Jonathan Turley on Expanding the Supreme Court

On November 4th, 2017, Professor Turley spoke at the Buckley Program’s conference on The Constitution and the Courts.

Professor Turley joined the GW Law faculty in 1990, and in 1998, became the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history.  He has written more than three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals including those of Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, and Northwestern Universities. He is a member of the USA Today board of contributors and the recipient of the “2005 Single Issue Advocate of the Year”. More than 400 of his articles on legal and policy issues regularly appear in national newspapers. 

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Professor Turley at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Jake Fischer

Jake:  Could you elaborate on the basics of your plan for the expansion of the Supreme Court? Continue reading

Cato’s Ilya Shapiro on Religious Freedom in the Courts

On November 4th, 2017, Ilya Shapiro spoke at the Buckley Program’s conference on The Constitution and the Courts.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. He has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Weekly Standard, New York Times, and National Review Online. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/adviser to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule-of-law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He holds an AB from Princeton University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Mr. Shapiro at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Jake Fischer

Jake: One of the main things that I thought was interesting was considering how far does the religious liberty extend when it affects others. You spoke about coercing people into taking action that is against their religion but, especially with health care, there are some religions, for example Jehovah’s Witnesses, who may be opposed to any sort of emergency treatment on religious grounds. Do you think that these religious protections should extend to allow them to avoid paying for these parts of health insurance for their employees? Continue reading

Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell on his Career and Originalism

On November 4th, 2017, Professor Michael McConnell spoke at the Buckley Program’s conference on The Constitution and the Courts.

Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 2002 to the summer of 2009, he served as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, especially church and state, equal protection, and the founding. In the past decade, his work has been cited in opinions of the Supreme Court second most often of any legal scholar. He is co-editor of three books: Religion and the Law, Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, and The Constitution of the United States. McConnell has argued fifteen cases in the Supreme Court.

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Professor McConnell at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

Ethan: What stands out as some of the more meaningful or memorable experiences from your career in law? Continue reading

Adam White on the Proper Role of Bureaucrats

On November 4th, 2017, Adam White spoke at the Buckley Program’s conference on The Constitution and the Courts.

Adam J. White is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he also teaches Administrative Law. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he previously practiced law at Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC and Baker Botts LLP, litigating regulatory and constitutional issues. His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, and other publications, and he is a contributing editor for National Affairs, City Journal, and The New Atlantis.

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Mr. White at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Alexander Sikorski

Alexander: Do you think that unelected officials threaten our democracy? Continue reading

Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger on the Administrative State

On November 4th, 2017, Professor Philip Hamburger spoke on a panel Federalism and the Modern Administrative State at the Buckley Program’s conference The Constitution and the Courts.

Hamburger is the Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor at the Columbia University School of Law. He is a leading scholar of constitutional law and its history, specifically the First Amendment, administrative power, religious liberty, and judicial review. He has authored articles for many major publications and published numerous books, including his newest work, The Administrative Threat, a 68-page distillation of his previous 646-page work Is Administrative Law Unlawful? This year, Professor Hamburger was awarded the Bradley Prize, a $250,000 stipend for “innovative thinkers.”

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Professor Hamburger at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Andreas Ravichandran

Andreas: You’ve written extensively about the administrative state and its overreach. I was wondering if you could start out by defining for us what that term means. Continue reading

Buckley College Essay Contest: 1st Place Winner

This semester, the Buckley Program held a college essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Jeffrey Hendricks, a senior in Silliman College, won 1st place. 

Political observers understand the difficulty of amending the U.S. Constitution. A two-thirds majority of both congressional houses must propose the amendment, or two-thirds of the states must request a convention. If the proposed amendment wins these supermajorities, three-quarters of the states must ratify the amendment. These high thresholds guarantee the necessity of bipartisan support. In the era of 50 states, the 89th Congress (January 1965 – January 1967) presented the only unified government with a House of 290 or more members of one party and a Senate with 67 or more members of the same party. 290 is two-thirds of 435; 67 is the first whole number larger than two-thirds of 100. Continue reading

Buckley College Essay Contest: 2nd Place Winner

This semester, the Buckley Program held a college essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Noah Daponte-Smith, a senior in Berkeley College, won 2nd place. 

In 1913, after winning the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures, the Constitution was amended for the seventeenth time. This was a grievous mistake, one which obliterated the traditional and proper structure of American constitutional democracy, permitted a noxious sort of popular sentiment to pervade the American system, and introduced into our governance a fatally confused sense of the will of the people. The 27th amendment to the Constitution should repeal the seventeenth, returning American governance to the system the Founders envisioned. Continue reading