Dinner & Dissent: Why Conservative Justices Disagree

Phoenix Lawyers Chapter

In recent years, coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court has decried its "conservative clout" and labeled it the "most conservative in 90 years." What commentators frequently fail to acknowledge are the regular - and sometimes deep - disagreements among the highest court's "judicial conservatives." A fresh example is this term's Title 42 case, Arizona v. Mayorkas, in which Justice Gorsuch admonished the Court - both in his dissent and a subsequent statement - for engaging in policy-making rather than judging.

So, what is a judicial conservative? What distinguishes judicial conservatives from their colleagues? And, how do interpretive methods, such as originalism or textualism, and approaches to doctrines like stare decisis, judicial review, deference, and judicial restraint or engagement impact these questions?

We are honored to welcome Judge Michael Liburdi (D. AZ) to moderate this dinnertime discussion between two former U.S. Supreme Court clerks. James Burnham (Gorsuch 2020-21) and Michael Huston (Roberts 2013-14) will explore differences among the Court’s “conservative” justices, the impact of those differences on the Court and the law, and how the approaches of judicial conservatives on the nation’s most powerful court have changed.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, October 26, 2023

Time: Reception, 5:30 - 6:30 | Dinner & Discussion, 6:30 - 8:30


  • James Burnham, President, Vallecito Capital LLC
  • Michael Huston, Partner, Perkins Coie
  • Moderator Hon. Michael Liburdi, Judge, U.S. District Court - Arizona

Location: Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E Missouri Ave., Phoenix AZ 85016


Early bird pricing available now!

Reception and dinner included in ticket price. Select reception option during registration.

Complimentary valet parking provided.

Up to 1 hour CLE credit available. Select option during registration.

Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Kileen Lindgren [email protected] for information.


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