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The Roberts Court

Boston College Student Chapter Monday, September 25, 12:00 PMBoston, MA 02459


  • Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute
  • Professor Kent Greenfield, Boston College Law
  • Professor Ryan Williams, Boston College Law

Judicial Disability: Can the Federal Courts Inquire into Mental Fitness?

Professional Responsibilities & Legal Education Practice Group Teleforum Monday, September 25, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

On August 14, 2017, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States issued a decision in which, among other things, it affirmed the order of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Council directing a federal judge to undergo a mental health examination and to submit to any treatment or counseling deemed necessary. The Committee found that part of the order to be “warranted and permissible.”

            The Constitution establishes the judicial power in Article III and provides, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” The constitutional remedy for bad behavior is impeachment. In 1980, though, Congress enacted the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, which provides authority to a special committee to “conduct an investigation as extensive as it considers necessary.” 28 U.S.C § 353(c).

            As one commentator has noted, “The investigation ... appears to move into uncharted territory for disciplinary cases.” Does a Circuit Judicial Council have the authority to require a federal judge to submit to psychological testing? If so, what showing is necessary? Simple cantankerousness can’t be enough, but where is the line between being a curmudgeon and being mentally ill? Do the federal courts have a mechanism for figuring that out?

Join us for a discussion of the Committee’s decision and its implications.


  • Prof. Charles Gardner Geyh, John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Prof. Arthur D. Hellman, Professor of Law; Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair, University of Pittsburgh School of Law  
  • Prof. Ronald Rotunda, Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Political Ignorance

Case Western Reserve Student Chapter Tuesday, September 26, 12:00 PMCleveland, OH 44106


  • Professor Ilya Somin, George Mason Law
  • TBA

Executive Power Under the Antiquities Act: Can Designated National Monuments Be Altered or Rescinded?

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Teleforum Tuesday, September 26, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

The Antiquities Act of 1906 provides, in part, that “The President may, in the President's discretion, declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments.”  54 U.S.C. §320301(a).  Declaring a national monument brings with it substantial new layers of protected status to the areas or thing so designated. 

In recent months, questions have arisen whether a President may adjust or rescind a national monument designated in a prior Administration.  The Trump Administration has repeatedly hinted at plans to do so, especially regarding some of the designations made in the final days of the Obama Administration, such as the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. 

In late August, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke issued a memorandum of proposals for changing the status or boundaries of certain national monuments, including reducing the size of Bears Ears.  These and other actions promise to generate lawsuits in the coming months litigating the President’s authority to alter monument status.  Some argue that the power to designate under the Antiquities Act implies the power to alter or rescind.  Others argue that Congress granted only limited authority under the Antiquities Act and intended it to be a one-way ratchet, allowing designation but requiring thereafter that any changes be done only by Congress.  Our experts will debate these issues, focusing on matters of statutory interpretation, constitutional limits, and public lands policy, among others. 


  • Todd F. Gaziano, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law and Executive Director of Pacific Legal Foundation’s DC Center
  • Prof. Mark Squillance, Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School

2017 Iowa Supreme Court Term Review

Iowa Lawyers Chapter Tuesday, September 26, 05:00 PMIowa State Bar Association
625 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309


  • Gary Dickey, Jr., Managing Member, Dickey & Campbell Law Firm
  • Ryan G. Koopmans, Chief Policy Advisor and Senior Legal Counsel to Governor Kim Reynolds
  • Rox Laird, On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
  • Alan Ostergren, Muscatine County Attorney

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