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2020 National Student Symposium

The Structural Constitution in the 21st Century

March 13 — 14, 2020
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The University of Michigan Law School’s Federalist Society Chapter will host the 39th Annual National Student Symposium on March 13-14, 2020. The topic of the Symposium is “The Structural Constitution in the 21st Century.”

Fees • Speakers • Venues and Lodging • Travel Scholarship

Titled “The Structural Constitution in the 21st Century,” the Symposium will focus on federalism and the relationships among the branches of government. When the Framers wrote the Constitution, they established a system and structure of government designed to protect the rights of individuals and states. Unfortunately, for many years this structure was neglected, which allowed the federal government to acquire greater power as it ate away at our system of federalism. Recent judicial appointments, spearheaded by Justice Gorsuch, suggest that the tide is turning, with an expected increase in respect for our nation’s unique system of government. Symposium panelists will discuss the proper role and function of our “Structural Constitution” in this exciting new era of American jurisprudence. 

The Symposium will host five panels on significant constitutional issues that we hope will generate serious discussion among students, scholars, and practitioners:

  • Panel I – State Constitutions: Laboratories of Rights?
  • Panel II – The Compact Clause
  • Panel III – The Proper Role of the Senate
  • Panel IV – Do Changing Norms Undermine Support for Our System of Government?
  • Panel V – Originalism and Interstate Relations

Keynote Address:

We are pleased to announce that the Honorable Paul D. Clement will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet. Mr. Clement served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States from June 2005 until June 2008. Before his confirmation as Solicitor General, he served as Acting Solicitor General for nearly a year and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General for over three years.


The Honorable Paul D. Clement
Former Solicitor General of the United States
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Distinguished‎ Lecturer in Law, Georgetown University Law Center

 

DRESS CODE:
Please note that attire is business casual for the Symposium and cocktail for the Saturday reception and banquet.

FeesSpeakers • Venues and LodgingTravel Scholarship

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4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Registration

2020 National Student Symposium

Hutchins Hall, First Floor
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Constitution
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

  • Welcome: Kellie A. Majcher, President, Michigan Student Chapter  
  • Opening Remarks: Dean Mark D. West, Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

Speakers

6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
Panel I: State Constitutions: Laboratories of Rights?

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Constitution • Federalism • State Governments
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

In Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s highly regarded 2018 book, 51 Imperfect Solutions, he argues that “an underappreciation of state constitutional law has hurt state and federal law and has undermined the appropriate balance between state and federal courts in protecting individual liberty.” Judge Sutton points out that the legal community’s focus on federal rights has led state courts to interpret state constitutions “in lock-step” with similar federal provisions, stunting the natural experimentation that was meant to occur at the state level. Furthermore, Judge Sutton writes that there is an underappreciation of rights that are protected in many state constitutions but lack a federal equivalent, like rights to education and economic liberty. Certainly, the original constitutional design envisioned a far greater role for the states than we have today. Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction played a key role in changing that balance. But did we go too far?  What role should the states play in the 21st Century?

  • Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Hon. Joan L. Larsen, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Hon. Goodwin H. Liu, California Supreme Court
  • Moderator: Hon. Bridget Mary McCormack, Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Speakers

8:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Presentation of Article I Award

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Article I Initiative
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Complimentary Cocktail Reception

2020 National Student Symposium

University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Only registered Symposium attendees are invited to attend this complimentary cocktail reception.
*21 and older only*

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7:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Registration/Continental Breakfast

2020 National Student Symposium

Hutchins Hall, First Floor
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Panel II: The Compact Clause

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Constitution • Federalism • State Governments
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

The Compact Clause has received extra attention recently because of the Electoral College and the proposed state compact concerning the popular vote, but that is far from the only use of the compact clause. There are currently 200 active interstate compacts ranging from the significant to the almost trivial. The environment, metropolitan transportation authorities, and waterways are a few major areas where compacts are frequent. What can compacts properly cover? When are they constitutionally forbidden? When permitted, when do they promote good public policy, and what are the dangers posed by their use?

  • Prof. Michael S. Greve, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Prof. Roderick M. Hills, Jr., William T. Comfort, III Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Prof. Jonathan H. Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Prof. Andrew P. Buchsbaum, Vice President for One Federation at the National Wildlife Federation and Lecturer, University of Michigan Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Stephanos Bibas, United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Speakers

10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Panel III: The Proper Role of the Senate

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Article I Initiative • Constitution • Election Law • Separation of Powers
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

Much has changed concerning the Senate since the adoption of the Constitution. It is now directly elected. The nature of its power has changed with the passage of the 16th Amendment.  And its unique role in confirmations and treaties and the nature of its role protecting smaller states all have undergone much discussion. The Senate has always played a key role in balancing purely democratic power. It has also protected the states and possibly served to defuse otherwise hostile geographical battles. Does or should this role change in our modern democracy? If so, how?

  • Prof. John Yoo, Emanuel Heller Professor of Law and director of the Korea Law Center, University of California at Berkeley School of Law
  • Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Prof. Lynn A. Baker, Frederick M. Baron Chair in Law and Co-Director of the Center on Lawyers, Civil Justice and the Media, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Prof. Sanford V. Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Speakers

12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

2020 National Student Symposium

Hutchins Hall
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Introduction to the Lawyers Division

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Federalist Society
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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  • Hon. Matthew J. Schneider, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Hon. Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court
  • Hon. Stephen J. Murphy, III, District Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Mr. Thomas J. Rheaume, Jr., President, Federalist Society Michigan Chapter and Member, Bodman PLC
  • Hon. Kurtis T. Wilder, Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and Of Counsel, Butzel Long
  • Moderator: Ms. Lisa Ezell, Vice President & Director, Lawyers Chapters, The Federalist Society

Speakers

12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Becoming an Academic

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Federalist Society
Hutchins Hall 120
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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  • Prof. William P. Baude, Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
  • Prof. Emily Bremer, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Prof. Daniel Crane, Frederick Paul Furth Sr. Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Prof. Stephen E. Sachs, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Lee Liberman Otis, Senior Vice President & Director, Faculty Division, The Federalist Society
 

Speakers

1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Panel IV: Do Changing Norms Undermine Support for Our System of Government?

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Constitution
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

Norms range from having quasi-constitutional force to simply being generally accepted modes of conduct that are more easily broken. Such norms include: The Supreme Court has nine members; Congress invites the President for the State of the Union message; the Senate acts on nominees; children are left alone in political campaigns; and the press ignores old sexual peccadilloes. In the area of congressional action, major new legislation historically required bipartisan support, but this did not occur with the Affordable Care Act. There are now battles over recess appointments for political purposes as opposed to the practical purpose of filling positions when Congress is in recess. Is there generally less self-restraint and more willingness to achieve short-term goals by whatever means with less respect for process? If so, does that pose a serious threat to our Constitution, and what might be done about it?

  • Prof. David E. Bernstein, University Professor and the Executive Director, Liberty & Law Center, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Dean Vikram D. Amar, Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Prof. Keith E. Whittington, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University
  • Dean Evan H. Caminker, Dean Emeritus and Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Chad A. Readler, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Speakers

3:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Panel V: Originalism and Interstate Relations

2020 National Student Symposium

Topics: Constitution • Federalism • State Courts • State Governments
Hutchins Hall 100
The University of Michigan Law School
625 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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Description

The Constitution famously says very little about interstate relations. Writing for the Court in Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt, Justice Thomas suggested that the Constitution “reflects implicit alterations to the States’ relationships with each other, confirming that they are no longer fully independent nations.” How much of the law of interstate relations is truly settled by the Constitution? As for the rest, what kind of law governs instead? Is it federal or state, general or international, written or unwritten? And what does it provide?

This panel examines what originalism has to say, if anything, about questions of “horizontal federalism”—such as personal jurisdiction, choice of law, full faith and credit, extraterritorial regulation, state borders, sovereign immunity, and other areas of interstate dispute. How did the Founders understand these questions, either before the Constitution or after? What duties do the fifty states owe one another? And what are the roles of Congress and the courts in determining the answers?

  • Prof. William P. Baude, Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
  • Prof. Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Prof. Stephen E. Sachs, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Prof. Julian Davis Mortenson, James G. Phillipp Professor of Law,  University of Michigan Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. David R. Stras, United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Speakers

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception

2020 National Student Symposium

Michigan Stadium (“The Big House”)
1201 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Banquet Dinner & Presentation of the Annual Joseph Story Award and Feddie Awards

2020 National Student Symposium

Jack Roth Stadium Club
Michigan Stadium (“The Big House”)
1201 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Description

  • Keynote: Hon. Paul D. Clement, Former Solicitor General of the United States; Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Distinguished‎ Lecturer in Law, Georgetown University Law Center
 

Speakers

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