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The past forty years have seen a surge in efforts to litigate under state constitutional provisions furthering individual liberties. Panelists could look to numerous examples of differences between the state and federal constitutions (examples include criminal justice, property rights, same-sex marriage, education/school choice, labor, speech, and economic liberty) and explore how such differences have affected litigation strategy and forum shopping. Which emerging controversies are ripe to be litigated in state courts as opposed to the federal courts? What about business and arbitration cases? In the light of the results of the 2016 election, might some litigators further turn to the state courts to best protect liberty in light of changes to the federal bench?

This panel was part of the 2017 Annual Western Chapters Conference at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 28, 2017.

Litigating State Constitutional Issues
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

  • Thomas F. Ahearne, Foster Pepper and Counsel to Plaintiffs, McCleary v. State 
  • Paul Avelar, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
  • Jeremy Rosen, Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP and Director, 9th Circuit Appellate Clinic, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Carolyn Kuhl, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Introduction: Joel Ard, Member, Foster Pepper PLLC
  • Introduction: Carrie Ann Donnell, Legal Programs Director, Goldwater Institute

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Views and opinions expressed by the Federalist Society are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.