2014 National Lawyers Convention
Saving Congress from Itself proposes a single reform: eliminate all federal grants-in-aid to state and local governments. This action would reduce federal spending by over $600 billion a year and have a profound effect on how we govern ourselves. The proliferation of federal grants-in-aid programs is of recent vintage: only about 100 such grants existed before Lyndon Johnson took office, and now they number more than 1,100. Eliminating grants to the states will result in enormous savings in federal and state administrative costs; free states to set their own priorities; and improve the design and implementation of programs now subsidized by Washington by eliminating federal regulations that attend the grants. In short, it will free states and their subdivisions to resume full responsibility for all activities that fall within their competence, such as education, welfare, and highway construction and maintenance. And because members of Congress spend major portions of their time creating grants and allocating funds assigned to them (think earmarks), eliminating grants will enable Congress to devote its time to responsibilities that are uniquely national in character.
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this closing discussion on "Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States & Empowering Their People" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Hon. James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (ret.) and former U.S. Senator
- Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service; Former Dean (2007 – 2010); and Director, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Dale E Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
- Prof. Michael S. Greve, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
- Moderator: Mr. Robert R. Gasaway, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Mayflower Hotel 2014 National Lawyers Convention
Several major federal programs directly tax the young to provide benefits to the elderly. This is a main feature of the Affordable Care Act, the Social Security System as it currently works, and of the laws guaranteeing pensions. In addition, the national debt raises intergenerational equity issues. What obligations do these debts impose on the young? Are they all of a piece or are the answers different in each case? Is it true that this generation is likely to be poorer than the previous one? What role does our legal system play in this? How will the law address pensions that contribute to bankrupting cities or states? What is the nature of the Social Security contract?
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Intergenerational Equity and Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and Pensions" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Hon. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc., and former Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
- Prof. John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law
- Prof. David A. Weisbach, Walter J. Blum Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, The Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory
- Moderator: Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
Mayflower Hotel Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
In a case decided on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court ruled that subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought health insurance in exchanges run by an individual state or the District of Columbia, and not to people who purchased health insurance on the federally run exchange, HealthCare.gov. How did the court reach its conclusion, and is the court’s reasoning sound? Will the ruling make the Affordable Care Act financially unworkable? Is a final ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court inevitable?
Administrative Law & Regulation and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
- Prof. Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Prof. Nicholas Bagley, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
At bottom, in Kuretski v. Commissioner, presidential power is at stake. Judges of the U.S. Tax Court (26 USC 7443(f)), were arguably characterized by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Freytag v. Commissioner, as exercising a portion of the judicial power of the United States. Recently, however, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed when it found that the Tax Court exercises only executive power. What are the implications of the D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion on the president’s removal power? Has the D.C. Circuit misread Freytag, or faithfully applied it?
SCOTUScast 7-17-14 featuring Kristin Gutting
- Prof. Kristin E. Hickman, Harlan Albert Rogers Professor in Law, University of Minnesota Law School
- Prof. Tuan Samahon, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in United States v. Clarke. The question in this case is whether an unsupported allegation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a summons for an improper purpose entitles an opponent of the summons to an evidentiary hearing to question IRS officials about their reasons for issuing the summons.
Justice Kagan delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, which held that an allegation of improper purpose does not entitle a taxpayer to examine IRS officials. Rather, the taxpayer may do so when he can point to “specific facts or circumstances plausibly raising an inference of bad faith." The contrary decision of the Eleventh Circuit was vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings.
To discuss the case, we have Kristin Gutting, an associate professor of law at the Charleston School of Law.