2006 Annual Student Symposium

International Law and the State of the Constitution

Columbia Law School is honored to be hosting the Federalist Society Student Symposium on its 25th anniversary. We join a tradition of symposia dedicated to exploring the most pressing and important issues in law and public policy. We have chosen the topic of international law, broadly defined, for this year's symposium, and we are certain it will provide a fantastic set of panels and debates.

International law has dominated the Supreme Court's docket in recent terms in two distinct, but related, forms. The first involves issues that are inherently international in nature—for example the power of the Executive, and protections offered by the Constitution in the war on terror—where the Court has always struggled with its role in the international realm. The second involves the increasing frequency with which the Court involves international law in its decisions in ways it historically has not. The use of foreign sources in the interpretation of the Constitution may be the most pressing concern voiced by conservative jurists, and continues to provoke controversy when it is employed to defend reversal of settled U.S. law.

This year's symposium will address the various applications of both of these concerns. We have invited the most accomplished professors and jurists from a variety of points on the ideological spectrum to deliver insight into these important questions. We hope you will join us in New York City on Friday and Saturday, February 24-25, 2006.

–Symposium Committee, Columbia Law School Federalist Society


Friday, February 24 

7:00 p.m.
Welcome and Introduction

  • Mr. Blaine Evanson, Columbia Federalist Society Symposium Chair 
  • Hon. Dennis G. Jacobs, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

7:05 p.m.
Panel: What Is an International Rule of Law?: Competing Perspectives on It's Meaning, Feasibility, and Desirability

  • Prof. Thomas Franck, New York University Law School
  • Prof. John McGinnis, Northwestern University Law School
  • Prof. Jeremy Rabkin, Cornell University
  • Prof. Jeremy Waldron, Columbia Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Dennis G. Jacobs, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Saturday, February 25

9:00 a.m.
Panel: How Does International Law Limit the War on Terror?

  • Prof. Akhil Amar, Yale Law School
  • Prof. Catherine Powell, Fordham Law School
  • Prof. Saikrishna B. Prakash, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Prof. John Yoo, Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley) School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit

11:00 a.m.
Panel: Enforceability of International Tribunals' Decisions in the U.S.

  • Dean Alex Aleinikoff, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Prof. Curtis Bradley, Duke University School of Law
  • Prof. Lori Damrosch, Columbia Law School
  • Prof. John Harrison, University of Virginia Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Diarmuid O'Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

1:45 p.m.

  • Amb. John R. Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

2:30 p.m.
Debate: Executive Power in Foreign Affairs

  • Prof. Martin Flaherty, Fordham Law School
  • Prof. Michael Ramsey, University of San Diego Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

3:45 p.m.
Panel: Foreign and International Law Sources in Domestic Constitutional Interpretation

  • Prof. Steven Calabresi, Northwestern University Law School
  • Hon. Frank Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • Prof. Vicki Jackson, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Prof. Thomas W. Merrill, Columbia Law School
  • Prof. Gerald Neuman, Columbia Law School
  • Hon. William H. Pryor, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

7:00 p.m.

  • Mr. John H. Fund, Wall Street Journal
  • Dean David M. Schizer, Columbia Law School