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FedSoc Forums

  • Bail Reform: Illinois’ Experience After 9 months

    27 MAG 2024 · Balancing safety and justice is especially challenging in the pretrial context where difficult decisions must be made quickly while evidence is still being gathered. In September 2023, an overhaul of Illinois’ pretrial system went into effect, eliminating the use of cash bail while also expanding the authority of judges to detain defendants without bail. As states and local jurisdictions across the country weigh pretrial policies, what can we learn from the Illinois experience to date? This panel of experts will review preliminary data and specific cases that shed light on this question. The conversation will also consider to what degree experiences have differed in rural and urban areas and examine what adjustments are needed. Featuring: Robert Berlin, State’s Attorney, DuPage County, Illinois Hon. Eugene Doherty, Appellate Court Justice, Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District Dr. David Olson, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology & Co-Director, Center for Criminal Justice, Loyola University Chicago (Moderator) Marc Levin, Chief Policy Counsel, Council on Criminal Justice and Senior Advisor, Right on Crime
    1 h 18 sec.
  • Is Patent Eligibility Doctrine in Need of Reform?

    23 MAG 2024 · Between 2010-2014, the Supreme Court handed down four decisions resulting in the Mayo-Alice two-step test for what counts as an invention or discovery eligible for patent protection. In the ensuing decade, the issue of whether this test is indeterminate, too restrictive, or both, has been vigorously debated by lawyers, judges, and scholars. Recently, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) introduced the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act (PERA), which would abrogate the Mayo-Alice test among other substantive and procedural reforms to patent eligibility doctrine. This webinar discussed PERA and its implications for the U.S. innovation economy as leader in innovation in the 21st century facing new challenges from global competitors like China.
    1 h 1 min. 34 sec.
  • Litigation Update: Sagebrush Rebels and Western States Challenge Presidential Monument Designations

    23 MAG 2024 · Congress passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 to protect Native American archaeological sites from looters and vandalism, empowering the President to designate historic landmarks, structures, or objects of scientific interest as national monuments on federal land. However, it also imposed limitations, requiring such designations to cover only "the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected." Initially, Presidents designated monuments focused on safeguarding specific landmarks or structures. Over time, modern Presidents have expanded their authority under the Antiquities Act, interpreting "objects" broadly to include ecosystems. President Obama notably expanded the Act's use, establishing 29 new national monuments. However, this expansion faced pushback, with President Trump reducing the size of certain monuments and lifting usage restrictions. President Biden's subsequent actions, such as expanding the Grand Staircase monument and reinstating fishing bans, further illustrate the contentious nature of presidential monument designations. All these challenges present interesting questions of statutory interpretation, limits on presidential power, the authority of the judiciary to review Presidential action, and the scope and content of both the major questions doctrine and the nondelegation doctrine. Please join Adam Griffin, Separation of Powers Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, for a litigation update on these exciting cases and the future of presidential power under the Antiquities Act.
    30 min. 44 sec.
  • Legal Scrutiny Ahead: Assessing the Implications of EPA's Final Power Plant Rule

    20 MAG 2024 · On April 25th, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a suite of final rules meant to reduce pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants. The rule was among four measures targeting coal and natural gas plants that the EPA said would provide “regulatory certainty” to the power industry and encourage them to make investments to transition “to a clean energy economy.” The measures include requirements to reduce toxic wastewater pollutants from coal-fired plants and to safely manage coal ash in unlined storage ponds.Supporters of the new rule argue that it aligns well with the EPA's statutory authority, the current state of electric markets, and available emissions-reduction technologies. However, opponents contend that it is legally flawed and could jeopardize grid reliability.  What legal and policy issues does this rule potentially raise? Does it trigger "major questions" issues? Is the agency relying on unproven technology, potentially violating the statutory requirement that emission standards be based on proven systems? Moreover, does the rule infringe on state prerogatives for regulating existing sources? Join us as we delve into these questions and analyze the legal complexities surrounding this new rule.Featuring:  - Kevin Poloncarz, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP - Justin Schwab, Founder, CGCN Law, PLLC
    1 h 51 sec.
  • Litigation Update: Arizona Supreme Court Opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Mayes / Hazelrigg

    16 MAG 2024 · Throughout Arizona’s history as a state, the criminal code authorized penalties against any person who performed or procured an abortion for a pregnant woman. In 1971, Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson challenged that law on state and federal constitutional grounds. In early 1973, the state intermediate appellate court upheld the criminal law as constitutional. Shortly thereafter, SCOTUS issued Roe v. Wade recognizing a federal constitutional right to abortion. And the Arizona appellate court then enjoined enforcement of the state’s criminal abortion law. The Arizona legislature codified numerous abortion-related laws in the ensuing years. One such law, enacted in 2022, adopted a “15-week ban.” Later that same year, SCOTUS issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe and concluded that the federal constitution does not support a right to abortion. Dobbs thus set a collision course for two Arizona laws: the previously enjoined but still on-the-books criminal law from 1973 and the 2022 15-week ban. On April 9, 2024, the Arizona Supreme Court issued its opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Mayes / Hazelrigg, resolving the question of which law currently governs. Hon. James D. Smith will join us to break down the majority and dissenting opinions.
    56 min. 54 sec.
  • FTC’s Sweeping Non-Compete Ban: Summary, States’ Views, and Litigation Challenges

    16 MAG 2024 · On April 23, 2024, the FTC voted 3-2 to adopt a final rule banning the use of non-compete agreements nationwide, impacting 30 million workers by the FTC’s own estimates. This near categorical ban on the non-compete agreements is a contrast from a regime in which these agreements had been recognized to have potential procompetitive value and therefore were reviewed for reasonableness. It also marks a departure from the state law in many jurisdictions. Less than 24 hours after the vote, two lawsuits have challenged the rule based on statutory and Constitutional grounds. This breaking news panel discussed the final rule, grounds for statutory and Constitutional challenges, and state AG reactions.
    1 h 50 sec.
  • FTC Policy Unpacked: Achieving Change at the Federal Trade Commission

    14 MAG 2024 · FTC Chair Khan has sought to implement aggressive and profound changes at the agency from novel approaches on antitrust to groundbreaking rulemakings. But will these efforts have lasting effects? Former FTC Chairs Tim Muris and Maureen Ohlhausen were joined by Howard Beales, former Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC, to compare these efforts with previous Chair-initiated policy shifts at the agency. Professors Muris and Beales also unveiled their extensive research, published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, analyzing key differences compared to earlier FTC efforts at promoting change. This panel discussed: How should a change agent manage the existing career staff? How should relations with Congress and other key stakeholders be managed? How can change best be implemented in the face of a potentially hostile judiciary and other formidable obstacles? What role should institutional norms play in answering these questions?
    1 h 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Nuziard v. MBDA: What is the Future of Equal Protection Litigation?

    1 MAG 2024 · On March 5, 2024, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas entered a declaratory judgment and nationwide injunction against the Minority Business Development Agency, preventing the agency from extending a federally-sponsored racial preference to groups seeking to access capital and government contracts. This case, Nuziard v. MBDA, expands upon last summer's Supreme Court ruling in SFFA v. Harvard, which struck down affirmative action in college admissions. Daniel Lennington of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, who litigated the case, discussed the case and its impact on the future of equality.
    54 min. 17 sec.
  • Déjà Vu all over again? The Return of Network Neutrality

    30 APR 2024 · In 2002, under Chairman Michael Powell, the FCC passed the Cable Modem Order which classified cable modem internet service providers (ISPs) as not subject to common carrier non-discrimination requirements. The order’s critics said the FCC had created a non-neutral internet where dominant firms could use their market power to harm consumers and diminish competition. After several attempts, which the D.C. Circuit rejected, the FCC under Chairman Wheeler imposed network neutrality requirements on ISPs in the Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet order in 2015. Then, the FCC under Chairman Pai largely revoked the network neutrality rules in the Restoring Internet Freedom order in 2017. Now, under Chair Rosenworcel the FCC has just reimposed network neutrality. This panel discussed the legal future on appeal of this most recent iteration in what appears to be an unending partisan regulatory saga—especially in light of the Supreme Court’s changing views on administrative review. The panel also investigated whether this over two decade old policy dispute is fighting yesterday’s war as many believe that there have been few competitive abuses by ISPs during the last two decades—and arguably competitive abuses by dominant firms has moved elsewhere in the web.
    1 h 26 sec.
  • Discrimination By Proxy?: Arlington Heights Cases in the Post Students for Fair Admissions Era

    30 APR 2024 · In the consolidated Students for Fair Admissions cases, the Supreme Court held unlawful the use of race in undergraduate admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Many colleges and universities have nonetheless indicated that they plan to circumvent the decision by using proxies for race instead. A 1978 Supreme Court case, Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing, held that using proxies for race to discriminate is generally as unlawful as using race itself. Arlington Heights also sets forth a test for identifying when a challenged policy is prohibited proxy discrimination. But the lower courts have applied Arlington Heights in different ways to challenged admissions policies, with some lower courts engaging in tough scrutiny of challenged policies and with others being much more deferential to assertions of benign intent. This panel addressed: is proxy discrimination unlawful under the Fourteenth Amendment? If yes, what is the right legal test -- Arlington Heights or something else? What challenged policies, if any, are prohibited proxy discrimination?
    1 h 6 min. 48 sec.

*This series was formerly known as Teleforums. FedSoc Forums is a virtual discussion series dedicated to providing expert analysis and intellectual commentary on today’s most pressing legal and policy issues....

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*This series was formerly known as Teleforums.

FedSoc Forums is a virtual discussion series dedicated to providing expert analysis and intellectual commentary on today’s most pressing legal and policy issues. Produced by The Federalist Society’s Practice Groups, FedSoc Forum strives to create balanced conversations in various formats, such as monologues, debates, or panel discussions. In addition to regular episodes, FedSoc Forum features special content covering specific topics in the legal world, such as:

  • Courthouse Steps: A series of rapid response discussions breaking down all the latest SCOTUS cases after oral argument or final decision
  • A Seat at the Sitting: A monthly series that runs during the Court’s term featuring a panel of constitutional experts discussing the Supreme Court’s upcoming docket sitting by sitting
  • Litigation Update: A series that provides the latest updates in important ongoing cases from all levels of government

The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speakers.
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