Wednesday, October 25, 2006
We've got two Federal Election Commissioners, plus the general counsel from both the DNC and the Republican Governors Association. If anyone can tell you how current law affects the upcoming election, these guys are it!
See you in McDonough 203 at 2:00! As always, food will be provided.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Attorney General of Virginia
Today at 4:00
Federalist Society presents Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell. He will discuss the myriad issues facing Virginia and other states in the run-up to the November elections: emergency preparedness, the definition of marriage, property rights, crime, and more!
Join us on Wednesday, October 18 @ 4:00 in McDonough 205. As always, food and beverages will be served!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Donald Parsons, Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Courts of Chancery
Commentary by Professor Jeffrey Bauman
2:30 Today, Room 140
Food and drinks will be served!
Donald Parsons, Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Courts of Chancery
Commentary by Professor Jeffrey Bauman
2:30 Today, Room 140
Food and drinks will be served!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Join us for lunch today with Professor Sasha Volokh. He's brand new at GULC, doing great law & economics work, and fresh from clerkships with Kozinski, O'Connor, and Alito.
That's TODAY--Hotung 2000 @12:15. See you there!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Join us to hear the illustrous RICHARD POSNER. He will be speaking on the topic of "Judicial Self-Restraint." Award and address at 6:00 in Hart Auditorium, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres afterward in the Hotung lobby.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
On Wednesday, September 13th, at 6pm in Hart Auditorium (located at 1st and F Streets NW in Washington, DC), Georgetown University Law Center will host Serrin Foster, the President of Feminists for Life. Ms. Foster will give a lecture entitled "The Feminist Case AGAINST Abortion."
Her remarks will be followed by commentary by Julia Thornton who during her freshman year of college gave birth under challenging circumstances to a child who was subsequently adopted. Following remarks by both speakers, there will be a question and answer period. The event is co-sponsored by Progressive Alliance for Life, Campus Ministries, Christian Legal Society, Catholic Forum, and Law Republicans. A reception with food and beverages will follow the event.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Just down the street at the Capitol, this Friday (Sept. 8) during lunch, hear excellent representatives of both sides of the argument - Kevin Hasson, Founder of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty vs. Jill Morrison, Senior Counsel of the National Women's Law Center. Seating is limited, so learn more and RSVP here.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Mr. Jammal has a point. Someone should save me from my continued slip and slide toward the left!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Judge Silberman will speak about restructuring the FBI, an issue he is quite familiar with because he co-chaired the WMD Commission which made the recommendation he will be discussing. Afterwards, there will be a catered reception (including wine and non-alcoholic beverages) with the judge. Area attorneys and the judge’s former clerks have been invited as well.
Judge Silberman has had an extraordinarily wide-ranging career – from serving in the Labor Dep’t, then the Justice Dep’t, to being U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia, to serving as a bank executive, to teaching administrative law for 20 years, to (of course) his almost 21 years on the DC Circuit. He is an unexpectedly gracious professor who brings a wealth of context to the classes he teaches – and keeps students entertained in the process.
Both the Judge and Prof. Dinh are engaging, even witty, speakers and I can assure you that attending is well worth your time.
Monday, March 20, 2006
The dominant wing of the GOP tilted in favor of the banks, the great industries, and--perhaps more surprisingly--the feminist movement. Indeed, as early as 1904, the National Association of Manufacturers had formed an alliance with the feminists, for they shared an interest in moving women out of their homes and into the paid labor market. When the feminists reorganized as the National Woman's party in 1917, the manufacturers' association apparently provided secret financial support. More openly, Republican leaders embraced the feminists' proposed Equal Rights Amendment, first advanced in Congress in 1923. The GOP was also the first major party to endorse the ERA in its platform. ...
The Democrats also welcomed the "Maternalists" into their ranks, female activists who--while believing strongly in equal legal and political rights for women--also emphasized the natural differences between the sexes when it came to childbirth and child care. They favored federal programs for the training of girls in home economics and for "baby saving," meaning efforts to reduce infant and maternal mortality. They fiercely opposed working mothers and day care. Under this Maternalist influence, every New Deal domestic program openly assumed or quietly reinforced the goal of a "family wage" and the model American family of a breadwinning father, a homemaking mother, and an average of three or four children. In short, from 1912 until 1964, the Democrats were--on balance--the pro-family party. The Republicans, on balance, were the party of business interests and the feminists. ... Regardless of whether one agrees with the author's obvious preference for mothers staying at home, the political analysis is insightful and the presentation of policy tradeoffs and interests honest - the stresses average people face.
For the Republican party as reshaped by Reagan now saw pro-family social conservatives in political alliance with the interests of the banks and the large corporations. Main Street and Wall Street were under the same tent, which was a very new development. ...
Indeed, the GOP has done absolutely nothing to curb the egalitarian frenzy and the gender-role engineering set off by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and enshrined at the Pentagon. Equity feminism still rules these roosts.Or consider child care. A timely veto by Richard Nixon stopped the government's day care juggernaut in 1971, but only for a few months. The same year, Nixon signed a Republican-designed measure also backed by the National Organization for Women (heir to the GOP-favored National Woman's party). This law allowed families to deduct day care costs from their income tax, cleverly labeling them "business expenses." This has since grown into a credit worth between $1,500 and $2,100 in reduced taxes for households using day care. Even the wealthiest qualify. Meanwhile, families that sacrifice a second income to keep a mother or father at home receive nothing except a higher net tax. Bills to correct this gross inequity have been regularly introduced in Congress since 1996, most recently the Parents' Tax Relief Act of 2006 (H.R. 3080). However, the Republican leadership has ignored them. To underscore the lost opportunity here, note that conservatives in Canada rode to victory just a few weeks ago by embracing a plan to extend that nation's day care benefit to stay-at-home parents; not a whiff of this, though, in the recent State of the Union address.
The Democrats also welcomed the "Maternalists" into their ranks, female activists who--while believing strongly in equal legal and political rights for women--also emphasized the natural differences between the sexes when it came to childbirth and child care. They favored federal programs for the training of girls in home economics and for "baby saving," meaning efforts to reduce infant and maternal mortality. They fiercely opposed working mothers and day care. Under this Maternalist influence, every New Deal domestic program openly assumed or quietly reinforced the goal of a "family wage" and the model American family of a breadwinning father, a homemaking mother, and an average of three or four children. In short, from 1912 until 1964, the Democrats were--on balance--the pro-family party. The Republicans, on balance, were the party of business interests and the feminists. ...
Regardless of whether one agrees with the author's obvious preference for mothers staying at home, the political analysis is insightful and the presentation of policy tradeoffs and interests honest - the stresses average people face.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Epstein's prediction was that east-coast courts would be unfavorable to the Google Library project because that area is the seat of the publishing industry. Though Epstein specifically mentioned the suit in the Southern District of New York, my guess is that he'd classify Philly as east coast. Maybe Google will have an easier time that Epstein thought.
See the article on WSJ here.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The ABA's previous policy was a suggestion. This one would be a command - for those schools which wish to become or remain accredited. The merits of affirmative action are a separate question that whether the sole accreditor should be able to require such actions. And then there are the constitutional and legal considerations under Title VII and the Equal Protection Clause.
Come Monday, March 20, at noon and hear all about it!
Thomas Morgan, professor at George Washington, and former President of the Association of American Law Schools
David Bernstein, a George Mason professor whose Wall Street Journal article on the topic provoked a response from the ABA President (reported by bloggers here and here for those without WSJ access).
Roger Clegg, the President of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
Jim Freeman, staff attorney at the Advancement Project.
And our own professor Peter Edelman.
Here is the markup version of the proposal. Some excerpts:
"Consistent with sound educational policy and the Standards, a law school shall demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to having a faculty and staff that are diverse with respect to gender, race and ethnicity."
"The requirements of a constitutional provision or statute that purports to prohibit consideration of gender, race, ethnicity or national origin in admissions or employment decisions is not a justification for a school’s non-compliance with Standard 211." (emphasis added)
Saturday, March 11, 2006
"The other day Justice Breyer told an Alabama audience that the justices discuss cases more under Roberts than they did under Rehnquist. Roberts is surely responsible for that, and it marks an important change.
Justices Stevens and Scalia have both complained over the years about the conferences held on the Fridays of weeks with oral arguments. It is then that the justices at least tentatively decide cases, and yet under Rehnquist the justices typically did little more than declare their votes. For Roberts to invite discussion means that Roberts himself has to come to the conference table fully prepared. That's not hard to imagine. But the other justices have to come prepared as well, or risk embarrassment.
Over time, the Roberts effect may produce not only larger majorities and more stable rulings but also a Court that, thanks to conferences that really are conferences, pays more attention to working out the relevant law and less to mere politics. The distinction between law and politics is, of course, precisely what Roberts (and Samuel Alito) insisted upon during their confirmation hearings, and it lies at the heart of judicial conservatism. The prospect of the continuing advancement of that philosophy is a happy one, and a reason to say hail to this particular chief."
Sunday, March 05, 2006
"It's a federation of seven somewhat autonomous sheikdoms—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah, and Fujairah. Under the country's constitution, each emirate maintains principal control of its own oil revenues and other natural resources. They turn over a set percentage of their revenues to the federal government, which takes care of defense, diplomacy, education, public health, banking, and several other concerns for everyone. But that's the extent of it: The constitution gives each emirate explicit and exclusive control over any matter not specifically assigned to the federation. For example, a conservative emirate like Sharjah has the right to institute its especially strict code of decency, which prohibits bathing suits, midriffs, and skirts above the knee."
Unlike some federal systems (eg Russia), this one has real teeth: the component parts have bargaining power with the federal government. Japan is a unitary state, so by contrast there is little possibility of experimentation regionally; the Japanese generally must get fresh policy ideas from abroad.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
Over the course of the week, it struck me that the panelists who favored extensive application of international law focused exclusively on the most formal aspects of the law: treaties, accords, etc. They argued that the US has an obligation to adhere to these agreements because we believe in the rule of law. You sign a contract, you honor it. That's a great argument to make to Federalists.
But rule of law depends on law being knowable, procedural, and definite. No wonder that the internationalists talk only of treaties and accords. In the case of agreements negotiated by our elected officials, I am very persuaded by their claims that strict adherence is both a legal obligation and good policy. We follow legitimate law partially because it's the right thing to do, regardless of whether anyone will enforce it against us; we also do it because honoring our agreements bolsters our reputation in the long run. The same arguments apply to nations as well as individuals--but only with respect to defined obligations voluntarily undertaken.
Their argument doesn't hold for custom, the court of opinion, the law of nations, or haphazard judicial consideration of foreign law in interpreting our Constitution. The part of international law that stirs controversy isn't usually treaties. I think what we're usually arguing about is the piecemeal importation of ill-defined customary law that we don't get a chance to vote on. It's the customary fluff that lacks institutions to legitimately create or enforce it. By applying that part of international law here, we undermine the procedural safeguards that allow us to protect ourselves. Americans haven't had clear input into it. We don't trust it or respect it, and we have no reason to do so.
So although the rule-of-law argument is alluring, I think the argument only goes so far. It just doesn't extend to the gritty issues.
It was a great conference. I hope you all attend next year.
Friday, February 24, 2006
"Environmental law clinics have sued the army, cities, foresters, petrochemical producers, the EPA, landfills, farmers, and freighters, among many other evildoers. But one famous environmental fight deliciously demonstrated just how specious is the clinics’ “we’re representing the poor” justification. In 1997, Tulane’s environmental law clinic barred a planned plastics plant from a predominantly black township between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The clinic claimed that it was fighting “environmental racism,” but many town residents, backed by the NAACP, had worked for years to win the Shintech company’s new PVC plant for their parish. After Shintech threw in the towel, Louisiana’s governor, furious at the loss of jobs, persuaded the state supreme court to change the rules governing when law students can represent clients. Under the new guidelines, students could represent community groups only if 51 percent of the group’s members had incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines."
"You would have thought the court had required law professors and law partners to donate a portion of their income to poor relief. The legal elite rose up in outrage at the requirement that law clinics actually do what they claim they’re doing: represent the indigent. NYU’s Brennan Center, the New York firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the Association of American Law Schools, the American Association of University Professors, UC Berkeley’s Center for Clinical Education, and the ACLU sued the Louisiana Supreme Court for violating professors’ and students’ First Amendment rights. With unlawyerlike illogic, David Udell, director of the Brennan Center’s poverty program, railed: “Poor communities in Louisiana still virtually have nowhere to obtain justice.” In the same spirit, the Association of American Law Schools protested that the Louisiana rules “will effectively deny law students the opportunity to provide access to justice for the working poor and for many poor community organizations in Louisiana.”
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
"Oral argument in the case, Gonzales v. Carhart , No. 05-380, is likely to take place during the run-up to the 2006 congressional elections"
On the contrary, I'd be surprised if it wasn't scheduled for later, in November, to avoid the politics. In any case, the decision won't come down till 2007.
Betting seems to be that O'Connor's departure tips the balance on this issue and has triggered the granting of cert.
I speculate that another opening will occur on the Court soon after the elections. Most likely Stevens. Given the obvious willingness of the Court to revisit this law, and if the Republicans retain the Senate (likely), can Roe long stand?
Friday, February 17, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
He is in fine form... check out particularly the last bit. Is law possible without God to furnish right and wrong?
The author of this tome seems to be seriously pondering the bon mot of Voltaire:
Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer. (If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.)
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
This false filibuster also increases the probability of Chaffee voting against Alito...
Thursday, January 26, 2006
It may seem cliché that as the president of the Georgetown Law Center Federalist Society, I would respond negatively to a protest by liberal students against George W. Bush’s Attorney General. On the other hand, I do not support much of the Bush administration’s conduct in the war on terror. For the last year and a half I have worked for Georgetown Professor Neal Katyal on the Hamdan case, challenging Bush’s use of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. I also probably agree with the protestors that the Bush administration’s actions in this warrant-less wiretapping are a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act- and maybe the Fourth Amendment.
My agreement with the protestors’ underlying policy position only increases my dismay at their conduct. By standing with their backs to Alberto Gonzales, by holding up a sign with a misquoted Benjamin Franklin statement (which CNN.com decorously labeled a “paraphrase”), by stomping out like petulant children with their black hoods on - the students embarrassed themselves, their cause, and the Law Center. Rather than showing Georgetown Law as a school where different opinions are respected - they made it seem like a place where people have made up their minds and will turn their backs on anyone who dares disagree.
Merely disagreeing with the administration does not give good reason to act disrespectfully. The school invited Judge Gonzales as a guest to our campus and he addressed us on one of the most pressing issues of the day. Many students do not agree with what he had to say- that is unexceptional. The school regularly brings left-leaning speakers to campus with whom I strongly disagree. When those speakers come, I listen respectfully and then challenge them on the facts and on the law. That is the mature and rational approach that we have been taught in Georgetown Law classrooms. We have not been taught to turn our backs and walk out of speeches simply because we do not like the message.
One question really bothered me after I saw the protest- what reasons could lead otherwise intelligent people to act in this manner? My best guess is that there is a romantic/symbolic connection to the protests of the past- when brave dissidents fought against racism and a system that did not allow their voices to be heard. These modern protestors adopted the 1960s civil disobedience paradigm without understanding the predicates that made those protests necessary. They do not understand that the reason that people turn to civil disobedience is precisely because they cannot get the same respect that Gonzales willingly offered by coming to Georgetown and by having his speech rebutted by a panel that challenged and dissected his position after he spoke.
Consider what occurred here- the Attorney General of the United States came to a predominantly liberal/hostile law school to put the administration’s argument in front of the people- just as he should in a free, democratic country. As he spoke, he knew that the next voice would be perhaps the most articulate and powerful advocate of civil liberties in the United States today, Professor David Cole. This is how the system is supposed to work.
Professor Cole, perhaps out of loyalty-but also, I hope, a little out of embarrassment for the students- praised the protestors: “I am proud of the very civil, civil disobedience that was shown here today.” Unfortunately, there was nothing in these students’ conduct that should have made him proud. Cole sat on the stage, listened respectfully, responded carefully and convinced some listeners that his position was the correct one. The protestors convinced no one of their rightness of their cause. Their masked, martyr-like appearance, with their dramatic (if misquoted) poster contrasted poorly with the carefully parsing of the FISA statute and the arguments about the extent of the President’s Article II powers that the panel discussed after the walk out.
The protestors styled themselves as heirs of dissidents of the past- but no one wanted to drag them away, no one considered turning water hoses on them, no one tried to run over them with tanks- no one cared about their empty gesture. They were turning their backs and walking out of exactly the kind of event that all those protestors of the past were demanding- an open dialogue where the powerful had to come to them- a dialogue where they could voice their reasoned disagreement with the authorities’ conduct in front of their fellow citizens.
Of course, the protesting students were well within their rights to act as they did. It is their constitutional right to use their symbolic speech to disrespect the Attorney General, to embarrass Georgetown Law Center and to marginalize their own opinions. As a person who probably agrees with them on this issue and as a Georgetown Law student, I wish they had not done it. Not only did they trivialize their point of view, but they showed themselves as closed-minded, disrespectful and immature. It was not the image of Georgetown Law students I wanted broadcast on a national stage.
this article has also been published at watchblog
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Once you've conceded that members of the Fed Soc are not bigots or even closet bigots, then one must find another politically sexy vehicle of attack. What? No clue. Abortion is not really a clear winner (less and less so...) and most liberal jurisprudential positions are unpopular political losers: expansive view of Court powers; facile redefinition of constitutional terms (for instance using foreign law); social engineering from the bench.
And intellectual opposition to originalism and judicial restraint is increasingly scarce: how will Democrats put into action her suggestion to address the implications of federalist jurisprudence?
Suggestion: give up and, with wise heads such as Akhil Amar, join the debate.