Numerous states have passed voter identification laws, and the Supreme Court has permitted them to remain in effect. Nonetheless, voter ID remains a highly controversial issue. Former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese III discussed voter fraud and the importance of voter ID laws and answered audience questions on a live Teleforum conference call.
Hon. Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, The Heritage Foundation
On January 9, 2015, the Nebraska Supreme Court held that the law dictating the potential path of the Keystone XL pipeline through the state was not unconstitutional. President Obama previously cited the pending lawsuit as a reason to delay making an approval decision on the controversial pipeline project. Nebraska’s former Deputy Attorney General Katie Spohn argued the case, and she joined a Teleforum conference call to discuss the decision and potential upcoming Keystone XL litigation.
Katie Spohn, Partner, Bruning Law Group, LLC
Moderator: J. Tyler Ward II, Member, Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Executive Committee
Paul G. Cassell, a University of Utah School of Law professor and a former federal judge, will discuss victims' rights to restitution at the federal level. He will focus his presentation on a controversial practice used in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York -- secret settlements of fraud cases without notification to the victims of the fraud. The victims are, without notice, unable to seek restitution. Professor Cassell alleges that the practice violates the Crime Victim’s Restitution Act (although the Department of Justice disputes this claim).
Hon. Paul G. Cassell, Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Endowed Chair in Criminal Law, The University of Utah College of Law
On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court granted cert in four same-sex marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit (one case from each of four states of the circuit, -- Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky). The Court called for Reply Briefs by April 17, with oral argument and decision expected this term. Cert was granted on two questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. The questions are: whether the Fourteenth Amendment "require[s]" a "state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex", and/or "to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed" in another state or jurisdiction.
The relationship between the two questions is asymmetrical. An affirmative answer to the first settles the second likewise, where the Court could coherently, hold that states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, but not necessarily license them.
Prof. Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute
In December 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released a proposal on the so-called “Single Point of Entry” (SPOE) strategy as a means of resolving large failing banks without financial-market disruption. In a recent paper, AEI scholars Paul Kupiec and Peter Wallison raised questions about legal support for the SPOE strategy in Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act, whether the strategy can be used for resolving the largest failed banks, and the economic consequences of using the SPOE approach to attenuate the systemic risk of a large-bank failure. To facilitate a SPOE resolution, regulators recently proposed new requirements that large financial firms have enough long-term debt and equity — or total loss absorbing capacity — to cover potential losses and bank recapitalization. Mr. Kupiec and Mr. Wallison’s paper questions whether these measures will allow authorities to resolve large banks without a bailout or disorderly break-up.
Mr. Kupiec and Mr. Wallison will presented their paper and fielded audience questions during a live Teleforum conference call.
Paul H. Kupiec, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Hon. Peter J. Wallison, Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute