On November 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Yates v. United States. This case concerns whether Mr. Yates was given fair notice that throwing undersized fish back into the Gulf of Mexico during the course of an investigation would violate the "document shredding provision" of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation.
To discuss the case, we have Todd Braunstein who is Counsel at WilmerHale.
Does the Constitution empower the Supreme Court to actively protect individual rights from the whimsy and overreach of lawmakers? The debate over judicial restraint vs. judicial activism is at the heart of Overruled, which makes a bold case for libertarian judicial activism—the notion that the courts should swat away unwarranted and indefensible incursions on our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Federalist Society, the Charles Koch Institute, and Reason co-sponsored this event on November 18, 2014.
Mr. Damon Root, Author of Overruled and senior editor of Reason magazine and Reason.com
Prof. Neomi Rao, Associate Professor, George Mason University School of Law
On November 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Johnson v. United States. This case concerns whether mere possession of a short-barreled shotgun should be treated as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
To discuss the case, we have Richard Myers who is the Henry Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
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
America has always been a forward-looking country. What is the future for our young – for the best and brightest – and for everyone else? Does the American Dream still apply? Does our current legal and regulatory system offer the young prospects for a more just and better society, or for an overregulated society that stifles enterprise and compromises individual liberty? How do we balance these competing concerns and what role can and should our legal system play? Finally, there has been much discussion recently about income inequality. Are efforts to address that through law or taxes beneficial or harmful to the young and their vision of a better society?
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Is the Future of the American Dream Bright?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
Hon. Rachel L. Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy United States Department of Justice
Hon. Lanny J. Davis, Principal, Lanny J. Davis & Associates, former Special Counsel to the President, and former Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law and Director, Center on National Security and the Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Partner, HoganLovells US LLP, and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General
Dr. Charles A. Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Moderator: Ms. Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow and Research Coordinator, American Enterprise Institute