Considering the Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has announced his intention to begin hearings on March 20th for President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Numerous questions about Gorsuch’s record remain, given his decade on the federal bench, private law practice, teaching at the University of Colorado Law School, and service in the Department of Justice. What have been the major themes of his writings and jurisprudence and how do they reflect his vision of the law? How would his confirmation affect the Supreme Court institutionally and jurisprudentially? How should the unprecedented obstruction of President Obama’s nominee to fill the seat, D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland, play into the Senate’s consideration of Gorsuch? At a time when attacks on judicial independence by the administration are a disturbingly regular occurrence, how does Gorsuch understand the role of the judiciary and its relationship to the other branches of government? And what questions should Senators ask to make sure they and the public have answers to all of the above?

Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society for Law & Policy

Amy Howe, ‎Editor and Reporter at SCOTUSblog, Moderator
Christopher Kang, National Director, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and Deputy White House Counsel to President Barack Obama
Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director and Director of Center for Liberty, ACLU
Matthew Wessler, Principal, Gupta Wessler PLLC

A Briefing on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

On Wednesday Jan. 6, ACS hosted a briefing on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which deals with the constitutionality of "fair share fees" collected by unions, threatens to overturn forty years of precedent governing American labor relations and has the potential to invalidate provisions in thousands of collective bargaining agreements covering millions of workers. 
Featured speakers include:
Garrett Epps, Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law
Anisha S. Dasgupta, Deputy Solicitor General, State of New York 
Maryann Parker, Associate General Counsel, Service Employees International Union 
Jeffrey M. Harris, Partner, Bancroft, PPLC
Andrew J. Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown, LLP

Bush v. Gore Fifteen Years Later: The Supreme Court and American Democracy

On Dec. 15, 2015, the American Constitution Society hosted a panel discussion reflecting on the 2000 presidential election, the unprecedented court battle that ensued and the Supreme Court decision that brought it to a close.

Featured Panelists:

Joan Biskupic, Editor in Charge for Legal Affairs, Reuters News
Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director, Advancement Project
Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science, UC Irvine School of Law
Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford Law School; Co-Director, Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
Curt A. Levey, Executive Director, FreedomWorks Foundation

Is the Supreme Court a Failure (and if so, What Can Be Done About It)?

For decades, progressives have embraced a view of the Supreme Court as the defender of individual and minority rights against governmental power and majority will. This view has persisted, despite much historical evidence to the contrary. As debates rage about when sitting justices should retire, the politicization of the nomination and confirmation processes has reached new heights. If the Court has failed, what reforms should we consider? Is it time to give serious consideration to ending lifetime appointment for the justices? Should we look to the states for alternative models of judicial selection? Are there other ways to nominate and confirm justices that offer a more meaningful opportunity for the public to engage in the process? And if the Court is not the defender of minority and individual rights progressives once thought it to be, should we be in favor of across-the-board judicial restraint, urging the Court to stay out of controversial constitutional issues and let the political process decide? 
  • Linda Greenhouse, Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean, Distinguished Professor of Law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Justin Driver, Professor of Law and Herbert and Marjorie Fried Research Scholar, University of Chicago Law School 
  • Larry Kramer, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 
  • Nelson Lund, University Professor, George Mason University School of Law
  • Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center

Erwin Chemerinsky Interview

ACS interviews Erwin Chemerinsky,, Founding Dean, Distinguished Professor of Law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, about his views on the Supreme Court at the 2015 ACS National Convention.

2010-2011 Supreme Court Term Review

On Thursday, June 30, ACS hosted a panel discussion at the National Press Club examining the current Supreme Court Term and looking forward to the next. In the immediate wake of the Term's conclusion, leading academics and practitioners analyzed the Court's most noteworthy decisions and identify emerging trends. The panel featured:

  • Moderator, Kathleen M. Sullivan, Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
  • H. Christopher Bartolomucci, Partner, Bancroft PLLC
  • Lucas Guttentag, Robina Foundation Distinguished Senior Fellow in Residence, Yale Law School and Senior Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project
  • Erica J. Hashimoto, Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Suzette M. Malveaux, Associate Professor, Columbus School of Law
  • Paul M. Smith, Partner, Jenner & Block
  • Allison M. Zieve, Director, Public Citizen Litigation Group