• The Calm After the Voting Rights Storm?

    The last decade has seen a steady rise in restrictions on the right to vote, with cuts to early voting, limitations on absentee voting, polling place closures, voter ID laws and changes to voter registration becoming routine in legislatures across the country. The 2016 presidential election, the first in over 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, was also pervaded with calls for “poll watchers” to ensure “ballot integrity” and to protect against voter fraud. The election saw an unprecedented stream of litigation challenging laws and procedures regarding the right to vote. On Jan. 12, 2017 the American Constitution Society hosted a conference call featuring attorneys behind several of these lawsuits. The attorneys provided an update and in-depth discussion of the major litigation that arose during the 2016 election and its implications for elections and voting rights law in the future. 

    Featured Speakers:
    Caroline Fredrickson, president, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
    Dawn Smalls, partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; member, Board of Directors, ACS; Moderator
    Marc Elias, partner; Firmwide Chair, Political Law Practice; member, Firmwide Executive Committee, Perkins Coie LLP
    Michael Gottlieb, partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP


    Click on the button above to begin playing the audio in a new window.

  • Media Call: Stephen Vladeck Discusses Supreme Court Cases Involving Federal Officials Engaging in Unconstitutional Conduct

    On Jan. 9 ACS hosted a phone call lead by one of the country's leaders in constitutional scholarship, Stephen Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, to discuss two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this Term, Ziglar v. Abbasi  (Jan. 18) and Hernandez v. Mesa (Feb. 21), where the key question at stake is: under what circumstances, if any, can an individual seek damages against federal officers who violate their constitutional rights? Professor Vladeck, who is co-counsel in Hernandez v. Mesa, will discuss “Bivens remedies,” the only mechanism available to plaintiffs who have had their constitutional rights violated and detail the ACS Issue Brief titled, “The Bivens Term: Why the Supreme Court should reinvigorate damages suits against federal officers,” which he authored.  



    Click on the button above to begin playing the audio in a new window. 

  • Is America Becoming a Plutocracy?

    On Dec. 19 ACS hosted a phone call lead by two leaders in constitutional scholarship, William E. Forbath, associate dean for research and Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and Richard W. Painter, S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School; associate counsel to President George W. Bush, to discuss the implications of electing an international business tycoon as president of the United States, a President-elect who is assembling what could be the richest administration in history. Professors Forbath and Painter considered the following questions: What conflicts of interest will President-elect Trump likely have when he is sworn into office next month? Will he be in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause or other laws and ethical rules? And what do his recent cabinet picks means for our democracy? Are we headed for plutocracy?



    Click on the button above to begin playing the audio in a new window. 

  • Press Call: An Open Letter from Constitutional Law Scholars to President-Elect Donald Trump

    On Tuesday, Dec. 13, two of the nation’s top constitutional law scholars released an open letter to Donald Trump signed by over 40 leading constitutional law scholars. The letter outlines seven areas of “great concern” that several constitutional scholars have with the next president. Neil Siegel, David W. Ichel Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, co-director of the Program in Public Law, director of the DC Summer Institute on Law and Policy at Duke University School of Law and ACS Board of Academic Advisors member explained the need for the letter. Pamela Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School and ACS Board Member discussed the substance of the letter and explained what constitutional scholars expect out of the next administration.


    Click on the button above to begin playing the audio in a new window. 

  • Briefing Call: Redistricting Cases Before the Supreme Court: McCrory v. Harris and Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections

    On Dec. 1, 2016 ACS hosted a discussion of McCrory v. Harris and Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, cases challenging state legislative and congressional districts in North Carolina and Virginia as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Kareem Crayton, visitng professor of law, Vanderbilt Law School, and Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel and senior deputy director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, provided details and analysis of the cases which are scheduled to be argued in the Supreme Court on Dec. 5.


    Click on the audio to download the file to your device.