Separation of Powers

Preserving Freedom: Federal vs. State Power - Event Audio/Video

2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Adam Freedman, Christina Sandefur, Adam Winkler, Sandra Segal Ikuta, Stephen M. Duvernay February 17, 2016

Sometimes federalism is invoked because we believe the best way to preserve freedom is to devolve to the local level. With the federal government’s reach extending into more facets of daily life like education policy, labor & employment policies, and healthcare, calls for state and local governments to stand against Washington are increasing. Yet at times, local government can serve as an even greater restraint on individual rights. From regulations governing entrepreneurship and the sharing economy, the minimum wage, asset forfeiture, and policing, state and local government at times may intrude on individual freedom even more than the federal government.  State initiatives on “right to try” (now law in 24 states) and marijuana regulation also lead to federalism questions, putting conservatives and libertarians at odds. How do we strike the proper federalism balance? How should principles of federalism inform the federal government’s response to state initiatives?

This panel was part of the 2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 30, 2016.

Preserving Freedom: Federal vs. State Power

  • Mr. Adam Freedman, Author, A Less Perfect Union and The Naked Constitution
  • Ms. Christina Sandefur, Executive Vice President, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Adam Winkler, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Sandra Segal Ikuta, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Stephen M. Duvernay, Benbrook Law Group

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Attorney General Scott Pruitt's Opening Address at the 2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference - Event Audio/Video

2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Scott Pruitt, Eugene B. Meyer February 17, 2016

James Madison wrote that our system of federalism provides “a double security…to the rights of the people.” In other words, the 50 states serve as shields for individual rights that the federal government fails to protect. States can harness these tools to protect important rights. The intro will set the stage for the day’s theme, building on the Founders’ concept of federalism, tying it to Reagan’s ascendancy and the framework of the Reagan Revolution, and touching on the concepts of states’ powers.

This address was part of the 2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 30, 2016.


  • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma
  • Introduction: Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President, The Federalist Society

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

The New Chevron Skeptics - Event Audio/Video

18th Annual Faculty Conference
Blake D. Morant, Kellye Y. Testy, Lee Liberman Otis, Michael E. Herz, Jeffrey Pojanowski, Peter L. Strauss, Christopher J. Walker, John O. McGinnis January 15, 2016

When Chevron was first decided it was generally welcomed on the right side of the political spectrum as a principled method constraining judicial discretion and permitting the executive to exert policy control over the administrative state. But as the administrative state continues to grow, some now see Chevron as removing an important check on government power and an abdication of the judiciary’s authority to say what the law is. Some members of the Supreme Court are now open to reconsidering judicial deference to agency action, at least in certain areas, such as determining their own jurisdictions and interpreting their own regulations. The panel will consider the extent to which the new skepticism toward Chevron in particular and judicial deference to agencies in general is justified.

This panel took place during the 18th Annual Faculty Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, NY on January 8, 2016.

8:45 am

  • Dean Blake D. Morant, President, Association of American Law Schools & Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School and 
  • Dean Kellye Y. Testy, President Elect, Association of American Law Schools & Toni Rembe Dean & Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law
  • Introduction: Hon. Lee Liberman Otis, Senior Vice President & Faculty Division Director, The Federalist Society

Panel: The New Chevron Skeptics
8:45 am - 10:15 am

  • Prof. Michael Herz, Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Prof. Jeffrey Pojanowski, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Prof. Peter Strauss, Columbia Law School
  • Prof. Christopher Walker, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • Moderator: Prof. John McGinnis, Northwestern University School of Law

New York, NY
January 8, 2016