November 18, 2019

12:00 pm - 1:10 pm, Eastern Time

The Rule of Law With Former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli

Columbia Law School; Room 102B, New York City, New York

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. '83 is one of the nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates. He served as Solicitor General of the United States from June 2011 to June 2016. During that time he argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, was responsible for representing the United States government in all appellate matters before the High Court and in the courts of appeals, and was a legal advisor to President Barack Obama and the Attorney General. At this lunch event he will address issues around the rule of law in the United States, specifically how partisanship and political posturing affect the rule of law. Increasingly there is a divide between the profession of faith in the rule of law and the willingness to uphold it in times of constitutional turmoil. Understanding what fidelity to the rule of law means is a critical issue for progressive lawyers and the future of American democracy.

Mr. Verrilli’s landmark victories include his successful advocacy in defense of the Affordable Care Act in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell; his successful advocacy for marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Windsor; and his vindication of federal immigration authority in Arizona v. United States. He also achieved important victories in two patent cases, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, in a case vindicating the president’s foreign affairs authority in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and in numerous cases involving civil rights, women’s rights and other matters of national importance.

In addition to these matters, Mr. Verrilli’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments have included cases involving antitrust, copyright, telecommunications, the environment, the First Amendment, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, the separation of powers, criminal law and other federal constitutional and statutory matters. He also achieved a landmark victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in Wiggins v. Smith, a case that established the standards for effective assistance of counsel in capital sentencing proceedings.