Throughout the academic year, the ACS Student Chapters Department honors a Student Chapter of the Week. The chapter is featured on the ACS website, in the ACS weekly bulletin, and in the ACS Student Chapters weekly announcement. The selected chapters are ones that have held exceptional programming, have aligned themselves with the priorities of the national office or have established themselves as a premier student group on campus.
2013-2014 ACADEMIC YEAR: STUDENT CHAPTERS OF THE WEEK
Student Chapter of the Week December 9:
Columbia Law School
The Columbia Law School Chapter of ACS, under the guidance of Professor Gillian Metzger, opened its semester with an introduction to its mission and goals through a Trivia Night co-sponsored with the Federalist Society. The chapter has been committed to increasing collaboration and dialogue within the CLS community by partnering with a number of other campus organizations. For instance, the chapter worked with the Federalist Society to stage several debates this semester. The first featured Professors Michael Stokes Paulsen and Adam Samaha, the second debate on a balanced budget amendment featured Professor Neil Kinkopf and Nick Dranias, and the third debate on the HHS contraceptive mandates featured Aram Schvey and Matt Bowman and was moderated by Professor Gillian Metzger. In September, the Chapter also partnered with the ACLU to host a panel discussion on the recent Shelby County and Fisher cases. Panelists included ACS Board Member Ted Shaw, Jamal Greene, and Susan Sturm.
Further into the semester, the chapter co-sponsored a screening of a documentary about Constance Baker Motley, hosted Ekow Yankah for a discussion of the Trayvon Martin case and flaws in the criminal justice system, and hosted Liz Kennedy for a discussion of the pending McCutcheon v. FEC case. The chapter was also fortunate to have Judge Katherine Forrest, SDNY, give an evening talk on the challenges facing a new judge. The chapter closed its semester with a book talk by Professor Thomas Healy where he presented his new work, “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendall Holmes Changed His Mind-and Changed the History of America.”
The Chapter is looking forward to a busy spring semester, which will include participating in the law school’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
Student Chapter of the Week December 2:
Yale Law School
Under the supervision of ACS Board Member Professor Reva Siegel, and with the gracious assistance of fellow ACS Board Member Professor Linda Greenhouse, the Yale Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society is finishing an exciting semester.
Through the ACS Policymaker Series, the chapter has brought a number of current and former members of the President’s administration to Yale. In mid-November, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visited the chapter to speak about fiscal policymaking. The ACS Policymaker Series has also seen exciting visits from Jess Schumer, Chief of Staff at the Council of Economic Advisers, Marty Lederman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel, and Michael Gottlieb, Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel.
This semester, the Yale chapter also focused extensively on court access and litigation rights issues through its Plaintiffs’ Bar Series. The series saw talks by famed trial lawyer Steve Susman, founder of Susman Godfrey LLP, appellate advocate Deepak Gupta, and others.
Yale’s Progressive Scholarship Workshop, where students workshop and critique faculty working papers, continued this semester with extensive participation from faculty members at Yale, including Professors Akhil Amar, Bruce Ackerman, Heather Gerken, William Eskridge, Ian Ayres, Reva Siegel, and Jack Balkin.
ACS at Yale was also happy to host a number of smaller, reception-style events for members with exciting advocates and policymakers, including former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, and London mayoral candidate MP David Lammy.
The Yale chapter has focused extensively on mentoring and membership development, conducting a 1L mentoring program, job and clerkship related programming, social events, and cosponsorships with other student organizations. Other events this semester featured programming on: campaign finance, the future of the ERA, military commissions, environmental law, the future of charity, housing rights, and American Indian law.
Student Chapter of the Week November 25:
Saint Louis University School of Law
The Saint Louis University School of Law ACS Chapter kicked off fall 2013 with an introductory meeting where its new Faculty Advisor, Professor Joel Goldstein, spoke on new originalism. Next, the chapter celebrated Constitution Day with Professor Anders Walker speaking on the controversial proposed Missouri gun legislation. The Constitution Day celebration continued with a happy hour co-hosted by the Mark Twain Student Law Association. In October, Professor Paul Finkelman, a prominent and prolific historian, of Albany Law spoke to students on religious monuments in public spaces. The chapter also spearheaded SLU Law’s inaugural Progressive Student Happy Hour with five other progressive student organizations at SLU Law.
SLU ACS continued the Brown Bag Lunch Series this fall, titled “My Favorite Amendment,” where professors meet with small groups of students to engage in discussions of the Constitution. Professor Karen Petroski spoke to students on the First Amendment as a constitutional basis for academic freedom. Next semester, Professor Joel Goldstein will speak with students on Justice Thomas abandoning originalism in race cases and Professor Lynn Branham will discuss constitutional rights of prisoners.
In November, the chapter co-sponsored with the SLU Law Federalist Society a debate on the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act with Professor Marcia McCormick and Attorney Michael Rosman of the Center for Individual Rights. In January 2014, SLU ACS is honored to host The Honorable Richard Teitelman of the Missouri Supreme Court for the chapter’s first meeting of the semester.
Student Chapter of the Week November 18:
Georgetown University Law Center
The ACS Georgetown Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Professor David Cole, Professor Lisa Heinzerling, and ACS Board Chairman Professor Peter Edelman, has had a strong fall semester. ACS Georgetown began the semester with a Constitution Day event examining the role of the FISA court system and possible avenues for reform. Panelists included Laura Donahue, Director of the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law, Martin Lederman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies at Georgetown Law, and moderator Raffaela Wakeman, Associate Editor of Lawfare.
Throughout the semester, ACS Georgetown has continued to address issues of public debate and has held events related to the Affordable Care Act, the government shutdown, military sexual assaults, legal stigma of marginalized groups, and the role of religion in public life. ACS Georgetown has also held brownbag lunches with Professor David Cole, Professor Peter Edelman, and Professor Eloise Pasachoff. In addition to its broad issue-based agenda, ACS Georgetown has held numerous social events, including regional and school-wide happy hours.
Student Chapter of the Week November 11:
University of Wisconsin Law School
The University of Wisconsin Law School ACS Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Professor Ben Kempinen, kicked off its fall 2013 semester with a robust lineup of progressive programming. In September, the Chapter co-sponsored a debate with the University of Wisconsin Federalist Society on constitutional originalism. Additionally, ALICE founder Joel Rogers joined University of Tulane Law School Professor David Marcell and Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor to educate students about ALICE’s model law drafting project.
In October, the Chapter co-sponsored a documentary screening of “Terms and Conditions May Apply.” The film exposes telecommunication companies and the federal government in their evisceration of online privacy via collection and resale of personal data. Next, attorneys Steve Porter and ACLU Wisconsin Director Larry Dupuis spoke to students about Wisconsin Capitol protestors’ constitutional challenge to a permit requirement used by the WI Department of Administration to curtail speech. Recently, Representative Chris Taylor and Attorney Lester Pines, lead counsel for Planned Parenthood, discussed Planned Parenthood v. Van Hollen, a 7th Circuit case in which Planned Parenthood challenges the constitutionality of a new Wisconsin law requiring reproductive health providers to gain admitting privileges from local hospitals and perform mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. Lastly, the Chapter co-sponsored a school voucher debate with the Federalist Society and Secular Law Students Society titled “Freedom from Religion OR Freedom of Religion?”
This month, University of Wisconsin Law School Professor Keith Findley presented on Wisconsin’s exoneration compensation bill, which would increase the amount that the state compensates a wrongfully convicted individual. Additionally, the Chapter is co-sponsoring a documentary screening of “The State of Arizona,” which exposes the human consequences of SB1070. Finally, the Chapter has sponsored two lectures: “The Immigration Consequences of DOMA,” by Attorney Glorily Lopez, and “The NSA and the 4th Amendment” by University of Wisconsin Law School Professor Cecilia Klingele.
Student Chapter of the Week November 4:
UC Berkeley School of Law
The ACS Berkeley Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Andrew Bradt, has had a busy and eventful fall semester. The chapter kicked off the year with two membership drives that drew in a strong, engaged 1L class that will be the foundation of the organization in the coming years. Moreover, the chapter has utilized its strong relationships with other campus organizations, forming partnerships and co-hosting progressive events with the Henderson Center for Social Justice, the Queer Caucus, the Asian American Law Journal, and the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, to name a few.
In a joint event with the Boalt Hall Women’s Association and Queer Caucus at the law school, the chapter hosted San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney and member of the ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter Board of Advisors Therese Stewart, who spoke about her decade-long involvement in the ultimately successful litigation over Prop 8 and marriage equality. The event was attended by nearly one hundred enthusiastic students and received rave reviews from attendees. More recently, the chapter held a joint event with the Berkeley Criminal Law Journal to view the critically acclaimed documentary, Gideon’s Army. Going forward, the chapter plans to attend oral arguments at the 9th Circuit Courthouse in San Francisco on November 8 and is planning an event on campaign finance. Next semester, the chapter hopes to continue building momentum by hosting a series of events exploring its members’ varied interests.
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 28:
Capital University Law School
The Capital University Law School ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Professors Mark Brown and Peggy Cordray, kicked off the semester with a Constitution Day Supreme Court Term Review panel featuring Capital Law Professors Dan Kobil, Charles Cohen, Mark Brown and Mark Strasser with Professor Susan Gilles as moderator. The chapter hosted a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert, author of Chasing Gideon, that was co-sponsored by the ACS Columbus Lawyer Chapter and the Moritz ACS Chapter, and partnered with those chapters to host a discussion with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. Additionally, the Capital ACS Chapter is hosting a career panel highlighting non-profit and public service careers and plans to partner with the Capital Black Law Students Association to host a Racial Justice and Stand Your Ground Presentation in early November, a mass incarceration panel discussion and a screening of the documentary “Broken on All Sides.” The Capital Law Chapter also plans to host a Judicial Clerkship Panel and partner with the Women’s Law Association to co-sponsor a Supreme Court term preview.
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 21:
University of Missouri School of Law
The University of Missouri School of Law’s ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Richard Reuben, has had a great year so far. After attending the National Convention in Washington D.C., and upon its return to law school, the Mizzou Law ACS Board worked hard to recruit first year students through its activities fair, first year happy hour, and all-member Welcome Back party.
In September, the chapter hosted two very successful debates with the Federalist Society: “Constitution Day Debate: Originalism v. A Living Constitution,” featuring Prof. Ben Trachtenberg of the University of Missouri School of Law and Prof. John McGinnis of Northwestern University School of Law, and “DOMA & Prop-8: The Legal Implications of the Recent Cases,” featuring Ian Millhiser, Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress.
Currently, Mizzou Law ACS is in the midst of its Supreme Court Lunch series, being held throughout October. First, Prof. Richard Reuben discussed Shelby County v. Holder. This week, Prof. Carl Esbeck will discuss Town of Greece v. Galloway. Finally, Dean Rigel Oliveri will give a talk on Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action.
Overall, Mizzou Law ACS has had a successful semester, has a number of events in the works for the remainder of the year, and would like to thank National for all of its support!
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 14:
Rutgers School of Law - Newark
The Rutgers-Newark student chapter, under the guidance of Co-Faculty Advisors Profs. Penny Venetis and Jessica Kitson, is off to a fast start this fall. After beginning the semester with a student mixer during orientation, the chapter hosted Rutgers-Newark’s official Constitution Day event featuring Professor James Pope. The following week, the chapter kicked off its Supreme Court in Review Series with a discussion of Shelby County and the future of the Voting Rights Act with Professor Elise Boddie. The chapter then hosted a panel on the future of drug laws featuring Evan Nison, Executive Director of NORML-NJ. The chapter’s second Supreme Court in Review event looked at DOMA and Prop 8 ten years after Lawrence and featured ACS National Board member Paul Smith.
Still to come this semester is a look at Fisher and the future of affirmative action with Professor Brandon Paradise and a Supreme Court Preview with Ian Millhiser, Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. The chapter is currently putting the finishing touches on an election-day look at campaign finance laws, a panel looking back at the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and will close out the semester with a screening of Broken on All Sides, which examines mass incarceration in the United States.
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 7:
The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor and ACS Board Member Daniel Tokaji, kicked off the semester with a Constitution Day discussion on Executive War Powers and the Question of Syria featuring Moritz Law Professors Peter Shane and Dakota Rudesill. The chapter also hosted Moritz Law Associate Dean for Faculty Donald Tobin for a discussion on Nonprofits in Politics and the IRS Targeting Scandal.
Additionally, the Moritz ACS Chapter partnered with the ACS Columbus Lawyer Chapter and the Capital Law ACS Chapter to host a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert, author of Chasing Gideon, and is partnering with those chapters to host a discussion with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. The chapter is welcoming Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to Moritz for a discussion on Judicial Election Reform in Ohio, and will host Ohio Representative Kathleen Clyde, Ohio Representative Michael Stinziano, and Columbus City Councilmember Zach Klein for a discussion on Legislative Careers. The Moritz Chapter is partnering with the Moritz Federalist Society to host a Supreme Court Term Preview moderated by Moritz Law DeanAlan Michaels. The chapter is also co-sponsoring a discussion about charter schools and a screening of Defending Gideon.
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 30:
Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University
The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University ACS Student Chapter, led by faculty adviser Chapin Cimino, is in the midst of a busy fall schedule of events. The chapter began its semester with an event called “Police Brutality in the Age of the iPhone,” where Philadelphia defense attorneys Jonathan Feinberg of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg and Lawrence Krasner of Krasner, Hughes and Long, LLC, discussed the way that cell phones with video cameras have revolutionized criminal defense and police procedure. The chapter also hosted Lyle Denniston from SCOTUSBlog, Tiffany L. Palmer, Shareholder, Jerner & Palmer, P.C., and Mary Catherine Roper, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU of Pennsylvania, and Earle Mack Professor David Cohen to discuss the exciting DOMA v. Windsor case. Mary Beth Tinker kicked off her Tinker Tour at Earle Mack, where she discussed her landmark First Amendment case, Tinker v. Des Moines, and encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights. Seton Hall Professor Thomas Healy also spoke at Earle Mack about his new book, The Great Dissent, which investigates Oliver Wendell Holmes’ dissent in Abrams v. United States, which laid the foundation for free speech rights today.
Earle Mack recently held two of its largest events of the semester: a half-day symposium “Practicing in the Shadow of Roe,” where pro-choice lawyers and practitioners discussed the limitations imposed on them in the forty years since Roe, and “The Sequester Hits the Courts,” which included federal Judge Brooks Smith (3d Cir.) and federal Judge C. Darnell Jones II (E.D. Pa.), federal public defenders Rich Coughlin and Nina Carpiniello Spizer, and Villanova Law Professor Tuan Samahon. The event discussed how the Sequester has affected access to justice by limiting the courts and the defenders, which is sadly ironic on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. In addition, the Earle Mack chapter had a discussion with Justice Goodwin Liu of the Supreme Court of California on “Keeping Faith with the Constitution.” The chapter will also host author Michael Avery in October to discuss his book, “The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back From Liberals.”
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 23:
Harvard Law School
The ACS Harvard Law School Student Chapter, under the guidance of faculty advisor Professor Michael Klarman, has an exciting slate of events planned for this fall. First, the semester kicked off with a visit from Justice Elena Kagan, who sat down with HLS Dean Martha Minow to chat about life inside One First Street. Next, Harvard has planned several events that focus on civil rights issues, including a lunch talk with Lenora Lapides, Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project; a discussion about government spending on the poor with Peter Edelman, ACS Board Chair, Georgetown Law professor and expert on poverty issues; and a lunch talk on equal opportunity in education with Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court.
In the coming weeks, New York Times Legal Columnist and ACS Board Member Linda Greenhouse will give students a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term; Karen Houppert, author of “Chasing Gideon,” will visit campus to address the problem of mass incarceration, and Natasha Korgaonkar of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund will discuss how voting rights advocacy groups are responding to Shelby County v. Holder. Additionally, Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog, will come to moot his case BG Group v. Argentina and give a midyear report on the Supreme Court. Lastly, the HLS chapter is gearing up to host this year’s ACS Northeast Regional Student Conference, with seven panels built around the theme “The Future of Equality.”
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 16:
Tulane University Law School
The ACS Tulane Law School Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Professor Keith Werhan, is looking forward to a great semester. The chapter has initiated a Supreme Court Review series, in which Tulane Law faculty will discuss recent SCOTUS decisions that affect individual rights and liberties. The first event in the series, “That Dog Can’t Sniff Your Grass: Florida v. Jardines,” will feature a lecture by Professor Jancy Hoeffel about the Court’s recent ruling that a warrantless sniff by a drug dog at the front door of a private residence violates the Fourth Amendment. The second event in the series is “It’s Good (Not) To Be The King: Vance v. Ball State,” in which Professor Joel Friedman will discuss the limitations of the definition of “supervisor” for purposes of employer vicarious liability in cases of workplace harassment that were established by the ruling. The fall semester’s final event in the series, “Death of DOMA: U.S. v. Windsor,” features Professor Robert Westley’s analysis of the Court’s DOMA ruling. The series will resume in the spring.
In addition, the chapter will welcome Emily Maw, the Director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, in November. Her lecture, entitled “Attorney Accountability and Wrongful Convictions: 50 Years After Gideon,” will illuminate the role of “bad lawyering” (i.e. errors, negligence, and deliberate misconduct by both prosecutors and defense attorneys) in wrongful convictions.
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 9:
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law ACS Student Chapter, with faculty advisor and ACS Board Member Prof. Dawn Johnsen, has already planned many great events. The fall semester’s theme is Gideon’s 50th anniversary and related events include: a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert author of Chasing Gideon, a panel of public defenders to discuss indigent defense, screenings of films Defending Gideon and Gideon’s Trumpet, and a panel featuring David Carroll of the 6th Amendment Center and Prof. Norman Lefstein of IU-Indianapolis McKinney School of Law. In addition, the chapter is sponsoring “Modeling Progressive Law for States and Cities” with ALICE founder Joel Rogers and has invited local community groups to take part in ALICE’s vital mission. Its Constitution Day events will feature Duke University School of Law Prof. Jeff Powell on "War Powers under the Constitution and The Question of Syria," and law students will engage with middle school students as part of Constitution in the Classroom.
In addition, the chapter will cosponsor a panel on Prof. Jeannine Bell’s new book, Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-In Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing and a student question-and-answer session with Yale Law School Prof. Harold Koh during his visit for an endowed lecture series on international law. Prof. Winnifred Sullivan will discuss prayer at government meetings, an issue before the Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and Amy Howe, editor at SCOTUSblog, will present a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court docket. The chapter's spring semester's theme will be Brown’s 60th anniversary and the chapter will host a talk by ACS Board member and Columbia Law Prof. Ted Shaw, previously President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Social events, mixers and less formal brown bag lunches also are planned throughout the year.