2005 Annual Student Symposium

Law and Freedom

In the last few years, events have profoundly affected the direction of human society. Both in the United States and abroad, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 has precipitated a dramatic reevaluation of our core beliefs about liberty, security, and order in a society that seeks to be simultaneously both free and safe. As a result, widespread debate has occurred about the proper balance between security and civil liberties.

As is to be expected, these issues are quickly making their way through the legislatures and courts of law. Likewise, the resulting invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have raised complicated issues related to the relationship between law and freedom abroad. In particular, because information and intelligence-gathering are integral to fighting the War on Terror, new issues have arisen regarding the role of international treaties and federal law, as well as the proper scope of Presidential and Congressional power, in the interrogation of detainees. Moreover, the preemptive invasion of Iraq has raised fundamental questions regarding the strategic use of preemptive action and its proper role as a tool of statecraft.

Following the tradition of previous symposia, the twenty-fourth annual Federalist Society Student Symposium will explore these important and pertinent issues in law and public policy through the topic “Law and Freedom.” From the “cutting-edge” legal issues surrounding the War on Terror to the perennial disagreements between libertarians and conservatives, this symposium promises to deliver insight into these fundamental questions. 

–Symposium Committee, Harvard Law School Federalist Society


Friday, February 25 

7:00 p.m.
Opening Remarks

  • President Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University

7:15 p.m.
Panel: What is Freedom?: Competing Philosophical and Jurisprudential Perspectives on Liberty

  • Prof. Charles Fried, Harvard Law School
  • Mr. Kevin J. Hasson, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • Prof. Michael S. Moore, University of Illinois Law School
  • Prof. Michael J. Sandel, Harvard University
  • Moderator: Prof. Gary S. Lawson, Boston University School of Law

Saturday, February 26

9:00 a.m.
Panel: Freedom and Identity: A Limitation or a Starting Point?

  • Ms. Jennifer C. Braceras, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Prof. Douglas W. Kmiec, Pepperdine Law School
  • Prof. James Lindgren, Northwestern Law School
  • Prof. Richard D. Parker, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Amy L. Wax, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Moderator: Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of
    Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

11:00 a.m.
Debate: Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Divide

  • Prof. Hadley Arkes, Amherst College
  • Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Moderator: Prof. John C. Manning, Harvard Law School

1:30 p.m.
Panel: The War on Terror, Civil Liberties & the Court

  • Prof. Jack L. Goldsmith, Harvard Law School
  • Dr. Robert A. Levy, Cato Institute
  • Dr. Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum
  • Prof. Nadine Strossen, New York Law School; ACLU
  • Moderator: Judge Richard C. Wesley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

3:30 p.m.
Debate: Freedom and Intelligence: The Role of International Treaties and Federal Law in Interrogation of Detainees

  • Prof. Philip Heymann, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Michael S. Paulsen, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Moderator: Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

5:00 p.m.
Debate: Freedom and Preemption: Strategic Considerations Concerning Preemptive Action in Iraq and Beyond

  • Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
  • Mr. David B. Rivkin, Jr., Baker & Hostetler, LLP
  • Moderator: Professor Steven G. Calabresi, Northwestern University School of Law and Chairman, The Federalist Society

7:30 p.m.

  • Judge David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Introduction: Dean Elena Kagan, Harvard Law School