Student Chapter of the Week
The Duke University School of Law ACS Chapter has continued its mission to promote an inclusive vision of the Constitution in 2019. The Chapter is honored to have its hard work to expand membership and progressive discourse recognized by ACS National. In the fall of 2019 alone, the Chapter sponsored fourteen events spanning several disciplines and topical issues, ranging from impeachment to the student debt crisis. A few of these events include:
- A Supreme Court Wrap-Up and Preview, featuring Professor Dan Epps from Washington University in St. Louis, and Duke Law Professors Guy-Uriel Charles, Lisa Kern Griffin, and Stephen Sachs;
- A debate on the Constitution’s religion clauses, featuring Professor Scott Gaylord of Elon Law and Professor William Marshall of UNC Law;
- A discussion with Duke Law Professors Eisha Jain and Kate Evans about current trends in immigration enforcement and their impact in North Carolina;
- A lunch talk on faculty experiences as federal prosecutors and their views on the criminal justice system, featuring Professors Sam Buell and Lisa Kern Griffin; and
- A debate on corporate criminal liability, featuring Professor John Hasnas from Georgetown University Law Center and Brandon Garrett from Duke Law School.
The Chapter has also hosted several progressive legal titans including former White House Counsel to President Obama, Neil Eggleston; former acting Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger; and Deputy Counsel and Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, William Marshall. The group also heard from a vast array of leading scholars and attorneys, including First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams and national security expert Michael German.
The Chapter would like to thank Professors Neil Siegel, Joseph Blocher, Anne Gordon, Guy-Uriel Charles, Sam Buell, Lisa Kern Griffin, and Brandon Garrett for their assistance and support. The Chapter also thanks ACS staff for their tremendous help throughout the year.
Rutgers Law School-Newark ACS Student Chapter
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.
The Rutgers Law School – Newark ACS Chapter restarted on campus in the fall semester of 2018. The Chapter began with a Midterm Election Watch Party. Throughout the year, the Chapter hosted several events on the Mueller Report, the constitutionality of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and the president’s use of emergency funds to build a wall on the US–Mexico border. Each event featured a professor to provide students with the constitutional backdrop of everyday happenings in our government. The Chapter also hosted a fireside chat between Rutgers Dean Taja-Nia Henderson and NYU Professor Rachel E. Barkow on Professor Barkow’s new book, Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration.
The Chapter kicked off the 2019–20 school year with a Constitution Day celebration, where students won patriotic prizes for answering U.S. government and history questions. The Chapter also hosted an Impeachment Pop-Up with Professor and ACS National Board Member Elise Boddie, who discussed the mounting evidence against the president and answered numerous questions about the constitutionality of the impeachment process. The Chapter’s “Hustler Magazine in the Age of Social Media” event was an interactive panel discussion about the evolution of our free speech rights, from the U.S. Supreme Court’s hallmark decision in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell to the present day legal question of whether private institutions are covered by the First Amendment. The Chapter closed out the semester with DACA recipients and other undocumented people at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
This coming semester we look forward to hosting a panel discussion on non-legal careers for progressive lawyering and continuing to host thought-provoking events on constitutional questions that effect our daily lives. The Rutgers-Newark ACS student chapter would like to thank ACS National and our faculty advisors Elise Boddie and Susan Feathers for their continued support and guidance.
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ACS Student Chapter
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law ACS Chapter started the year with a high volume of programming! Maurer ACS accomplished its semester goals by hosting discussions on voting rights, the First Amendment, the opioid epidemic, and professional development.
Maurer’s ACS chapter brought influential national speakers that drew crowds of over 100 attendees from the law school, the wider IU campus, and the local Bloomington community. One of those speakers was Trevor Potter, former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and on-air lawyer to Stephen Colbert's super PAC on The Colbert Report. Mr. Potter is also notable for his role in alerting the FEC to the two associates of Rudy Giuliani who have now been charged with campaign finance violations. The Chapter also hosted Regina LaBelle, former chief of staff of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, to discuss the origins of the US opioid epidemic and the multidistrict litigation against big pharmaceutical companies. Further, the Chapter held a Supreme Court preview panel featuring constitutional law scholars Steve Sanders and Dan Conkle. To conclude the semester, the Chapter co-sponsored a career development presentation with Maurer’s Career Services Office to hear from Joel Elliot, former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and current Director of Federal Affairs for Salesforce.
The Chapter is looking forward to hosting more conversations in the spring semester surrounding the impeachment inquiry, reproductive rights, President Trump’s immigration policies, and criminal justice reform. The Chapter also plans on inviting more national figures to speak at Maurer.
Maurer ACS will continue to promote progressive values to ensure that the law is a force to improve the lives of all people. The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Dawn Johnsen, for her support and guidance.
Georgetown University Law Center ACS Student Chapter
Georgetown ACS is honored to be named Student Chapter of the Week! The chapter hit the ground running this semester and has been fortunate to see sizable increases in 1L membership and quality of programs as a result.
September began with the annual Supreme Court Term Preview, a welcome barbecue, and constitutional law trivia. In partnership with the phenomenal DC Lawyer Chapter, several GULC students were able to participate in Constitution in the Classroom at area schools and spread a message of civic engagement.
In October, the chapter welcomed Supreme Court advocate and ACS Chair Pam Karlan for a discussion leading up to her argument that month in Bostock v. Clayton County; over 50 students woke up early on a Friday morning to hear her discuss the importance of Title VII moving forward. Georgetown ACS also hosted an esteemed panel on the mounting impeachment inquiry and an event featuring the Hon. Russell F. Canan, Hon. Gregory E. Mize, Hon. Reggie B. Walton, and Hon. Frederick H. Weisberg, discussing their most difficult cases. We then hosted Integrity First for America to learn about their litigation combatting white supremacy. Perhaps the best-attended event was a discussion of civil liberties with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, which ACS co-sponsored with several other student organizations.
November wrapped up with book talks from GULC's very own Professor Peter Edelman on the criminalization of poverty and Slate reporter Mark Stern on the Roberts Court. Members also took a Hard Look at Textualism over dinner alongside the incredible Professor Joseph Kimble.
The executive board and general body of Georgetown ACS would like to thank our faculty advisors, Sherally Munshi and Alicia Plerhoples. The chapter is looking forward to another semester of learning and growing as progressive lawyers here in the nation’s capital - and hopes to see you at the 2020 ACS National Student Convention!
The University of Oklahoma School of Law ACS Student Chapter
The OU Law Student Chapter is thrilled to be named Student Chapter of the Week! The chapter leaders have work diligently over the last year to revive ACS on campus. As a result, ACS has become one of the largest and most involved student groups at the law school.
One highlight of the semester was screening the award-winning documentary, “And Then They Came For Us,” about the Japanese-American incarceration during World War II. The documentary was followed by a panel discussion, which included Dr. Karen Korematsu (civil rights activist and daughter of Fred Korematsu) and Don Tamaki (attorney on the legal team that got his conviction vacated decades after the Supreme Court infamously upheld it). The panel discussed the parallels between the Japanese incarceration and the detainment and separation of families at the southern border. There were over 300 people in attendance, which included not only law students but undergraduates and lawyers from the area.
The semester kicked off with a lunch meeting/ACLU training focused on how we can make positive change in the world. Our chapter also had a networking mixer with the school’s Outlaw chapter, the LBGTQ+ organization. We celebrated Constitution Day with a lunch remembering the work of the late Justice Stevens, which was led by his former clerk, Joseph Thai. Our final event of the semester was a lunch and learn with state representative, Scott Inman.
Next semester, we are planning several engaging events including a meeting with our congresswoman. We are excited with the growth of the OU ACS chapter and we hope to continue creating dialogue in our community about important political, legal, and constitutional issues. We would like to thank our faculty advisor, Professor Joseph Thai and ACS national for the continued support.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ACS Student Chapter
The Northwestern Chapter of ACS is thrilled to be named ACS Student Chapter of the Week! This year, ACS Northwestern established a theme of building a just society of, by, and for all people. We worked especially hard to boost membership and welcomed 22 1L, MSL, and LLM student reps.
In the first few months of the year, we held over 20 events, including several that were standing-room only. Our amazing Board introduced students to several judges, including Hon. Edmond Chang, Hon. Willie Epps, Hon. Gregory Mize, Hon. Russell Canan, and Hon. Allie Greenleaf Maldonado; Fair and Just Prosecution Director Miriam Krinsky; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx; District Attorneys Andrew Warren, Mark Dupree, and John Chisholm; Professors Joshua Douglas, Anthony Kreis, and Ciara Torres-Spelliscy; and other legal stars like Ami Gandhi, Constantine Trela, and Annie Kastanek. Our lunch programming explored voting rights, ICE’s detention policy, Puerto Rico’s constitution, Title VII and LGBTQ rights, the progressive prosecution movement, the new Supreme Court term, and diversity in the legal profession.
Mentorship has been a central focus this year, with a special emphasis on fostering relations with alumni and faculty. ACS Northwestern also cultivated mentorship relationships with speakers and members of ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter. We even organized a series of small group coffees for 1Ls to connect with practicing lawyers.
Finally, in response to the senseless and tragic mass shootings, ACS Northwestern launched a new student group called the Gun Reform Interest Project (GRIP). Together, ACS and GRIP will be hosting an event with the national organization Everytown For Gun Safety to discuss the upcoming Second Amendment Supreme Court case, New York State Pistol & Rifle Association v. City of New York.
We give special thanks to our esteemed faculty advisors, Professors Deborah Tuerkheimer and Erin Delaney, and our wonderful ACS staff. Follow us on Twitter, @ACS_NULaw!
Clockwise from top: (1) Congressman Steve Cohen discussing the Electoral College. (2) Memphis ACS Student Chapter. (3) "Small Room, Big Ideas" conversation with Professor Daniel Schaffzin.
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ACS Student Chapter
After a period of dormancy, the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ACS Student Chapter is back again! The chapter is honored, after being revived less than a year ago, to be selected as the ACS Student Chapter of the Week.
We began this year with an in-depth look at the socioeconomic and racial inequality that resulted from the demerger of the public-school districts in Shelby County, TN. The panel featured Professor Daniel Kiel, Dr. Barbara Prescott, and Mr. Cardell Orrin. Next, ACS Memphis spoke with Congressman Steve Cohen about proposals to abolish the Electoral College. We also hosted a Community Organizing Training with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to make learning actionable in Memphis. Our latest event was a panel discussing America’s history of discriminatory immigration laws and policies, featuring retired immigration Judge Charles Pazar; attorney Bryce Ashby; and Dr. Alicia Triche, Chief Editor of The Green Card. We look forward to Judge Pazar’s return in January to host the ACS Winter Break Book Club discussion of The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent.
Further, ACS Memphis has introduced “Small Room, Big Ideas” a small-group discussion series led by a professor on topics such as gun control, impeachment, and blight in Memphis. Our chapter also loves to have fun and has organized school-wide basketball and kickball games, as well as a constitutional cookie decorating party.
ACS Memphis would like to emphatically thank the chapter’s Executive Board for their tireless dedication and our faculty advisor, Professor Carrie Kerley, for her support and guidance. We would also like to thank the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s faculty, especially Professors Frank, Kiel, McClurg, Mulroy, and Schaffzin. Finally, ACS Memphis would like to recognize Dean Katharine Schaffzin; Assistant Deans Meredith, Aden and Wilson; and administrative staff members Ms. Onidas, Ms. Hope, Ms. Gardner, and Mr. Tony for all their help in facilitating our programs.
Berkeley Law ACS Student Chapter
The University of California Berkeley School of Law Chapter is honored to be recognized as the ACS Student Chapter of the Week! Berkeley ACS strengthened both its membership and programming over the past academic year and is thrilled to continue that progress this fall semester by focusing on engaging with our members in new ways.
The Chapter recently changed its board structure to increase 1L and LLM input about our events, planning, and goals. The Chapter also created a Diversity Chair position to help ensure that we feature diverse voices in our events, foster conversations about inclusivity, and encourage collaboration with other progressive student affinity groups. We also have a new Notice and Comment board member that is specifically focused on engaging students in the administrative rulemaking process. The Chapter has continued bringing in new and interesting voices and has hosted nine events this semester.
In September, the Berkeley ACS Chapter hosted a conversation with Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky about his new book We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century. The Chapter also co-hosted a Supreme Court roundup event with Amanda Tyler, a former clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and John Yoo, a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. The Berkeley ACS Chapter celebrated Constitution Day this year by handing out cupcakes, Constitutions, and quizzes about constitutional knowledge.
In October, the Berkeley ACS Chapter co-hosted an event with the Berkeley Immigration Group featuring the American Immigration Council in a discussion about the Trump administration’s family separation policy. We then hosted a conversation with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Daniel Flores about his career and diversity in the profession. Later, Mike German from the Brennan Center for Justice discussed his new book How the New FBI Damages Democracy. For a very spooky Halloween, the Chapter held an event about stopping robocalls that featured attorneys from the FTC, FCC, and the California Attorney General’s office. Our last event of the semester focused on climate change solutions and how various levels of government are approaching them.
The Berkeley ACS Chapter would like to thank our faculty advisor, Andrew Bradt, and the ACS national staff for their support.
University of Denver Sturm College of Law ACS Student Chapter
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law American Constitution Society Student Chapter has worked this year to represent a progressive vision of the American legal system on our campus through a series of lunch events, collaborating with the Colorado ACS Lawyer Chapter, and hosting the 2019 ACS Western Regional Convening. Our lunch events have covered a diverse set of subjects, including panels on impeachment history and process, the work of federal public defenders, and the rights of animals under federal law.
More recently, we planned, coordinated, and hosted the 2019 ACS Western Regional Convening. This two day Convening included discussions of topics on LGBT+ rights post-Obergefell, reforming the federal judiciary, consumer protection, weighing privacy rights against national security concerns, progressive prosecution, protecting immigrants, the role of State Attorneys General in protecting constitutional rights, and why those in the legal profession must protect the rule of law. Convening guests included Colorado Supreme Court Justices, a Colorado Court of Appeals Judge, the Colorado Attorney General and Solicitor General, local attorneys, law school professors, activists, and community organizers.
In early November, we hosted a Leaders from Law Workshop for law students and recent graduates to receive training on how to obtain and actualize a career in an elected public office. In the spring of 2020, the chapter will co-sponsor the second annual DU Civil Rights Summit. This Summit brings together progressive Justices, judges, law clerks, practitioners, legislators, law students, organizers, and individuals directly impacted by civil rights violations. Last year’s summit welcomed over 200 speakers and guests and included notable speakers such as Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart, civil rights attorney Qusair Mohammedbhai, and Masterpiece Cakeshop plaintiffs Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law ACS Student Chapter would like to thank our advisors, Professor Alan Chen and Professor Alexi Freeman, for all their support in making this year such a success.
New York Law School ACS Student Chapter
New York Law School's ACS Chapter is honored to be recognized as Student Chapter of the Week!
In early October, the chapter was thrilled to organize and host this year’s ACS Northeast Regional Convening. The gathering featured panelists on a range of topics featured prominently in the news, including the Role of the State AG, Voting Rights and the Census, Resisting Hate, and the Second Amendment and Gun Violence Prevention. It also featured a Keynote Address by former New York Public Advocate candidate and ACS national board member Dawn Smalls. We also partnered with the NYLS Racial Justice Project to host a CLE on “Policing the Police,” featuring experts on police accountability.
Other events hosted the student chapter this semester included:
- A packed discussion on “The ABCs of Impeachment,” where Professor Doni Gewirtzman, our Faculty Advisor, and Professor Justin Murray walked through the impeachment process and possible scenarios on how it could play out regarding President Trump;
- In recognition of Banned Books Week, we invited James Tager and Robert Pollock from PEN America to speak about “Banned Books in Prison;”
- Our annual “What’s Next for SCOTUS?” discussion on the upcoming Supreme Court term, now a yearly, public event in conjunction with the NYLS Office of the Dean, featured five professors discussing 2019-2020 SCOTUS term cases and their likely disposition and impact;
- A special screening of Ava DuVernay’s landmark documentary “13th,” in celebration of Constitution Day
And coming up next month, we are thrilled to host Supreme Court litigant Simon Tam (of 2017’s Matal v .Tam) for a discussion on the First Amendment and “offensive” trademarks. The event will be moderated by Professor and former ACLU President Nadine Strossen and will feature a musical performance by Simon and one of his bandmates. We also look forward to more exciting events in the spring 2020 semester.
Our Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor Doni Gewirtzman, for his inspiring guidance and support, and we would also like to thank the entire ACS staff for their continued support and encouragement.
Nebraska College of Law ACS Student Chapter
The Nebraska College of Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be recognized as Student Chapter of the Week for the second time in 2019! Last year, the Chapter focused on building a foundation to establish their presence on campus. This year the Chapter has focused on expanding its reach by partnering with other organizations to host larger events and to get more students involved with ACS.
The Chapter kicked off the Fall 2019 semester by sponsoring a house in the Lincoln Paint-a-thon. Students and faculty from the law college teamed up to paint a home for an elderly/disabled couple in Lincoln. The Chapter then hosted a back-to-school party and kicked off a year-long pro bono project with ACLU Nebraska. In this project, students observe County Court arraignments to identify how the cases are handled and whether current practices comply with LB259, a 2017 bill aimed at dealing with modern day debtor’s prisons. On Constitution Day, the Chapter hosted a debate, in partnership with the Federalist Society, where two faculty members discussed the recent 10th circuit decision which held States cannot dictate how electors vote in the electoral college. The Chapter plans to host an event in November titled “How to Ruin Thanksgiving,” a conversational meeting where upper class students give advice to 1L’s on how to navigate family holidays after experiencing a semester of law school, and how to avoid solicitations for legal advice. The Chapter looks forward to hosting more events in the Spring semester with the help of our new 1L executive team members.
The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor Eric Berger, as well as ACS staff for their continual support and guidance.
Vanderbilt University Law School ACS Student Chapter
The Vanderbilt University Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society is in the middle of a semester full of engaging programming. On October 1, the chapter hosted Professor Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School and Vanderbilt Professors Suzanna Sherry and Ganesh Sitaraman on a panel entitled Depoliticizing SCOTUS. Each panelist shared recommendations for maintaining the independence of the judicial branch. The lunchtime event nearly filled Vanderbilt’s Flynn Auditorium.
Supplementary to the October 1 panel, the Vanderbilt Chapter has several events planned for the fall semester. These events include bringing two federal district court judges to campus to speak to students and co-sponsoring an event during which Professor Sitaraman will share policy proposals from his new book, The Public Option.
In addition to bringing speakers to campus, the Vanderbilt Chapter hosted two mixers this fall. These mixers provided 1Ls the opportunity to meet with current chapter members to discuss the transition to law school and programming ideas for the spring semester.
The Vanderbilt Chapter is grateful for the resources provided by ACS national and the support of our faculty advisor, Professor Ganesh Sitaraman. We are looking forward to continuing a strong year of programming!
Santa Clara University School of Law ACS Student Chapter
The Santa Clara University Chapter started off the school year with a welcome back BBQ and a general meeting to teach law students about ACS. For Constitution Day, the SCU Chapter sponsored a Constitution Day panel of professors to discuss the recent and upcoming cases on the Supreme Court’s docket. Earlier in the semester, the SCU Chapter also hosted a presidential debate watch party and hopes to continue doing so as future debates occur. Last week, the SCU Chapter continued its ongoing discussion series, “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It,” where ACS board members provide Taco Bell and lead a monthly student discussion on topics such as “Title VII in the Trump Era” and “Student Climate Strikes.” Additionally, the SCU Chapter is planning an October event that will focus on impeachment.
This year, the SCU Chapter plans to host a Q&A session with a local congressional representative, an event with Professor Erwin Chemerinsky of neighboring Boalt Hall, a voter registration drive, and a trivia night that will be co-sponsored by Santa Clara’s Women in Law organization. The Santa Clara University Chapter is grateful to have strong attendance at its events and a hard-working board that allows it to represent progressive values in Silicon Valley.
The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors, Professors Ellen Kreitzberg and Margaret Russell, for their support and guidance.
NCCU School of Law ACS Student Chapter
North Carolina Central University School of Law is honored to have been considered and selected for the American Constitution Society’s Student Chapter of the Week. The NCCU Law Student chapter is committed to engaging students in Constitutional dialogue and standing for our school values of “truth and service.” In particular, the NCCU Law Student Chapter has emphasized collaborations with other Constitutional organizations at NCCU School of Law to foster constitutional discussion and civic engagement.
The chapter began the Fall 2019 semester co-sponsoring with law school faculty a Constitution Day event that focused on discussing Reparations and voting rights. The program consisted of panels discussing the basis of reparations, the impact of reparations and the importance of the political and litigational processes in acquiring reparations. Students who attended, participated in drafting and creating North Carolina legislative district via an online districting simulation. Congressman G.K. Butterfield gave a keynote address to attendees on the importance of the civil war amendments, civil rights legislation, and the protection of voting rights.
The NCCU Law student chapter continued its Constitution week celebration with hosting a Constitutional Discussion with the Federalist Society. Dean Malik Edwards of NCCU School of Law and Professor Sachs Stephen Sachs debated “Originalism vs. Living Constitutionalism.” The conversation was informative, engaging, beneficial, and student attendees enjoyed the dialogue.
The NCCU Law student chapter has planned and is hosting the 2019 Southeastern Regional Convening of the American Constitution Society on September 27, 2019. The convening will consist of panels with topics as Black Lives Matter, voting rights, state attorney’s general, judges panel, and a keynote address from Justice Anita Earls of the N.C. Supreme Court. The Chapter is also planning an Indigent Clothes Drive in October, Voter Registration Drive with the NCCU Law’s OUTLAW society and, a speed networking event.
The NCCU Law chapter is thankful for the active support from its members, adviser, Professor April Dawson, NCCU School of Law student body, administration, and the American Constitution Society!