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2024 National Student Symposium

Why Separate Powers?

March 8 — 9, 2024

2024 National Student Symposium
Friday, March 8 – Saturday, March 9, 2024

This event is now sold out.

Why Separate Powers?

hosted at

Harvard Law School
Wasserstein Hall
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard Law School Federalist Society Chapter hosted the 43rd annual National Student Symposium on March 8–9, 2024. Symposium panels focused on fundamental questions about our nation’s constitutional structure and the allocation of power between the three branches of government, in keeping with the conference’s theme: Why Separate Powers? 

  • Fireside Chat: Why Separate Powers?: A Conceptual Framework
  • Panel I: Federalism and the Separation of Powers
  • Panel II: The Executive Power, the Legislative Power, and the Administrative State
  • Panel III: The Judicial Power and Evaluating Judicial Supremacy
  • Panel IV: Constitutions, Elections, and Procedure: (How) Can We Change How We Separate Powers?


Exhibiting Supporters

           

                   

  

Symposium Registration

Student Symposium Registration ONLY (includes all events except the Saturday night reception and banquet.):

  • $15 (student members)

  • $100 (non-student members) 

SYMPOSIUM SOLD OUT

 

Banquet Registration (This does not include “Student Symposium Registration.” You must also register for the “Student Symposium Registration” if you’d like to attend the panels/Friday night reception, Saturday breakfast and lunch. “Banquet Registration” includes Saturday night reception.):

  • $85 (student members)

  • $200 (non-student members)

BANQUET SOLD OUT. Join us for the "A Seperation of Parties" Waitlist Reception!

Note: Please indicate whether you will need a vegetarian meal. Otherwise, banquet meal defaults to beef.

Travel

50% TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT (TRAVEL ONLY—does not include hotel)
Please submit AFTER the symposium concludes

FOR DUES-PAYING STUDENT MEMBERS. 

Reimbursement Form
https://fedsoc.org/travelscholarship 

Join or Renew Your $5 Student Membership:
https://fedsoc.org/join

Options for Getting Around Cambridge and Boston

Parking near Harvard Law School is extremely limited and, when available, expensive. All Symposium events are within easy walking distance of each other. In Cambridge, you should plan to walk, bike, or use public transportation, ride-sharing services, or taxis to get around.

Traveling from the airport to Cambridge

Harvard Law School is 9 miles from Logan International Airport, roughly a 25-minute drive. The fastest way to get from the airport to campus is by car. There are many rideshare and taxi services available at the airport. Note that pickups often require a short walk from your terminal—for more information, see this guide to rideshare options at Logan.

Public transportation from the airport to campus takes about an hour and is free. To get to campus, ride the Silver Line (SL1) from Logan Airport to South Station. Then, take the Red Line towards Alewife and exit at Harvard station.

Public transportation

The best way to travel between Cambridge and downtown Boston is the MBTA Red Line. The Harvard station is a short walk from the law school. Subway fares are $2.40/ride for one-way trips. Tickets can be purchased from automated vending machines in all subway stations. 

MBTA bus fare is $1.70/ride. The Harvard campus is served by:

  1. MBTA 86 bus, which goes north to Sullivan Square or south to Cleveland Circle

  2. MBTA 66 bus, which goes south from Harvard Square to Dudley

  3. MBTA 70 bus, which goes west to the Brandeis campus or east to the MIT campus


The 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 86, and 96 buses also serve the Harvard MBTA station. Real time bus-tracking is available on the MBTA-endorsed transit apps.

Biking

Cambridge has an excellent network of bike lanes and bicycles are easy to rent at BLUEbike stations, which are conveniently located throughout Cambridge and Boston. Learn more about the BLUEbike network and how to rent a bike on the BLUEbike website.

 Accommodation

We strongly recommend booking your hotel as early as possible to ensure rooms are available and rates are low.

The following hotels are within a short walk, subway ride, or rideshare drive from Harvard Law School. The estimated costs are based on booking a room a month in advance.

 *   *   *

Sheraton Commander $246 0.4 miles (6 min walk)

Hotel 1868 $159 0.6 miles (8 min walk)

Porter Square Hotel $151 0.7 miles (11 min walk)

Irving House at Harvard $135 0.8 miles (11 min walk)

Harvard Square Hotel $239 0.8 miles (12 min walk)

Hotel Veritas $249 0.9 miles (13 min walk)

The Charles $307 0.9 miles (12 min walk)

Cambria Hotel Boston Somerville $157 1.1 miles (6 min drive)

Ginkgo House on Harvard $241 1.3 miles (7 min drive)

Freepoint Hotel Cambridge $156 1.7 miles (8 min drive)

DoubleTree Suites Boston-Cambridge $138 1.8 miles (10 min drive)

Courtyard by Marriott Boston-Cambridge $192 1.8 miles (11 min drive)

Studio Allston $111 2.2 miles (11 min drive)

Homewood Suites Arlington $152 2.3 miles (12 min drive)

Le Méridien Boston-Cambridge $309 2.3 miles (13 min drive)

The Kendall Hotel $223 2.4 miles (13 min drive)

Holiday Inn Boston-Bunker Hill $173 2.5 miles (13 min drive)

Boston Marriott Cambridge $317 2.5 miles (14 min drive)

Residence Inn by Marriott Boston $313 2.5 miles (14 min drive)

Holiday Inn Express Boston-Cambridge $140 2.6 miles (15 min drive)

Hyatt Regency Boston/Cambridge $192 2.6 miles (15 min drive)

Fairfield Inn & Suites Boston-Cambridge $177 2.9 miles (16 min drive)

Hampton Inn Boston/Cambridge $197 2.9 miles (17 min drive)

Kimpton Marlowe Hotel $194 3.1 miles (18 min drive)

The Royal Sonesta Boston $249 3.3 miles (18 min drive)

 

 

 

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3:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Registration

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Second Floor Foyer
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Symposium volunteers will greet you at the entrance to Wasserstein Hall and direct you to the registration tables. (For those arriving after Friday at 9:30 p.m., your nametags will be available on Saturday morning at the registration tables located at Wasserstein Hall, Second Floor Foyer.)

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Student Scholarship Works in Progress

2024 National Student Symposium

Harvard Law School WCC
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Calling all student authors! Whether you have a nascent idea or a full manuscript, you are invited to apply to participate in an interactive roundtable with Harvard Law School faculty members who frequently mentor student and early career scholarship. This roundtable is designed for students who are serious about developing their ideas and producing publishable work, though it is NOT limited to those who intend to pursue a career as an academic. Papers from all areas of the law are welcome—they need not be confined to the overall theme of the symposium or to public law generally.

If selected to participate, students will submit an abstract, outline, or introduction (no more than five pages long) and then give 5–7 minute presentations of their papers. Faculty commentators will provide individual feedback during the workshop as well as general advice on producing high-quality legal scholarship, especially while still in law school.

The workshop will be limited to eight students. Timeline is as follows:

  • Prospective applicants must apply no later than Friday, February 2 at 5:00 p.m. ET using this form.
  • Selected participants will be notified by Friday, February 9, and five-page introductions will be due no later than Friday, February 23 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
  • Failure to submit materials by that time will forfeit a participant’s spot in the workshop.
  • Questions may be directed to [email protected].

Speakers

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Navigating Outrage Culture: How to Have Constructive Conversations About Fraught Topics on Your Law School Campus

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West B
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

What is a “constructive conversation” in today’s polarized, outrage-driven culture? In this workshop—designed for leaders and members of Federalist Society campus chapters—participants will discuss what they are hoping to achieve at their law schools and how those goals might shape chapter conversations and speaker events. This highly interactive session with Professor Heen, co-author of Difficult Conversations and Deputy Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, will explore the impacts chapter leaders are trying to have, and some tools for making sound decisions and fostering richer conversations.

  • Workshop leader: Prof. Sheila Heen, Thaddeus R. Beal Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School

Speakers

6:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East A/B/C
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

Description

Featuring

  • Welcome: Ben Pontz, President, Harvard Federalist Society
  • Remarks: I. Glenn Cohen, Deputy Dean and James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law; Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics

Speakers

6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Fireside Chat: “Why Separate Powers?” A Conceptual Introduction

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East A/B/C
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

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Description

Professor Cass Sunstein and Judge Raymond Kethledge will open the symposium with a fireside chat exploring the conceptual question of why states choose to separate powers along with the relationship between the separation of powers and the rule of law.

Featuring

  • Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School

Speakers

7:45 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Reception

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Second Floor and (weather permitting) interior courtyard
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Join us for a reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

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8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Registration

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall, First Floor Lobby
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall, First Floor Lobby
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Please join us for a selection of breakfast pastries, coffee, and juice before the first panel of the day.

9:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Panel I: Federalism and the Separation of Powers

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall/Ames Courtroom
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

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Description

It has been said that American-style split sovereignty provides the people a “double security” for their liberties. And a distinct security too: where the Framers’ primary restraint on the avarice of the United States was the enumeration of its powers, each state is omnipotent and yet typically bound by a thicker conception of the proper ends of government. But these separate sovereigns interact in unique and sometimes puzzling ways that leave the state of the vertical separation of powers in flux. And given that “split[ting] the atom of sovereignty,” as Justice Kennedy characterized it in US Term Limits v. Thornton, is a uniquely American contribution, is it really necessary to secure the people’s liberty?

Featuring

  • Prof. Maureen Brady, Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Deputy Dean, Harvard Law School
  • Hon. Sarah K. Campbell, Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court
  • Hon. James E. Tierney, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School and former Attorney General, Maine
  • Prof. Ernest A. Young, Alston & Bird Distinguished Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Stephanos Bibas, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Speakers

11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Panel II: The Executive Power, the Legislative Power, and the Administrative State

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall/Ames Courtroom
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

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Description

Many critics of modern administrative law want a world where Congress does more things, and the executive does less—which would lead to relative stability across administrations. Simultaneously, many also want their vote in presidential elections to have meaningful policy consequences. Between these two competing intuitions lies a tension at the heart of much contemporary political strife, which, of course, has a great deal to do with who controls Congress and who controls the White House.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Julian Davis Mortenson, James G. Phillipp Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Eli Nachmany, Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Prof. Jed Handelsman Shugerman, Professor of Law and Joseph Lipsett Scholar, Boston University School of Law
  • Prof. Christopher J. Walker, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Speakers

12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch & Breakout Sessions

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Please join us for a boxed lunch, which you may take to Saturday Breakout Session 1 or 2.

12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday Breakout Session 1: Introduction to the Lawyers Division

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall, 101 Classroom - East
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Your involvement with the Federalist Society should not end at graduation! The Lawyers Division connects practicing attorneys across the country and helps keep the debates and discussion going for the long haul. This panel will introduce the Federalist Society’s programming for attorneys as well as the Society’s network of local Lawyers Chapters.

Featuring:

  • Louis Capozzi, Associate, Jones Day; Lecturer in Law, University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law
  • Eli Nachmany, Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Jacob Bradford Richards, Incoming Associate, Lehotsky Keller Cohn LLP
  • Moderator: Lisa Budzynski Ezell, Vice President and Director, Lawyers Chapters, The Federalist Society

Speakers

12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday Breakout Session 2: Becoming an Academic

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall, 111 Classroom - West
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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This panel will introduce the Federalist Society’s Faculty Division and provide advice on developing scholarship and landing a job as a law professor.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Josh McDaniel, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School 
  • Prof. Amanda L. Tyler, Shannon C. Turner Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Prof. Christopher J. Walker, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Prof. Stephen E. Sachs, Antonin Scalia Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Lee Liberman Otis, Senior Vice President and Director, Faculty Division, The Federalist Society

Speakers

2:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Panel III: The Judicial Power and Evaluating Judicial Supremacy

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall/Ames Courtroom
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

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Description

New presidential administrations start with a flurry of administrative actions. These fresh rules, guidelines, and procedures in turn face judicial scrutiny from the moment they are finalized. Oversight from the judiciary can keep agencies accountable and within the bounds of the law. But when judges get the final say on everything the executive does, policies can take years—even decades—to implement and can fluctuate wildly with the ebbs and flows of litigation. Has something gone awry with the way judges are “saying what the law is”?

Featuring:

  • Prof. John C. Harrison, James Madison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Prof. Amanda L. Tyler, Shannon C. Turner Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Prof. Jeannie Suk Gersen, John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Gary S. Lawson, Associate Dean for Intellectual Life and Philip S. Beck Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law        
  • Moderator: Hon. Benjamin Beaton, Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

Speakers

4:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Panel IV: Constitutions, Elections, and Procedure – (How) Can We Change How We Separate Powers?

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall/Ames Courtroom
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Video

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Description

Suppose we don’t like how our governmental powers are separated. Perhaps we think the executive branch has too much power. Or perhaps we think that it is doing more than the original meaning of “the executive power” would suggest, but we think that is a good thing. What are the legitimate methods of constitutional change in our republic? Must we amend the Constitution? How should an originalist approach these questions?

Featuring:

  • Prof. Sherif Girgis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Stephen E.  Sachs, Antonin Scalia Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Britt C. Grant, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 

Speakers

6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Cocktail Hour Reception and Banquet, Arthur N. Rupe Debate and Presentation of the Annual Joseph Story Award and Feddie Awards

2024 National Student Symposium

Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East A/B/C
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Description

Join us for a closing banquet and the Arthur N. Rupe Debate, entitled "Resolved: The Separation of Powers is a Dangerous, Extraconstitutional Maxim." 

Special code on nametag required for admission.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director, Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Michael W. McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Steven J. Menashi, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

     

Speakers

6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
“A Separation of Parties”: The Waitlist Reception

2024 National Student Symposium

Austin Hall -100 Classroom - North
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Didn’t make it off of the banquet waitlist? Looking for something to do? Join FedSoc Studios for a free reception featuring pizza, sandwiches, popcorn, and other snacks while they showcase some of their best work.

At 7:45 p.m., plan on viewing the Story Award ceremony, the McConnell/Feldman Rupe Debate, and cheer your chapter on to victory from afar for the Feddie Awards!

No RSVP necessary, but symposium nametag is required for admission.

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