Judicial Confirmation Process

Life on the Bench - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Brett M. Kavanaugh, Alex Kozinski, Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Jerry E. Smith, David Stras, David B. Sentelle, Dean A. Reuter November 19, 2015

Many attorneys see a judgeship as the pinnacle of professional achievement in the legal world. It could be the visibility of judges, their unquestioned decision-making authority, the absence of clients, life tenure, or some other aspect of being a judge. Our panel of judges will discuss the realities of a career on the bench. The panelists will share their thoughts on topics as diverse as the role of the judiciary, judicial philosophy, stare decisis and precedent, opinions and dissents, the judicial appointment process, the state of the legal profession, and much more.

This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Special Session: Life on the Bench
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
State Room

  • Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Hon. Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Hon. Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Hon. David Stras, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Minnesota
  • Moderator: Hon. David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Changing the Rules: The Senate Filibuster - Podcast

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
Carrie Severino, M. Edward Whelan, Dean A. Reuter December 19, 2013

Senate FloorLast month, the U.S. Senate changed its procedural rules well into the tenure of a Congress. The rules change concerned the filibuster. Where previously a cloture vote to end debate on all filibusters required 60 votes, cloture votes on a President's Executive Branch and judicial nominees now require only 51 votes. The rules change stipulates that U.S. Supreme Court nominees are not covered by the change.

Did the Senate act contrary to its own rules, procedures, and customs by making this change in the middle of a Congress, instead of at the beginning of a Congressional term? Is the rule change a proper corrective measure in light of the growth of the use of the filibuster over the past 20 years? Or is the change an example of a majority determined to accomplish its ends merely by virtue of its being a majority? Perhaps more importantly, is the rule change here to stay, or might it be reversed in the future? These and other questions were addressed by our experts.


  • Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director, Judicial Crisis Network
  • M. Edward Whelan III, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Moderator: Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]

Welcome & Opening Address by Mike Lee - Event Audio/Video

2013 National Lawyers Convention
Michael S. Lee, Leonard A. Leo November 20, 2013

Mike S. LeeSenator Mike Lee of Utah opened the Federalist Society's 2013 National Lawyers Convention with an address to attendees on Thursday, November 14, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Senator Lee was introduced by Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society.
[Watch or listen now!]