MENU

Do State Attorneys General Have a Duty to Defend State Laws?

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Teleforum
Start : Thursday, April 03, 2014 12:00 PM
End : Thursday, April 03, 2014 01:00 PM

Add To Your Calendar
   

Location:
Federalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

Featured Speakers:
Neal E. Devins
John W. Suthers

Description:

Recently U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, citing the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor, urged the members of the National Association of Attorneys General to exercise their discretion to decline to defend state-level Defense of Marriage Acts (DOMA). State attorneys general of California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, among others, have followed the Justice Department's lead in declining to defend such state laws. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers urged state attorneys general not to employ a "litigation veto" to nullify popularly enacted laws with which state attorneys general might disagree. What is the scope of a state attorney general's power to decline to execute or enforce state law on the basis that the law is or is thought to be unconstitutional and inconsistent with the oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution? What lessons, if any, may properly be drawn from the federal context and any Presidential authority to decline to enforce federal statutes that he views as unconstitutional? Do such instances of executive non-defense and non-enforcement amount to executive arrogation of legislative prerogative? Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and William & Mary Professor Neal Devins will discuss these questions and engage with the audience's comments and questions.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Neal E. Devins, Professor of Law, Professor of Government, and Director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law
  • Hon. John W. Suthers, Attorney General, State of Colorado
Agenda:

Call begins at 12:00 noon Eastern Time.

Registration details:

Teleforum calls are open to all dues paying members of the Federalist Society. To become a member, sign up here. As a member, you should receive email announcements of upcoming Teleforum calls which contain the conference call phone number. If you are not receiving those email announcements, please contact us at 202-822-8138.

Related Materials:
Teleforum