2015 National Lawyers Convention
On November 14, 2015, during the Federalist Society's 2015 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC, Professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz of the Georgetown University Law Center interviewed USA Today Columnist, Daily Beast Columnist, and FOX News Contributor Ms. Kirsten Powers.
Interview with Kirsten Powers
12:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
- Ms. Kirsten Powers, USA Today Columnist, Daily Beast Columnist, and FOX News Contributor
- Interviewed by: Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law Center and Federalist Society Board of Directors
The Mayflower Hotel
Note: There were technical issues with Prof. Rosenkranz's microphone at the beginning of the video during his introduction, but the issues were resolved by the time the interview begins. 2015 National Lawyers Convention
Supporters of mandated disclosure of the source of speech (or of money used to pay for speech) claim it can provide important information to the public and the legal system. But opponents say it violates privacy rights and can also deter the sources from speaking or contributing.
This debate also applies to reporters' confidential sources. In both situations, disclosure (of who contributed or spent, or who a confidential source was) may provide useful information to voters, prosecutors, civil litigants, judges, or jurors. In both situations, requiring disclosure of the source may deter people from contributing to controversial campaigns or organizations, or from talking to journalists. Politically, people tend to react differently to these reactions – confidentiality of contributors tends to be more supported by conservatives, while confidentiality of journalists' sources tends to be more supported by liberals. But structurally, are these issues similar? This panel will consider both these questions together.
Free Speech: A Right to Speak Anonymously? Political Contributors and Reporters’ Confidential Sources
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Mr. Andrew M. Grossman, Associate, BakerHostetler
- Mr. Stephen Klein, Pillar of Law Institute
- Mr. Paul S. Ryan, Senior Counsel, Campaign Legal Center
- Hon. Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
- Moderator: Hon. Robert P. Young, Jr., Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Michigan
- Introduction: Mr. Manuel Klausner, Co-Founder, Trustee, and Legal Advisor, Reason Foundation and General Counsel, Individual Rights Foundation
The Mayflower Hotel 2015 National Lawyers Convention
With the U.S. Supreme Court cert grant in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, religious liberties is once again in the legal and media spotlight. What is the recent record of the government in protecting religious liberty? Our panel will discuss everything from the contraceptive mandate and its exemptions to ministerial hiring, RLUPA, the faith-based initiative, the Planned Parenthood controversy, and everything in between.
Religious Liberties: Examination of the Obama Administration’s Protection of Religious Liberty
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
- Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, Founder & Senior Director, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance
- Mr. William P. Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
- Mr. William L. Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, Americans United for Life
- Mr. Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates
- Moderator: Hon. Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel Short Video on Little Sisters of the Poor and the Contraceptive Mandate
Eileen J. O'Connor September 29, 2015
The Honorable Eileen J. O’Connor, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, explains the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate on the Little Sisters of the Poor. In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, the sisters have petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari because they believe that following the accommodation offered by HHS violates their Freedom of Religion. The government argues that the accommodation HHS designed relieves the Little Sisters of complicity in the provision of contraceptives, and therefore their religious liberty is not implicated. SCOTUScast 6-23-15 featuring Eugene Volokh.
Eugene Volokh June 23, 2015
On June 18, 2015, the Supreme Court issued two highly anticipated decisions in free speech cases, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., and Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. concerned two First Amendment issues: the first was whether content displayed on specialty license plates issued by the state is government speech immune from First Amendment prohibition on viewpoint discrimination; the second was whether Texas engaged in viewpoint discrimination when it rejected a specialty license plate design which included an image of a Confederate Flag.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that Texas’s specialty license plate designs constitute government speech, and Texas was therefore entitled to reject the design proposed by Sons of Confederate Veterans. The decision of the Fifth Circuit to the contrary was reversed. Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined Justice Breyer’s majority opinion. A dissenting opinion was filed by Justice Alito, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Kennedy.
Reed v. Town of Gilbert involved a First Amendment challenge to the sign code for Gilbert, Arizona, which imposes more stringent restrictions on signs directing the public to meetings of nonprofit groups--including churches--than on other signs. By a vote of 9-0, the Court reversed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit (which had rejected the challenge) and remanded the case. Justice Thomas, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Sotomayor, held that the Code’s sign provisions were content-based restrictions of speech that could not survive strict scrutiny. Justice Alito also filed a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Kennedy and Sotomayor. Justice Breyer filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice Kagan, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer, also filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.
To discuss the case, we have Professor Eugene Volokh, the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law.