San Francisco, CA 94104
- James Finberg, Altshuler Berzon
- Joshua Lipshutz, Gibson Dunn
- Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center
The Federalist Society of the University of Virginia School of Law is excited to host the 35th National Student Symposium on February 26-27, 2016.
On the topic of poverty, liberals claim the moral high ground. Their response includes federal and local interventions including entitlements, higher taxes, and a generally bigger and more active government. Despite liberals' insistence to the contrary, conservatives and libertarians also care about the poor, but they have their own ideas about how to lift people out of poverty. This symposium will explore these ideas.
On December 9, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. This is the second time the case has come before the high court.
Abigail Fisher, a white female, applied for admission to the University of Texas but was denied. Fisher sued the University and argued that the use of race as a consideration in the admissions process violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court held that the University’s admissions process was constitutional, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. The case went to the Supreme Court (Fisher I), which held that the appellate court erred in how it applied the strict scrutiny standard, improperly deferring to the University’s good faith in its use of racial classifications. On remand the Fifth Circuit again ruled in favor of the University, deeming its use of race in the admissions process narrowly tailored to a legitimate interest in achieving “the rich diversity that contributes to its academic mission.”
The question in this case is whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of the University of Texas at Austin’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions can be sustained under this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Fisher I.
To discuss the case, we have Joshua P. Thompson who is Principal Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation.
Gail Heriot, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego school of law, discusses Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin in which the Fifth Circuit re-endorsed the use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions. Fisher alleges that the use of such preferences violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The University of Texas denies violating the Constitution.
The Common Core State Standards attempts to define what K-12 students should know at the end of each school year in key subject areas. The initiative garnered strong and broad support, but has come under increasingly heavy criticism from state and local officials, and parents. Supporters argue that uniform standards are an essential part of assuring quality education throughout the nation. Criticisms range from concerns about top-down, federal control of a traditionally state and local government function, to attempts to impose a nationwide curriculum, to a lack of field testing of the standards. Our experts discussed the standards and who has the better argument.