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American Constitution Society

Special Events

Spring 2009

The Economic Crisis: Where We Are and Where we Are Going
Monday, April 13th at 12pm in Room 107

The global financial crisis has affected us all - even law students are currently having serious trouble getting jobs and internships.  This talk featured Sarah Bloom Raskin, Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, and Professor Michael Greenberger.  They discussed the root causes of the disaster, current efforts to mitigate the damage, and likely reform that will occur.  

Click here to watch the video 


The Death Penalty Repeal Debate in Maryland
Monday, March 9th at 12pm in Room 460

A discussion about whether to repeal Maryland's death penalty. Speakers were Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Amy Fusting, program director for MD Citizens Against State Executions. Prof. David Gray moderating.

Click here to watch the video

Fall 2008

The State of International Animal Law
Wednesday, November 19th at 12pm in Room 108

This event featured, Aaron Johnson, President of the American Constitution Society at UM Law, giving an update on animal law worldwide.  He was then followed by Adam Roberts, Vice President of Born Free USA, who discussed the global animal trade and the CITES treaty.

Click here to watch the video

The Election and the Courts: Presidential Politics and the Supreme Court
Wednesday, October 29th at 12:00pm in Room 107

This panel featured Bill Van Horne, Chief Judiciary Committee Counsel for Senator Ben Cardin and Elizabeth Hays, Republican Chief Nominations Counsel under Ranking Member Arlen Specter, to discuss developments in the judicial confirmation process over the course of recent history, and provide insight on how nominations and confirmation proceedings will likely change under either an Obama or McCain administration. 

Each panelist outlined what each of the candidates has said he would look for in a Supreme Court nominee, a particularly timely topic given that several Justices are expected to retire soon.  Ms. Hays discussed the judicial confirmation process, the impact filibustering has had on hearings in recent years, and how the outcome of this year's Senatorial races will affect this issue in the future.   

The speakers then took questions on issues such as videotaping Court proceedings, the likelihood of a new Court overturning Roe v. Wade during the next administration, the increased duration of judicial appointment proceedings in recent years, and the influence of international law on Supreme Court decisions.  Ms. Hays and Mr. Van Horne also discussed the significance of cases with controversial outcomes such as DC v. HellerLedbetter v. Goodyear Tire, and Kelo v. City of New London

Click here to watch the video

Spring 2008

The Meaning of the Second Amendment
Wednesday, March 26th at 12:10pm in Room 107

The Supreme Court has just heard its first case interpreting the Second Amendment in seventy years. The meaning of the Amendment generates heated controversy and division, not only among average citizens, but among legal scholars and judges. Circuits split on whether an "individual rights" interpretation or a "militia interpretation" is more appropriate. The talk will discuss not only the proper interpretation of the Amendment, but also the potential scope of the SCOTUS decision. This lively lunch discussion will feature Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor of Legal History at George Mason School of Law, and Kenneth Lasson, Professor of Law at University of Baltimore School of Law. The moderator was our own Professor Graber.

Click here to watch the video

Fall 2007

Medellin v Texas: International Law, Executive Authority and the Death Penalty
Thursday, Oct. 18th at 5pm in Room 460

The talk will feature renowned anti-death penalty advocate Stephen Bright and our own Professor Van Alstine, moderated by Professor Danchin. Jose Ernesto Medellin, a Mexican citizen who has been sentenced to death in Texas for murder. By the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, of which the US is a party, Medellin should have been informed that he may contact Mexican diplomats over his case. The US insists this practice be adhered to by other countries, though it often does not follow the rules itself. Medellin was convicted never having been told of his rights.

Mexico filed suit on behalf of Medellin with the International Court of Justice (World Court), which ruled in its favor. The Bush Administration has responded by trying to get state courts to adhere to international law. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rebuffed the President, saying he had no authority to tell them to apply a decision of the World Court. The case is currently on the US Supreme Court's docket.

This case thus raises issues of executive power, states rights, international law, and human rights with regard to the death penalty - a rare confluence.

Click here to listen to the event!


The Limits of Executive Privilege
Monday, Sept. 24 at 12:10pm in room 107

In the past several months, the Bush administration has declined to cooperate with Congressional inquiries into US attorney firings, the friendly-fire death of former NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, and the administration's warrantless wiretapping program.  Executive privilege is the most common reason given by the White House for this noncompliance.  Our discussion will focus on the limits of executive privilege and whether President Bush has gone beyond them.  Our panelists will be Professors Jana Singer and Mark Graber.

Click here to watch a video of the event!


Spring 2007

Global Warming : The Changing Climate in Washington DC.
Thursday, March 1st at 5:15pm in room 107

A lively discussion of international, national, and state/local happenings dealing with the global warming phenomenon. Moderated by Professor Robert Percival, the panel will include international energy law specialist Robert Means, former EPA consultant and NRDC congressional lobbyist Tim Greeff, and Amy Royden-Bloom of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

Click here to watch a video of the event!


Fall 2006

Update on Your Rights: The Effect of the Recently Passed Military Commissions Act.
Friday, October 13th in Room 107.

This panel examined the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act, which legitimizes the trial of detainees by military tribunals and prohibits their use of habeas corpus to challenge their detentions. Panel speakers included Professor Michael Greenberger, Professor Peter Danchin, and Professor Robert Percival. Co-sponsored with the ACLU.

Click here to watch video of the event!

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2018, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved