New England School
New England School of Law
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Boston, MA 02116
The New England School of Law Federalist Society Blog is a weblog written and managed by students at New England School of Law in Boston. The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views or official positions of New England School of Law or its affiliates or the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies and its affiliates.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
The Federalist Society has been in news lately because of Judge Roberts affiliation with our organization. Here are two articles discussing the Federalist Society:
Friday, May 06, 2005
The Supreme Court of Delaware held that an act of the Delaware legislature, which declared a previous decision of the Court "null and void, direct[ed the] Court generally on matters of statutory construction, and stat[ed] that the 'General Assembly asserts its right and prerogative to be the ultimate arbiter of the intent, meaning, and construction of its laws,'" unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court of Delaware based its decision, in part, on the separation of powers doctrine. The Court's discussion of the history of separation of powers doctrine is worthy of a read.
Evans v. State of Delaware is available here.
Monday, May 02, 2005
NGOWatch, a collaborative project of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, will be unveiling a new web site this summer. The new web site will have more information on NGOs, international organizations, and corporate-NGO interactions.
On a related note, the Federalist Society's International and National Security Law Practice Group and the Constitution Project will co-sponsor a panel on, "The Use of International and Foreign Law in U.S. Courts." The program will be held on Tuesday, May 11 beginning at 12:00 noon at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. Please click here for further details and to RSVP.
The Supreme Court of the United States granted cert. in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights. The case presents the question of whether the equal access condition on federal funding of the Solomon Amendment is constitutional.
Click here for an article by the Associated Press.
Click here for the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights home page.
Click here for the docket.
Interesting news report released the same day that the Supreme Court granted cert. in the Solomon Amendment case. Click here for an article about the U.S. military missing its recruiting goals.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Scalia criticizes judges who believe Constitution should be reinterpreted as society changes
By Bob LowryASSOCIATED PRESS
(Original available here)
LEXINGTON, Va. – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia criticized judges who believe the Constitution should be reinterpreted as society changes, saying that philosophy allows courts to bend the law to suit a political agenda.
Scalia also said increasing partisanship among judges was one reason why the Senate questions judicial nominations about their personal views on issues such as abortion and confirms only candidates regarded as "moderate."
"A moderate judge or justice is what most people like," Scalia said, but judges' personal views should not matter since judges are responsible for upholding the law.
Scalia, speaking Friday at Washington and Lee University, argued that judges too often read rights into the Constitution on issues such as abortion and assisted suicide at the expense of the democratic process.
"It's making our system more rigid, not more flexible. It's simply irrational," Scalia said.
He called himself and Justice Clarence Thomas the only two "originalists" on the high court. He said his "originalist" philosophy is not a conservative-versus-liberal issue, adding,
"Conservatives are just as willing to distort the original meaning of the Constitution as liberals."
Scalia noted that when the populace supported giving women the right to vote, Congress passed the 19th Amendment. He said judges now will read a new voting right into the Constitution's
"You know if that came up today, we would not amend the Constitution," he said.
© Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
C-SPAN has a great talk by Chief Justice Rehnquist that he delivered at Duke Law School.
The Chief Justice comments on all of the Chief Justices before him except Chief Justice Berger. He comments extensively on the jurisprudence of Chief Justice John Marshall.
While he moves at a brisk pace through the speech, it is an enjoyable trek through the history of the Supreme Court.
C-SPAN has a wonderful talk by Justice Scalia on Constitutional Interpretation. (Requires RealPlayer).
Justice Scalia, an originalist, points out that an originalist view of constitutional interpretation was once the orthodoxy but today has fallen out of favor among judges, lawyers, and law professors. Today, "we are in the age in which [all of us] have learned that the constitution changes." That is not so, stated Justice Scalia. Justice Scalia used N.Y. Times v. Sullivan as an example of the Living Constitution movement in action.
Justice Scalia criticized the doctrine of substantive due process because he argues that it is improper for the Supreme Court to announce those rights which are fundamental that no amount of process will be sufficient to take them away.
Justice Scalia summed up the Living Constitution movement by stating, "All the Living constitution assures you, is that what will happen is what the majority want to happen." I could not agree more.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Pursuant to Article VI of the Constitution, I am submitting these amendments for consideration by the active membership of the NESL Federalist Society.
To see if at least two-thirds of the active members of the New England School of Law Federalist Society will approve the following amendments to the Constitution:
DELETE Article II, Section I and replace it with the following:
The NESL FS shall have the following officers: Co-President, Co-President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
DELETE Article II, Section II and replace it with the following:
The Officers shall have duties described below and any other duties that the Co-Presidents shall from time to time decide is expedient for the Society.
Co-President – Two Co-Presidents shall be the chief executives of the NESL FS. They shall call and preside over all NESL FS meetings and Executive Board meetings. They shall supervise all club activities. They shall have veto power concerning Society expenditures which can be overturned by two thirds of all active Society members. They shall serve as a liaison to any such other organizations as the Executive Board deems necessary. They shall have the power to appoint any such assistants as he deems necessary to assist him in fulfilling the duties of his office.
Vice President – The Vice President shall assist the Co-Presidents and shall preside in case of their absence or disability. He shall rule on all matters of parliamentary procedure. He shall reserve rooms for NESL FS meetings. He shall maintain all official records of the Society, including a mailing list of all members and historical records. He shall supervise the committees through their respective Chairmen.
Secretary – The Secretary shall take minutes of all Society meetings, maintain all Society correspondence, and notify NESL FS members of upcoming meetings. The Secretary shall notify the members of upcoming meetings in any manner the Executive Board may deem appropriate, including posting notice of such on the bulletin board, and using posters, notices, or other communications.
Treasurer – The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the NESL FS and shall present and supervise the budget. He shall be responsible for any fund raising activities and for the collection of Society dues.
DELETE Article III and replace it with the following:
The members of the Executive Board shall be the five elected officers and the chairpersons of the committees. The Executive Board shall administer all routine business of the Society. A majority vote of the active Society members is sufficient to overturn a decision of the Executive Board.
REPLACE the word “President” with “Co-Presidents” in the following Sections:
Article IV, Section I;
Article V, Section II.
DELETE Article V, Section and replace it with the following:
SECTION II – ELECTIONS
The procedure of all elections of the NESL FS shall be as follows:
Two weeks before the election, the Secretary shall post notices announcing the upcoming election and application deadline on appropriate bulletin boards around the New England School of Law. Any active member interested in elective office must notify the current Co-Presidents by the stated deadline. Any active member may run for an Executive Board position.
C-SPAN offers a variety of interesting programs on the judiciary in it America & the Courts series. Among the numerous programs is an interview of Justices O'Connor, Scalia, and Breyer by Tim Russert. SCOTUS Blog posted reactions to the interview from the press.
Justice Scalia, commenting on the recent attacks on the Court and problems with the nomination process, stated, “You cannot adopt a theory that the constitution is evolving and the Supreme Court will tell you what it means from age to age. You can not do that without causing the Supreme Court to become a very political institution. And when that happens, the people in a Democracy will try to seize control of it.”
It sounds as if the nightmare embodied in the excerpt of The Federalist no. 78 that we all know so well is upon us. What we do about it as members of the legal community will define the future relevance of the judiciary.
"The courts must delcare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGEMENT, the consequence would be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body."
Case Books (Coming Fall 2005)