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POSTPONED: Inaugural Midwestern Lawyers Chapters Conference

Midwestern Lawyers Chapters

April 25, 2020

This event event has been postponed until Spring 2021. We will update with more information when details become available. If you have already registered and would like a refund, please contact Nancy Clemence at nancy.clemence@fed-soc.org


Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience. 



9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Panel #1: Fourteenth Amendment 
9:30 AM -10:45 AM

The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in 1868, dramatically changed constitutional law. How are we to understand these changes? How would an originalist understand these changes? Did the Fourteenth Amendment change our Federalism and, if so, how much? Does the Fourteenth Amendment protect unenumerated rights?

  • Kurt Lash, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in Law, Richmond School of Law
  • Allyson Ho, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Panel #2: Religious Liberty 
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Leading the charge for abolition during the Civil War-era, among others, were abolitionists with deeply held religious beliefs. Today, virtually everyone supports religious liberty and virtually everyone opposes discrimination. But how do we handle the hard questions that arise when exercises of religious liberty seem to discriminate unjustly? Or when anti-discrimination law unjustly contrain religious liberty? How do we promote the common good while respecting conscience in a diverse society? For example, many religious liberty questions have arisen in response to the redefinition of marriage, such as when bakers, florists, and photographers who do not wish to prove same-sex wedding services and charge for discrimination. This conflict extends well beyond the LGBT arena, notably in the abortion debate. What counts as discrimination, when is it unjust, and when should it be unlawful? Should the law give religion and conscience special protection at all, and if so, why? Might the protection of religious liberty for all serve the ever so pressing need to calming fear and polarization in today’s society?

  • Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategic Engagement, Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Andrew M. Koppleman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law, Northwestern University
  • Thomas Berg, James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of St. Thomas
  • Hon. James Ho, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (Moderator)

Keynote Address/Lunch
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM

  • To Be Announced

Panel #3: Future of Habeas Corpus
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The writ of habeas corpus came to the United States by way of English common law and is explicitly recognized in the Constitution. Among the many important constitutional amendments and statutes passed by Reconstruction Congress was the Habeas Corpus Act of 1867 in which federal courts were authorized to monitor state criminal proceedings to ensure that defendants’ constitutional rights were respected. Today the Supreme Court has limited federal habeas corpus review to state prisoners’ constitutional claims in a string of per curium opinions reversing courts of appeals that grant the writ. Is this a positive development? Can state courts be trusted to guarantee constitutional rights? Do federal courts need to police state courts more? Can the states be trusted?  Is there a tension with structural constitutional principles and individual rights in habeas corpus doctrine?

  • Benjamin Flowers, Solicitor General, Ohio
  • Misha Tseytlin, Partner, Troutman Sanders
  • Lee Kovarsky, Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law
  • Hon. Steve Clark, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (Moderator)

Library Tour 
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Cost to Attend: 

  • $30 - Members
  • $50 - Non-Members
  • $10 - Students

CLE Credit for Missouri and Illinois is pending.

Please contact Kate Fugate at katherine.fugate@fed-soc.org with any questions.



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