist Society's Student Division presented this panel at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 26, 2011. Panelists included Dean Paul G. Mahoney of the University of Virginia School of Law; Prof. Paul Stephan of the University of Virginia School of Law; Prof. Todd Zywicki of George Mason University School of Law; and Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as the moderator. Introduction by Mr. Joseph D'Agostino, Speakers and Panels Vice Chair for the University of Virginia Federalist Society.
With the recent passage of President Barack Obama's health care legislation, it is time to reassess whether it is possible to have a welfare state that meshes with the American constitutional tradition. Is the enduring presence of government entitlements antithetical to our system of government or is there a way to accommodate these programs without changing the historical American relationship between the individual and the government? Will the growing role of government in the United States cause the country to increasingly mirror Europe or can the nation chart an alternate course? If the latter, what would it look like? Does the U.S. Constitution's relative lack of positive rights compared to its counterparts around the world pose problems for proponents of an American welfare state? Is the American suspicion toward state entitlements the product of a longstanding philosophical commitment or the result of historical contingency? Are there currently any constitutional limits on the growth of the welfare state? Should there be? The Federalist Society's Student Division presented this panel at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 26, 2011. Panelists included Prof. William P. Marshall of the University of North Carolina School of Law; Prof. Jeremy Rabkin of George Mason University School of Law; Prof. Neomi Rao of George Mason University School of Law; and Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit as the moderator. Introduction by Mr. Matthew Glover, Speakers and Panels Vice Chair for the University of Virginia Federalist Society.
Many politicians have blamed business for the current recession, leading to additional measures by the U.S. government to regulate the market. Some critics argue that the Federal Reserve's missteps in managing the monetary system created an economic bubble. That bubble pervaded the real estate market in part through relaxed lending standards promulgated by the government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. When the bubble inevitably deflated, the crisis spread to the general economy, resulting in high unemployment and negative or slow economic growth. But will the measures the government took to stem the crisis and regulate the market reduce economic growth in the long term? John Allison will outline the fundamental economic and philosophical solutions to these problems in his presentation. The Federalist Society's Student Division hosted this speech at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 26, 2011. Mr. Howard Husock, Vice President for Policy Research at the Manhattan Institute, gave the introduction.
This panel will assess American federalism as a competitive institution that offers a marketplace of state regulatory regimes. With the recession impacting some states more heavily than others, it is time to ask whether interstate competition is good for the nation. Should state-by-state approaches to issues such as healthcare, financial regulation, environmental protection, and same-sex marriage be encouraged? Does competition among the states lead to the best outcome or a race to the bottom? How will events such as the recent recession and healthcare reform impact the marketplace of state regulation? The Federalist Society's Student Division presented this panel at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 26, 2011. Panelists included Prof. Jonathan Adler of Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Prof. Clayton Gillette of New York University School of Law; Prof. John McGinnis of Northwestern University School of Law; Prof. Louis Michael Seidman of Georgetown University Law Center; and Hon. Gregory G. Katsas, Partner at Jones Day, as the moderator. Introduction by Miss Lauren Prieb, Speakers and Panels Vice Chair for the University of Virginia Federalist Society.
Justice Holmes' dissent in Lochner v. New York is well-known for the statement, "[A] constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the State or of laissez faire." But is this belief consistent with the original Constitution? To what extent did the ideas of thinkers such as Adam Smith shape the founders' understanding of human nature and public virtue? In what ways do their economic and philosophical commitments continue to shape our constitutional government today? Are capitalism and a commitment to civic virtue complementary or antagonistic? Does the Constitution promote a virtuous citizenry or is it simply a set of political structures that can accommodate a pluralistic society? At a time when the virtues of capitalism are often called into question, it will be useful to examine the precise place of this theory in the foundational structures of our government. The Federalist Society's Student Division presented this panel at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 25, 2011. Panelists included Prof. James Ely of Vanderbilt University Law School; Prof. Renee Lettow Lerner of The George Washington University Law School; Prof. Nelson Lund of George Mason University School of Law; Prof. G. Edward White of the University of Virginia School of Law; and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Introduction by Mr. Brinton Lucas, Symposium Vice Chair for the University of Virginia Federalist Society.
Since West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish and the end of the Lochner Era, the Supreme Court has adhered to the belief that "[t]he Constitution does not speak of freedom of contract." But is this commitment consistent with an original understanding of the Constitution? This panel will address whether the Constitution permits the extensive state regulation of economic affairs. Even if Lochner as a decision was illegitimate, has the Supreme Court retreated too far in protecting economic liberties from state interference? Is the Constitution a thoroughly libertarian document or is it compatible with a high degree of state regulation? Does either understanding come with any limiting principles? If so, what is their source? In any event, is it desirable for a constitution to constrain the power of the state in the area of redistribution and economic regulation? The Federalist Society's Student Division presented this panel at the 2011 Annual Student Symposium on February 25, 2011. Opening remarks were delivered by University of Virginia Federalist Society President Ben Massey and Prof. Lillian R. BeVier of the University of Virginia School of Law. Panelists included Prof. Randy Barnett of Georgetown University Law Center; Prof. Jeffrey Rosen of The George Washington University Law School; and Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as the moderator. The Panel was introduced by Mr. Devin DeBacker, Speakers and Panels Vice Chair for the University of Virginia Federalist Society.