Ideas for Structural Change - Event Audio/Video

2010 National Lawyers Convention

Are there structural ways that are practically plausible to limit or reduce the power of government? Or will any such efforts only be possible on a case-by-case basis? Two possible areas for structural change: Would it be desirable to institute a system of term limits for high federal officials in addition to the two-term limit on the President? Should members of Congress be term limited? How about binding term limits for both parties for years of service as a member or certainly as a chairman of a congressional committee? Alternatively, is the entrenched Congress a desirable balance to direct democracy? Are there times when the government (or at least an elite represented by long-term members of Congress) should overrule the wishes of the people? Or is there a good argument that, without term limits, there is a practical way to limit the power of Congress? Would term limits, even if enacted, have that effect?

Or, should Congress restore the Seventh Amendment right of jury trial by statutorily providing for civil juries in administrative law cases? Couldn’t six person juries of specialists make administrative law less arbitrary? What about moving the more than 1,000 administrative law judges out of the agencies altogether and giving them life tenure while forbidding them from engaging in law execution? Wouldn’t life tenure make administrative law judges more independent? Does the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2010 in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board suggest that we need to think harder about the constitutional position of ALJs?


Showcase Panel IV: Ideas for Structural Change: Term Limits, Reviving the Right to Civil Jury Trial, Moving Administrative Law Judges to Article III, and Others
2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

  • Prof. Lillian R. BeVier, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Mr. Michael A. Carvin, Partner, Jones Day
  • Mr. Douglas T. Kendall, President, Constitutional Accountability Center
  • Mr. Patrick McSweeney, Legal Advisor, Virginia TEA Party Patriots Federation
  • Mr. C. Gibson Vance, Shareholder, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, PC and President, American Association for Justice
  • Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

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