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2017 National Lawyers Convention

November 16, 2017

The 2017 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 16 through Saturday, November 18 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. More information will be posted later this summer.

Courthouse Steps: Sessions v. Morales-Santana Update - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Curt Levey June 27, 2017

On November 9, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Morales-Santana. Morales-Santana’s father was born in Puerto Rico but acquired U.S. citizenship in 1917 under the Jones Act of Puerto Rico. Morales-Santana was born in 1962 in the Dominican Republic to his father and Dominican mother, who were unmarried at the time. In 1970, upon his parents’ marriage, he was statutorily “legitimated” and was admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1976.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which was in effect at the time of Morales-Santana’s birth, limits the ability of an unwed citizen father to confer citizenship on his child born abroad, where the child’s mother is not a citizen at the time of the child’s birth, more stringently than it limits the ability of a similarly situated unwed citizen mother to do the same.

In 2000, Morales-Santana was placed in removal proceedings after having been convicted of various felonies. An immigration judge denied his application for withholding of removal on the basis of derivative citizenship obtained through his father. He filed a motion to reopen in 2010, based on a violation of equal protection and newly obtained evidence relating to his father, but the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the Board’s decision, however, and concluded that Morales-Santana was a citizen as of birth. The Attorney General of the United States then obtained a grant of certiorari from the Supreme Court.

The two questions before the Supreme Court were: (1) whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.

Featuring: 

  • Curt Levey, President, Committee for Justice; Legal Affairs Fellow, Freedom Works

Immigration Moratorium in the Supreme Court

International & National Security Law Practice Group
Josh Blackman, David B. Rivkin Jr., Ilya Somin June 26, 2017

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and stay applications were granted in part. The case is based on the January 21 Executive Order No. 13780, “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” The order suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the country by citizens of seven majority Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. It also suspended refugee admission into the United States for 120 days, and barred entry of Syrian refugees until further notice. The stated order’s purpose was to “ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.”

The Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the order in District Court citing harm to Seattle residents. Judge James Robart in the Western District of Washington issued a restraining order on February 3 halting President Trump’s executive order nationwide. The Department of Justice appealed the restraining order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the Justice Department’s appeal for an emergency stay.

Join us for a great discussion on what the Supreme Court’s actions mean for the current application of the EO and a preview of the case before the Court. 

Featuring:

  • Prof. Josh Blackman, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • David B. Rivkin Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP

  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

 

Bottleneckers: The Origins of Occupational Licensing and What Can Be Done About Its Excesses

Federalist Society Review, Volume 18
Dick M. Carpenter, Ph.D. June 26, 2017
Abstract Businessman in Red tape

Dick Carpenter critically discusses economic regulation in general and occupational licensing in particular. He goes on to discuss Professor Randy Barnett’s theory that the Constitution should be interpreted to protect economic liberty, then proposes one way legislatures can protect economic liberty without sacrificing the public good. [Read Now]

Courthouse Steps: Sessions v. Morales-Santana Update

Civil Rights Practice Group Teleforum
Curt Levey June 23, 2017

On November 9, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Morales-Santana. Morales-Santana’s father was born in Puerto Rico but acquired U.S. citizenship in 1917 under the Jones Act of Puerto Rico. Morales-Santana was born in 1962 in the Dominican Republic to his father and Dominican mother, who were unmarried at the time. In 1970, upon his parents’ marriage, he was statutorily “legitimated” and was admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1976.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which was in effect at the time of Morales-Santana’s birth, limits the ability of an unwed citizen father to confer citizenship on his child born abroad, where the child’s mother is not a citizen at the time of the child’s birth, more stringently than it limits the ability of a similarly situated unwed citizen mother to do the same.

In 2000, Morales-Santana was placed in removal proceedings after having been convicted of various felonies. An immigration judge denied his application for withholding of removal on the basis of derivative citizenship obtained through his father. He filed a motion to reopen in 2010, based on a violation of equal protection and newly obtained evidence relating to his father, but the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the Board’s decision, however, and concluded that Morales-Santana was a citizen as of birth. The Attorney General of the United States then obtained a grant of certiorari from the Supreme Court.

The two questions before the Supreme Court were: (1) whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.

Featuring: 

  • Curt Levey, President, Committee for Justice; Legal Affairs Fellow, Freedom Works

Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee and end with a closing address by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and a reception.

Title IX & Gender Identity: Gloucester County v. G.G.

Short video featuring Ilya Shapiro
Ilya Shapiro April 27, 2017

Who has the authority to interpret statutes like Title IX? Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, outlines a debate over the inclusion of gender identity when applying Title IX. Shapiro considers the recent case of Gloucester County v. G.G., which questions whether courts should give deference to a Department of Education guidance letter that stipulates publically-funded schools must provide facilities to accommodate transgender students.

Federal Oversight of Local Police Departments

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Teleforum
Chuck Canterbury, Vanita Gupta, Brian M. Fish April 24, 2017

Under Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, the Department of Justice entered into a number of consent decrees with local police departments to change certain police practices.  Given the ongoing review of these decrees, how will the federal government’s approach to police practices change during Jeff Sessions’ tenure as Attorney General?  What alternative methods might the DOJ employ or encourage states and municipalities to employ to help remedy problematic police practices?

Featuring:

  • Chuck Canterbury, President, Fraternal Order of Police
  • Vanita Gupta, President, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Moderator: Brian Fish, Special Assistant, United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland

Litigation Update: Davis v. Guam - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
J. Christian Adams April 13, 2017

On March 8, Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam struck down a Guam law that permitted only those who meet the definition of “Native Inhabitants of Guam” to vote in a future status plebiscite. This decision has been met with opposition from elected officials, protests at the federal courthouse, public rallies, and now an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Supporters of the plebiscite are forcing a reexamination of the role of the United States on this strategically important island and opponents contend they are doing so without giving all citizens a voice in the process. What did the district court decide, and what does the reaction say about the rule of law and respect for the Constitution?  Christian Adams joined us to discuss the latest in Davis v. Guam.

Featuring:

  • J. Christian Adams, Election Lawyer Center