Federalist Society

Janice Rogers Brown Above the Law Wanda Sykes.JPGLast Friday, we attended a fantastic lunch talk by Judge Janice Rogers Brown (near right; her celebrity doppelganger, Wanda Sykes, is on the far right).
In case you’re not familiar with her, Judge Brown is a leading judicial diva. She’s a former justice of the California Supreme Court and a current member of the D.C. Circuit. In light of her inspirational life story — she’s an African-American female, the daughter of sharecroppers — and her seat on our nation’s most prestigious circuit court, Judge Brown is frequently mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee.
We’ll have more to write about the event later — plus some of our fabulously horrendous photographs, an ATL trademark. For now, though, we just want to share you the best quip of the day (or the “money quote,” as those political bloggers like to say):

“I have NEVER thought of myself as a diva.”

What caused her to utter this sentence? During the Q and A, we got up and asked her (among other things): “Judge Brown, you’re a fabulous judicial diva. But you’re stuck on a court that focuses on administrative law. Do you feel that being on the D.C. Circuit cramps your diva style?”
This was just one of several delightful moments from a great event. We’ll provide a more detailed report later.
Calendar of Lawyer Division Events [Federalist Society]
Fili-BUSTED! Magnificent Judicial Divas [UTR]
Earlier: The Courtroom of Style: Judge Janice Rogers Brown

Harold Koh Harold Hongju Koh Harold H Koh Yale Law School Above the Law.jpgWe received an interesting tip last week from a Yale Law School source:

I thought you might be interested in this email, which just went out to the Yale Federalist Society email list. It seems you may have struck some fear into Harold Koh with your recent coverage of his ideological tendencies.

Here’s the email (which we were asked not to publish until after the meeting in question had taken place):

From: Eugene Nardelli, Jr.
Date: Dec 13, 2006 4:52 PM
Subject: Fed Soc: Lunch With Dean Koh
To: [Yale Federalist Society mailing list]

Federalists,

This Tuesday, the 19th, Dean Koh will be hosting lunch with some of our members. Lunch will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 or so in the Dean’s office. Dean Koh has called this meeting for the the specific purpose of giving an opportunity for students to voice their concerns, if any, about the way the school and the Dean treat conservative voices of students, guests, and alumni.

We welcome you to join us and share your thoughts with the Dean, however, the office is small and can only seat a limited number of students. Please email me if you would like to attend.

Eugene
[President of the Yale Federalist Society*]

Our tipster added:

I imagine most people will have left New Haven for break by lunchtime next Tuesday… It makes one wonder about Koh’s sincerity (if there wasn’t already enough reason to wonder).

Fair enough. But we’re willing to give Dean Koh the benefit of the doubt. His hosting of a luncheon with the Yale Fed Soc is welcome news. If you were at the meeting and can give us a report on what transpired, we’d love to hear from you.
And here’s a postscript from New Haven:

Hadley Arkes** came to YLS last week to give a lecture sponsored by the newly-formed Yale Law Students for Life group. Koh stopped by the reception beforehand — something he has never in the past done for a conservative speaker invited by FedSoc or similar — and chatted with Prof. Arkes. So apparently he’s making more of an effort to reach out to conservatives these days.

Again, we’re pleased to learn of Harold Koh’s recent outreach to right-of-center folks (and we hope that it continues into the new year). Efforts by a law school dean to develop an academic environment that welcomes different points of view are all for the good.
* We’re guessing that Eugene Nardelli Sr. would be the New York State appellate judge, Eugene L. Nardelli.
** You may recall Professor Arkes from his participation in this wacky panel discussion.
Earlier: Attention, Concerned Alumni of Yale: Justice Alito Gets (Green)housed
Harold and Linda, Sittin’ in a Tree…
An Addendum on Nino in New Haven

michael lee mike lee christopher paolella chris paolella matthew schwartz matt schwartz gordon todd.JPGsamuel alito jr samuel a alito jr justice alito.jpgSorry it has taken us so long. As promised months ago, we now begin our series profiling current Supreme Court clerks (aka the “October Term 2006″ or “OT 2006″ law clerks).
We’ll be going chambers by chambers, starting with the most junior justice. Here are the four law clerks to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.:

1. Michael S. Lee (BYU ’97/Benson (D. Utah)/Alito)

2. Christopher J. Paolella (Harvard ’99/Alito)

3. Matthew A. Schwartz (Columbia ’03/Alito)

4. Gordon D. Todd (UVA ’00/Beam)

As a member of the Alito extended family explained to us, here’s the key to understanding the Alito chambers: 3:1. This golden ratio perfectly captures the demographics of the OT 2006 Alito clerks. Consider:

1. Familial status: three are married with children, one is not (Chris Paolella — married, but no kids yet).

2. Undergraduate institution: three are Princetonians, one is not (Michael Lee — BYU).

3. Prior Alito clerkship: three previously clerked for then-Judge Alito on the Third Circuit, one did not (Gordon Todd).

4. Religious affiliation: three are Christian,* one is not (Matthew Schwartz — he’s Jewish).

5. College debate: three were gods of the parliamentary debate circuit, and former presidents of the American Parliamentary Debate Assocation (APDA); one was not (Michael Lee).

But we wouldn’t want such commonalities to overshadow the individuality of these gents. Check out our profiles of Messrs. Lee, Paolella, Schwartz, and Todd — after the jump.
* Mitt Romney footnote: Michael Lee is Mormon, which we consider to be Christian. Presidential candidate Romney hopes that evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primaries will agree with us.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks”

Arlen Specter 2 Senator Arlen Specter Above the Law.jpgHere’s another excellent article from Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker. It’s about the role played by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), outgoing chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with respect to the recent habeas corpus legislation (aka the Military Commissions Act of 2006).
If you’re confused about the controversy over this legislation, which has wound its way through both the federal courts and the Senate chamber, the article is well worth your time. It explains recent developments in this complex area of law with commendable clarity.
And it also contains fun bits of color and gossip. We collect a few highlights, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Senator Arlen Specter: One Heck of a Squash Player”

Borat Borat Borat lawsuit law litigation legal Borat Borat Borat.JPG* Another week, another Borat lawsuit.
* Wow — it doesn’t take much to get lawyers all hot and bothered. But ATL readers were evidently untroubled.
* Merry Christmas. There will be no O.J. Simpson book.
* But no Britney sex tape, either.
* Wesley Snipes has some harsh words for the IRS. And Judge Posner does, too.
* We hung out a lot with the Federalist Society. We watched the social conservatives and the libertarians slug it out over cultural issues. And we learned that Judge Edith Jones isn’t the woman we thought she was.

This is a continuation of our prior post about the annual dinner of the Federalist Society. You can read the rest of it after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “From the Belly of the Beast: An Evening With Scalito (Part 2)”

We previously provided you with our photographic coverage of the Federalist Society’s annual dinner, held last Thursday at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. Now we offer a short (and admittedly belated) write-up of the proceedings.
For more systematic accounts of the dinner, check out the news links collected at the end of this post. For our more idiosyncratic reflections, read on — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “From the Belly of the Beast: An Evening With Scalito (Part 1)”

Fed Soc 1.JPG

Our series of photo posts from the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention has been popular. The prior installments are available here, here, and here.

Our camera is now emptied out. The last of our Fed Soc photos, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Party Crash: The Final Fed Soc Photos”

One highlight of this year’s Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention was the annual convention luncheon, held on Saturday, November 17. During the luncheon, a panel of distinguished judges addressed the very hot topic of judicial independence. The panelists:

Judge Carlos T. Bea (Ninth Circuit),
Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs (Sixth Circuit)
Judge Timothy B. Dyk (Federal Circuit)
Judge Patricia M. Wald (D.C. Circuit) (retired)
Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs (Second Circuit) (moderator)

A quick recap of the discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “From the Belly of the Beast: Eating Judicial Independence for Lunch”

Fed Soc 26.JPG

Apperances can be deceiving. The smiling woman above looks like a sweet old lady (or perhaps she’s middle-aged).

But don’t be fooled. This pleasant-looking woman opened a can of whoop-ass at the final panel discussion of the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention. She rained hellfire and brimstone upon the audience, and placed at least two of the panelists on an express train to Hell.

As we mentioned earlier, that last panel “discussion” was insane. It was a no-holds-barred fight between the Federalist Society’s two major constituencies: the social conservatives and the libertarians. It was a smart move to save this intra-societal slugfest until the end of the weekend.
The nominal title of the panel: “The Role of Government in Defining Our Culture.” A more appropriate title for the panel: “Watch Libertarians and Social Conservatives Rant at Each Other About Gay Marriage.”

The combatants participants:

Moderator cum lion tamer: Hon. Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General
For the libertarians: Dr. Charles Murray, AEI; Mr. Anthony Romero, ACLU
For the social conservatives: Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum; Professor Hadley Arkes, Amherst College
Kinda in between: Professor William Eskridge, Yale Law School
Kinda irrelevant: Hon. Walter Dellinger, currently of O’Melveny & Myers and Duke Law School (and former acting Solicitor General)
A blow-by-blow account of this intellectual battle royal, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An ATL Public Service Announcement: ‘The Wages of Sin Is Death!’ (Romans 6:23)”

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