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History of Law

The American IP System

Short video featuring Adam Mossoff
Adam Mossoff June 15, 2016

Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, gives a brief overview of the United States' intellectual property system. He discusses the United States' innovative manner of treating patents and trademarks as property rights. He also explains how the United States has influenced many modern countries' approaches.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Is having only 8 Supreme Court Justices a problem?

Short video featuring Steven Calabresi
Steven G. Calabresi June 10, 2016

Steven G. Calabresi, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, discusses the number of Justices who sit on the Supreme Court. He contrasts our current Court of nine Justices with earlier periods in US history, international Courts, and state Supreme Courts. He also explains what happens when a case gets a 4-4 vote.

Gateway to Freedom: Right of Assembly

Short video explaining Heffernan v. City of Paterson
Adèle Keim January 15, 2016

Adèle Auxier Keim, counsel for the Becket Fund, explains the First Amendment issues in the upcoming Supreme Court case, Heffernan v. City of Paterson.  Officer Heffernan was demoted by his employer after he was seen picking up a campaign sign in support of a rival politician, and claims that he was retaliated against in violation of the Constitution.  The City of Paterson argues that since Officer Heffernan was picking up the campaign sign for someone else, that there was no violation of the First Amendment.  This video explains the Constitutional Right of Freedom of Assembly and its role as gatekeeper for other Constitutional rights.

Ms. Keim co-authored an amicus brief for the Becket Fund in support of Officer Heffernan.

The Original View of Congress - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Akhil Reed Amar, Louis Fisher, Tara Helfman, Gordon Lloyd, James L. Buckley November 16, 2015

What was the founders' conception of the role of Congress? Was that conception clearly understood? To what degree was that conception followed during our nation's early years and to what degree did early Congresses follow the Constitution? To what degree were members of Congress representing their districts and to what degree were they representing national interests? In what ways did the Senate and the House originally operate differently? Originally, the prevailing view was that “the laws that free men live under are the laws that have been hauled up." In other words, we are ruled by the laws that we and our neighbors made. Was this ever true?

Showcase Panel I: The Original View of Congress
9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

  • Prof. Akhil R. Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
  • Dr. Louis Fisher, Scholar in Residence, the Constitution Project
  • Prof. Tara J. Helfman, Associate Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law 
  • Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
  • Moderator: Hon. James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (ret.) and former U.S. Senator

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC