State/Federal Relations

The Role of Congress in Environmental Law - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Eric R. Claeys, Matt Leggett, Nicholas A. Robinson, David Schoenbrod, Steven Colloton November 19, 2015

Environmental law and policy raise profound questions about Congress's role and responsibilities. Many environmental regulatory statutes leave the Environmental Protection Agency with broad discretion. Although these grants of discretion create flexibility and take advantage of EPA expertise, they also invite congressional passivity, create administrative problems, and increase special-interest pressures on the EPA and Congress alike. Congressional-EPA relations matter now more than ever because many major federal environmental laws are now more than 40 years old. The EPA is using currently enabling language from old environmental organic acts to regulate global climate change and other cutting-edge problems. What are the proper relations between Congress and the EPA? If these relations are out of alignment, can Congress realign them and how? Panelists will explore these questions with examples ranging from hydrofracturing through clean water and clean air regulation.

Environmental Law: The Role of Congress in Environmental Law
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Room

  • Prof. Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Mr. Matt Leggett, Policy Counsel on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee
  • Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor on the Environment, and Kerlin Professor Emeritus, Pace University School of Law
  • Prof. David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Steven M. Colloton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Overreach in the States - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Adam Laxalt, William H. Pryor Jr., Adam J. White, Leonard A. Leo November 18, 2015

This panel of current and former state Attorneys General will examine the relationship between the federal and state governments, vertical separation of powers, as well as the regulatory regime within states. Many state AG offices are litigating more, and more important cases, than ever before. A recent spate of lawsuits has pitted a fair number of states against the federal government, challenging underlying federal authority for discreet actions taken. Meanwhile, laws and regulations by state government actors, including business licensing and other regulations governing business and employment, are being challenged by others, often defended by state Attorneys General. The panel will discuss and debate these and other emerging challenges.

Special Session: Overreach in the States
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

  • Hon. Adam Laxalt, Attorney General, State of Nevada
  • Hon. William H. Pryor Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • Moderator: Mr. Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

The Role of Congress and the State: A Governor's Perspective - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Sam Brownback, Nathan Deal, Pete Ricketts, Scott Walker, William Kristol, David M. McIntosh November 18, 2015

This panel was held during the 2015 National Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The Role of Congress and the State: A Governor's Perspective
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Omni Shoreham Hotel - Regency Ballroom

  • Hon. Sam Brownback, Governor, State of Kansas
  • Hon. Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia
  • Hon. Pete Ricketts, Governor, State of Nebraska
  • Hon. Scott Walker, Governor, State of Wisconsin
  • Moderator: Mr. William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
  • Introduction: Hon. David M. McIntosh, President, Club for Growth and Vice Chairman, The Federalist Society

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, DC

The War on Terror - Event Audio/Video

2015 Texas Chapters Conference
Margaret Spellings, Michael Chertoff, William J. Haynes, Michael B. Mukasey, Larry D. Thompson, John Rizzo October 02, 2015

On September 19, 2015, The Federalist Society hosted the 2015 Texas Chapters Conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings welcomed the attendees at the start of the conference. The following panel featured a retrospective on the War on Terror and the Rule of Law.


  • Hon. Margaret Spellings, President, George W. Bush Presidential Center and former United States Secretary of Education

Panel: The War on Terror

  • Hon. Michael Chertoff, former Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
  • Hon. William Haynes, II, former General Counsel, Department of Defense
  • Hon. Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • Hon. Larry D. Thompson, former Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • Moderator:  Mr. John Rizzo, former Acting General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency

September 19, 2015
Dallas, TX

How could the Supreme Court affect marriage?

Short video debating the possible consequences of Obergefell v. Hodges.
Kyle Duncan, Ilya Somin June 25, 2015

Kyle Duncan of Duncan PLLC, an attorney in private practice who serves as Special Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana, and Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, discuss potential consequences of a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. This case considers whether or not the 14th Amendment requires that states allow same sex couples to marry, as well as whether or not the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same sex marriages performed lawfully in other states.

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