The Federalist Society's 2012 National Lawyers Convention kicked off on the morning of Thursday, November 15, with a welcome by Executive Vice President Leonard A. Leo. Showcase Panel I followed the welcome at around the 00:05:30 mark in the above video of the entire panel. It considered the following issues.
The Rehnquist Court was famous for its resuscitation of some fairly modest constitutional limits on federal power. One major question with the appointment of new Justices was where the Court was likely to go. In the recent oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law imposing a national health care mandate, the Roberts Court Justices seemed very closely divided. This panel will examine the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence in light of what was a close vote on the health care law. This case has reinvigorated the debate over the limits on federal power. Are there significant limits, or are they are a function of a bygone past? If the limits do not apply in economic areas, are they then suspect in other areas of morality where the courts have overturned major legislative decisions? Are such limits just a political function of who benefits? Likewise, is federalism only used by those who stand to benefit? How sustainable in practice are judicially-enforced limits on federal power?
The distinguished panelists were:
--Prof. Randy E. Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center
--Hon. Paul D. Clement, Partner, Bancroft PLLC and former U.S. Solicitor General
--Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
--Prof. Heather Gerken, J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, Yale Law School
--Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law, Director, Center on National Security and the Law, Georgetown University Law Center and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General
--Prof. Robert G. Natelson, Senior Fellow, Constitutional Jurisprudence Independence Institute
--Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
--Welcome and Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society