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.
This year, the Stanford Law School ACS Student Chapter has engaged with a number of other organizations on campus and around the Bay Area to drive both action and conversation around a slew of progressive legal issues. These events included:
- A primer on voting rights and the electoral process with Professors Pamela Karlan and Nathaniel Persily, co-sponsored by the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law.
- A lecture on poverty, inequality, and the housing crisis by Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, co-sponsored by the Program on Urban Studies and the Center on Poverty and Inequality.
- A conversation with the Hon. Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit, Hon. Paul Watford of the Ninth Circuit, and Hon. Cheryl Krause of the Third Circuit.
- A discussion on appellate advocacy with former Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., moderated by Professor Jeffrey Fisher.
- A lecture on advocating for and defending constitutional rights with Steven R. Shapiro, former long-time Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
- A lunch conversation with Professors Pamela Karlan and Nicholas Stephanopoulos about the efficiency gap and the current challenge to partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin.
- An evening question-and-answer session with the Hon. Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California.
- A reading group series, hosted by Professor Michelle Wilde Anderson, debriefing the 2016 election and analyzing various means of defending progressive values and advocating on behalf of vulnerable communities in the current political climate.
- A conversation with the Hon. Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court about his career and time on the bench, moderated by Professor David Sklansky.
- A screening of “They Call Us Monsters,” a critically acclaimed new documentary about life inside a high-security juvenile detention facility, followed by a discussion with Professor Joan Petersilia and filmmaker Ben Lear, and co-sponsored by the Criminal Law Society, the Youth & Education Advocates, the Black Law Students Association, and the Latino Law Students Association.
- A panel on how to run for political office, co-sponsored by the ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter, featuring Rod Diridon, Jr., Santa Clara City Clerk and Auditor; Mary Hughes, founder of close the gap CA; Ash Kalra, Assemblymember, District 27; and Mary Hanna-Weir, civil rights attorney.
- A discussion between Professors Pamela Karlan and Jonathan Mitchell about Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., co-sponsored by the Federalist Society and OutLaw.
The Chapter is grateful to their Faculty Advisors Professors Pamela Karlan and Jeffrey Fisher, as well as ACS National for their support.
Student Chapter of the Week May 8
The ACS Chapter at the University of Nebraska College of Law took a grassroots approach at student engagement by focusing on local-level issues. The chapter hosted numerous speakers and events including:
- The author of Failure of Justice: A Brutal Murder, An Obsessed Cop, Six Wrongful Convictions, John Ferak, to talk about the wrongful conviction of six Nebraskans in the 1980s.
- A panel discussion on First Amendment issues in Nebraska featuring Danielle Conrad and Amy Miller from the ACLU of Nebraska, and Professors Eric Berger, Richard Duncan, and Gus Hurwitz.
- A discussion on Nebraska’s death penalty repeal referendum featuring State Senator Colby Coash, Professor Ari Kohen, Former Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, and Lincoln attorney Bob Evnen.
- A judiciary panel consisting of Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the District Court for the District of Nebraska, Judge Riko E. Bishop of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, and Judge Linda S. Porter of the Lancaster County Juvenile Court to offer perspectives on politics and the judiciary, the gavel gap, and judicial elections.
- Facilitated roundtable discussions including:
- “A Post–Election Reconstruction” with Professor Eric Berger.
- A legislative update featuring ACLU of Nebraska’s Executive Director Danielle Conrad.
- “The Constitutionality of President Trump’s Executive Orders” featuring Professors Eric Berger and Matthew Schaefer.
- “Planned Parenthood and the Attacks on Reproductive Freedom” with Meg Mikolajczyk, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Nebraska’s ACS chapter would like to thank its faculty advisor, Professor and Associate Dean Eric Berger, for inspiring students to get interested in constitutional law. Additionally, the chapter thanks Dean Molly Brummond, Nebraska Law students, and Nebraska Law faculty for their continued support.
Student Chapter of the Week May 1
The Penn State Law chapter of ACS has made many strides in rebuilding its chapter since it restarted last spring. On top of hosting social events for progressive-minded students and faculty, connecting students with research opportunities, and engaging students in the ACS OneJusticeMatters social media campaign, the chapter has hosted a range of educational events, including:
- A reproductive rights panel with Danielle Kroo, the former Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Keystone; Andy Hoover, Communications Director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania; and Professor Dara Purvis.
- A panel about the legal aid funding crisis and gaps in access to justice with Professor Jill Engle, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Samuel Milkes.
- A voting rights panel with Danielle Lang, Deputy Director of Voting Rights for the Campaign Legal Center; Adam Gitlin, Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program; Suzanne Almeida, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of PA; and Professor Zachary Baumann.
- A panel on environmental justice with Brentin Mock, a staff writer at The Atlantic’s CityLab and Professor Jamison Colburn.
- A panel on sex trafficking with Sheridan Miyamoto of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network; Sgt. James Simpkins of the Tinicum Township Police and Philadelphia FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force; and Steve Turner, crisis advocate and training specialist at the YWCA Greater Harrisburg.
- An educational and solidarity-building event with speakers discussing the basic tenets of Islam and students speaking about how they have been personally affected by the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban.
- A talk with Jessica Lynn, a transgender activist and the President of Your True Gender.
The chapter has wrapped up its events for the semester, but would like to express its thanks to Professors Kit Kinports and Dara Purvis, and to the staff at ACS national!
Student Chapter of the Week April 24
The Faulkner Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society was determined to make its mark this year and they did just that! The chapter collaborated with several organizations, including the Federalist Society, Women’s Legal Society, the Black Law Students Association, Alabama ACS Lawyer Chapter, and the League of Women Voters. This year, the chapter focused on service to the school and community! The chapter committed to three large projects, which afforded them the opportunity to educate over 670 people on voting rights and the Gavel Gap! The Faulkner Chapter is just getting started and they plan to do even more for the upcoming year.
The Faulkner Law ACS Chapter reached out to several organizations that do amazing work for social justice including: Equal Justice Initiative, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Federal Defender’s Office. The chapter hosted and co-hosted a variety of events, including:
- Constitution in the Classroom with the Alabama Lawyer Chapter. The chapter taught over 500 kids about voting rights.
- A campus-wide voter registration with the League of Women Voters.
- A Trunk or Treat with the Black Law Student Association. The chapter served candy to hundreds of kids, from the trunk of their cars, and provided a safe place for children in the community to trick or treat.
- A Debate on the Death Penalty co-hosted with the Federalist Society. The panel featured Alicia D’Addario from the Equal Justice Initiative and John Malcolm from the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
- Gavel Gap and the Faulkner Family Thanksgiving Event with Women’s Legal Society. Hon. Sharon Yates spoke about Access to Justice and reminded students of why they came to law school which was to Learn Law and Seek Justice. The chapter used this event to serve the law school at large and solidified its position on campus.
- A Fighting for Social Justice panel that included Kacey Keeton and Cecilia Vaca from the Federal Defender’s Office.
- A “Bridging the Gap: Women in the Legal Field” panel featuring Hon. Pamela Higgins, Tommie Hardwick, a Federal Prosecutor in Alabama, and Aylia McKee, the Alabama Chief Public Defender.
- A “Trumped Up Immigration Issues: From Border Control to Travel Bans” panel featuring Professor Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law in Houston, and Martin McCaffery, former president of the Alabama ACLU.
The Faulkner Law ACS Chapter is extremely excited about the upcoming year and plans to host more debates and panels next year. They would like to thank ACS National, their Faculty Advisor Professor Dusty Farned, the Faulkner Administration, the ACS community, their amazing Faulkner Family, the Alabama Lawyer Chapter, and their awesome members for their continued and unrelenting support! Lastly, the Faulkner Law ACS Chapter would be remiss if they did not take a moment to honor the man who established the Faulkner Law ACS chapter, Professor John Garman. Professor Garman maintained a resilient fight with lung and brain cancer until the end and embodied the ACS vision of progress and service. It is the chapter’s hope that they continue to fight and serve with his same resilience.
Student Chapter of the Week April 17
The New York University School of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society has worked hard this year to reinvigorate its position as the core of progressive advocacy on campus. The Chapter has also worked to strengthen connections with the New York Lawyer Chapter and other progressive organizations in the region. Some of the events through which the Chapter advanced the campus dialectic include:
- A Supreme Court term preview with writers from Above the Law.
- A conversation on progressive values in prosecutorial work with Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
- An alumni career panel and networking reception featuring private sector and public interest leaders.
- A brown bag lunch on tribal sovereignty and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- A panel on HIV law in the era of mass incarceration.
- A discussion on the Foreign Emoluments Clause with Professors Zephyr Teachout and Adam Samaha.
- A conversation on judicial reform with Fix the Court.
- A National Voter Registration Day panel focused on state-level voting restrictions.
The NYU Law’s ACS Chapter understands that it's more important now than ever to leverage legal and non-legal strategies in order to defend the civil liberties we hold dear, and the Chapter will continue to stand firm against reactionary encroachments on our commitments to equality and inclusivity. The Chapter is grateful to NYU Law, their Faculty Advisor Professor Burt Neuborne, and ACS National for their support.
This year, the ACS Student Chapter at the University of Southern California has doubled its membership! The chapter collaborated with numerous organizations, including the Federalist Society; the Black Law Students Association; the National Lawyers Guild; OUTLaw; Women’s Law Association; the USC Center for Law, History and Culture; Global (HEALTH+LAW); the Student Bar Association (SBA), the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism; the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, AIM4theHeart, and Abolish Private Prisons. The USC Student Chapter has also reached out to and included other ACS organizations in its events including the Los Angeles Lawyer Chapter, University of La Verne College of Law, Loyola Law School, Pepperdine University School of Law, Southwestern Law Center, and the UCLA School of Law. The chapter hosted and co-hosted numerous events, including:
- A Constitution Day Supreme Court Preview Panel featuring Professors Jody D. Armour, Rebecca Brown, and Sam Erman from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The panelists discussed the open Supreme Court seat and the “Constitution at a Crossroads.”
- Several events responding to the Presidential Election including a panel of USC Professors, “Reflections on a Trump Presidency -- What’s Next?” with Dean Andrew Guzman; “How to Stop Trump,” with David Cole, ACLU National Legal Director; and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine School of Law on “The Constitution Under the Trump Administration.”
- An evening “13th” documentary screening with Social Justice performances and a lunchtime discussion at USC Gould School of Law with John Dacey, founder of Abolish Private Prisons.
- The inauguration of our chapter’s Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Book Club featuring discussions with empowering female leaders in the legal community including Professor Rebecca Brown; Laura Brill of Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP and former clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Sandra Fluke, women’s rights advocate and attorney; and Hailyn Chen of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.
The chapter is looking forward to hosting and co-hosting a number of events in April, including a panel on “Ending Trafficking: A Discussion on Human Rights” featuring Julia Ormand, founder and President of the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Goodwill Ambassador to combat Human Trafficking, Humanitarian and Actress; and Ambassador Luis C.deBaca, Director of the Justice Department's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office) under President Barack Obama.
The chapter would like to express its gratitude to Professors Sam Erman, Rebecca Brown, Nomi Stolzenberg, Jody D. Armour, and Kimberly West-Faulcon as well as to the entire ACS national staff and local chapters for their support and assistance!
The University of Cincinnati College of Law Student Chapter of ACS has worked hard this year to increase its presence and become a leading voice on progressive issues within the law school community. Chapter highlights from this year include:
- A “How Should We Interpret the Constitution” debate with the Federalist Society, featuring the chapter’s co-faculty advisor, Dean Emeritus Joseph Tomain, and Professor A. Christopher Bryant of Cincinnati Law.
- A Constitution Day Coffee Hour with the Federalist Society, featuring Judge David Hamilton of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- 2016 election activities, including voter registration and an election watch party.
- A “Torts Talk and Supreme Court of Ohio Update,” featuring Professor of Practice Emerita Marianna Brown Bettman of Cincinnati Law.
- Membership meetings to inform students about ACS and discuss how progressives can remain active and create change moving forward.
- A discussion on “Free Speech and the Right to Vote in the Age of Trump,” featuring Professor Daniel Tokaji of Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
The UC Law Student Chapter looks forward to growing its membership and organizing more exciting events. Two emerging 1L leaders attended the ACS Student Convention at Duke University to help facilitate programming for the future and further the chapter’s involvement in the ACS network. The chapter is particularly excited about the establishment of the Cincinnati Lawyer Chapter and plans on actively collaborating with the Lawyer Chapter to ensure that ACS maintains a strong presence in the Cincinnati community. The chapter’s progress this year could not have been possible without the dedication and guidance of its co-faculty advisors, Professor Janet Moore and Dean Emeritus Joseph Tomain.
Student Chapter of the Week March 27
This year, the ACS Student Chapter at the University of Houston Law Center has tripled its membership! The chapter collaborated with numerous organizations, including the Federalist Society, the Black Law Student Association and the Hispanic Law Student Association. The chapter hosted and co-hosted numerous events, including:
- A voter registration drive where over 75 students became registered to vote.
- A Constitution Day Voter Photo ID Debate with the Federalist Society. Attorneys Chad Dunn, Brazil & Dunn, LLP, and Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation, debated voter photo ID laws and the myth of voter fraud.
- A Criminal Justice Reform Panel with BLSA and HLSA. The panel addressed the systemic disposal of Black and Brown lives in the criminal justice system through such means as state violence, harsh sentencing, pre-trial detention and the school-to-prison pipeline. Featured panelists included Professor David Dow, University of Houston Law Center; Dr. Anita Wadhwa, Restorative Justice Collaborative of Houston; Juanita Jackson, Harris County Public Defender; and Frances Valdez, United We Dream.
- A Public Policy and Impact Litigation Panel featuring Edgar Saldivar from the ACLU of Texas, Wallis Nader from the Texas Civil Rights Project and Emily Freeborn from Children at Risk. The panel discussed the differences between direct legal services, impact litigation and public policy work.
- A Legal Observer Training with the ACLU of Texas. Attendees learned how to be thorough, neutral observers at protests to ensure that protestors’ First Amendment rights are protected.
The chapter is also hosting United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Gregg Costa, Dean Strang from Making a Murderer and a panel titled “Trump’s Muslim Ban and the Wall: Can He Do That?” in March and April. The chapter would like to express its gratitude to their knowledgeable and inspiring faculty adviser, Professor D. Theodore Rave, and to the entire ACS national staff for their support and assistance!
Student Chapter of the Week March 20
The Georgetown University Law Center American Constitution Society Student Chapter has used the 2016-2017 academic year to revitalize its presence on campus. Georgetown's ACS Chapter has sponsored and cosponsored numerous events including:
- Filling the Ninth: A panel discussion moderated by The New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak featuring Caroline Fredrickson, ACS President; Kristine Lucius, former Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Shay Dvoretzky, Partner at Jones Day; Ed Whelan, President for the Ethics and Public Policy Center; and Elizabeth B. Wydra, President for the Constitutional Accountability Center. The panel discussed Judge Neil Gorsuch’s background, the nomination and confirmation process, and his potential impact on the Court’s dockets and decisions.
- The Future of Federalism: A live recording of the National Constitution Center's "We the People" podcast moderated by Jeffrey Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, featuring Professor Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law and Professor Peter Edelman of Georgetown University Law Center discussing progressives and their relationship to federalism under the Trump administration.
- Access to the Ballot in 2016: The chapter hosted a panel of voting rights litigators and activists to discuss the current state of voting rights in America.
- A Conversation with Khizr Khan: ACS cosponsored Khizr Khan to speak at Georgetown Law after his electrifying speech at the Democratic National Convention.
- You Have the Right to Remain Innocent: Professor James Duane of Regent University School of Law on why you should never talk to the police.
- Supreme Court Preview: ACS cosponsored and helped host a panel discussion of Georgetown faculty previewing the upcoming cases on the Supreme Court's docket for the October 2016 term.
Georgetown Law's ACS chapter has also hosted happy hours and debate watch parties. Members have also been involved in local protests around the DC area. We are excited about our spring programming and would like to thank ACS National, our Faculty Advisors, Professors Alicia Plerhoples and Lisa Heinzerling, and the broader ACS community for their continued support.
Student Chapter of the Week March 13
In the Spring of 2016, students passionate about social justice decided to revive the ACS Student Chapter at Santa Clara University. First-year students spearheaded the effort and held all leadership roles. Since then the chapter has sponsored and co-sponsored many events, helped build a progressive-minded student coalition, and fostered vital communication in this fractious political climate. The chapter highlights include:
- · A Community Building Retreat with a Progressive Lawyers Panel and a Juvenile Justice break out session sponsored by ACS.
- · A Gavel Gap Panel at the ACS Northern California Convening featuring Judge Daniel Flores, Judge Roberta Hayashi, Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte, Judge Garrett Wong, Judge Jesus Valencia, and Justice Jon Streeter.
- · A discussion on Voting Rights and International Election Standards led by Dean Bradley Joondeph and Hadar Harris, Executive Director of Northern California Innocence Project.
- · The Social Justice and Technology Speaker Series, co-sponsored by ACS, which features experts discussing today’s political climate and ways to effectively create change.
- · A Post-Election Screening of an episode of Black-ish, followed by a discussion on bridging political divides.
- · The First-Annual Documentary and Dialogue Series including The Messy Truth, Inequality for All, and 13th. Following the film, students share their thoughts and participate in conversation.
- · A Progressive Lawyers in Action Panel in which practicing lawyers will describe how they use the law to nurture justice.
The Santa Clara Law chapter would like to thank its faculty advisors, Professor Ellen Kreitzberg and Professor Margaret Russell, for their continuous support and inspiration that helped make this year such a success.
The newly revitalized Willamette University College of Law American Constitution Society Student Chapter has become one of the most active student organizations on campus this year. Because of the law school’s proximity to the Oregon Capitol and the Oregon Supreme Court, the chapter has been able to bring in, not only academic speakers, but also speakers with a unique perspective as legislators, Oregon Court of Appeals Judges and Oregon Supreme Court Justices. Since the November election, the chapter has been working in close coalition with the Willamette chapters of Multicultural Law Students Association, Hispanic Law Student Association, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and OUTLaw; and the Willamette Journal of Social Justice and Equity on joint events to confront issues of racism, social justice and equity in the community.
The chapter’s recent and upcoming events include:
- A debate with the Federalist Society on voter ID laws and immigration enforcement with ACS Co-Faculty Advisor Professor Gilbert Carrasco and J. Christian Adams.
- A screening of the documentary “Trapped” and discussion with Professor Steven Green.
- A “Lunch and Learn” speaker series, which takes place every Monday, providing a forum for professors, judges and practicing attorneys to lecture on a variety of topics, focusing on law in the wake of the 2016 election.
- A three-part Anti-Racism Ally training by local attorneys Rakeem Washington and Kasia Rutledge, open to law students, undergrads, faculty and staff.
- A debate co-sponsored by the Federalist Society between Professor Ruben Garcia, ACS Board Member and William S. Boyd School of Law ACS Faculty Advisor; and David Dewhirst, Freedom Foundation. They will be arguing the question before the Supreme Court in the recent 4-4 split decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The question before the Court in this case being whether it violates the First Amendment to require that public employees affirmatively object to subsidizing nonchargeable speech by public-sector unions, rather than requiring that employees affirmatively consent to subsidizing such speech.
The chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors, Professor Caroline Davidson and Gilbert Carrasco, for their support.
Student Chapter of the Week February 27
The American Constitution Society at the University Of South Carolina School Of Law has returned to campus running full speed with a pulse connected to current events.
- Chapter members volunteered with Justice 360’s effort to host Bryan Stevenson.
- ACS and the Carolina Equality Alliance tackled issues effecting the Transgender community. Specifically, the possibility that a bill similar to North Carolinas HB2 could emerge in South Carolina.
- In partnership with the faculty, our chapter has led the way in co-hosting Supreme Court Talks with other student groups, such as the Health Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, and If/When/How .
- ACS and the Federalist Society at USC hosted a 2nd Amendment Debate with Professor Areto Imoukhuede from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and Professor Micheal O’Shea from the Oklahoma City University School of Law.
- Our chapter held an event discussing the legal aspects of the #NoDAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline).
- ACS held a discussion on the constitutionality of the recent protest movements against the new presidential administration.
- ACS at USC discussed the status of reproductive rights in South Carolina by inviting the Women’s Rights &Empowerment Network.
- With faculty advisor Seth Stoughton, an ex-police officer turned law professor, and the South Carolina Association for Justice invited Representative Justin Bamberg, a local lawyer who made national news representing the families Walter Scott and Keith Lamont Scott. He discussed his work and incidents of police brutality.
Our Chapter would like to say thank you for the support from our faculty advisors and the ACS National team.
The University of Virginia School of Law ACS Student Chapter Fall 2016 highlights include:
- Progressivism on Tap, an informal bar meet-up, featuring Charlottesville Mayor and UVA Law 2004 ACS Student Chapter alum Mike Signer and UVA Law Professor and ACS Faculty Advisor Richard Schragger, discussing the role of local government in creating progressive policy outcomes.
- The 2016 Jefferson Symposium, “Free Speech on Campus,” featuring a diverse array of scholars, advocates, journalists, and university administrators, in partnership with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and the Federalist Society.
- Khizr Khan, Charlottesville attorney and Gold Start parent, in partnership with the South Asian Law Students Association and the Virginia Law Democrats.
- A debate on the Clean Power Plan between Elbert Lin, West Virginia Solicitor General, and Andres Restrepo, Sierra Club Staff Attorney, in partnership with the Virginia Environmental Law Forum and the Federalist Society.
- UVA Law Professor Mila Versteeg, discussing “Policy Change vs. Regime Change: Lessons from Comparative Constitutional Law for Navigating the Trump Presidency,” in partnership with the Human Rights Program.
- Gerry Hebert, Director of the Voting Rights and Redistricting Program at the Campaign Legal Center, discussing voting issues in the 2016 elections.
Planned events for Spring 2017 include a brown bag lunch series with UVA Law professors discussing aspects of their work as it relates to the current political and policy climate; Brian Cannon, Executive Director of OneVirginia2021, discussing the fight for redistricting reform in Virginia; Hayley Gorenberg, General Counsel and Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal; and panels discussing Free Speech, Media, and Protest; Combatting Voter Suppression; Community Policing and Black Lives; and the Future of Clinical Legal Pedagogy. ACS members are also working with the City of Charlottesville, Mayor Mike Signer, and the Legal Aid Justice Center to provide pro bono legal support for refugees and immigrants living in Charlottesville. The chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor Richard Schragger, for his support and guidance.
Student Chapter of the Week February 13
The ACS student chapter at the University of Michigan Law School has been especially connected to the Michigan Law community this year—having nearly doubled the capacity of its executive board, substantially expanded its membership, and taken significant steps to widen its outreach to affinity groups across the University. The chapter’s highlights for the academic year so far include:
- A Constitution Day Panel moderated by Professor Richard Friedman, featuring Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court, Professor Richard Primus, Professor Christina Whitman, and Professor Bruce Frier;
- A workshop and lecture series with civil rights leader and activist Professor Kathleen Cleaver and Detroit activist Tawana Petty;
- The Inaugural Jane Cleo Marshall Lucas Lecture honoring African-American Women Leaders in the Law, honoring Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals;
- Two debate watch parties, culminating in a law school wide Election Results event;
- An Election Protection training with the Ann Arbor city clerk’s office for Michigan Law students;
- A social hour with the Federalist Society; and
- A coffee-talk with Mary Hanna-Weir (’09), Michigan Law Alumna and senior attorney at the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR), U.S. Department of Education.
The Michigan Law chapter is excited about its upcoming programing in the Spring semester, and would like to thank its speakers, tremendous faculty support, and ACS National for all their enthusiastic support.
Student Chapter of the Week February 6
The ACS Student Chapter at Boston College Law School had an eventful fall semester, working to present exciting and thoughtful programming for the BCLS community. Some event highlights include:
- Hosting Linda Greenhouse, who covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between 1978 and 2008, to speak about the future of the Supreme Court.
- Working in partnership with BCLS’s Middle Eastern Law Student Association to host an event on the intersection between national security and civil liberties with Carl Williams of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Shannon Erwin of the Muslim Justice League, and Ellen Gallagher of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- Hosting Professor Joel Goldstein, Saint Louis University School of Law, to speak about the evolution of the Vice Presidency and his new book, The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden. BCLS’s ACS Faculty Advisor and Constitutional Law expert, Professor Kent Greenfield provided commentary.
- Hosting a “Call to Action” meeting for the BCLS community to come together and get organized in the wake of the recent Presidential election.
- Co-hosting a discussion on religion and civil liberties with BCLS affinity groups.
- A voter registration drive for National Voter Registration Day, providing BC students a convenient opportunity to register to vote.
The BCLS Chapter opened its spring semester by hosting Jon Miller, Chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau of the MA Attorney General’s Office, to speak on the AG's role in protecting the rights of the people. Additionally, the chapter will co-host a discussion with BCLS’s Federalist Society, collaborate with the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy on a discussion regarding the future SCOTUS nominee, and host a Court Watching event with a panel of BCLS professors. The chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor Kent Greenfield, for his guidance and support.
Student Chapter of the Week January 30
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
The ACS student chapter at Case Western Reserve University School of Law has revitalized its presence on campus and throughout the larger Cleveland community by reaching out to various community leaders during this election year! Some of the chapter’s recent events include:
•Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed discussing police brutality and the Department of Justice consent decree with the Cleveland Police Department;
•A Voter Registration Drive at the Museum of Contemporary Art with Deidre McPherson, Curator of Public Programs at MOCA;
•Idaho ACLU Legal Director Ritchie Eppink discussing civic literacy and his Know Your Rights initiatives in and around the Boise community;
•Joey Johnson, defendant in the landmark Texas v. Johnson case (1989) that established the First Amendment right to burn the American flag as free symbolic speech, discussing his more recent case against the City of Cleveland regarding his burning of the American flag at the RNC last summer;
•Participating in Election RAVE by successfully petitioning CWRU professors to consider excused absences and record classes on Election Day;
•“Mobilizing in the Wake of Trump’s Election”—a panel discussion on what's next for Cleveland and our nation after the election of Donald Trump. Panelists included Professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a criminal law professor at CWRU and an independent monitor of the Cleveland Consent Decree; Sarah Gelsomino, a long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild who works in civil rights and political criminal defense; Kareem Henton, a community activist and member of Black Lives Matter Cleveland; Bakari Kitwana, a youth empowerment activist who authored The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture; and Deanna Robertson, a criminal defense attorney and community activist in Cleveland.
In the coming weeks, Radley Balko, Washington Post columnist and author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, will speak about police brutality, and Miguel Eaton, a partner at Jones Day, will speak about his first-hand experience litigating the Detroit Bankruptcy. Special thanks to CWRU’s Faculty Advisor, Dean Jessie Hill, and to the National ACS office for their support and guidance. Here’s to another semester of further growth and outreach to the Cleveland community and beyond!
Student Chapter of the Week January 23
The ACS student chapter at the University of Alabama School of Law has revitalized its presence on campus (during an election year) and increased outreach efforts to students through partnerships with other groups to great success! Some of the chapter’s events include:
* A presentation on immigrant detention in Alabama by Jessica Vosburgh of Adelante Alabama;
* A voter registration drive in partnership with the League of Women Voters in observance of National Voter Registration Day;
* A discussion on Alabama voter ID laws by James Blacksher, an election law and civil rights attorney;
* A critique of juvenile immigrants' access to justice from Josh Medina of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama;
* A panel on the legal issues facing transgender Americans in the wake of laws like North Carolina's HB2, featuring David Dinielli, Deputy Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's LGBT Rights Project; Daroneshia Duncan, Founder of TAKE, which provides support services to trans women in Alabama; Alex Reeder, President of Spectrum, UA's student organization for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies; and Stephen Rushin, Assistant Professor and expert on policing;
* A happy hour with former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, where she discussed the Gavel Gap in Alabama courts and her path to the highest bench in the state.
In the coming weeks, the Alabama chapter is hosting a panel of professors with federal agency expertise to discuss what to expect from President Donald Trump's federal agencies, from the Department of Justice to the EPA. Special thanks to Alabama's Faculty Advisor Bryan Fair and the National ACS office for their support and guidance. Here's to another semester of growth and accomplishments!
Student Chapter of the Week January 16
Last fall, the University of Mississippi’s American Constitution Society aimed to create more discussion amongst the participants at their events. In that spirit, the highlighted events of the semester were the “Coffee Klatschs.” The Coffee Klatschs allowed attendees to speak on topics such as immigration, democracy, the two party system, the first amendment and police brutality. Coffee Klatschs are discussion-based and allows any student the opportunity to take the floor to speak on the topic or comment with real life examples. While these events were originally planned as fifteen-minute sessions (with extra time if needed), the sessions actually lasted up to an hour. The chapter also held several substantive events, including our yearly Supreme Court Preview and Affirmative Consent panel, cohosted with the University of Mississippi’s International Justice Mission and OUTlaw.
The chapter plans on making Coffee Klatschs a regular event in the chapter’s calendar in the hopes of drawing in new attendees who have limited time. The chapter also intends to have a Gavel Gap Talk with a local state court judge. The chapter holds firm the obligation to create positive discussion in the school and intends to increase discussion of relevant legal issues.
Student Chapter of the Week December 12
The ACS student chapter at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law has been on a mission this year. With a renewed focus on collaboration, the Berkeley Law chapter has spent the fall working alongside the panoply of student groups on campus, including the Federalist Society, [email protected] and many others. Notable events this semester have included:
- The first-ever live recording of the National Constitution Center’s We the People podcast, which features Professor Jeffrey Rosen (George Washington University and President and CEO of the National Constitution Center ) moderating a thought-provoking debate about the presidential candidates and Article III courts with Berkeley Law’s Professor Daniel Farber and Professor Barry McDonald of Pepperdine University School of Law (catch the full episode here!).
- A discussion with Judge William H. Orrick III about his experience as a young attorney at Georgia Legal Services, the impact of that experience on his career and the important role that legal services continues to play in our legal system today.
- Three presidential debate watch parties, culminating in an Election Night Returns Party, which was cosponsored with fifteen other student groups.
- A lively and timely discussion about education reform with Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court and Justice Clint Bolick of the Arizona Supreme Court. The event was moderated by ACS Board of Advisors member and Berkeley Law Professor Christopher Edley, Jr.
The Berkeley Law chapter is deeply indebted to its Faculty Advisor Professor Andrew Bradt for being an empowering and available resource to its student leaders. The chapter also thanks the wonderful people at ACS National, whose constant and enthusiastic support made this successful semester of programming possible.
Student Chapter of the Week December 5
The University of Chicago Law School ACS student chapter has been exceptionally busy this quarter. Some of our highlights include:
- A discussion on Justice Scalia's legacy and the long-term future of the Supreme Court with Geoffrey R. Stone;
- A talk on national developments in civil legal aid with Ariel Levinson-Waldman;
- A panel on sentencing in sexual assault cases;
- A discussion on the role of lawyers in policy-making for disadvantaged communities;
- A talk on the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with Jennifer Nou;
- A panel on executive power in times of legislative gridlock; and
- A panel on safe spaces and trigger warnings.
The chapter also taught constitutional law to local grade schoolers and volunteered at a naturalization and citizenship clinic to assist immigrants applying for citizenship.
The University of Chicago ACS would like to thank its speakers, faculty advisers, Professor Geoffrey R. Stone and Professor Jennifer Nou, and fellow student organizations for helping to make this year such a success.
Student Chapter of the Week November 28
This year, the ACS student chapter at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis has hit the ground running. With the invaluable support of faculty advisors, Professors Karen Tokarz and Gregory Magarian, the WashU Law chapter has recruited a record number of new members and continues to serve as a lasting progressive institution for the student body. The chapter organized a variety of events this fall semester including:
· A discussion on the efficacy of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law with Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia;
· An annual Supreme Court Year-in-Review panel with Professors Susan Frelich Appleton, Lee Epstein, Bill Freivogel, Gregory Magarian, and Karen Tokarz;
· A presentation on how to be a progressive lawyer at a law firm with the Hon. David Lillehaug, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court;
· A discussion on recent trends in immigration law with Jessica Mayo, Co-Director of the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project (MICA Project);
· Three presidential debate watch parties with the WashU Law chapter of the Federalist Society;
· A voter registration table in the courtyard of the law school;
· An Election Protection training session with Professor Denise Lieberman, Senior Attorney at the Advancement Project, to encourage community engagement among the student body and bolster the integrity of the voting process; and
· A presentation on using technology to increase access to justice for low income and marginalized communities by James J. Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation.
The WashU Law chapter is already gearing up for the spring semester by planning events on the ambit of First Amendment rights, environmental justice, access to healthcare and more! Chapter members will also be preparing to teach local middle school students about constitutional rights through the Constitution in the Classroom Program.
Student Chapter of the Week November 21
The ACS Student Chapter at Cornell University Law School has had a busy semester full of events! Highlights include:
- A panel on the future of drone warfare and the Fourth Amendment (in partnership with the Federalist Society, the National Security Law and Policy Society and the Cornell Law Veterans Association);
- A panel with Milo Primeaux, LGBT Rights Project Staff Attorney at Empire Justice Center, on the future of transgender healthcare (co-sponsored by Lambda Law Association and If/When/How);
- A panel on the Future of the Supreme Court (in partnership with the Federalist Society and the National Lawyers Guild);
- A conversation with John Bonifaz, Co-Founder and President of Free Speech for People, on the future of overturning Citizens United;
- A fun night of Sex Ed Trivia with Lambda Law Association and If/When/How;
- A speaker event, “Don’t Talk to Cops,” on the importance of asserting Fifth Amendment Rights (in partnership with the Federalist Society and the National Lawyers Guild);
- Watch parties for all three Presidential Debates and the Vice Presidential Debate;
- A discussion of Whole Women’s Health with David Brown, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights (in partnership with If/When/How);
- A conversation with Hon. Lorna G. Schofield, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, about the Gavel Gap (in partnership with the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association);
- A Voter Registration Drive; and
- A Constitution Day Constitution in the Classroom program with Upward Bound teaching local high school students about the importance and mechanics of electoral politics.
The chapter will also have one final event with Professor Santiago Legarre on constitutional rights and natural rights.
We’re grateful to faculty advisors Professor Michael Dorf and Professor John Blume, Meghan, Kate, Peggy, Emma, and the entire ACS National staff for their support and guidance!
University of California Los Angeles School of Law
The ACS Student Chapter at UCLA Law has had an eventful semester so far. Highlights include:
- A Constitution Day event about what it means to uphold the Constitution from the perspective of those who’ve worked in judicial, executive and legislative capacities. The event featured the Hon. Lamar Baker, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; Professor Joshua Groban, Senior Advisor to California Governor Jerry Brown; and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, former member of the Los Angeles City Council and Board of Supervisors;
- A panel on voting rights in the 2016 election, featuring Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson; Ann Rushton, Voter Service Committee Chair of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; and Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) (co-sponsored with Law Women of UCLA);
- A discussion led by Professor Devon Carbado on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Utah v. Strieff and what it means for the Fourth Amendment (event co-sponsored with Black Law Students Association and Critical Race Studies program); and
- A Gavel Gap program with Hon. Carolyn B. Kuhl, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court; and Professor Rachel Moran, Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law (co-sponsored with La Raza Law Students Association and the Womyn of Color Collective).
ACS at UCLA has more exciting events planned for the semester, including:
- A panel on campaign finance with Adam Lioz, Counsel and Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach at Demos; and USC Gould School of Law Professor Abby Wood; and
- A discussion with Professor Suja A. Thomas about her book, The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries.
The chapter would like to thank Faculty Advisor and ACS National Board Member Adam Winkler for his guidance, support and contributions to the chapter and the broader ACS community.
Student Chapter of the Week November 7
The Columbia Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society has been hard at work this semester planning events, initiatives, and engaging with communities on and off campus. ACS at CLS is grateful to our faculty advisor Professor Gilllian Metzger, and Meghan, Kate, Peggy, Emma, and the entire ACS National staff for their support and guidance.
This year, ACS at CLS:
- successfully petitioned the Columbia Law School administration to record all classes on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8 after gathering the support of over 170 students and 21 student organizations - an effort that will allow students to vote and protect the right to vote on Election Day;
- hosted Fixing the Court: How the Supreme Court Can Become More Open and Accessible with Gabe Roth, founder of Fix the Court; Professor David Pozen; and Alicia Bannon of the Brennan Center;
- hosted Corporate Citizen, a book talk with Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy;
- hosted The Missing American Jury, a book talk with Professor Suja Thomas;
- co-sponsored a career panel with federal government attorneys;
- launched our new website and Twitter feed (@ColumbiaLawACS):
And ACS at CLS is not done for the semester!
- On November 1, ACS at CLS will co-sponsor a symposium on barriers to trans survival and self-determination with community organizers from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Audre Lorde Project;
- Also on November 1, ACS at CLS will co-sponsor an event on the North Carolina voter ID case with Dale Ho of the ACLU;and
- On November 14, ACS at CLS will welcome Roberta Kaplan - who represented Edie Windsor in the landmark LGBTQ+ equality case U.S. v. Windsor - and other litigators for a talk about new frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
Lastly, ACS at CLS is engaging in an ongoing campaign to cancel classes on Election Day beginning in 2017!
Student Chapter of the Week October 31
The Harvard Law School ACS Student Chapter has had a wonderful start to the academic year!
Our Director of Programs has brought several wonderful speakers to campus, including:
- Justice Elena Kagan, United States Supreme Court;
- Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court;
- David Cole, Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center and incoming ACLU National Legal Director;
- Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School;
- Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law and Anthropology at Boston University School of Law;
- Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government;
- Annette Gordon-Reed, Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of History at Harvard University;
- Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center; and
- Andrew Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University.
The chapter is also working with the Harvard Law and Policy Review to put on a symposium entitled, "The Obama Legacy: Triumphs, Defeats, and the Path Forward."
Our Director of Supreme Court Moots partnered with the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Law School Federalist Society to organize two moot court arguments. Practitioners included Lisa Blatt, Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP, who mooted her Supreme Court argument in the case of Bravo-Fernandez v. United States and David A. Cortman, Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom, who mooted his argument in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley.
Our Director of Mentorship and Membership and Director of Community Engagement teamed up to welcome all students back to campus with a fantastic 1L Mentorship Program, debate watch parties, mixers with ACS members and socials with other student groups.
Our Director of Alumni Relations has been working with a committee to develop an alumni database and alumni newsletter.
Finally, the chapter would like to thank faculty advisor, Professor Michael Klarman, for his support.
Student Chapter of the Week October 24
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Under the leadership of faculty advisor Professor Daniel Tokaji, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ACS Student Chapter has laid the groundwork for a year of significant programming and influence in the Columbus legal community. The chapter worked tirelessly over the summer to bring a variety of programming to Moritz. Working with other student organizations and faculty, it has hosted various events, including:
· a debate between ACS and the Federalist Society on “How to Read the Constitution”;
· a discussion highlighting the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 and how 9/11 has impacted civil liberties, national security and military law with Professor Dakota S. Rudesill and Professor Mohamed Helal;
· a Kickoff Meeting with new and returning students to introduce them to ACS;
· a Constitution Day Membership Drive to increase ACS National membership;
· a voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day with the League of Women Voters;
· a discussion on the Electoral College with Professor Derek T. Muller, Professor Ned Foley and Patrick Rosenstiel from National Popular Vote;
· WITNESS: Legal Observation on Campus, in Columbus, and Beyond – a panel discussion on legal observation and student experiences in Cleveland this summer; and
· a panel on the future of public sector unions after the 4-4 Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association decision.
The ACS Moritz Chapter will also host a Supreme Court Roundtable, featuring ACS chapter faculty advisor Professor Daniel Tokaji; a panel on the ACS National report “The Gavel Gap,” featuring Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown; and a debate on campaign speech between former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith and Professor Daniel Tokaji. The Chapter will also cosponsor the Ohio State Law Journal symposium on “The Expanding First Amendment.”
Student Chapter of the Week October 17
The Programming committee has brought fantastic speakers to campus, including:
· Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT
· David Cole, ACLU National Legal Director
· Faiza Patel, Co-director of the Brennan Center's Liberty and National Security Program
· Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center's Democracy Program
· Michael Hudson, Senior Editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
· Deepak Gupta, Founding Principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC
·Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and Co-Director of the Program in Public Law at Duke Law
· Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU Law
· Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate & Business Law at Cornell Law School
The Scholarship team is organizing the annual Progressive Scholarship Workshop, at which professors present their recent legal scholarship. The weekly workshop is a terrific opportunity to learn about professors’ work and to interact with them in a less formal setting (while getting course credit!). Professors presenting so far have included Jed Purdy, Judith Resnik, John Witt, Doug Kysar and ACS Board of Academic Advisors member Ganesh Sitaraman.
The Mentorship and Career Development (MCD) committee has organized coffee chats for ACS members, including with 11th Circuit Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, Deepak Gupta, David Lyle and Alicia Bannon. MCD is also organizing the chapter’s Alumni Weekend reception and its Faculty Dinner Series.
Membership and Community Engagement has kept ACS members’ spirits up and helped 1Ls transition into law school with debate watching parties, an ACS-Federalist Society kickball game, 1L Buddies, an “Outsider’s Guide to YLS” panel and more.
Lastly, the Conference Chair is organizing a Yale-New Haven discussion series.
The chapter would like to thank faculty advisor Professor Reva Siegel for all her help!
Student Chapter of the Week October 10
Under the leadership of co-faculty advisors Professor Deborah Tuerkheimer and Professor Erin Delaney, the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ACS Student Chapter has laid the groundwork for a year of significant influence. Over the summer (and in collaboration with the school’s Federalist Society), the chapter spearheaded a successful grassroots campaign to reschedule Election Day classes and allow Northwestern Law students and faculty to serve as election judges, work as poll watchers, and volunteer in important voter protection roles. The campaign has earned national media attention and is now piquing the interest of law schools across the country.
This fall, the chapter has already brought a progressive lens to various issues. Working with other student organizations and faculty, it has hosted discussions and debates on topics including:
· human rights prosecutions in federal court, featuring several Assistant U.S. Attorneys and FBI agents;
· efforts to fight corruption worldwide, featuring Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower, Latham & Watkins Partner Sean Berkowitz, and U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon;
· solutions to increase police accountability, featuring MacArthur Justice Center Executive Director Locke Bowman;
· a Supreme Court term preview, featuring Carter Phillips, Partner and Executive Committee Chair of Sidley Austin, LLP; Annie Kastanek, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Matthew Piers, Partner and President of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.;
· affirmative action, featuring Loyola University Professor Juan Perea and the Center for Individual Rights’ Michael Rosman; and
· reconciling values and duties as a law clerk, featuring Hon. Gary Feinerman (N.D. Ill.) and Hon. Mary Mikva (Ill. App. 1st).
This weekend, the Northwestern Law chapter will host the inaugural ACS Midwest Regional Convening. The two-day convening includes events co-sponsored by the ACLU of IL; discussions on the ACS Gavel Gap report, recent NLRB decisions, and First Amendment rights of protesters; and remarks from Professor Andrew Koppelman, Professor at Northwestern Law, and Michael Avery, co-author of The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals.
Student Chapter of the Week October 3
Under the guidance of their faculty advisor, Professor Kermit Roosevelt, the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Student Chapter has had an active year thus far. Over the summer, the chapter worked with the Federalist Society to persuade the law school to (1) record all classes scheduled during election day and (2) offer excused absences to any student volunteering on election day. This semester, the chapter hosted a Fall Semester Kick-Off Meeting where they introduced their board and upcoming programming to a classroom of first year law students. On September 22, they held their first substantive event: a discussion with three constitutional law professors about potential reforms to the Supreme Court, including term limits and financial reporting. The chapter also hosted a voter registration drive and a debate watch party. In conjunction with the Federalist Society, the chapter also cosponsored an event with NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, about her work and the Supreme Court. The chapter is also hosting the ACS Northeast Regional Convening. This two-day convening will cover a variety of topics, including state courts and diversity on the bench, rights and religious exemptions, police reform, abortion rights, and free speech on college campuses.
Student Chapter of the Week September 26
As the school year begins, the University of Texas School of Law’s ACS Chapter is excited to bring robust programming to their campus this year, including ACS’s regional conference—Getting Radical In The South (GRITS) on October 14-15, 2016. While increasing their membership and building coalitions inside and outside of the law school (with other progressive organizations and practitioners), the Chapter, under the guidance of co-faculty advisors, Professors William Forbath, Lynn Blais and Joseph Fishkin, is hosting a variety of events that range from voting rights to a conversation on police-community relations. The Chapter is also focused on lifting up the work being done in Texas surrounding reproductive justice. In collaboration with If, When, How (formerly LSRJ), Jane’s Due Process and the Lilith Fund, the Chapter will focus on programming that supports and advances the fight for reproductive justice in Texas and across the country.
Highlights of the Chapter’s programming and achievements are below:
· A Reproductive Justice 101 Training with Lilith Fund Executive Director, Amanda Williams.
· A discussion and presentation on Voting Rights in Texas and Beyond, which included a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR) training. The event featured the ACLU of Florida’s Nancy Abudu, Chad Dunn of Brazil & Dunn (who is litigating the Texas Voter ID case) and Cassandra Champion of the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin.
· ACS President Kendall Williams recently published an article on ABA for Law Students about Gavel Gap.
· A Welcome Back Happy Hour to introduce UT Law’s new students to ACS.
· A strategy meeting with the Austin Lawyer Chapter executive board.
· The Chapter was a sponsor for Change It Up!, a public interest program that featured Rudy Acree, Jr., the Deputy Director of the Public Defender Service for D.C.
· The End of an Era: The Supreme Court & the 2016 Election with Jason Steed discussing the Supreme Court over the past 45 years, the pivotal nature of the Garland appointment and the 2016 election.
2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR: STUDENT CHAPTERS OF THE WEEK
Student Chapter of the Week May 16
- A panel on Second Amendment advocacy with former U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman and several Second Amendment jurisprudence experts.
- A talk with Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon on their new book, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- A discussion on abortion rights cases before the Supreme Court.
- A practitioner talk with Charles Borden, head of Allen & Overy's Political Law Group.
- A conversation with Professor Linda Hirshman about her new book, Sisters In Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.
Student Chapter of the Week May 9
- H. Jefferson Powell, Professor at Duke Law School, joined W&L and ACS to give his interim report at W&L’s campus wide Constitution Day;
- A Supreme Court Preview featured a wide variety of cases including FERC v. Electric Power Supply Association, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, and Evenwel v. Abbott;
- A Screening of the film Vessel, provided a unique perspective on the realities created by anti-abortion laws around the world;
- Alumnus Anthony Kreis spoke about LGBTQ rights and the intersection of anti-discrimination protections and religious liberty;
- Ian Millhiser joined ACS to explain the judicial restraint found in Carolene Products footnote 4 for a Constitutional Interpretation Debate;
- Chiraag Bains of the DOJ reported on solitary confinement and explained the guiding principles for reforming correctional practices;
- Steve Miskinis of the DOJ’s Environmental and Natural Resource Division presented on public interest work, Indian rights, and clerking.
Student Chapter of the Week April 25
Student Chapter of the Week April 18
- The Constitution: Dead or Alive?: A lecture by University of Mississippi School of Law Professors Michael Hoffheimerand Donna Davis that focused on constitutional interpretation, specifically, the problems with a narrow interpretation model and the benefits of a "living" constitution theory.
- Lunch with a Lawyer: Monthly lunch meetings with local attorneys to discuss their practice, discuss how the Constitution relates to their work, and answer questions from students.
- Debate Watch Parties: Students came together to watch the debates and discuss the political and legal issues surrounding this year’s election cycle.
- Supreme Court Preview: A lecture previewing the cases going before the Supreme Court with Professors Mikaëla Adams, David W. Case, and Michèle Alexandre.
- Roe at Risk: A screening of an award-winning documentary detailing women’s reproductive rights after Roe v. Wade.
- Gideon’s Army: A screening of an award-winning documentary about public defenders in the south.
- Path to the Bench: The chapter partnered with the Black Law Students Association to organize a discussion withJustice James E. Graves of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit about his path to the bench.
- The Road to Same-Sex Marriage and The Supreme Court Vacancy: Geoffrey Stone, former ACS National Board Chair and current Co-Faculty Advisor for the ACS Student Chapter at the University of Chicago, visited the law school to discuss same-sex marriage and met with the ACS Student Chapter to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy.
Student Chapter of the Week April 11
- The chapter commemorated the Constitution’s birthday by welcoming an esteemed panel of Guantanamo detainee defense attorneys: Marc Falkoff, H. Candace Gorman, and Loyola Law Alumnus Thomas Sullivan.
- The chapter co-sponsored a panel discussion called “Criminalization of Poverty and Homelessness” which featured Loyola Law Professor Henry Rose, Margaret Stapleton, and Loyola Law student Victoria Dempsey.
- Along with Loyola’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice, the chapter co-sponsored “Undue Burdens: The Increasing Restrictions on a Woman’s Right to Choose,” a panel discussion featuring Colleen Connell, Brigid Leahy, and Loyola Law Professor Alan Raphael.
- The chapter co-hosted “The Punishment Clause: Legal Slavery Under the 13th Amendment” featuring Rebecca E. Zietlow, Jarrett Adams, Mary L. Johnson, and Loyola Law Professor Juan Perea.
- The chapter hosted “After Scalia - What's Next for the Supreme Court,” featuring Loyola Professors Barry Sullivan, Alexander Tsesis, Steven Ramirez, and Nadia Sawicki.
- In a conversation with David Melton, the chapter hosted “Money Influence in Elections” to discuss campaign finance reform and ways to reform the system.
- In a panel featuring Michael Cannaris, Anita Maddali, and Maria Woltjen, the chapter led a discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
- The chapter hosted a career panel entitled, “Pathways to People’s Lawyering,” featuring Sharlyn Grace, Samoane Williams, and Jason Han to talk to students about nontraditional approaches to practicing law.
- The chapter hosted a Symposium on Incarceration and Women to address the reality of prison for women. It featured guest speakers Alan Mills, Monica Cosby, Maya Schenwar, and Neli Vazquez Rowland.
Student Chapter of the Week April 4
- Roper v. Simmons: Members of the Missouri Supreme Court discussed a case that presaged SCOTUS’s review of the death penalty juvenile offenders. Judges Stith, White, Teitelman, and Wolff, who authored the case’s opinion, spoke, as well as an expert in forensic psychiatry and the juvenile brain, James Cho, M.D. Judge Teitelman praised ACS, nicknaming it “the American Change Society.”
- Reflections on Justice Scalia: ACS faculty advisor, Joel Goldstein, and other distinguished speakers reflected about Justice Scalia to an audience of students and lawyers. Professor Goldstein focused on the appointment of Scalia’s replacement, observing that the Constitution is not a “suicide pact” and should lead to workable government.
- Voting Rights: Denise Lieberman from the Advancement Project spoke about changes to the Voting Rights Act sinceShelby, and legal challenges to voter requirement laws in North Carolina, where Ms. Lieberman is one of the lawyers on record. She also covered practical steps each student could take to solidify voting rights in Missouri.
- Triggerfish and the 4th Amendment: Brian Owsley, a nationally recognized expert on cell tower emulators, discussed how law enforcement uses these devices, and how statutes and the Constitution protect the public from unauthorized access.
- Prison Reform: Jeff Smith discussed practical reforms to prison systems, covering issues he discovered through his incarceration and subsequent release from a federal penitentiary.
- Constitution Day Debate: Law professors debated whether a County Clerk can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Student Chapter of the Week March 28
- The chapter kicked off the year with their annual Supreme Court Review for the 2014-2015 term. This discussion highlighted major cases including Obergefell v. Hodges, Glossip v. Gross, Reed v. Gilbert, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and King v. Burwell. It featured outstanding speakers and members of the Wash U community including Professors Susan Appleton, Lee Epstein, Bill Freivogel, Greg Magarian, Elizabeth Sepper, and Karen Tokarz. This event was cosponsored by the Gephardt Institute.
- The chapter hosted a panel discussion on Ferguson: One Year Later. This panel discussed community policing, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the media's portrayal of St. Louis. The featured speakers were Romona Taylor Williams, Executive Director of the Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity, Bradley Rayford, an award-winning photojournalist who covered Ferguson, and Wash U Law Professor John Inazu. This event was co-sponsored by the Black Law Students Association.
- Along with their colleagues at the Federalist Society, the Wash U Law student chapter organized a State of the Union Watch Party at Urban Chestnut, a local brewery in St. Louis. This event brought the chapters together to welcome their student members back to St. Louis for the spring semester.
- The chapter partnered with the Energy and Environmental Law Society to organize a panel discussion called Beyond Flint: Three Perspectives on Environmental Justice. The speakers included Wash U Law Professor Maxine Lipeles, policy advisor Harvey Ferdman, and community activist Dawn Chapman.
- The chapter partnered with the Law School and the Federalist Society to organize a panel discussion on Justice Scalia’s legacy and the Supreme Court vacancy. The speakers included Wash U Law Professors Greg Magarian, Lee Epstein, Neil Richards, and Dean Nancy Staudt.
- The chapter also worked with the Public Service Advisory Board and the Immigration Law Society for a Refugee Simulation Experience, where students got a taste of the difficult experiences refugees face as they seek safety and a better life in other countries. After the simulation, students listened to remarks from Blake Hamilton at the International Institute of St. Louis.
Student Chapter of the Week March 21
- “A Discussion on the Georgia Supreme Court” with Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias. ACS and the Federalist Society co-hosted this event. Justice Nahmias discussed a broad range of issues involving the GA Supreme Court and answered questions from the audience on a wide variety of topics.
- “Georgia Legislative Preview” with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway, Rep. Scott Holcomb and Rep.David Wilkerson. The panel discussed legislative initiatives likely to be deliberated by state lawmakers in the GA General Assembly's next term. The Georgia State Student Chapter co-sponsored this event with the Emory and John Marshall Student Chapters and the Georgia Lawyer Chapter.
- “Implications of Justice Scalia’s Death” with Professors Neil Kinkopf, Eric Segall, Patrick Wiseman and Alexander “Sasha” Volokh. This panel, organized four days after Justice Scalia’s passing, discussed the impact Justice Scalia’s passing will likely have on both the Supreme Court and national politics.
- “#LawyersStandUp: Learning How to Represent Protestors and Activists in Today’s Social Justice Movement” withMawuli Davis, Jeff Filipovits and Brian Spears. This presentation discussed how to effectively act as a lawyer for protestors who are arrested as a result of their activism.
Student Chapter of the Week March 14
- “Judicial Clerkship Symposium” with Hon. Marc Lubet, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, the Hon. Paul Byron,U.S. District Court, and their law clerks.
- “Skewed Justice” with Professor Steven Ramirez, Loyola University Chicago. Professor Ramirez discussed campaign finance, judicial elections, and its effect of mass incarceration.
- “The Truth About Defund Planned Parenthood” with Professor Patricia Broussard, Florida A&M, Professor Jennifer Sandoval, University of Central Florida, and Anna Eskamani, Director of Public Policy & Field Ops for Planned Parenthood. This event was co-sponsored with the Women’s Law Caucus and celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and discussed the Defund Planned Parenthood movement and its implications.
- “Environmental Justice Panel” with community activists and local environmental lawyers to discuss the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color.
- A “Black Lives Matter Vigil” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Florida A&M’s ACS chapter attended the Black Lives Matter vigil to honor those who have lost their lives to police brutality.
- “American College of Bankruptcy Panel” with the Hon. Michael Williamson, Chief Judge for Florida Middle District Bankruptcy Court, the Hon. Karen Jennemann, Middle District Bankruptcy Court, and three prominent bankruptcy attorneys. The panelists discussed the intricacies and opportunities in bankruptcy law practice and provided insight into the very exclusive membership of the American College of Bankruptcy.
Student Chapter of the Week March 7
- "Griswold v. Connecticut: 50 Years Later," a discussion on the 50th Anniversary of the Griswold case featuring three nationally renowned experts, Christine Pelosi, Michele Goodwin, and Sandra Fluke.
- "#BlackLivesMatter and the Constitution,” featuring USC Professor Jody Armour.
- "The For People of Color Conference", a day-long conference, in collaboration with La Raza, dedicated to helping individuals of color with the law school application process.
- An assault rifle debate featuring Adam Skaggs of Everytown USA and Sean Brady, a Civil Rights Litigator and Regulator Compliance Counsel at Michel & Associates, P.C.
- "Path to the Federal Bench," a lunch event on the path to a career on the Federal Bench featuring Ninth Circuit judges and UCLA Law alumni Hon. Jacqueline Nguyen, Hon. Kim Wardlaw and Hon. Paul Watford.
Student Chapter of the Week February 29
- “Fisher and Affirmative Action” Panel: Dennis Parker, Director of ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, joined CLS Professors Olati Johnson and Susan Sturm in a discussion about the Equal Protection Clause challenge to UT’s affirmative action program.
- “Religious Liberty and the Supreme Court”: An ACS–FedSoc Debate featuring panelists Walter Olson of the Cato Institute and CLS Professors Katherine Franke and Philip Hamburger. Topics included Hobby Lobby, RFRAs, and religious exemptions to laws.
- ACS National President Caroline Fredrickson (CLS ’92) visited as Columbia Law School’s SJI Visitor from Social Justice Practice. She spoke about the legislative compromises that left out many poor women and women of color from employment protections.
- “After Obergefell: Continuing Challenges to LGBT Rights”: A panel including religious liberties, privacy rights, and the future of LGBT rights. Featuring Rose Saxe of the ACLU, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan of Lambda Legal, and CLS Professor Katherine Franke.
- Professor Kermit Roosevelt III of Penn Law spoke about Japanese Internment camps, Guantánamo Bay, and his novel Allegiance.
- Everytown for Gun Safety’s Adam Skaggs discussed the history of the Second Amendment and upcoming SCOTUS case Wrenn v. District of Columbia.
- New York Times journalist Linda Greenhouse discussed the implications of Justice Scalia’s death for the current term, including for the Whole Woman’s Health case, as well as for the Court’s future.
- Supreme Court Review and happy hour featuring Professor Rogers Smith, Freedom to Marry’s Marc Solomon, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State’s Greg Lipper, moderated by Professor Tobias Wolff.
- “Don’t Throw Away the Key: Perspectives on Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences,” a lunch event featuring the Juvenile Law Center’s Marsha Levick, author and public defender Jeanne Bishop, and author Cindy Sanford. Penn’s Youth Advocacy Project and Black Law Students Association co-sponsored the event.
- A lunch event on public service in big law, featuring distinguished lawyers from Dechert and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
- A debate on gun safety and policy with the Federalist Society, featuring Everytown’s Adam Skaggs and the National Gun Rifle Association’s John Frazer.
- Volunteer Teaching at Ann Arbor Public Schools for Constitution Day - Washtenaw County celebrated the Constitution for the 6th consecutive year by educating every middle school student in the Ann Arbor Public School system. Members of Michigan Law's ACS chapter volunteered to teach students at Clague Middle School about their Constitutional rights on Constitution Day.
- Democratic Debate Viewing Party – Michigan Law ACS chapter provided popcorn, snacks, and beverages to encourage students to watch the first Democratic debate together on campus, thereby encouraging civic engagement and lively policy discussions.
- Clague Middle School Field Trip - Michigan Law ACS hosted students from Clague Middle School for a field trip to its law school. The field trip included a tour of the law school, lunch, a lesson by Dean Bloom, a mock trial put on by the middle schoolers in the student courtroom, and a lecture by Professor Don Herzog.
- Mass Incarceration: Strange Bedfellows & Prison Reform - Professor Margo Schlanger, the Henry M. Butzel Professor of Law, explored how state courts, finances and politics are affecting contemporary debate on mass incarceration and prison reform. Professor Schlanger is a leading authority on civil rights issues and civil and criminal detention.
Student Chapter of the Week February 1
Student Chapter of the Week January 25
- "Communities in Crisis: Gentrification and Displacement in Silicon Valley," a dinner discussion with East Palo Alto housing advocates about local policies and legal strategies for reducing the displacement of low- and middle-income residents from Silicon Valley.
- Prof. Jane Schacter, Kate Calimquim (Larkin Center), and Asaf Orr (National Center for Lesbian Rights) gave a lunch talk on the next frontier for LGBTQ rights after marriage.
- Happy Hour and Conversation with ACS President Caroline Fredrickson on the topic of Tipping the State Courts in Favor of Working Women.
- Greg Lukianoff discussed free speech and the marketplace of ideas on college campuses
- Lunch conversation between Professor Pam Karlan and Honorable Myron H. Thompson, senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and recipient of Stanford’s 2015 National Public Service Award
- North Oakland Restorative Justice Council's Malachi Scott and Rose Elizondo led a roundtable dinner discussion on restorative justice and reentry work in the Bay Area
- Prof. Jayashri Srikantiah, Lisa Weissman-Ward, and Prof. Jenny Martinez gave a lunch talk about the Syrian refugee crisis, and the differences in laws and approaches to the crisis in the US and Europe.
- A lecture on “Federalism and Marijuana Legalization” by Vanderbilt Law Professor Robert Mikos.
- A conversation titled “Solider, Scholar, Mayor: A Conversation with Peter Buttigieg” focused on Buttigieg’s experience as a progressive politician at the local government level.
- A conversation with Judge Ann Williams of the Seventh Circuit, regarding her career and legal jurisprudence.
- A lecture on school choice, “An Introduction to School Choice” by NDLS Professor John Schoenig.
- A lecture “LGBT Rights: The Elusive Search for Balance” by Indiana Law Professor Steve Sanders.
- A discussion with Ralph Neas on “The Voting Rights Act: Past and Future.”
- A panel discussion featuring three union side attorneys and a member of the National Labor Review Board on “Educating Law Students on the Rights and Needs of Workers.”
- A lecture and reception for Public Interest Fellowships with NDLS graduates who have received the Shaffer and Bank of America Fellowships.
- reproductive rights, featuring Professor Andrew Koppelman and Quinnipiac University Law Professor Stephen Gilles;
- mass incarceration, featuring Visiting Professor Meredith Rountree;
- the scientific and due process considerations behind civil commitment decisions, with Professor Candice Player;
- the overreach of corporate speech, featuring Harvard Law Professor John Coates;
- the path to the federal bench, featuring Hon. Wayne Anderson, Hon. Edmond Chang, and Hon. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox of the Northern District of Illinois; and
- institutional reforms at the Supreme Court, featuring Gabe Ross of Fix the Court and Cook County Circuit Judge Mary Mikva.
- a talk on the prospects for closing Guantanamo with former State Department Envoy for Guantanamo Closure and ACS Board Member Cliff Sloan
- a panel on accountability at the Supreme Court featuring Fix The Court's Gabe Roth and Visiting Professor Stephen Sachs
- a talk on the constitutional dimensions of school discipline with Professor Derek Black
- a presentation on social change and Black Lives Matter with Professor Elizabeth Beaumont
- a discussion of social welfare with Professor Maxine Eichner.