MENU

Civil Rights

Subscribe in a reader

Subcommittees

  • Education
  • Electoral Process
  • Employment & Contracting
  • Second Amendment
  • State Initiatives

Is the Akaka Bill Back? - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Hans A. von Spakovsky December 17, 2014

The Akaka Bill, originally proposed by former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, was designed to establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to that of some Native American tribes. Based on this status, members can then receive preferential treatment. Critics argue that such treatment would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Supporters argue that such preferences would be authorized because they would be on the political relationship that existed between the U.S. government and its native peoples, and based on the pre-existing sovereignty of those native peoples. Will the Akaka Bill, or some version of it, resurface? If so, is it good law? Good policy?

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Is the Akaka Bill Back?

Civil Rights Practice Group Teleforum
Hans A. von Spakovsky December 10, 2014

The Akaka Bill, originally proposed by former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, was designed to establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to that of some Native American tribes. Based on this status, members can then receive preferential treatment. Critics argue that such treatment would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Supporters argue that such preferences would be authorized because they would be on the political relationship that existed between the U.S. government and its native peoples, and based on the pre-existing sovereignty of those native peoples. Will the Akaka Bill, or some version of it, resurface? If so, is it good law? Good policy?

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor

Short Video about the Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor Exhibition
December 05, 2014

The Library of Congress celebrates the 800th anniversary of the first issue of Magna Carta with a 10-week exhibition, with the 1215 Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta as its centerpiece. The Federalist Society is cosponsoring the exhibit. Click HERE for more information.

Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the states & Empowering Their People - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
James L. Buckley, John C. Eastman, Michael S. Greve, Robert R. Gasaway November 17, 2014

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.

Featuring:

  • 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

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel IV: ROUNDTABLE: Is the Future of the American Dream Bright? - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Rachel Brand, Lanny J. Davis, Neal K. Katyal, Charles Murray, Karlyn Bowman November 17, 2014

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.

Featuring:

  • 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

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel III: Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators? - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Paul Campos, Daniel Polsby, Richard K. Vedder, Thomas D. Morgan November 17, 2014

**Due to technical difficulties, the first 20 minutes of this panel were not recorded.**

Success in today’s global economy virtually requires a college or post graduate degree, but colleges and law schools have raised tuition enormously.  The government subsidizes students to take huge loans to pay for college and law schools, loans which inflict an increasing burden on students, including law students, in a troubled economy.  Do these loans pay as much for faculty research and administrators as for direct student education?  Are faculties producing research that justifies these costs?  Are students getting a good deal now?  Could or will on line education provide students with similar education at a fraction of the cost?  Is it time to ask some hard questions about higher education?  Does education policy benefit average and below average students or does it merely benefit the top of the class?  This panel will focus to a significant degree on law schools.

The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Paul F. Campos, University of Colorado Law School
  • Prof. Daniel Polsby, Dean and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Prof. Richard Kent Vedder, Ohio University
  • Moderator: Prof. Thomas D. Morgan, (retired), The George Washington University Law School

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Sexual Assault on Campus - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Heather MacDonald, Seth Galanter, Lara S. Kaufmann, Greg Lukianoff, Diane S. Sykes, Gail Heriot November 17, 2014

Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it.  As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault.  This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus.  It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus.  It will also discuss the new  "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country.  Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses?  From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue?  Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?

The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Mr. Seth Galanter, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Ms. Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel & Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, National Women's Law Center
  • Mr. Greg Lukianoff, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Introduction: Hon. Gail Heriot, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; and Chairman, Civil Rights Practice Group

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel II: Intergenerational Equity and Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and Pensions - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Christopher C. DeMuth, John O. McGinnis, David A. Weisbach, Frank H. Easterbrook November 17, 2014

Several major federal programs directly tax the young to provide benefits to the elderly.  This is a main feature of the Affordable Care Act, the Social Security System as it currently works, and of the laws guaranteeing pensions.  In addition, the national debt raises intergenerational equity issues.  What obligations do these debts impose on the young?  Are they all of a piece or are the answers different in each case?  Is it true that this generation is likely to be poorer than the previous one?  What role does our legal system play in this?  How will the law address pensions that contribute to bankrupting cities or states?  What is the nature of the Social Security contract?

The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Intergenerational Equity and Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and Pensions" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc., and former Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
  • Prof. John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Prof. David A. Weisbach, Walter J. Blum Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, The Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory
  • Moderator: Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel I: Youth, Employment, and the Law - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Richard A. Epstein, Chai Feldblum, Gail Heriot, J.H. "Rip" Verkerke, Jennifer Walker Elrod November 14, 2014

This panel will examine intergenerational equity issues raised by employment discrimination laws, including those protecting the elderly from discrimination.  Those laws, minimum wage laws, laws favoring unionization, and laws countering arbitrary dismissal have obvious appeal.  But many of those very laws greatly raise the costs to business of entry-level hiring.  One consequence may be that many young people are only able to enter the work force as interns or fellows.  This may be especially true for minorities.  Are these costs worth the benefits?  Is there some middle ground?

The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Youth, Employment and the Law" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, and James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Hon. Chai Rachel Feldblum, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Hon. Gail Heriot, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Professor, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Prof. J. Hoult "Rip" Verkerke, Director, Program for Employment and Labor Law Studies, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Jennifer W. Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

2014 National Lawyers Convention Opening with Justice Scalia - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Antonin Scalia, Leonard A. Leo November 13, 2014

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia opened the 2014 National Lawyers Convention on November 13 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Justice Scalia discussed the importance of Magna Carta.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC