2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference
“Federalism and Freedom”
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 
January 30, 2016

2016 Annual Western Chapters Conference
“Federalism and Freedom”
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 
January 30, 2016
Keynote Speaker:
Governor Pete Wilson
Former Governor of California (1991-1999)

Introduction - Audio/Video
10:00 am - 10:30 am

James Madison wrote that our system of federalism provides “a double security…to the rights of the people.” In other words, the 50 states serve as shields for individual rights that the federal government fails to protect. States can harness these tools to protect important rights. The intro will set the stage for the day’s theme, building on the Founders’ concept of federalism, tying it to Reagan’s ascendency and the framework of the Reagan Revolution, and touching on the concepts of states’ powers.

  • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma

Preserving Freedom: Federal vs. State Power - Audio/Video
10:30 am - 12:00 noon

Sometimes federalism is invoked because we believe the best way to preserve freedom is to devolve to the local level. With the federal government’s reach extending into more facets of daily life like education policy, labor & employment policies, and healthcare, calls for state and local governments to stand against Washington are increasing. Yet at times, local government can serve as an even greater restraint on individual rights. From regulations governing entrepreneurship and the sharing economy, the minimum wage, asset forfeiture, and policing, state and local government at times may intrude on individual freedom even more than the federal government.  State initiatives on “right to try” (now law in 24 states) and marijuana regulation also lead to federalism questions, putting conservatives and libertarians at odds. How do we strike the proper federalism balance? How should principles of federalism inform the federal government’s response to state initiatives? 

  • Adam Freedman, Author, A Less Perfect Union and The Naked Constitution 
  • Christina Sandefur, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Adam Winkler, UCLA School of Law.
  • Hon. Sandra Segal Ikuta, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th  Circuit (Moderator)

Lunch - Audio/Video
12:00 noon - 1:45 pm

  • Keynote Speaker: Gov. Pete Wilson, Former Governor of California ('91-'99)

Federalism, the Environment, Land Use, and Energy Independence - Audio/Video
2:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Some states have criticized Washington overreach on a number of energy and environmental issues, from fracking, the sale of public lands, utility regulation, and clean air and water regulation. Many state attorneys general have banded together to challenge alleged overreach in the environmental arena, including litigation against the EPA’s coal-fired power plant regulation plans. What are the proper federalism models for environmental regulation? What role should the courts and state attorneys general play? A panel of experts will discuss.

  • Anthony L. (Tony) François, Senior Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • Prof. Richard Frank, Director, California Environmental Law and Policy Center, UC Davis School of Law
  • Prof. Donald J. Kochan, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development; Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
  • Prof. Justin Pidot, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
  • Hon. Milan D. Smith, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th  Circuit (Moderator)

Federalism and Religious Liberty (Debate) - Event Audio/Video
3:30 - 4:30 pm

How should federalism affect “moral” issues like abortion, traditional marriage, and state RFRA laws? What about the intersection of equal protection and religious liberties? Should pro-life state attorneys general, for example, file lawsuits against abortion providers like Planned Parenthood? Is religious faith and morality inherently in tension with fidelity to the rule law?

  • Professor John Eastman, Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
  • Professor Marci Hamilton, Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
  • Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit (Moderator)

Views and opinions expressed by the Federalist Society are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.