Thursday, December 16, 2010

End of the Year Survey

Thank you to everyone for a great Fall semester. Please take a minute to fill out a quick, anonymous survey evaluating our Fall events and expressing your interest in Spring event topics.

Texas Says: Don't Be a Loser

WSJ had this editorial yesterday about Gov. Rick Perry's push for further statewide tort reform that includes implementing a loser pays system and preventing judges from creating new causes of action. An excellent study of loser pays by the Manhattan Institute's Marie Gryphon is here. Comments?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DC Lawyers Luncheon This Friday

This Friday the DC Lawyers Chapter is hosting AEI's Michael S. Greve on "The Failing States of America-Is Bankruptcy an Option?" Register here.

DATE: 12/17/10
TIME: Noon-1:30
PLACE: Tony Cheng's (Gallery Place)
COST: $15 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Holawdays

A California judge recognized Festivus as a legitimate religion in order to give a convicted drug felon special meals in jail. Story here. It's always good to hear about judges taking their jobs seriously.

Cuccinelli 1, Obama 0

Obama just got an early lump of coal in his stocking. The penalty for not buying healthcare has been deemed unconstitutional in district court. Forbes has a summary of the Obamacare ruling here. Washington Post here. Judge Henry E. Hudson just became infamous.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Study Break: Future of Federalism

Will Wilkinson has an interesting piece for the Economist on a "Repeal Amendment" that would give a majority of states the power to overturn federal law. If that sounds like a Randy Barnett idea...that's because it is. According the article, "the amendment is the brainchild of Randy Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown University." Thoughts? Ilya Somin has some at Volokh. 

Good luck to everyone taking Barnett's Con Law II final. Talking about this amendment in an essay question probably won't hurt your grade. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Justice Stevens on 60 Minutes

Justice Stevens gives his opinions on Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, Padilla, and Babe Ruth's called shot. He also takes the cameras behind the scenes to the Supreme Court library and robing room. Even Justice Souter makes a cameo appearance to praise Stevens' work. Video here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Georgetown Law = Beautiful

In case TSA pat downs get you upset over Thanksgiving break, or if you are just missing the way campus looks during Fall, this video is sure to cheer you up.

The clock tower gets a lot of attention and the music sounds like an old Nintendo game soundtrack, but overall it is a good film. The handshake at 1:05 is the second strangest handshake of 2010.

30th Annual National Student Convention

It is time to sign up for the National Student Convention in Charlottesville, VA on February 25 & 26, 2011. The topic this year is "Capitalism, Markets, and the Constitution." Register to attend and pay here. Transportation is partially funded but hotel accommodations are your own responsibility. Click on the image above for full details. Info about Charlottesville and area hotels is at the bottom of this page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fed Soc Annual Lawyers Dinner Recap

Last Thursday, Justice Scalia was interviewed by CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford. Above the Law has a nice summary here. Special thanks to Professor Randy Barnett for inviting some Georgetown Law students to attend. Check here for video and audio from the entire National Lawyers Convention.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Federalist Society Lawyers Convention

The Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention is this weekend and in case you cannot make it, Josh Blackman is streaming some of the events on his blog.

UPDATE: The Federalist Society is also live blogging the event at Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett was on a health care panel this morning. Recap here

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Charlie Rangel Needs a Lawyer, Pockets are Empty

Anyone needing some pro bono hours could lend a hand to Mr. Rangel. His previous counsel stepped down after Mr. Rangel racked up huge bills that he probably cannot pay. From the AmLaw Daily:

On Monday, Rangel complained that the two-year investigation caused him to rack up a legal tab of nearly $2 million, with another $1 million in fees for the House hearing alone, the Times reports. After failing to convince his Zuckerman lawyers of his ability to pay them, the firm withdrew its representation earlier this fall.

The story is here. Be sure to watch the video as well if you have 12 spare minutes. Rangel, who has a law degree from St. John's, does not do a great job representing himself. He is not sure whether he raises a motion to continue even with some help from ethics panelist Congressman G.K. Butterfield D-NC. Exasperated, Butterfield makes his own motion to continue which was subsequently denied.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is Litigation Finance a Good Idea?

The NYT had a good article today about the growth of litigation finance in funding plaintiffs' lawsuits. Article is here. The Chamber of Commerce, per the Institute for Legal Reform does not seem thrilled with this trend.

UPDATE: Professor Epstein offers his take on the subject here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Richard Redding: November 17


On Wednesday November 17th from 4-5pm, Professor Richard Redding will be talking about the ill effects of political correctness in American academia. The presentation will also highlight the costs of the lack of intellectual diversity in the professoriate. Professor Redding is an editor and contributor to the most important book on the subject. The event is McD 206. As always, free food and drinks.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TONIGHT: Veterans Day Panel

Please join the Military Law Society as we honor Veterans Day with a panel and happy hour reception. The Veterans Day Panel will include Georgetown Law students who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11. Panelists will share their experiences and opinions on military and veterans issues. Pizza and soda will be provided at the event. A happy hour reception will follow the panel at the Billy Goat.
Please promote this event amongst your friends, classmates, and professors. This is the most meaningful event MLS puts on every year.

What: Veterans Day Panel
Who: Georgetown Law veterans--details below
Where: McDonough 205
When: Thursday, 11/11 at 6pm
Why: Because one way to honor all who have served is to share the stories of a few.

Panelist include:
Thomas Leary: Commander, U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General Corps, legal advisor to a 3-star Joint Special Operations Task Force, headquartered in Iraq, in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and then back to Afghanistan in 2010 after we shifted our headquarters to support the surge. Previously, legal advisor to an O-6 level Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, and in Iraq in 2003 (initial combat operations in OIF)
Aaron Pennekamp: First Lieutenant, Army National Guard, Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader in Iraq from March to August 2010
William Sloan: Captain, USMC, Company Excutive Officer, Fallujah, Iraq from September 2007 to April 2008, and Platoon Commander, Fallujah, Iraq from October 2005 to September 2006
Andy Moore: First Lieutenant, Army National Guard, Embedded Tactical Trainer to the Afghanistan National Army and Police from January 2007 to January 2008
Panel Moderator: Gordon Griffin, Captain, USMC, Aviation Officer, Iraq 2006-2007

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Health Care Challenge Not Ready For SCOTUS

From the WSJ:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a long-shot request for a review of the Obama administration's health-care overhaul before the matter has been fully litigated. The high court's rejection of the health-care challenge, brought by a conservative legal group in California, wasn't a surprise, but it yielded one notable piece of information: Justices Elena Kagan and Clarence Thomas participated in the court's decision not to hear the case.

Full Story here

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

AEI Election Results Panel

The American Enterprise Institute is hosting a panel on Thursday to discuss today's elections results. Info and registration here: For those who have not been to AEI before, it is only a block north from Farragut North Metro on 17th NW. The event is free; lunch will be provided.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 4
Time: 12-2
Place: AEI, 17th Street NW (Farragut North metro)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Election Night Viewing Party

On Tuesday, November 2nd from 7-10 the Georgetown Federalist Society is co-sponsoring an election viewing party in the Gewirz first floor lounge. Free pizza, soda, beer, and democracy. The event co-sponsored by Law Republicans, Law Democrats, and the Georgetown Election Law Society.

UPDATE: great guide to today's election from WSJ here

DATE: November 2nd
TIME: 7-10pm
PLACE: Gewirz first floor lounge 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

From Where Should Judges Come?

David Rivkin is angry with Sandra Day O'Connor because of her support (and campaign telephone calls) for "merit" selection for judges. Rivkin's objections were in the WSJ on Friday. The Washington Times had an editorial on the same subject here. From the Times:
This week, the retired justice was exposed for having recorded political robo-calls pushing a constitutional amendment in Nevada for state judges to be appointed by governors rather than elected by citizens. She claims she never gave permission for her recording to be used for robo-calls, but she recorded not just a voice message but also a video for a political group dedicated solely to passing this amendment - a group she leads as "honorary chairwoman."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Immigration Law Panel November 3rd.

The Georgetown Federalist Society is co-sponsoring an Immigration Law Panel on November 3rd from 12:30-2 in McD 437. The panel will feature:

Mark Krikorian of The Center for Immigration Studies
Marc Rosenblum of Migration Policy Institute
Michael Hethmon of Immigration Reform Law Institute
Liz McGrail of CAIR Coalition

The panel will be moderated by Peter Asaad, immigration law professor at American University. 

Clear your schedule for this great event and come hear both sides of the important issue. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

T-Shirts on Sale, Thursday October 28 12-3

In order to meet rising demand, we will be selling the rest of our t-shirts at the tables outside the McDonough Hall Chapel (conveniently located near the ATMs) on Thursday, October 28 from 12-3. The shirts are $10 cash each. Be sure to get one before it is too late.

Should US Courts Ignore International Law? October 28

BYU Law Professor David Moore
Our next event is this Thursday, October 28 from 12-1 in McD 202. Professor David Moore from BYU Law will address the question "Should U.S. Courts Ignore International Law." Please come by for free lunch, free drinks, and an interesting presentation.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Volunteer For National Lawyers Convention

The National Office needs 100 volunteers to help run the National Lawyers Convention from November 18 - 20. Selected volunteers are allowed to attend most of the convention for free. All the information you need to register is here. You must be a dues paying student member of the Federalist Society ($5) to volunteer so make sure you register before signing up to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

CATO event: James Madison Rules America

Cato book forum on William F. Connelly Jr.'s new book, James Madison Rules America: The Constitutional Origins of Congressional Partnership.

Critics argue that Congress has become the "broken branch," marked by extreme partisanship and few achievements. They prescribe nostrums ranging from campaign finance regulation to redistricting reform to foster compromise rather than conflict on Capitol Hill. Yet the American founders, especially James Madison, believed "ambition must be made to counteract ambition" as a way to limit the power of government. The Constitution itself favors broad consent to laws over an efficient implementation of the will of a majority. William Connelly believes many of the "flaws" in Congress identified by critics arise from the Constitution. Please join us for a lively discussion of how and why the Constitution created a Congress marked by conflict, polarization, and partisanship and why that might be a good thing.

The event is FREE, but you have to RSVP here.

DATE: October 14
TIME: Noon
FOOD: Free Lunch
WHERE: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave (Metro Center)

Job Opportunities

1. The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) seeks a self-starting, entrepreneurial Online Education Director to drive a major new initiative to teach students about classical liberal ideas on the web. IHS envisions creating the first open platform for online educational delivery of classical liberal ideas. On the model of, the platform would first host video and other content from IHS seminars and faculty in the IHS network.  Once we have a robust platform, it would be opened to others to add and manage their own educational content. For more information, please visit our website at

2. There is an exciting Fellowship opportunity open to Federalist Society members here at C-FAM.   Edmund Burke Fellows receive a front-row seat in the fight to promote a culture of life at the United Nations.  Responsibilities include lobbying delegates, performing research, and observing and reporting on UN meetings.

Our Edmund Burke Fellowship Program seeks law students and recent graduates who possess a demonstrated background in public policy and/or international law.  Applicants may apply for two separate Fellowships.  The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Fellowship is open to students whose Spring Break falls between February 22nd and March 4th of 2011.  Thirty Fellows (split between the two-week Commission) will be selected for the CSW Fellowship.   Our second Fellowship--the UN Conference on Youth Fellowship—is a week-long Summer program.  Because the UN has not yet finalized the dates of the Youth Conference, the dates for our Summer Fellowship are not yet available, but C-FAM welcomes applications for the Summer program at this time as well.

Students and graduates selected for this highly-competitive program will each be awarded scholarships of $500.00 per person to help cover hotel and travel expenses.  Thank you in advance for spreading the word among Federalist Society members, and we welcome further questions and inquiries.  The deadline for applications for the CSW Fellowship is November 1, 2010.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Lawless Reds Celebrate Division Win With Heinous Acts

Government never sleeps. The Reds may be under investigation for violating Ohio's smoking ban. Anonymous callers to a state run hotline reported that some members of the organization were smoking cigars in the stadium following the division clinch. The matter has been referred to the Cincinnati Health Department for enforcement:

"If the inspector sees someone smoking, the Reds will be sent a letter notifying them of the violation, which the team can appeal. No fine is attached to any initial violation. If another complaint is filed and an inspector responds again to the ballpark and sees someone smoking, the Reds could be fined $100."

Full article here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Parking Paradise Lost

In the age of bailouts, government provided health care, student loans, retirement, prescription drug seems you can trust government for just about anything, except parking your car. The Secret Service lost a Lexus last week belonging to a dinner attendee at the Washington Convention Center.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

U.S. Prosecutors Gone Wild

Reason Magazine has an interesting piece on U.S. Prosecutorial misconduct:

During oral arguments in that case (Pottawattamie v. McGhee), a majority of Supreme Court justices seemed to indicate that they may finally be ready to put a dent in absolute prosecutorial immunity, the complete protection (which has no basis in the U.S. Constitution and no common law tradition) we give prosecutors from lawsuits from the people they prosecute, even in cases where a prosecutor’s gross negligence contributed to a wrongful conviction. At issue in Pottawattamie was whether absolute immunity should protect prosecutors even in cases where they intentionally manufacture evidence that causes a wrongful conviction. That case was settled before the Court could issue a decision, but the Court will revisit the question next term, in the case Connick v. Thompson. It isn’t difficult to see how shielding prosecutors from liability even in an obvious frame job creates some some pretty twisted incentives.

The full article is here. This article appears on the same day that news outlets are reporting that one of the prosecutors in the Ted Stevens corruption case has committed suicide. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Save the Date: October 7

Our friends at the J. Reuben Clark Law Society are hosting a great Religious Liberty Panel on October 7 at 5pm in Hart Auditorium. I encourage anyone who can make it to attend. Guests will  include: 

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP
Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown University Law Center

National Litigation Director, Becket Fund

Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Kirton & McConkie PC

RSVP is requested by October 7 to

Friday, September 24, 2010

Event: Monday September 27

John Radsan (bio) will be here on Monday September 27 from 3:30-4:30 in McD 141 to discuss some issues related to last week's debate on predator drones. Our debate centered on the legality of the strikes. Mr. Radsan will build on his own experience working for the CIA to discuss whether the drone program makes practical sense, especially in countries such as Yemen which may be outside the zone of conflict. His SSRN page is here. Papers 1,8, and 13 will be the heart of his talk. A recent NPR story featuring Radsan is here.

TIME: 3:30-4:30
PLACE: McD 141

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

$10 T-Shirt Sale

Our new shirts came in today and will go on sale at this afternoon's event. The shirts are $10 (cash only) each and come in heather gray, navy, and Carolina blue, S,M,L,XL.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

International Law Debate: September 21

On Tuesday September 21 from 1-2pm, we will host a debate between Arthur Spitzer of the ACLU and Professor Michael Lewis from Northern Ohio Law School. The debate is on the propriety and legality of the remote controlled targeted killings used in fighting terrorism. Mr. Spitzer filed an important brief in a recent case on the subject, al-Aulaqi v. Obama, which you can read here. Mr. Lewis criticized that brief here. The event should be interesting and informative.


ROOM: McD 203

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Next Event: September 15

Bob Levy will be our guest on Wednesday, September 15th to talk about his recent book, "The Dirty Dozen." Mr. Levy is chairman of the Cato Institute's board of directors, and sits on the boards at the Institute for Justice, the Federalist Society, and George Mason Law School. He clerked for Judge Ginsburg on the D.C. Circuit and taught law at Georgetown from 1997-2004. An excerpt of his book is here.

TIME: 4:00 pm
Refreshments Provided

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Local Constitution Day Events

September 17, 2010 is Constitution Day. Here is a list of events that members may be interested in:

The Conservative Caucus is hosting an evening event on September 17 featuring a keynote address by Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall. Event details here.

The Cato Institute is holding its 9th Annual Constitution Day conference on September 16. The event offers CLE credits so it will be a great place to meet practicing attorneys. Event details here.

UPDATE: the Cato Institute is allowing students to bypass the $50 registration fee! On the registration page, click 'student/guest' registration to register at no cost. Free lunch will be provided. 

The National Archives is hosting a birthday party for the Constitution from 1-2 on September 17. The first 223 guests will receive a piece of birthday cake and meet First Lady Dolley Madison as she describes White House entertainment the early 19th century. This event seems so ridiculous it is almost disrespectful. 

Hillsdale College is running an impressive series of webcasts to celebrate the event. Details here.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Tonight is our Welcome Back Happy Hour at the Billy Goat Tavern. Beer, soda, hamburgers, and grilled cheese are all free. All are welcome to attend so come out, meet members and learn more about the Federalist Society.

Note: We will be sharing the bar with ACS so expect a crowded scene.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who came last night. We'll host another event during Spring semester. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Speaker Event This Thursday

This Thursday from noon to 1pm in McDonough 202, Professor Steven Teles from Johns Hopkins will be speaking on the origins and history of the Federalist Society. Teles is the author of "The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement" which devotes an entire chapter to the Federalist Society. Free lunch will be provided. Teles is not a member of the Federalist Society and there will be plenty of time for Q&A in order to provide an honest and unbiased account of how the Federalist Society continues to shape the legal culture.

Join the Federalist Society through and RSVP for the event. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Time to Join

Now is the time to join the Federalist Society to get involved this year. You can join the National Chapter for the student rate of $5. The $5 includes a subscription to the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and invitations to National Chapter events hosted by the Lawyers' Division. You can register through the National site here. National Membership is encouraged but not required to be a member of Georgetown's student chapter.

To join the Georgetown chapter, log on to and request to join the Federalist Society. Anyone is welcome to join and there are no membership dues. We will promptly approve your request to join and will add you to our email list. Email us at the "Contact Us" address below if you have any questions.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Georgetown FedSoc needs incoming students to serve as 1L Section Representatives. Each first year section will have 1-2 people responsible for making in-class announcements about upcoming events and maximizing 1L attendance. This is a great way to take on an early leadership position at Georgetown and enhance your resume. If you are interested, send an email to the address listed above with subject line "1L Rep" discussing why you would be a good fit.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Conservatives v. Libertarians

Damon Root published a good article in Reason magazine recently that discusses the difference between legal conservatives and libertarians. Those new to Federalist Society might find it useful. Here is one paragraph on the development of legal conservatism:
The most significant early development came with the formation of the Federalist Society. Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society functions as both a legal network, with law student and lawyer chapters around the country, and an academic seminar, sponsoring highly respected conferences and debates that draw top-notch speakers and participants from across the political spectrum. Much of the society’s attention is focused on attracting and nurturing conservative legal talent. That focus has paid off with the placement of several former members in high-ranking government positions, most notably Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a former faculty adviser to the society’s University of Chicago chapter. Since the Federalist Society doesn’t take official positions on public policy questions, its membership is as wide-ranging as the conservative legal movement in general. As a result, even the most conservative member has been exposed to libertarian legal ideas.

The article mentions several time the work of Steven Teles who will speaking to our chapter on September 9 at noon. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Upcoming Event at Cato

The Cato Institute is hosting a book forum on September 20 featuring Timothy Sandefur from the Pacific Legal Foundation to talk about his new book, "The Right to Earn a Living." Sandefur will be joined by GMU Professor David Bernstein, Clark Neily from the Institute for Justice, and Cato's own Roger Pilon. For those of you new to Washington, Cato events are free of charge and are followed by a complimentary lunch. Please register for the event here. More information on his book can be found here.

Job Opportunity for 3L's

I was asked to post the following job opportunity for current 3L's:

Pacific Legal Foundation’s College of Public Interest Law offers 2-year litigation fellowships to
graduates interested in rapidly gaining experience in the litigation of major constitutional cases.
The fellowships are open to all graduating individuals of demonstrated high achievement and
offer an exceptional opportunity as a stepping stone to private practice, public agency law, an
academic career, or a permanent position with Pacific Legal Foundation (
Applicants accepted for the College of Public Interest Law Fellowship will begin September,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dean Treanor Interview in Washington Post

New Georgetown Law Dean
William M. Treanor
There was a quick Q&A in the Washington Post yesterday with new Law Dean William Treanor. The interview's substance is pretty basic, but there is this grim statement for those participating in OCI this week: "This is a time that we're seeing a real cutback in hiring by big firms. For the past decade, firms have had people doing work that is routine, repetitious. Increasingly, clients will not be willing to pay associates to do that kind of work, so we'll see more outsourcing and contract employment. So associates will be doing more work that is truly lawyerly work."