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.