The government of Communist China has insisted – and the U.S. government has officially acknowledged since 1979 – that Taiwan is part of China. Does that mean international law imposes no limits on Chinese coercion or intimidation of Taiwan? Do U.S. international agreements in the region require (or prohibit) U.S. military aid to Taiwan in the event of open conflict with China? Would the President need authorization from Congress to deploy U.S. forces there if conflict seems imminent? Our panelists will discuss the way these questions are likely to be viewed by other governments as well as by policymakers in Washington.
Featuring:
Michael Mazza, Nonresident Fellow, AEI
Mary Kissel, Executive Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor, Stephens, Inc.
Prof. Julian Ku, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty Director of International Programs, and Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Moderator: Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

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The past few years have witnessed a flurry of new scholarship related to the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, particularly the Privileges or Immunities Clause and its associated citizenship declarations. Evan Bernick, a professor at Northern Illinois University, is the co-author with Randy Barnett of “The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit.” Christopher Green, a professor at the University of Mississippi, is the author of “Equal Citizenship, Civil Rights, and the Constitution: The Original Sense of the Privileges or Immunities Clause,” as well as a review of Evan’s book, to which he and Barnett have responded. This historical debate is not merely of academic interest, however. If the Supreme Court were to view the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment in a new light, what would the implications be for labor law?

Featuring:
— Professor Evan D. Bernick, Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University
— Professor Christopher R. Green, Associate Professor of Law and H.L.A. Hart Scholar in Law and Philosophy, University of Mississippi School of Law

Please join these experts as they review religious liberty at the Supreme Court in 2022.

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In recent years, universities have increasingly required ‘diversity statements’ from faculty seeking jobs, tenure, or promotion. But statements describing faculty’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion are also increasingly under attack. Criticisms first made in tweets and blog posts have expanded into prominent opinion pieces and, more recently, law review articles. These attacks are having an effect. Within universities, faculty-wide resolutions for and against mandatory diversity statements have been called and academic freedom committees have been asked to intervene. Outside universities, lawyers are recruiting plaintiffs to challenge diversity statement requirements in court.
Join our experts in a discussion on Professor Brian Soucek’s recent article in the UC Davis Law Review about these diversity statements fleshing out the criticisms and developing a framework to address if universities can require diversity statements without violating either the Constitution or academic freedom.
Featuring:
Professor Brian Soucek, Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Fellow, UC Davis School of Law
Professor Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

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Stuart Reges is an award-winning professor at the University of Washington in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. The Allen School encourages professors to include on their syllabi a statement recognizing that the land on which the university sits was once owned by indigenous tribes. Professor Reges disagreed with the University’s “Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Statement” — instead, he challenged his students and fellow faculty to consider the utility and performative nature of land acknowledgments by including a modified statement on his syllabus.
The University’s administrators later concluded that the professor’s viewpoint was “offensive” and “inappropriate,” and created a “shadow” section of Professor Reges’s class. The school next launched an investigation of the professor under a policy that prohibits “unacceptable” and “inappropriate” speech. The investigation has been ongoing since March 2, 2022, and carries the threat of termination.
On July 13, 2022, Reges sued University of Washington officials to challenge the investigation and punishment as viewpoint discriminatory, and the policy as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. Representing Reges is Josh Bleisch, Faculty Legal Defense Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, who joins us to discuss the status of the case.
Featuring:
Joshua Bleisch, Faculty Legal Defense Fund Fellow, The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

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The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging allegedly unconstitutional race discrimination in the American Rescue Plan’s provision to offer loan forgiveness based on racial categories. The plaintiffs are twelve farmers and ranchers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Oregon, and Kentucky. Each plaintiff would be eligible for the federal loan forgiveness program, but for their race. In response, U.S. District Judge William Griesbach issued a temporary restraining order on June 10, 2021 halting payments. Other cases subsequently resulted in similar orders.These lawsuits challenge the extent to which the government can prefer one racial group over another based on allegations of generalized societal or industry discrimination. Prior litigation had addressed allegations of particularized discrimination by the government against black farmers but this more traditional focus on discrimination and tailored remedy was thought by the administration to be inadequate. How should courts respond?

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Mark Paoletta and Michael Pack have co-edited a new book, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, which is a follow-on project of Michael Pack’s very successful 2020 documentary of the same name. In making the film, Pack interviewed Justice Thomas for 25 hours. Created Equal is a book-length interview taken from those 25 hours of interviews, where Justice Thomas discusses in an informal and moving way his remarkable life – from being born into abject poverty in 1948 in the segregated Deep South of Georgia to being a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He talks about the challenges he faced and overcame, including his contentious confirmation battle in 1991. 95% of what is in the book did not appear in the film.

Co-editor Mark Paoletta joined us for a discussion of one of our most interesting justices. Mr. Paoletta served as a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office in the George H.W. Bush administration and worked on the confirmation of Justice Thomas. He is a partner at Schaerr-Jaffe.

Americans have been privately manufacturing and assembling firearms since before this country’s founding. Now, thanks to the prevalence of commercially available firearm parts, “buy, build, shoot” kits, and 3D printers, it is easier than ever to build a gun in the comfort of one’s own home, which bypasses many of the statutory and regulatory regimes that govern buying a fully built firearm from a gun store.

To some, this represents a loophole in America’s gun laws. Others see this as a modern innovation in the tradition of home gun building that has always existed in America.

With billions of dollars allocated to broadband funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the future of the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) is a hotly debated topic. Now, with multiple lawsuits challenging the very legality of the USF contribution system, as well as new guidance from the Supreme Court on the limits of federal agencies’ power, the future of the Fund hangs in the balance. Join industry experts to discuss the issues raised in Consumers’ Research v. FCC and where the lawsuits stand in the aftermath of West Virginia v. EPA.
Featuring:

Robert Frieden, Emeritus Professor of Telecommunications and Law, Penn State University
Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute
Michael Romano, Sr. VP of Industry Affairs and Business Development, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association
Moderator: Arielle Roth, Legislative Counsel, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt

Please join the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups for a virtual event on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court decided this case in a 6-3 decision. The Court reversed and remanded the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, holding that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey are overruled; and that the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.
Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh filed concurring opinions. Chief Justice Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan filed a dissenting opinion.
Please join our team of legal experts to discuss the significance of this case.
Featuring:

Prof. Daniel Farber, Sho Shato Professor of Law, University of California – Berkeley; former law clerk, Justice John Paul Stevens
Carrie Severino, President, Judicial Crisis Network; former law clerk, Justice Clarence Thomas
Moderator: Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, former Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
Host: Dean Reuter, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Federalist Society

It is growing practice within the business community to engage in diversity initiatives in hiring, promotion, and outside contracting. A network of interrelated state and federal laws and regulations including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and enforced by the EEOC outlaw discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin. But it may not be clear what the law permits when it comes to discrimination on the basis of race.

Should preferences for race or sex be unlawful in the context of hiring, promotions, professional opportunities or contracting?

Much has been written, published and broadcast about a Divided America—especially now, with the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Political divisions, often bitter, however, have existed since the Founding. But how can we know whether the so-called Divided America is something new, something traditional that has become more noticeable due to the ease of spreading information, or maybe a combination of the two?
Join us for a special webinar presentation from Dr. John S. Baker, Professor Emeritus, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University.
Featuring:
Dr. John S. Baker, Professor Emeritus, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University
Moderator: Dean Reuter, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Federalist Society

On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court decided New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. In a 6-3 decision, the Court struck down New York’s handgun licensing law that required New Yorkers to demonstrate a “proper cause” in order to be granted a license to carry a pistol or revolver in public. The petitioners, Brandon Koch and Robert Nash, were denied licenses to carry a firearm in public after listing their generalized interest in self-defense as the reason for seeking the license. New York denied their license application because a generalized interest in self-defense failed to satisfy the state’s proper cause requirement. Both men sued, claiming that New York had violated their Second Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights in doing so. A district court dismissed their claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed.
Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court, in the first major case on firearms regulation that the Court has considered in over a decade.
Please join our legal expert to discuss the case, the legal issues involved, and the implications for the future of firearm regulation in America.

Featuring:
Prof. Mark W. Smith, Visiting Fellow in Pharmaceutical Public Policy and Law in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford; Presidential Scholar and Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy, The King’s College; Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow of Law and Public Policy, Ave Maria School of Law

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Senior officials in the Administration have expressed concern about cryptocurrencies being used for criminal activity and undermining the dollar as the global reserve currency. These concerns have been heightened with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, evasion of sanctions including North Korean sanctions, cyberattacks, and ransomware. Others contend that blockchain transactions are easier to trace than physical cash, and that the Administration’s concerns are exaggerated and could stifle innovation. China has banned cryptocurrencies and developed its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). It appears that the digital yuan will be used by the Chinese government for surveillance purposes to closely monitor personal transactions and behavior. A number of other regimes, including Canada, have used the banking and monetary system to silence dissidents. Some say that dissidents and citizens in countries that have unstable fiat currencies have turned to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to escape the national currency and protect their rights; other say cryptocurrencies are used by criminals and terrorists.
This very timely panel will discuss whether the US can develop policies on digital assets that both protect freedom and privacy and maintain our safety from bad actors, and what the trade-offs with the dollar’s international role might be.
Featuring:
Hon. Mick Mulvaney, Co-Chair, Actum LLC; Former Director, Office of Management and Budget
Hon. Kathy Kraninger, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Solidus Labs; Former Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Michele Korver, Head of Regulatory, a16z Crypto
Norbert Michel, Vice President and Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute
Moderator: Dina Ellis Rochkind, Counsel, Government Affairs and Strategy, Paul Hastings

In February of 2019, then General Counsel of the Department of Transportation (DOT), Steven Bradbury, issued a memo later dubbed the “Bradbury Memo” that addressed concerns about civil enforcement abuse at the agency. Parts of the memo were subsequently made into binding DOT rules. DOT asserted that these rules were designed to protect the due process rights of those who were the subject of DOT enforcement actions, including a requirement that the agency disclose all exculpatory evidence to those targeted by civil enforcement and the prohibition of “fishing expedition” investigations without sufficient evidence to support a violation.

On April 2, 2021, DOT rescinded these rules without the opportunity for public comment. Thereafter Polyweave Packaging inc., a company that had been issued a civil penalty order by DOT over alleged regulatory violations, filed suit against DOT claiming the agency violated its due process rights by revoking the Bradbury Memo rules.

On May 23, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Morgan v. Sundance. In a rare 9-0 decision, the Court vacated and remanded the judgment of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, holding that federal courts may not adopt an arbitration-specific rule conditioning a finding of waiver of the right to arbitrate on a showing of prejudice to the other party. Though this had been a relatively common analysis, the Court rejected it, cabining any concept that there is a “policy favoring arbitration.” The Court reinterpreted that to mean only that federal courts may not invent special, arbitration-preferring procedural rules. “[A] court must hold a party to its arbitration contract just as the court would to any other kind.” The Court went on to say that “a court may not devise novel rules to favor arbitration over litigation.” But the Court also left open the role of state law and what rules can apply, including waiver, forfeiture, estoppel, laches, or procedural timeliness.
Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Court.
Please join our legal experts to discuss the case, the legal issues involved, and the implications for these parties and other litigation parties going forward.
Featuring:

Erika Birg, Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Richard D. Faulkner, FCIArb., Arbitrator, Attorney & Former Professor of ADR Law

This webinar will explore issues raised by the raft of state and federal initiatives on Critical Race Theory and related topics. Issues will include the scope of state authority over the content of education, with special attention to differences between K-12 and public universities. Varying features of state-level CRT bills will be discussed, as well as the characterization of their content from supporters and detractors.
On the state level, state education standards, “book banning”, and legislation pertaining to curriculum transparency, “action civics,” and “diversity statements” will be discussed. Moves to control educational content at the federal level through grantmaking will also be covered.

Featuring:
Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

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On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which commits approximately $65 billion towards broadband expansion. Wisely, Section 60104(c) of the Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to submit to Congress “a report on the options of the Commission for improving its effectiveness in achieving the universal service goals for broadband in light of this Act” within 270 days of enactment. Congress also invited the Commission to make “recommendations … on further actions the Commission and Congress could take to improve the ability of the Commission to achieve the universal service goals for broadband.” Last December, the FCC launched a Notice of Inquiry to begin this process. Please join us for a teleforum with industry experts to discuss the legal, economic and policy implications of this important proceeding.

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The United States is – perhaps now more than ever before – a global energy powerhouse. From oil and gas production to the expansion of new energy technologies, the United States has made gains in achieving long-heralded calls for energy independence and energy security, while also reducing environmental impacts associated with energy production, generation, transportation, and use. Many are calling for even more accelerated environmental progress, particularly on the climate front. While rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics – in Europe and elsewhere – are placing the United States’ energy sector and its capabilities to meet global energy needs at the forefront, a host of federal and state environmental regulatory regimes continue to pose substantial hurdles to energy-related goals and priorities. Energy pipelines, export facilities, oil and gas production, mining projects, transmission systems, and a host of other energy projects must navigate a labyrinth of regulatory reviews and approvals – from NEPA to the Clean Water Act to the Endangered Species Act and beyond. This panel of distinguished legal and policy experts will debate the goals and priorities of U.S. energy and environmental policy, administrative law dynamics affecting the energy sector, the role of climate policy and energy technologies, and the implications of these factors for our Nation’s national security in light of the war in Ukraine and other recent geopolitical events.

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As the Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases this fall that challenge race preferential admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, questions have arisen about how colleges typically use race preferences and whether such use is fair and lawful. This webinar will address how and when race is commonly used in college admissions, whether colleges and universities are generally following the existing law, and what if any safeguards colleges use to ensure that line admissions officers use race to further only legally permissible goals. The panelists will also discuss what some find the surprising fact that Asian American applicants are more likely to be displaced by race-preferential admissions than white students and whether this practice is fair. Finally, the presenters may also address the fairness of other non-academic factors widely used in admissions, such as preferences for legacies, recruited athletes, or the children of large donors.

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