FedSoc Blog

Updated Info for Second Annual Executive Branch Review Conference


by Publius
Posted April 21, 2014, 9:16 AM

The Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 347-3000

A key element of the Practice Groups' Executive Branch Review project is our annual conference. This year's Executive Branch Review Conference is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7th as a full day conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

We will offer up to 4 CLE credits for this conference.


Last updated on April 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Updates in red.

Welcome & Opening Address
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
East Room

  • Hon. David M. McIntosh, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP and Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, The Federalist Society
  • Hon. Tom Cotton, U.S. House of Representatives, Arkansas

Suspension of Laws: What are the Limits of Executive Authority?
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
East Room

  • Ms. Brianne Gorod, Appellate Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center
  • Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law Center
  • 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: Mr. Stuart S. Taylor, Jr., Nonresident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

Policy without Process?
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Promenade Ballroom

  • Prof. Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law; Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Mr. William L. Kovacs, Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Prof. Stephen I. Vladeck, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Susan E. Dudley, Research Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration and Director, Regulatory Studies Center, The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, The George Washington University

Disparate Impact Analysis
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Promenade Ballroom

  • Hon. Gail Heriot, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law and Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Hon. Peter N. Kirsanow, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP and Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and former Member, National Labor Relations Board
  • Prof. Theodore M. Shaw, Professor of Professional Practice in Law, Columbia University School of Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times

The Internal Revenue Service
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
East Room

  • Mr. Michael A. Carvin, Partner, Jones Day
  • Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Dr. Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen
  • Mr. Robert N. Weiner, Partner, Arnold & Palmer LLP

The Contraceptive Mandate
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Senate Room

  • Mr. Kyle Duncan, Duncan PLLC
  • Prof. Martin S. Lederman, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Ms. Elizabeth B. Wydra, Chief Counsel, Constitution Accountability Center
  • Moderator: Mr. Robert Barnes, Supreme Court Correspondent, The Washington Post

Luncheon Panel: Executive Power and the Role of the Coordinate Branches
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
State Room

  • Prof. Steven G. Calabresi, Class of 1940 Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law and Chairman, Board of Directors, The Federalist Society
  • Mr. Charles J. Cooper, Partner, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC
  • Prof. William N. Eskridge, Jr., John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School
  • Prof. Neomi Rao, Assistant Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Keynote Address
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Promenade Ballroom

  • Hon. Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator, Texas 

Last updated on April 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Updates in red.

Registration details:

There is no cost to attend this event,
but there is a $50 charge if you wish to obtain CLE credits.

Lunch will be included.
Please register online to reserve your spot.


Contact the Mayflower Hotel directly for room reservations: (202) 347-3000.


Upcoming FedSoc Symposium Feb. 24: The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence


by Publius
Posted February 12, 2014, 1:08 PM

The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence

International & National Security Law Practice Group Symposium

In the 12 years since 9/11, as the national security threat matrix has become increasingly complex, technological advances have expanded intelligence gathering capabilities significantly. Recently, public concern about government monitoring of individuals has come to the forefront of the discussion. To address the intersection of security, privacy, and intelligence, the President has proposed several reforms, and is studying others in consultation with Congress. This Symposium will analyze and offer observations on those proposals.


10:30 – 10:50 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction
10:50 a.m.

Panel I: Foreign Intelligence Collection and the FISA Court
11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m.

  • Mr. Harley Geiger, Senior Counsel and Deputy Director, Freedom, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Prof. Peter S. Margulies, Roger Williams University School of Law
  • Mr. Julian Sánchez, Research Fellow, The Cato Institute
  • Hon. Honorable Kenneth L. Wainstein, Partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for National Security
  • Moderator: Mr. Vincent J. Vitkowsky, Chairman, International & National Security Law Practice Group, The Federalist Society

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

  • Hon. Michael Chertoff, Co-founder and Managing Principal, The Chertoff Group, and former Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security

Panel II: The NSA Telephone Metadata Program
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • Mr. Steven G. Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP, and former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Mr. Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute
  • Mr. Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
  • Moderator: Prof. Nathan A. Sales, George Mason University School of Law



Registration details:

Lunch will be served. There is no cost to attend this event.

Please register online.

The Journal of Law & Liberty Annual Symposium: “The Classical Liberal Constitution”


by Publius
Posted February 05, 2014, 11:03 PM

The Classical Liberal Institute and the New York University Journal of Law & Liberty are hosting a symposium to be held at NYU Law School on February 10, 2014. The topic of the conference will be Professor Richard Epstein’s forthcoming book The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government.

The conference will bring together legal scholars from around the country to analyze and debate the book, in which Professor Epstein employs close textual reading, historical analysis, and political and economic theory to urge a return to the classical liberal theory of governance that animated the framers’ original text, and to the limited government this theory supports. Grounded in the thought of Locke, Hume, Madison, and other Enlightenment figures, the classical liberal tradition emphasized federalism, restricted government, separation of powers, property rights, and economic liberties.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Obama’s Recess Appointments: Supreme Court to Hear Landmark Case Today


by Publius
Posted January 13, 2014, 10:13 AM

The Christian Science Monity reports:

The US Supreme Court on Monday takes up a potential landmark case examining whether President Obama overstepped his authority when he unilaterally declared that the Senate was in recess and appointed three new members to the National Labor Relations Board.

The Constitution assigns to the president the power to appoint judges and officers of the United States, but it requires him to act with the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

There is an exception. The Constitution also provides that the president “shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.” Such “recess appointments” can take place without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate.

It is this recess appointment power that lies at the center of the historic showdown on Monday at the high court.

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about the US Constitution? A quiz.

On one side of the issue, the Obama administration argues it has the power to decide for itself when the Senate is in recess for purposes of making recess appointments.

On the other side, administration critics argue that President Obama’s expansive view of his own authority would “yield a virtually unlimited unilateral appointments power.”

The case arises at a time of extreme partisan differences in Congress that have made it increasingly difficult for President Obama to fill vacant posts in his administration. Obstructionist tactics by Republicans are not new. The same tactics were used by Democrats – including then-Senator Obama – to block or delay appointments by President Bush.

But President Bush never sought to make recess appointments during pro forma Senate sessions. That action by President Obama marks a new level of executive defiance of the Senate.

To some extent the urgency of the case has dissipated following the recent decision by Senate Democrats to invoke the so-called nuclear option – changing the Senate rules to permit approval of presidential appointments by majority vote rather than 60. The action undercut the ability of the Republican minority to block Obama appointments.

But it does nothing to resolve the more fundamental questions involving the balance of power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

The high court case will require the justices not just to examine the contemporary practice of recess appointments, but to also weigh why the procedure was written into the Constitution and how the founding generation wielded that authority.

“None of the first four presidents of the United States – founders and framers all – adopted the Executive’s interpretation, even though it would have expanded their power,” wrote Noel Francisco, a Washington appellate lawyer, in his brief challenging President Obama’s recess appointments.

“That is far more persuasive evidence than decades-later, self-serving executive opinions,” he said. . . .

Today the Federalist Society's Labor & Employment Law Practice Group will be hosting a Courthouse Steps Teleforum on the case. Speaking will be of John Elwood Vinson & Elkins. FedSoc members can join the call here.

FTC’s Winning Streak Provokes Questions About Process


by Publius
Posted January 08, 2014, 2:51 PM

Jenna Greene reports in The National Law Journal (registration required):

It's not just Las Vegas where the house always wins.

For nearly two decades, the Federal Trade Commission has come out on top in every administrative lawsuit involving allegations of unfair methods of competition — a winning streak now being challenged by lawyers and members of Congress, who question whether the forum is fair.

The latest skirmish came on Christmas Eve, when Commissioner Julie Brill agreed to recuse herself in a pending case involving medical testing company LabMD Inc.'s patient information data-security practices.

The "FTC's administrative process appears to be rigged against respondent," argued the company's counsel from Dinsmore & Shohl and Cause of Action, a nonprofit government accountability group. Brill's "public statements show she has prejudged the facts of LabMD's case," they said, citing pretrial speeches that included references to the company.

Brill, a Democrat with a reputation as a tough public interest advocate, said the motion to disqualify her was "without merit," but agreed to step aside to avoid "an undue distraction."

In another pending case involving anticompetitive conduct in the iron pipe fittings market, the FTC's four politically appointed commissioners are now weighing whether to reverse a 464-page decision by the agency's chief administrative law judge. The judge, D. Michael Chappell, in a split decision found in favor of pipefitter McWane Inc. on a crucial point. If the commissioners allow the decision to stand, it will be the FTC's first loss in such a case since 1995.

Concerns about the FTC's administrative process have percolated up to members of Congress as well. "With this kind of record and an unbeaten streak that Perry Mason would envy, a company might wonder whether it is worth putting up a defense at all," said House antitrust subcommittee chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) during a November 2013 hearing.

FTC Commissioner Joshua Wright, who has bluntly criticized aspects of the process, agreed. Most companies facing an in-house FTC trial opt to settle "rather than going through lengthy and costly administrative litigation in which they are both shooting at a moving target and have the chips stacked against them," he wrote in a recent antitrust journal article.

Still, the FTC does not have the final word — agency decisions can be appealed to the relevant federal circuit courts of appeals. But according to Wright, a Republican who was previously a professor at George Mason University School of Law, " The FTC's own decisions are reversed by federal courts of appeal at a much greater rate than those of generalist district court judges with little or no antitrust expertise."

A Federal Trade Commission spokesman declined to comment on the agency's administrative litigation because it is at issue in the pending LabMD suit. . . .

On January 30, 2014, the Heritage Foundation will be hosting an event on a book written by LabMD's founder, Michael J. Daugherty, titled The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Exposé of the U.S. Government’s Surveillance and Overreach into Cybersecurity, Medicine and Small Business. According to Heritage:

Michael J. Daugherty looks behind the headlines to examine the devastating real-life consequences of out-of-control cyber surveillance tactics used by U.S. government bureaucrats together with private enterprise and academia.

In The Devil Inside the Beltway, he details an extraordinary government surveillance program that compromised national security and invaded the privacy of tens of millions of online users worldwide. This story is not just about what happened to Daugherty and his company, but also what is happening to private citizens all around the world.

Teleforum Tomorrow: A Conversation with Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen


by Publius
Posted December 16, 2013, 11:24 AM

Maureen K. Ohlhausen was nominated to the Federal Trade Commission by President Barack Obama and, on March 29, 2012, was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. She will be participate in a Teleforum on the FTC’s activities in the area of consumer privacy, including recent revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The rise of sophisticated technologies over the last few years has allowed websites and other online entities to gather and distill large amounts of data about particular internet users. Although there are many efficiency gains from this activity, such as the development of new services and better-targeted advertising, people have also become concerned about possible invasions of privacy from monitoring an individual’s internet activity. Recognizing that children’s online privacy is an especially sensitive area, COPPA prohibits an operator of a website or online service that is directed to children, or who has actual knowledge that it is gathering personal information from a child, from collecting such information without providing notice of its data collection and obtaining verifiable parental consent for it. The FTC recently expanded the COPPA Rule’s coverage to include more types of personal information, such as IP addresses, and to expand the definition of an operator to reach entities that do not collect or use children’s information. Commissioner Ohlhausen will address how she seeks to balance the FTC’s mandate under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts with the legitimate rights of business to gather and use information for commercial purposes and why she dissented from the FTC’s revision to the COPPA Rule.


  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission


Call begins at 1:00 p.m. ET on December 17, 2013.

Registration details:

Teleforum calls are open to all dues paying members of the Federalist Society. To become a member, sign up here. As a member, you should receive email announcements of upcoming Teleforum calls which contain the conference call phone number. If you are not receiving those email announcements, please contact us at 202-822-8138.

Obama Pollution Rules Face Showdowns Tomorrow in Supreme Court, D.C. Circuit


by Publius
Posted December 09, 2013, 4:52 PM

According to Greenwire:

The Obama administration's efforts to clean up air pollution go on trial tomorrow, as the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court review two landmark rules from President Obama's first term.

In one of the most high-profile environmental cases of the Supreme Court term, the justices will consider U.S. EPA's 2011 rule for air pollution that drifts across states lines. The agency asked the court to take the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck the rule down in August 2012.

The D.C. Circuit, meanwhile, will hear a broad challenge from industry groups and several states to EPA's December 2011 mercury and air toxics standards for power plants.

"It's a very important day for EPA and also for the energy sector," said Jacob Hollinger of McDermott Will & Emery, a former EPA air attorney. "Both rules have important implications for power generation. It matters for everyone."

The Supreme Court case centers on EPA's implementation of the Clean Air Act's "good neighbor" provision, which allows the agency to regulate pollutants from one state that "contribute significantly" to violations of air standards in adjacent states for ozone-forming pollutants -- such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide -- and fine particles, or soot.

Many Eastern states -- including New York, Maryland and Connecticut -- suffer dirty air that drifts in from the Midwest. With the Supreme Court case highlighting the issue this week, eight Northeastern governors today also petitioned EPA to do more to crack down on pollution coming from Appalachia (see related story).

In July 2011, EPA issued the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, or CSAPR, a regulatory regime that applies to 28 Eastern states. The regulations called for upwind states to cut emissions of ozone-forming gases by installing pollution controls or shutting down power plants.

However, determining where pollution comes from is a murky issue, and industry and several upwind states quickly challenged the regulations and the economic burden they would create.

EPA described in court documents its struggle to curb cross-state pollution.

"In short, at least in the eastern half of the United States," the agency wrote, "the interstate pollution problem is best understood as a dense, spaghetti-like matrix of overlapping upwind/downwind 'linkages' among many states, rather than a neater and more limited set of linkages among just a few." . . .

Tomorrow at 1 pm, the Federalist Society will be hosting a courthouse steps teleforum on the Supreme Court case. Speaking will be Mark DeLaquil, a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP. FedSoc members can join the call here.

Live on C-SPAN Today: The Federalist Society’s October Term 2013 Supreme Court Preview


by Publius
Posted October 02, 2013, 10:30 AM

Today, October 2nd, the Federalist Society will holding its October Term 2013 Supreme Court Preview in Washington, D.C. The event will be broadcast live on C-SPAN at 12:30 PM ET. You can watch it here. More details:

October 7th will mark the first day of the 2013 Supreme Court term. Thus far, the Court's docket includes major cases involving affirmative action, campaign finance, the First Amendment, criminal law, environmental law, and more. Notable cases include Bond v. United States, involving the Treaty Power and the structural limits of federal authority, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, concerning whether a state amending its constitution to prevent race or sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment in the admissions decisions of its public universities violates the Equal Protection Clause, and National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, concerning whether the President lawfully exercised his authority under the Recess Appointments Clause. Also of note are Town of Greece v. Galloway, concerning whether a legislative prayer practice violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, and McCutcheon v. FEC, concerning whether the biennial limit on contributions to non-candidate committees is unconstitutional.


  • Mr. Michael A. Carvin, partner, Jones Day
  • Hon. Mary Beth Buchanan, Ethics and Reputational Risk Officer, United Nations
  • Ms. Megan L. Brown, partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Moderator: Ms. Jan Crawford, CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent

Gov. Brownback to Speak at Kansas City Federalist Society Lawyers Chapter Event Sept. 19


by Publius
Posted September 17, 2013, 5:28 PM

The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

Gov. Sam Brownback will speak on judicial selection during a discussion sponsored by The Federalist Society, a conservative legal group that has been involved in the debate on changing the way judges are selected in Kansas.

The discussion will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Overland Park Sheraton, 6100 College Boulevard.

Brownback, a Republican, successfully pushed for approval of a new system where the governor names judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals who are then submitted to the Senate for approval.

In the first appointment under the new system, Brownback selected his chief counsel Caleb Stegall, who was confirmed by the Senate on a party-line vote.

Under the former system, a nominating commission screened candidates and submitted three possible nominees for the governor to chose. Supporters of this system said it removed politics from the selection process, but Brownback had criticized this system because he said the nominating commission was dominated by attorneys.

Brownback and his allies also want to apply the new system to the Kansas Supreme Court, but that would require a change in the state constitution.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

FedSoc to Sponsor Yale Law Conference on Bork’s Influence on Antitrust Law Sept. 27-28


by Publius
Posted September 17, 2013, 1:10 PM

Yale Law School reports:

Law professors and economists from across the country will gather in New Haven later this month for a conference on “The Influence of Robert H. Bork on Antitrust Law: A Retrospective.” The conference will address the influence of former Yale Law School Professor Robert H. Bork, who has been described as “the architect of modern antitrust law.”

The Federalist Society and The Kauffman Program in Law, Economic and Entrepreneurship at Yale Law School will sponsor the conference, which will be held on September 27 and 28 at Yale Law School.

More than fourteen speakers will cover topics such as “Taking the Error Out of ‘Error Cost’ Analysis: What’s Wrong with Antitrust’s Right”; “The Transformation of Vertical Restraints: Per Se Illegality, the Rule of Reason and Per Se Legality”; “Bork and Microsoft: Why Bork was Right and What we Learn about Judging Exclusionary Behavior”; “ ‘Antitrust’s Least Glorious Hour’: The Robinson-Patman Act”; Robert Bork’s Forgotten Role in the Transaction Cost Revolution”; “Out of Control? Robert Bork’s Portrayal of the U.S. Antitrust System in the 1970s”; and “Bork’s ‘Legislative Intent’ and the Courts.”

Family members of Robert H. Bork will also be in attendance at the conference as special guests.

The conference is free and open to the public. To RSVP please email Karen.crocco@yale.edu.

You can dowload the conference program here.

In April 2013, Yale Law Professor George L. Priest delivered remarks at a memorial service for Bork. Among other things, Priest noted:

Bob Bork’s vision had an extraordinary effect. The Supreme Court radically changed its approach to antitrust law in the late 1970s. The major antitrust cases of the past forty years all derive from Bork.

You can read Priest's complete remarks here.

Sen. Ted Cruz Just Added to FedSoc’s Executive Branch Review Conference June 11


by Publius
Posted June 03, 2013, 4:19 PM

The Federalist Society's Executive Branch Review Project is proud to present the First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference, to be held on June 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. We are particularly delighted to announce that Senator Ted Cruz will deliver an address. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided, but CLE will be available for a small charge.

Recently confirmed panelists include:

  • Prof. Jonathan H. Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Mr. Steven G. Bradbury, Partner, Dechert LLP
  • Hon. Jonathan Z. Cannon, Blaine T. Phillips Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, and Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Program, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Ms. Coral Davenport, Energy and Environment Correspondent, National Journal
  • Ms. Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • Mr. Neil Fried, Senior Telecommunications Counsel, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Unites States House of Representatives
  • Prof. Damien Geradin, William W. Cook Global Law Professor, University of Michigan Law School; Tilburg University, The Netherlands and Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Mr. Thomas C. Goldstein, Partner, Goldstein & Russell, P.C. and Founder and Publisher, SCOTUSblog
  • Prof. Robert T. Miller, Professor of Law and F. Arnold Daum Fellow in Corporate Law, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Prof. Jonathan Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, and Director of the Environmental Law Advocacy Center; Executive Director, Project for Older Prisoners, The George Washington University Law School


9:00 a.m. Introductory Panel
Is the Administrative State on the Rise?

10:10 a.m. Breakout Sessions
Is Government a Friend or Foe of Innovation?
Labor and Employment Law
Criminal Law at the Federal Level

11:20 a.m. Breakout Sessions
Dodd-Frank and Beyond
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
Environmental Law and Regulation

12:30 p.m. Plenary Lunch Session
Regulation and the Rule of Law

Other confirmed participants include:

  • Hon. Mary Beth Buchanan, Ethics and Reputational Risk Officer, United Nations, and former United States Attorney
  • Hon. Kathleen CaseySenior Advisor, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, and former Commissioner, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
  • Hon. Ronald A. Cass, President, Cass & Associates, PC and Dean Emeritus, Boston University School of Law
  • Mr. Terry Eastland, Publisher, The Weekly Standard
  • Prof. Deepak Gupta, Founder, Gupta Beck PLLC, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Hon. Peter N. Kirsanow, Partner, Benesch Attorneys at Law, and former member, National Labor Relations Board
  • Mr. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Mr. John G. Malcolm, Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Hon. Roger R. Martella, Jr., Partner, Sidley Austin LLP and former General Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Hon. David McIntosh, Mayer Brown and Founder, The Federalist Society
  • Prof. Allan H. Meltzer, Carnegie-Mellon Tepper School of Business
  • Mr. David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Prof. Tuan Samahon, Villanova University School of Law
  • Prof. Gigi Sohn, President and Founder, Public Knowledge and Senior Adjunct Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship, University of Colorado
  • Hon. George J. Terwilliger III, Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Mr. Richard Wolf, USA Today  
  • Prof. Todd J. Zywicki, George Mason University School of Law, and Mercatus Center Senior Scholar

To register, click here.


Tomorrow 5/14: FedSoc Event and Webcast “Is the Patent System Working or Broken?”


by Publius
Posted May 13, 2013, 4:05 PM

Today, people read almost daily reports about the "broken patent system" in newspaper articles, blogs and at social media websites. Is this true? On the one hand, the high-tech and biotech industries seem awash in patent litigation, and Congress, the FTC, and the Supreme Court are considering adopting a variety of reform measures. On the other hand, the availability of patents and the property rights they secure are driving  technological innovations once imagined only as science fiction - tablet computers, smart phones, genetically modified seeds, genetic testing for cancer, personalized medical treatments for debilitating diseases, and many others - and these technological marvels are now a commonplace feature of our lives.

A panel of distinguished jurists will discuss these two conflicting perspectives on whether the patent system today promotes or hampers innovation: Arthur Gajarsa, former Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Paul Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Richard Posner, Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The panel will be moderated by Douglas Ginsburg, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.

The panelists have combined many years of experience in adjudicating patent cases, writing and speaking on patent or IP policy, and engaging with legal and policy issues closely connected with the patent system, such as antitrust and law and economics. With wide-ranging views on the current health of the patent system and the relevant solutions, the panel discussion will be insightful and illuminating. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University School of Law and the Federalist Society's Intellectual Property Practice Group.


  • Hon. Arthur J. Gajarsa, former Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Hon. Paul R. Michel, former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Hon. Richard A. Posner, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law - Moderator

Event details:

Start : Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:00 PM

End   : Tuesday, May 14, 2013 2:00 PM

Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC

This event will be webcast live. 

Registration details:  Registration for this event is now closed. There is no cost to attent this event. Lunch will be included.  Please dial 202-822-8138 with any questions.

Categories: Upcoming Events

Upcoming Debate 5/1: Shareholder Value Theory: Myth or Motivator?


by Publius
Posted April 16, 2013, 10:49 AM

On May 1, 2013, the Federalist Society and the American Enterprise Institute are co-hosting a debate on shareholder value theory. Conventional wisdom holds that corporations should maximize shareholder value. In her new book The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public, Lynn Stout argues that this is a harmful myth. According to Stout, shareholder value thinking leads managers to focus exclusively on short-term earnings to the detriment of investors, corporations, and the public.

According to Jonathan Macey, however, while shareholder value maximization may be a myth, it helpfully constrains corporate managers. Leaving corporate managers with unconstrained choices — the real result of Stout's argument — would be far more dangerous.   

Join Macey and Stout as they debate shareholder value thinking and its implications for the corporate community, public policy arena, and public. Here are the details:

Start : Wednesday, May 1, 2013 4:30 PM

End   : Wednesday, May 1, 2013 6:00 PM

AEI, Twelfth Floor, 1150 Seventeenth St. NW, Washington, DC 20036


  • Lynn Stout, Cornell Law School
  • Jon Macey, Yale Law School
  • Moderator: Alex Pollock, AEI

Register here. If you would like to purchase Stout's new book, please click here.


Tomorrow: Harvard Federalist Society Conference on Intellectual Diversity and the Legal Academy


by Publius
Posted April 04, 2013, 4:38 PM

At the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Nick Rosenkranz of Georgetown Law draws attention to an exciting event tomorrow:

The Harvard Chapter of the Federalist Society is hosting a very important conference tomorrow on intellectual diversity in the legal academy.

Many people realize that legal academia “leans” to the left. But even alumni — indeed, even major donors — are often unaware of the extent of the imbalance. At Georgetown, for example, the ratio of liberals to conservatives/libertarians is roughly 116 to 3. At most top schools, the ratio is similar. One might quibble about definitions, but even on the broadest conception of “conservative” or “libertarian” or, let’s just say, “right of the American center,” most top law schools can count such professors on one hand. In public law, and particularly constitutional law, the disparity is even more extreme.

As a rule, professors don’t like to talk about this. And so it has fallen to the excellent students of the Harvard Federalist Society Chapter to conceive and organize this first-rate conference. Here is the agenda:

Panel I: Problem: is there a lack of intellectual diversity in law school faculties?
12:00-1:00 p.m.

Jack Goldsmith (Harvard Law School)
James Lindgren (Northwestern University Law School)
Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School)
Moderator: David Barron (Harvard Law School)

Panel II: Effects: should law schools care about intellectual diversity?
1:30-3:00 p.m.

Richard Fallon (Harvard Law School)
Victoria Nourse (Georgetown University Law Center)
Michael Paulsen (University of St. Thomas School of Law)
Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz (Georgetown University Law Center)
Moderator: Stuart Taylor (National Journal)

Panel III: Solutions: encouraging intellectual diversity
3:30-5:00 p.m.

Paul Campos (University of Colorado Law School)
George Dent (Case Western Reserve University School of Law)
Robert P. George (Harvard Law School)
Jeannie Suk (Harvard Law School)
Moderator: Steven Calabresi (Northwestern University Law School)

Keynote Address
Sherif Girgis (Yale Law School)
5:30-6:00 p.m.

6:15-7:00 p.m.

This conference is open to the public. More details are available here.


3/15 FedSoc D.C. Lunch Honoring Judge Bork with Senator Mike Lee


by Publius
Posted March 05, 2013, 4:14 PM

With the recent passing of Judge Robert Bork, the Federalist Society is hosting a special D.C. Luncheon featuring Senator Michael Lee. Speakers will celebrate Judge Bork’s life and legacy, and discuss his just-published final book Saving Justice: Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre, and Other Adventures of a Solicitor General.

Here are the details.  Please note that the location is different from the usual location for Federalist Society luncheons.

Start : Friday, March 15, 2013 12:00 PM

End   : Friday, March 15, 2013 2:00 PM

Location: The Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

Registration details:

The cost to attend is $50.

Space is limited, so please register online now. Please call (202) 822-8138 with any questions. If interested in purchaing a table, please contact Juli Nix at juli.nix@fed-soc.org.

Categories: Upcoming Events




Originally Speaking Debate Archive

Blog Roll