Federalist Society

John Yoo John C Yoo John Choon Yoo law professor.jpgThis afternoon, the Federalist Society at the University of Chicago Law School sponsored an interesting debate. It featured Berkeley law professor John Yoo, author of the so-called “torture memos,” and Bob Barr, the prominent libertarian and former congressman, debating the following subject: “Presidential Power v. Civil Liberties in Times of War.”
(Executive power is the subject of Professor Yoo’s new — and well-reviewed — book, Crisis and Command.)
Reports on the proceedings from attendees — plus comment from Professor Yoo, who apparently accused the Bush Administration of “incompetence and stupidity” — after the jump.
UPDATE: Photos added, after the jump.

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And: Did Yoo just accuse the Bush Administration of ‘incompetence and stupidity’?

No Federalists Need Apply.jpgThat was the question posed in yesterday’s popular Ethicist column, in the New York Times. Here’s the question that a reader posed to columnist Randy Cohen:

While interviewing law students for jobs as paid summer interns and full-time associates for my firm, I noticed several had résumés listing their activities in the Federalist Society. Some of my partners have conservative views similar to those of the society, but I do not. These students’ politics would not affect their professional function, but my review is meant to consider their judgment and personality (though I don’t need to give reasons for the assessments given). May I recommend not hiring someone solely because of his or her politics?


Ah, Greenwich — limousine liberalism, anyone? We are not surprised that this question came from the left side of the aisle. In our experience, liberals — despite their self-proclaimed commitment to “tolerance” — are far more intolerant of people with divergent views. To liberals, the political is so often personal; if you don’t agree with their entire orthodoxy, you are per se a bad person.

Okay, we’re stepping off our soapbox. How did the Ethicist respond?

Find out — and discover whether the partner took the Ethicist’s advice, plus take a reader poll — after the jump.

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Is It Wrong?”

Federalist Society high heels fabulous.jpgSensible shoes are for liberal chicks. Say hello to fabulous Federalist footwear!
As you may have noticed, from our two posts late on Monday night and one from Tuesday morning, we’re engaging in some after-the-fact blogging of last week’s Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention.
As in past years, the social highlight of the conference was the Thursday night banquet (black tie optional; and many availed themselves of the option, ’cause that’s how conservatives roll). The speaker at the dinner was none other than Justice Samuel A. Alito, who delivered an insightful and hilarious speech that was a delight to listen to. Just as one might say of, say, a newscast by Jon Stewart, much of the entertainment value was in the delivery — Justice Alito is so dry and deadpan, and yet his remarks make you bust out laughing.
Interestingly enough, we haven’t come across many news accounts of Justice Alito’s speech. There was also no video recording allowed at the address. So we feel we can add some value with this write-up, despite its belated nature.
There may have been some confusion over the ground rules governing reporting about the speech. From the BLT:

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. spoke to the Federalist Society [last Thursday] night, but photos of him doing so are hard to come by. That’s because photographers other than the Federalist Society’s own were barred from the event. Keith Appell, a spokesman for the Federalist Society, said cameras were prohibited by Alito’s security detail….

Kathy Arberg, the court spokeswoman, said “The justice’s policy was that the event was open to still cameras and pencil press,” and that the Federalist Society was informed of that policy before the event.

Well, photos from the event aren’t hard to come by on Above the Law. Nobody told us that we couldn’t take photographs — so we did. And, as members of the “pencil press,” we jotted down notes in our reporter’s notebook. (We left the laptop at the hotel that night.)
Check out a slideshow of our pictures, along with a discussion of Justice Alito’s highly engaging and entertaining address, after the jump.

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breakdown broken down car automobile industry.jpgTime to resume our lateblogging — or can we call it early-blogging, in light of the morning hour? — of the Federalist Society’s 2009 National Lawyers Convention. If you’re a conservative or libertarian lawyer (or law student), this is an event well worth attending every year. In addition to the lively and informative panel discussions (which offer CLE credit), the networking is excellent.
Here’s the next panel we attended, on a timely topic given the government’s increasing — and perhaps excessive — involvement in the national economy:
Breakdown of the Public-Private Distinction: Implications for the Administrative State

  • Mr. David Berenbaum, Executive Vice President, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • Mr. David G. Leitch, Group Vice President and General Counsel, Ford Motor Company
  • Prof. J.W. Verret, Assistant Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Prof. David Zaring, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Moderator: Hon. Ronald A. Cass, President, Cass & Associates, PC
    Summary after the jump.

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  • bank regulation thrift savings loan investment bank commercial bank.jpgWe continue our lateblogging of the Federalist Society’s 2009 National Lawyers Convention. The conversations at the conference are always interesting. As far as we’re concerned, this has to be one of the most painless ways to rack up CLE credits.
    Here’s the next panel discussion that we attended:
    Regulation of Financial Institutions

  • Hon. Paul S. Atkins, Congressional Oversight Panel and Former U.S. SEC Commissioner
  • Ms. Stephanie R. Breslow, Partner, Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP
  • Dean Paul G. Mahoney, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Hon. Annette L. Nazareth, Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Moderator: Hon. Edith H. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
    A quick and dirty write-up, after the jump.

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  • radio on the air free speech fairness doctrine.jpgOver the weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the Federalist Society’s 2009 National Lawyers Convention, down in Washington, D.C. As in past years, conservative and libertarian legal luminaries were plentiful, and the panel discussions and other events were excellent.
    Some folks — e.g., Josh Blackman — were liveblogging the proceedings. We’re only writing up the conference now, so you can call this “lateblogging” (both because we’re late in blogging about the conference, and blogging late at night; hey, better late than never).
    This year, sadly, we missed most of the Thursday events (because of a speaking engagement at the ABA’s Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference). The first Fed Soc panel we caught was on Friday afternoon:
    Free Speech: The Fairness Doctrine

  • Prof. Thomas W. Hazlett, Professor of Law & Economics, George Mason University
  • Mr. Seton Motley, Communications Director, Media Research Center
  • Prof. Jamin Ben Raskin, Director, Law and Government Program, Washington College of Law, American University College of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
    Our rough notes on the discussion, after the jump.

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  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies logo Above the Law blog.jpgWe mentioned this in passing yesterday, but in case you missed it, please take note of this event in D.C. next week:

    On Wednesday, September 23, the Georgetown Federalist Society will be hosting a panel event on New Media & The Law at 7 PM in Hart Auditorium [at Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC].

    The panel will feature David Lat from Above the Law, Tony Mauro from the National Law Journal, and Matt Welch from Reason Magazine. Eileen O’Connor, adjunct professor at Georgetown and former reporter and bureau chief at CNN, will moderate.

    The event will be followed by a reception.

    The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Federalist Society. Hope to see you there!
    New Media & The Law Event at GULC [Georgetown Federalist Society Blog]

    Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies logo Above the Law blog.jpgOn Tuesday night, we attended a very interesting panel discussion, “Do We Have the Legal Tools to Prevent Terrorist Attacks?” It was sponsored by the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, and it featured the following panelists:

    Andrew C. McCarthy (no, not that Andrew McCarthy) — Senior Fellow, National Review Institute, and author, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad.

    Glenn Sulmasy — Professor, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and author, The National Security Court System: A Natural Evolution of Justice in an Age of Terror.

    Samuel J. Rascoff — Assistant Professor, NYU Law School and Former Director of Intelligence Analysis for the New York City Police Department and Special Assistant to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq

    Hon. Kenneth M. Karas — United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (moderator)

    Read about the wide-ranging and thoughtful discussion, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Do We Have the Legal Tools To Prevent Terrorist Attacks?”

    Alex Kozinski David Lat Los Angeles.jpgIf you missed our recent event with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.) in Los Angeles, and if you’re here in New York, feel free to swing by Columbia Law School at around noon tomorrow:

    A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence

    When: Thursday, January 22, at 12:10 PM
    Speakers: The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit; David Lat, Founder, Above the Law
    Where: JG 106, Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.)
    Cost: Free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

    Thanks to the Columbia Law School Federalist Society for hosting the event. We hope to see you tomorrow.

    Update: If you missed the talk, here’s a write-up, from Ben Hallman of the American Lawyer.

    A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence [Columbia Law School Federalist Society]

    Earlier: Kozinski & Lat: The Podcast

    california dreaming.jpgWhile David Lat’s west coast rampage continues — he just finished speaking at UCLA — the good people from the Federalist Society furnished us with a podcast of Lat’s lunch talk yesterday with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.).

    If you weren’t able to make it yesterday, or you live in the part of the country that the Sun God Ra has marked for eternal suffering, check out the podcast below.

    Update: A write-up of the talk is available here.

    A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence [Federalist Society]

    Ninth Circuit Judges Remain Collegial, Kozinski Says [Metropolitan News]

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