ALI: Unbiased Analyzer or Agenda Driver?

Litigation Practice Group Event

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On June 5, 2019, the Federalist Society's Litigation Practice Group hosted a panel at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The topic of the panel was "ALI: Unbiased Analyzer or Agenda Driver?"

The American Law Institute is a well-respected, nearly century-old body of jurists and legal practitioners that produces documents called “Restatements,” which have traditionally distilled and clearly restated the opinions of a majority of state courts on difficult questions of common law. But recently, some in the legal community have raised concern that ALI is putting out problematic Restatements that are more aspirational in nature and that run counter to its mission; others claim that ALI is simply interpreting the law. Meanwhile, states are considering and passing laws that would prevent judges from referring to certain ALI Restatements when deciding cases.


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.


  • John Fund, National Affairs Columnist, National Review and Fox News Analyst
  • Victor E. Schwartz, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP
  • Seth P. Waxman, Partner, WilmerHale and former United States Solicitor General
  • Edward Whelan, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Moderator: Hon. Susan G. Braden (Ret.), Chief Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims