- Professor Tessa Dysart, Regent Law
On November 29, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Moore v. Texas. This case involves the death penalty and the intellectually disabled. Specifically, whether in capital cases it violates the Eighth Amendment and the High Court’s prior rulings in Hall v. Florida and Atkins v. Virginia to preclude the application of current medical standards and require older medical standards to determine the intellectual disability of a criminal defendant.
The final Showcase panel examines Justice Scalia's transformation of five very important areas of Supreme Court doctrine. First, Justice Scalia transformed freedom of expression doctrine by entrenching a rule of viewpoint neutrality in place of different tests for different kinds of speech. In the five to four flag burning cases, Justice Scalia teamed up with Justices Brennan and Marshall to protect political speech. In the five to four decision in Citizens United he did the same thing with a different block of Justices. In another five to four opinion, Justice Scalia recognized constitutional protection for hate speech in RAV v. City of St. Paul. He joined a summary affirmance of a Seventh Circuit opinion by Judge Frank Easterbrook banning Catherine MacKinnon's anti-pornography laws. Second, Justice Scalia revolutionized the law of the religion clauses by largely burying the Lemon test and leading the Supreme Court in affirming the constitutionality of education vouchers for religious schools. Third, Justice Scalia revolutionized the Second Amendment by finding that it protected an individual's right to bear arms to defend himself, and he was very libertarian and protective of criminal defendants' rights in his criminal procedure jurisprudence. Fourth, Justice Scalia surprised some observers with his criminal law and procedure opinions on searches, the Confrontation Clause, and more. Finally, Justice Scalia played what some describe as a unique role in standing, including in his opinion in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.
This panel was held on November 19, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Showcase Panel IV: ROUNDTABLE: Areas of Constitutional Doctrine Transformed
2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel
Justice Scalia's originalism had an important impact on our nation's criminal law. While sometimes overlooked, his commitment to the rights of criminal defendants, as rooted in the Constitution, is indisputable. He forthrightly addressed new Fourth Amendment issues including technological advances in surveillance, revived the Sixth Amendment's jury and confrontation clauses, remained mindful of both common law and substantive criminal law concerns, and in many instances swayed his fellow justices. This panel will delve into these areas and discuss if and how Justice Scalia's work will continue to affect future Court decisions.
This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Criminal Law: Justice Scalia and the Criminal Law
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel