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 Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller recognized for the first time in our history that individual Americans have a right to gun ownership. Justice Scalia's opinion in Heller is widely regarded as a signal success for his originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. This panel will assess Heller's contribution to the law. How originalist was the opinion? Have the lower courts been faithful in applying Heller to issues outside its narrow holding? Is the Court likely to read Heller broadly or narrowly in the future? -- This panel was held on November 18, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Mr. Noel J. Francisco, Partner, Jones Day; Prof. Nelson Lund, University Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Prof. Michael O'Shea, Professor of Law, Oklahoma City University School of Law; and Prof. Allan Rostron, University of Missouri - Kansas City Law School. Moderator: Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. Introduction: Hon. Gail Heriot, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law.
Senator Ted Cruz delivered this address at the 2016 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 18, 2016. He was introduced by Dean Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society.
Governor Nikki Haley delivered this address at the 2016 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 18, 2016. She was introduced by Alan Gocha of ETC Capital. Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President of The Federalist Society, introduced Mr. Gocha.
Justice Scalia believed that the rule of law required a law of rules rather than of balancing tests. He favored rules (like the requirement the President be at least 35 years old) over standards (a requirement that the president be “a mature individual") because they lend themselves more to principled judicial enforcement. As a result, Justice Scalia revolutionized the caselaw he inherited from the Burger Court by eliminating as many balancing tests as possible and replacing them with rules. An example is his favoring of a rule of viewpoint neutrality in freedom of expression cases over separate treatment of various categories of speech. He believed that rules over standards promote the rule of law because they guarantee that judges will decide like cases alike rather than deciding each case on its facts using a totality of the circumstances test. Justice Scalia was so committed to rules over standards that he refused to enforce the non-delegation doctrine because to do so he would have had to employ a balancing test standard, however, in his last year on the bench, there were signs that Justice Scalia was moving away from this position. Justice Scalia also favored rules over standards because they limit lower federal and state court discretion in applying Supreme Court precedents as compared to balancing tests. The reemergence of rules over standards in Supreme Court opinions is another of Justice Scalia's legacies. -- This panel was held on November 18, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University; Hon. Frank Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; Prof. John C. Harrison, James Madison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law; and Prof. Victoria Nourse, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. Moderator: Hon. William Francis Kuntz II, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society.
Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the Keynote Address at the 2016 National Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner on November 17, 2016. In keeping with the theme of the convention, Justice Thomas discussed the jurisprudence and legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia. -- Justice Thomas was introduced by Mr. Eugene Scalia, a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and son of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Prior to the introduction, Mr. Eugene Meyer, President of the Federalist Society, announced that from now on the Annual Dinner will be known as the Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner.
In his seminal decision in Employment Division v. Smith in 1990, Justice Antonin Scalia held that the First Amendment typically does not authorize courts to grant religious exemptions from generally applicable laws. This decision altered the 1963 Sherbert v. Verner test which had given courts the power to strike down any law that (1) if it substantially burdened religious practice, was not (2) based on a compelling government interest, and (3) narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. Rather, Scalia said that religious adherents should look to the political process for accommodation, and he consistently supported the constitutionality of such accommodations. In response to Smith, a primary means of such accommodation has been the passage of state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), which codify the Sherbert test. However, in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges (or Hobby Lobby), RFRAs have become the focus of intense political controversy. What do these laws actually do in practice? Are they a good idea? Would a different approach to protect religious liberty be better? -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University Fowler School of Law; Senior Fellow, The Claremont Institute; Prof. Richard W. Garnett, Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor, Concurrent Professor of Political Science, Notre Dame Law School; Prof. William P. Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law; and Prof. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life, University of Notre Dame. Moderator: Prof. Michael M. Uhlmann, Professor of Politics and Policy/SPE, Claremont Graduate University. Introduction: Mr. William L. Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life.
Justice Scalia's originalism had an important impact on our nation's criminal law. While sometimes overlooked, his commitment to the rights of criminal defendants, as rooted in the Constitution, is indisputable. He forthrightly addressed new Fourth Amendment issues including technological advances in surveillance, revived the Sixth Amendment's jury and confrontation clauses, remained mindful of both common law and substantive criminal law concerns, and in many instances swayed his fellow justices. This panel will delve into these areas and discuss if and how Justice Scalia's work will continue to affect future Court decisions. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Rachel E. Barkow, Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and Faculty Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, New York University School of Law; Prof. Stephanos Bibas, Professor of Law and Criminology and Director, Supreme Court Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Prof. Orin S. Kerr, Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School; Mr. Paul J. Larkin, Jr., Senior Legal Research Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation; and Hon. Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court. Moderator: Hon. David R. Stras, Minnesota Supreme Court. Introduction: Mr. John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation.
Justice Scalia often said that, while he always tried to get the Bill of Rights cases correct, he cared most about the structural constitutional cases. Once or twice each summer, he even taught a course called Separation of Powers. His opinions on the structural issues of separation of powers and federalism often cited The Federalist Papers. He routinely urged law students and lawyers to read the whole of The Federalist. The authors of the Federalist Papers placed primordial importance on separated powers, both among branches of the federal government and between federal and state governments. With the separation of powers both horizontal and vertical increasingly in doubt, it is particularly important to understand the Federalist's treatment of constitutional structure. This panel, therefore, looks at Justice Scalia's Federalist focus on the importance of separation of powers and federalism as structural protections of liberty. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. John S. Baker, Jr., Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Hon. Ron DeSantis, U.S. House of Representatives, Florida 6th District; Mr. Roger Pilon, Vice President, Legal Affairs, Cato Institute; Hon. Luther Strange III, Attorney General, Alabama; and Prof. Jonathan Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law; Director of the Environmental Law Advocacy Center; Executive Director, Project for Older Prisoners, The George Washington University Law School. Moderator: Hon. William H. Pryor Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.
The “gig" or “on demand" economy may be the fastest growing segment of our economy, with 22.4 million consumers spending $56.6 billion annually. By 2020, according to some studies, 7.6 million Americans will be working as independent contractors in the gig economy. At the same time, however, the U.S. Department of Labor has narrowed standards for classifying workers as independent contractors, and entered enforcement partnerships with 30 States looking to find misclassified independent contractors in order to increase workers' compensation, unemployment and employment tax revenue. A battle has begun between regulators and entrepreneurs, between independent contractor and employee status. This panel will explore who should win, who will win, and whether there is a third way – creating a new legal category, the “independent worker," for those who occupy the grey area between employee and independent contractor. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Hon. Mark Brnovich, Attorney General, Arizona; Mr. Mark Floyd, Senior Director and Global Relations Lead, Uber Technologies Inc.; Mr. Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs, AFL-CIO. Moderator: Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.
In the past six years, there has been a momentous shift in what can be patented. In four separate cases, the Supreme Court embraced a more muscular approach in enforcing the basic requirement under § 101 of the Patent Act that only certain types of inventions can be patented, impacting inventive activities ranging from biotech to high-tech to business methods. As a result, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, trial courts, and the Patent Office have responded by sharply restricting the scope of “patentable subject matter," invalidating issued patents and rejecting patent applications at record rates. -- This change has been both consequential and controversial. Inventions that once were patentable in key innovation industries, such as cutting-edge diagnostic tests made possible by the biotech revolution and highly complex computer software in the high-tech sector, are no longer eligible for patent protection. Some welcome this development, seeing it as freeing up basic tools of research and preventing abusive assertions of patents against infringers. Others have criticized this development, identifying lost incentives to invest millions in R&D necessary to produce technological innovation and lost value in existing patents given pervasive uncertainty in the patent system as to what is and is not protectable. -- The lack of certainty is something both sides of this important legal and policy debate have found troublesome. Many agree that the Supreme Court's current patent-eligibility jurisprudence is confusing and murky. The Court's legal test for assessing patentable subject matter has proven unpredictable in its application by courts, by patent examiners, and by the administrative review board at the Patent Office (the Patent Trial and Appeal Board). -- One proposed solution has been to simply abolish § 101, the provision that sets forth the requirement that only an invention comprising a “machine, manufacture, process, or composition of matter" is patentable. The argument is that this provision is an antiquated holdover from the first patent statutes that did not have the granular requirements that now exist in the modern Patent Act, ensuing that only novel, nonobvious, useful and fully disclosed inventions are patentable. This panel will consider whether such a radical move is warranted, whether the Supreme Court's patentable subject matter jurisprudence is on the right track, or perhaps whether any problems in patentable subject matter jurisprudence are fixable by the Court or by Congress. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Mr. David J. Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Prof. Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law and Co-Director of Academic Programs, Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Mr. Mark A. Perry, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; and Prof. Joshua D. Sarnoff, Professor of Law, DePaul College of Law. Moderator: Hon. Susan G. Braden, U.S Court of Federal Claims.
In his confirmation hearing, Justice Scalia told the Senators that, as a law school student, he had never really understood antitrust law; later, he learned that he shouldn't have understood it, because it did not make any sense then. It should come as no surprise, that in his subsequent time on the Court, Justice Scalia strove to rectify that problem, and succeeded through clearly written majority decisions that changed the direction of jurisprudence on monopolization (U.S. v. Trinko) and class certification in massive antitrust and other business class actions (Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Comcast v. Behrens), and powerful dissents. As a modern intellectual leader of the "Chicago school" of economics, Justice Scalia played an important role in shaping the Court's approach to antitrust law and hence development of the law in the lower courts. It is a good time to consider the impact of his legacy, including how lasting those decisions will be, whether and how the course of antitrust jurisprudence could change and who will take his place in the Court on these issues. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; Ms. Deborah A. Garza, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP; and Prof. C. Scott Hemphill, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law. Moderator: Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
In addition to being a brilliant legal thinker, Justice Scalia was widely regarded as a masterful legal writer, perhaps the best of his generation. His gifted prose and frequent use of humor and sarcasm made Justice Scalia's opinions -- whether majority or dissent -- must-reads for lawyers, judges, professors, and law students alike. Commentators from across the philosophical spectrum admired Justice Scalia's writing skill. Just a year before his passing, for example, the New Republic, dubbed Scalia “the foremost living practitioner of performative legal prose." This panel discussion will examine the impact Justice Scalia's writing had on American jurisprudence. Aside from the force of his arguments, what impact did his writing style have on the opinions written by his colleagues on the Supreme Court and judges on lower courts, the briefs filed by practicing lawyers, and even the way law students learned the law? Our panelists will bring a variety of perspectives to this question: former clerk, judge, professors, and critics. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School; Prof. Toni M. Massaro, Regents' Professor, Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law and Dean Emerita, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; Mr. Kannon Shanmugam, Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP; and Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. Moderator: Hon. Joan L. Larsen, Michigan Supreme Court. 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.
Until 1986, most conservative lawyers favored following the original intentions of the Framers of the Constitution rather than the original public meaning of the text of the laws they wrote. Justice Scalia changed all of that with a brilliant speech given at the Justice Department just days before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia argued that it is the laws that Congress makes, and not the legislative history that accompanies them, that the courts must follow. He argued similarly in constitutional cases that we are bound by the texts that our dead ancestors enacted and not by their unenacted intentions and policy views. Since 1986, Justice Scalia's view has so thoroughly swept the field that few proponents of original intention and of following legislative history remain. The triumph of text over intent and over legislative history is one of Justice Scalia's legacies. -- This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC. -- Featuring: Prof. Thomas W. Merrill, Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Prof. Michael S. Paulsen, Distinguished University Chair and Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law; Prof. Saikrishna Prakash, James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law; and Prof. Lawrence B. Solum, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. Moderator: Hon. Sandra Segal Ikuta, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s classic depiction of the abuse of power, political assassination and intrigue – a plot that would rival any episode of House of Cards or Scandal. The play offers a valuable and timeless springboard for a discussion of the use of executive power in 21st century America – and its future under a Clinton or Trump presidency. -- The Shakespeare & the Law series features a staged reading of the abridged play performed by prominent judges, attorneys, journalists, political strategists and scholars, followed by a panel discussion that explores the implications of the work in the era of Obama, Clinton and Trump. Presented in partnership with the Federalist Society, McCarter & English LLP, and Foley Hoag LLP. -- This event took place at the Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center of the Arts in Boston, MA on September 28, 2016. -- Participants include: David J. Barron, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals; Jennifer C. Braceras, Attorney and Editor of NewBostonPost; Martha Coakley, Former Attorney General of Massachusetts; Nancy Gertner, Retired Judge, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Michael S. Greco, Partner at K&L Gates and past present of the American Bar Association; Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts; Jeff Jacoby, Op-Ed Columnist for The Boston Globe; Daniel J. Kelly, Chairman of the Boston Lawyers Division of the Federalist Society and a partner at McCarter & English; George A. O’Toole, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts; Dean Reuter, Vice President & Director of the Practice Groups of the Federalist Society; Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts; F. Dennis Saylor IV, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts; Douglas P. Woodlock, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts; and Rya W. Zobel, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts.
On September 27, 2016, the Georgetown Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, in conjunction with the national office's Faculty Division, held an event on Supreme Court advocacy and the Affordable Care Act cases. -- Featuring: Prof. Josh Blackman, Associate Professor of Law, Houston College of Law; Mr. Michael Carvin, Partner, Jones Day; Prof. Martin Lederman, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Ms. Erin Murphy, Partner, Bancroft, PLLC. Moderator: Mr. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, New York Times. Introduction: Mr. Michael Munoz, President, Georgetown Student Chapter.