2022 ACS National Convention
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Join us for the premier progressive legal gathering of the year, bringing together lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, activists, and policymakers to address some of the most urgent and challenging issues confronting our nation. Both our in-person and virtual programming will include an appearance by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and panels that will consider such timely issues as confronting the threat autocracy poses to democracy in this moment, responding to attacks on reproductive rights and the future of reproductive justice lawyering, and the ways in which progressive lawyers can engage with Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation work. Convention will offer networking opportunities for both in-person attendees and virtual attendees.
In-person convention programming will take place at our new location:
901 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001, US
The hotel is accepting reservations in a room block for Convention attendees through May 26, 2022. Book your accommodations today »
Tuesday, June 14
4:00 p.m. Virtual Graduation featuring ACS President Russ Feingold, ACS Executive Vice President Zinelle October, and ACS National Student Board Member Zoraima Pelaez ‘22. During the program, we will acknowledge our graduating leaders and present our ACS Student Chapter Awards.
Thursday, June 16
9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Working Group/Hill Meetings*
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. A Conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Chapter Presidents Meeting*
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Engaging with Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (Workshop)
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Welcome Dinner
9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Faculty Advisor Mixer*
Friday, June 17
6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Morning Jog
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Path to the Bench Working Group Meeting*
9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Plenary Panel: “Democracy’s Moment of Truth”
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session #1
- “Engaging Globally: Shaping ACS’s Involvement in International Legal and Justice Issues”
- “‘Taking’ Away Our Rights: The Implications of Cedar Point Nursery”
- “Bringing a Poster to a Gun Fight: The Fatal Combination of Expanded ‘Gun Rights’ and Self-Defense Laws on Political Participation”
12:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Practice Group Lunches (off-site)
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Broken Law Podcast – live recording
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Breakout Session #2
- “Technology and Democracy: Friends or Foes?”
- “Crossing Borders: How Xenophobia Infects Our Approach to Refugee Crises”
- “Weaponizing ‘Parental Rights’ in the Latest Culture Wars”
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Plenary Session
- Panel: “Evaporating Abortion Rights – Expanding Reproductive Freedom”
- Featured Speaker: Hon. Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Members of Color Mixer (All convention attendees are welcome)
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Law Student Networking Dinners*
Saturday, June 18
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Morning Walk
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Next Generation Leaders Brunch*
4:00 p.m. A Washington, DC walking tour coordinated by the Washington, DC ACS Lawyer Chapter.
4:05 p.m. Group Baseball Game Outing (Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies) coordinated by the Washington, D.C. ACS Lawyer Chapter. Note: attendees are responsible for the cost of admission and more information will be provided in a follow-up email.
Please note: schedule is subject to change
Thursday, June 16
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Friday, June 17
2022 Faculty Advisor of the Year: Christine Chambers Goodman
Stay tuned for updates as more awardees are announced.
Thursday, June 16
Workshop: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
How to Engage with Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation
Racial inequality is rooted in the legal infrastructure of this country, from the drafting of our founding documents to the very design of our government. If we are to dismantle white supremacy, we need a concerted reckoning with our country’s history and a framework for driving coordinated and transformative change to that end, ACS has joined the growing movement calling for a national truth, racial healing, and transformation commission. How can ACS members get involved in the movement toward truth, racial healing, and transformation? What work is being done at the local level and what lessons can be drawn from past efforts?
Friday, June 17
Plenary 1: 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Democracy’s Moment of Truth
A report from Freedom House finds that authoritarianism is expanding globally, and the U.S. has not been immune from these worrying signs of democratic retreat. Over a year after an angry mob of white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the percentage of Americans who believe the election was stolen has grown despite no evidence to support this contention. As we approach our first post-insurrection election and with the 2024 presidential race poised to begin, what can we do to protect election integrity and stem the tide of anti-democratic measures designed to allow state legislators to “legally” override the choice of voters? Can court reform help refortify our democratic institutions? Are there lessons we can learn from other countries around the globe who have faced similar authoritarian threats?
Breakout Session 1: 11:00 am – 12:00 p.m.
Engaging Globally: Shaping ACS’s Involvement in International Legal and Justice Issues
The events of the past few years have made clear that ACS’s work must acknowledge the twenty-first century reality that the legal and justice issues we confront at home are inextricably interconnected with those facing the larger global community. Just as the U.S. must engage its global partners if there is any hope for progress, so too, must ACS engage with those issues central to our mission that transcend our borders. This includes such far ranging issues as race and the legacy of colonialism, the rule of law, human rights, and the opportunities and dangers technology poses. How, then, can ACS adapt its work to engage globally in an intentional and effective way?
“Taking” Away Our Rights: The Implications of Cedar Point Nursery
In a blow to workers’ rights, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid striking down a 45 year-old farm labor regulation elevated employers’ property rights above their employees’ ability to meet with labor organizers. Critics of the decision have decried it as a radical reinterpretation and expansion of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause that ignores decades of precedent. These experts argue that the decision’s reckless application of the Takings Clause not only weakens collective bargaining rights, but could also compromise health and safety, anti-discrimination, fair housing, and environmental laws. What are the long-term implications of Cedar Point on workers’ rights and the broader regulatory state?
Bringing a Poster to a Gun Fight: The Fatal Combination of Expanded “Gun Rights” and Self-Defense Laws on Political Participation
Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could significantly restrict states’ authority to impose limits on the public carry of firearms. That same month, a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people and injured a third with the AR-15 style assault weapon he brought to a Black Lives Matter protest, based on claims of self-defense. In a country of increasingly permissive self-defense laws, how will the potential ubiquity of guns in public affect public safety and public speech? Given that both “gun rights” and self-defense laws have historically benefited white people and actively harmed Black and Brown people, what do these trends portend?
Breakout Session 2: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Technology and Democracy: Friends or Foes?
Rapidly advancing information and communication technologies have had a profound impact on democracy around the world. In the early days of the Arab Spring technology enabled activists to coordinate and demand reform. But today, with disinformation and growing pressure being exerted on technology companies to clamp down on dissent in authoritarian countries like Russia and China, the relationship between technology and democracy is seen in a much more nuanced light. What is the relationship between technology and democracy? How can we ensure that regulations or reforms are democracy-enhancing rather than democracy-weakening?
Crossing Borders: How Xenophobia Infects our Immigration System and our Approach to Refugee Crises
We are in the midst of a global humanitarian crisis as millions of people flee war, poverty, and persecution in places as disparate as Afghanistan, Haiti, Central America, Syria, and Ukraine. The international and domestic responses to these refugee crises have too often differed based on the race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin of those affected. In the U.S., the federal government’s decision to use the Covid-19 pandemic as justification to invoke long-dormant immigration authority to expel asylum seekers, despite objections from public health experts, has been decried as racist by many human rights observers. Is the U.S. immigration system doing enough to respond to an unprecedented humanitarian need? And what role is race, and racism, playing in the application of immigration law in the United States and abroad?
Weaponizing “Parental Rights” in the Latest Culture Wars
Though an enormous amount of work remains to be done, there has been notable progress in conversations around racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights in recent years. This progress, however, has been met with backlash, as conservative state lawmakers rush to pass laws that prohibit teachers from including discussions of race or sexuality in their curriculum and restrict students’ ability to discuss their lived experiences. These laws have been described by their sponsors as preserving “parental rights.” Yet, many of these same states have pursued legislation prohibiting parents from providing the medical care their trans children need. How can this disconnect be explained and what role are conservative dominated courts playing in these attacks against the young people who make up America’s most diverse generation?
Plenary 2: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Evaporating Abortion Rights – Expanding Reproductive Freedom
The Supreme Court has been eroding meaningful abortion access for years, upholding Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws and other abortion restrictions that disproportionately impact marginalized pregnant people. Now the Court is poised to explicitly or de facto overturn Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent recognizing the constitutional right to abortion. If this happens, according to the Guttmacher Institute, “26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion.” In a post-Roe America, how do we expand reproductive freedom in a way that creates meaningful rights and access for marginalized people in all 50 states? What can the experience of legalizing abortion in other countries tell us about potential next steps in the United States?
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CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (CLE)
ACS is in the process of applying to states for CLE credit. The availability and amount of CLE credit may vary by state. If you have further questions about CLE, please reach out to LCEmails@acslaw.org.
All in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC by June 16, 2022. Attendees must provide proof of vaccination (photo acceptable) at the time of check-in at convention. Failure to provide such proof will result in not being admitted to the in-person convention.
ACS is offering substantive convention programming virtually for those not comfortable attending an in-person gathering. By attending the ACS Convention, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and further acknowledge that you understand and will follow all health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control, and the local health department, as implemented by ACS and the hotel. Failure to abide by all health and safety protocols implemented for the event is grounds for being asked to leave the event, without refund.