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Judiciary

The Least Dangerous Branch? Reflections on Bickel’s Classic - Podcast

Professional Responsibilities & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
Erwin Chemerinsky, James A. Haynes, Ronald Rotunda July 14, 2016

The Federalist Society's Teleforum series, Legal Classics Revisited, will consider Professor Alexander Bickel's 1962 book, The Least Dangerous Branch. In a life cut short just before his 50th birthday, Professor Bickel contributed to our understanding of American constitutional law. Among his more provocative concepts was the "counter-majoritarian difficulty." It is not unique to observe that in a nation governed by elected representatives, an unelected Federal judiciary with lifetime tenure represents an anomaly. Alexander Hamilton penned Federalist No. 78 to explain and defend the idea. Professor Bickel takes Hamilton's idea and his title and spends his book exploring the questions: How can an unelected branch of government be a co-equal branch of government? How can society enjoy the benefits of an impartial judiciary without seismic jolting along the fault line between majoritarian and counter-majoritarian institutions? Professor Bickel's questions are still extremely relevant today.

Featuring:

  • Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
  • James A. Haynes, Attorney and Alternate Judge, U.S. Dept of Labor, Employees Compensation Appeals Board
  • Prof. Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

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.

The President's Judicial Legacy - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Damien Schiff, Brett A. Shumate May 03, 2016

After almost eight years in office, President Obama’s 322 appointments to the federal courts have already begun to make a substantial impact on the law. In this Teleforum, two litigators talked about whether and how these new judges are shaping the law and the judiciary. They focused in particular on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C. and Ninth Circuits.

Featuring:

  • Damien Schiff, Principal Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Brett Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP