MENU

Due Process

When is a law too vague to be Constitutional?

Short video with Ilya Shapiro discussing Johnson v. United States
Ilya Shapiro April 18, 2015

Senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review, Ilya Shapiro explains the confusion concerning what constitutes a violent felony conviction under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act. In this upcoming Supreme Court case, Petitioner Johnson claims the ACCA is unconstitutionally vague while the government asserts that Johnson’s conviction for possession of a short-barreled shotgun satisfies the violent felony requirement of the statute.

Ilya Shapiro is co-counsel on the amicus brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Federal Defenders, Families against Mandatory Minimums and the Cato Institute in support of the Petitioner.
 
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Gay Marriage in the Supreme Court - Podcast

Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
Gerard V. Bradley, Ilya Shapiro January 28, 2015

On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The Court called for Reply Briefs by April 17, with oral argument and decision expected this term. Cert was granted on two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. The questions are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction.

The relationship between the two questions is asymmetrical. An affirmative answer to the first settles the second likewise, where the Court could coherently, hold that states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, but not necessarily license them.

  • Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute

Surveillance, National Security, and Privacy: The PCLOB Report on Section 702 Surveillance - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Rachel Brand, James X. Dempsey, Matthew R.A. Heiman August 14, 2014

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) recently released its report on the surveillance program authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report includes an evaluation of whether the surveillance program comports with the terms of the statute, an evaluation of the Fourth Amendment issues raised by the program, and a discussion of the treatment of non-U.S. persons under the program. Also, the report makes policy recommendations for the program going forward. Two members of the PCLOB will discuss the report on this Teleforum and answer audience questions.

  • Hon. Rachel Brand, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation, National Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy, United States Department of Justice
  • Hon. James X. Dempsey, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  • Moderator: Matthew R.A. Heiman, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, Tyco

Privacy and National Security: The Merits of the Leahy FISA Reform Bill - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Stewart A. Baker, Harley Geiger August 13, 2014

Following the Snowden leaks, the country is once again re-examining the proper balance between national security and individual privacy. Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) has introduced a bill that would revise aspects of certain NSA surveillance programs. Two leading experts addressed the merits of this bill.

  • Hon. Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Harley Geiger, Senior Counsel and Deputy Director, Freedom, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology