Legal news. Independent commentary. Federalist Society contributors and independent experts.


New Jersey Supreme Court - State Court Docket Watch News Clips: 7/30/2015

Right to Work laws at the polls and in the courts - an update

Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Jr February 22, 2017

Since my last blog on this subject, dated November 28, 2016, two more states have enacted Right to Work laws. This brings to twenty-eight the total number of states having such laws, which prohibit requirements that workers pay union dues as a condition of employment. Kentucky's Right to Work law was signed by Governor Matt Bevin on January 7, 2017; it took effect immediately. Missouri's was signed by Governor Eric Greitens on February 6, 2017. It will not go into effect until August 28, 2017. Moreover, if unions obtain a sufficient number of signatures on a petition for a referendum, it will not go into effect unless Missouri voters approve the new law in the 2018 general election. [Read More]


Capitol dome under construction

To have a better, more honest Congress, change its incentives

Timothy Courtney February 16, 2017

David Schoenbrod writes for The Hill:

Congress has become one of America’s most unpopular and disparaged institutions — but a practical reform could quickly change all of this to simultaneously benefit the American people and Congressional approval numbers.

Congress’s fall from grace came ironically from the success it helped to produce.  

Read the full article


2015 National Lawyers Convention: Early Registration Now Open

Call for Papers -- 2017 Junior Scholars Colloquium

Timothy Courtney February 13, 2017

Call for Papers -- 2017 Junior Scholars Colloquium

We are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for our sixth annual Junior Scholars Colloquium, which is scheduled for June 23-25, 2017 at Loews Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. The Junior Scholars Colloquium provides eight junior faculty members (as defined in the submission criteria below) with the opportunity to present competitively selected, unpublished papers and receive comments from more senior faculty members to help improve their scholarship. [Read More]


Fairholme Funds, Inc. v. United States: Litigation Discovery and the Most Transparent Administration in History

Kennedy, Korematsu, and the Travel Ban

John Reid February 10, 2017

President Trump’s recent travel ban sparked an interesting constitutional discussion regarding the limits of executive authority.  Assuming Judge Robart’s ruling, blocking President Trump’s executive order, does make its way to the Supreme Court, the potential Supreme Court ruling would have broad implications beyond President Trump’s executive order regarding a travel ban.  The reverberations of such a ruling will likely effect presidential powers for years to come. For the liberal bloc of the Court to have any hopes of overturning the largest portions of President Trump’s order and create new precedent they need the vote of Justice Kennedy, the so-called “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. In order to draw Justice Kennedy to their side they could offer one incredibly enticing opportunity: the chance to overturn the universally reviled Korematsu v. United States. [Read More]


Teleforum Preview: Regulatory Crimes: Clay v. U.S. Oral Argument by John J. Park, Jr.

Why Trump can’t undo the regulatory state so easily

Timothy Courtney February 09, 2017

Rachel Augustine Potter writes for the Brookings Institution:

Regulatory politics, not usually the stuff of headlines, is suddenly above-the-fold news. In his first week, President Trump laid out an ambitious anti-regulatory goal of eliminating “75%–maybe more” of existing regulation. Last week he followed up on that pledge, signing an executive order adopting a “2 for 1” policy for new regulations and issuing another order to consider rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations.[1]

However, despite this flurry of activity, it’s too soon to conclude that the regulatory state as we know it is in retreat.

Read the full article from Brookings. 


scales and world flags

[PANEL]: Will International Law Matter to the Trump Administration?

Timothy Courtney February 09, 2017

The Federalist Society's Practice Group and Student Divisions and the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) are pleased to present a panel on the future of international and national law under freshly inaugurated President Trump. This panel featred a lively discussion between leading international lawyers the Hon. John Bellinger and Associate Dean and Professor Rosa Brooks about whether international law will matter to the new administration. The panel was be moderated by Professor David Stewart.

This panel was part of the conference on International Law in the Trump Era: Expectations, Hopes, and Fears held on January 23, 2017, at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

Panel: Will International Law Matter to the Trump Administration?

--Hon. John B. Bellinger, III, former Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council
--Prof. Rosa Brooks, Associate Dean, Graduate Programs & Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
--Moderator: Prof. David Stewart, President, American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA)



State Court Docket Watch News Clips: 10/5/2015

Compliance Nightmare Looms for Baltimore Police Department

James Scanlan February 08, 2017

In my January 4, 2017 post titled “Will Trump Have the First Numerate Administration?,” I discussed Department of Justice (DOJ) actions regarding police practices in Baltimore, Maryland in the context of the longstanding situation where federal civil rights law enforcement policies have been based on an understanding of statistics that is the opposite of reality. Specifically, with regard to matters including lending, school discipline, employment, criminal justice, and voting, many government policies have been premised on the belief that relaxing standards or otherwise reducing the frequency of adverse outcomes tends to reduce (a) relative (percentage) racial and other demographic differences in rates of experiencing those outcomes and (b) the proportions more susceptible groups make up of persons experiencing the outcomes. In fact, generally reducing any outcome tends to increase, not decrease, (a) and (b).

[Because of the length of this post, a PDF version is available here.] [Read More]

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