What is the Federalist Society's Student Division?

Short Video
July 18, 2014

Since its creation, the Student Division of the Federalist Society has played an integral role on law school campuses. Through its numerous conferences, programs, and publications, the Student Division seeks to accomplish three principal goals:

  • Fostering debate among students, academics, legal practitioners, and public policy experts at the law school level
  • Countering the tide of orthodox liberal ideology and combatting the radicalism that has flooded our nation’s law schools
  • Creating a network of student leaders who will affect positive change in the legal establishment

Law School Chapters

The cornerstone of the Federalist Society Student Division is its active speakers program. The Society sponsors speeches and debates at law school chapters around the country. These high quality presentations have enhanced the intellectual atmostphere at the nation’s law schools and have also attracted many outstanding students to the Society. Despite obvious philosophical disagreements, many law school administrators and faculty members welcome our programs because of their extraordinary quaulity. Indeed, the tremendous repsonse to our speakers program has clearly demonstrated that the Society’s efforts over the last two dcades have made a remarkable difference.

Become a member today!

Religious Freedom Upheld

Short video with Ilya Shapiro discussing Hobby Lobby decision
Ilya Shapiro June 30, 2014

On June 30 the Supreme Court issued its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The main issue in the case was whether the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulation known as the contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ? (RFRA)?, as applied to small, closely held for-profit corporations that object on religious grounds to providing coverage for some of these drugs on the ground that they believe the drugs sometimes operate as abortifacients.    In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held by a 5-4 vote that the HHS mandate violates the Act.

Justices Ginsburg, Kagan and Breyer each filed a dissenting opinion.

Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, discusses the case.

Big Win for Internet Privacy

Short video with Orin Kerr discussing Riley v. California decision
Orin S. Kerr June 30, 2014

On June 25 the Supreme Court unanimously decided Riley v. California, a case involving the authority of police to search the contents of cell phones they take from people they have arrested without a warrant.

In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that searching digital information on a cell phone ordinarily requires a warrant even if the arrestee is carrying it at the time of arrest.  The decision consolidates two cases: Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie.

Orin Kerr (George Washington University Law School) discusses the case.


Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund

Short Video featuring Steven Bradbury
Steven G. Bradbury June 24, 2014

On June 23, 2014 Supreme Court released its opinion in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.  At issue in the case was whether the Court should rethink its approach to securities class actions established in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, and, if so, what the new standard should be.  

The Court held in a 6-3 decision that the standard in Basic still holds, but clarified that Defendants may introduce evidence of no price impact prior to class certification, to rebut the presumption of reliance permitted under Basic.   Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan joined. Justices Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion which Justices Breyer and Sotomayor joined. 

In an opinion concurring in the judgment, Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Scalia and Alito, argued that Basic should be overturned.

Watch Steven Bradbury, Partner in the Washington, DC office of Dechert LLP, discuss the decision.