As a new year fast approaches, let's take a moment to look back at some of the best FedSoc content from 2015. Teleforum calls are a staple of FedSoc activity, and this year our Teleforum calls were more popular than ever. We hosted 143 calls with more than 13,000 listeners.
Here are the most popular Teleforum calls from 2015:
10. "The Balance of Power: The People v. The State" featuring Charles Murray & Adam J. White
In his new book, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray argues that the balance of power between government and the people has become too one-sided, in favor of the government. He argues that citizens across the political spectrum are suffering under the imbalance, and willing and able to act. The question, though, is what is to be done? His answer might surprise you.
9. "Implementing Obergefell v. Hodges" featuring John C. Eastman, Matthew J. Franck, & M. Edward Whelan
On June 26, 2015, by a 5 to 4 margin, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that the 14th amendment requires states to license marriages between two people of the same sex. The decision resulted in considerable controversy. What, now, are the legal objections of state officials? Will we continue to see stories like that of Kim Davis, the recently-arrested Kentucky clerk? Our experts Professor Eastman, Professor Franck, and Mr. Whelan weighed in.
8. "The 'Iran Deal'" featuring Jamil N. Jaffer, David B. Rivkin, Jr., & John C. Yoo
The "Iran Deal" as negotiated by the Obama Administration and approved by the UN raises controversies on many levels. One foundational question concerns whether a president's constitutional Article II power extends to an executive agreement that incurs foreign obligations and implicates international law. The congressional response in the Corker-Cardin review act demurred from challenging whether the nuclear deal was an end-run around treaty Senate ratification requirements by acknowledging the executive agreement classification. Now there are questions as to whether the final deal is sufficiently inconsistent with the anticipated agreement such that the Corker-Cardin bill is undermined. Does UN approval prior to congressional review moot Corker-Cardin? Additionally, as yet unquantified side agreements may have a bearing on congressional posture. Also, some states have sanctioned Iran separately. Since an executive agreement does not carry the federal pre-emptive power as would a treaty, may states continue to act independent of Corker-Cardin, UN, or administration commitments?
7. "EPA Power and Power Plants: Michigan v. EPA" featuring Andrew Grossman
On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the EPA. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA can regulate, as a stationary source of emissions, power plants only if EPA concludes that "regulation is appropriate and necessary." The Court, in a split decision, held that the EPA acted unreasonably when it deemed cost of the regulations irrelevant when it decided to regulate power plants. But what does that mean for the EPA? Will the decision have an impact for other regulatory agencies?
6. "Congress as 'Iran Deal' Enforcer?" featuring Alan M. Dershowitz, Dennis Ross, & Jamil N. Jaffer
With final congressional review action on the Iran Deal just days away, is Congress empowered to act in a fully informed manner with the vital information pertinent to all side agreements? Is the IAEA predictably a trustworthy actor? What tools might the people’s branch of government utilize to provide oversight and enforcement capability if Iran is in violation? Prof. Alan Dershowitz and Ambassador Dennis Ross approached these questions from different perspectives drawn from deep historical and geopolitical experience. Prof. Dershowitz is author of a book entitled The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes? and Ambassador Ross most recently wrote "How to Put Some Teeth into The Nuclear Deal with Iran" with David Patraeus.
5. "Hands Off My Raisins: Horne v. Department of Agriculture" featuring John Elwood
Under what circumstances can the government take your property without giving you compensation? Does it matter whether it is real property or personal property? On June 22, with an interesting alignment of justices, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Horne v. Department of Agriculture, addressing these and other questions.
4. "Debating Birthright Citizenship" featuring John C. Eastman & John C. Yoo
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Does this clause make all persons born in the United States citizens of the United States?
3. "Victor Davis Hanson Discusses Foreign Policy" featuring Victor Davis Hanson
Acclaimed military historian, prolific columnist and political essayist Victor Davis Hanson discusses President Obama’s foreign policy on a special Teleforum conference call. With a growing number of troubling hotspots throughout the world, and the November 13 attacks on Paris, this discussion was be extremely timely.
2. "Affordable Care Act Case Decided: King v. Burwell" featuring Jonathan H. Adler, Josh Blackman, & David B. Rivkin, Jr.
On June 25 the Supreme Court held that Affordable Care Act subsidies are available to individuals in States that have a Federal Exchange as well as a State Exchange. In upholding the subsidies, the majority concluded that the Court must read the statutory provisions of the ACA “in context,” and that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” In a dissent joined by two colleagues, Justice Scalia wrote that the Court’s conclusion was “quite absurd,” and that “[w]ords no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the state.’” How momentous is today’s decision?
1. "Gay Marriage Case Decided: Obergefell v. Hodges" featuring John C. Eastman & Ilya Shapiro
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today resolved the gay marriage case, ruling that the “Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.” Our experts discussed the case and the decision.