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Clinic Conferences

March 28, 2012
Interpreting Federal Statutes: The Dysfunctional Dialogue between the Courts and Congress

March 23, 2010
Follow-up Conference to "Important Questions of Federal Law"

September 18, 2009
Important Questions of Federal Law: Assessing the Supreme Court's Case Selection Process
 
March 28, 2012 
Room 122 

Interpreting Federal Statutes: The Dysfunctional Dialogue between the Courts and Congress 

1:30 – Introduction and Welcome


1:45-3:15 – Framing the Judicial Debate

What do courts mean by congressional intent? Are courts any closer to resolving ongoing debate about interpretive methodology? Would the legitimacy of judicial decisionmaking be threatened by admitting that courts exercise a degree of discretion in determining statutory meaning? Does textualism curb judicial discretion or simply disguise its exercise? 

Prof. James J. Brudney, Fordham Law School
Hon. Pierre N. Leval, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Prof. Thomas W. Merrill, Columbia Law School
Moderator: Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School

3:30-4:45 – Legislative Responses to Judicial Construction
How do legislators view judges’ role in statutory interpretation – faithful agents to the legislature or policymaking partners? How well do legislators think the courts do in fulfilling their responsibility? How often do legislators learn of and respond to judicial opinions? Should judges consider contemporary legislative preferences in deciding how to rule?

Prof. Kevin M. Barry, Quinnipiac University School of Law
Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Andrew McDonald, General Counsel to the Governor of Connecticut
Prof. Victoria F. Nourse, University of Wisconsin Law School
Moderator: Prof. Nicholas R. Parrillo, Yale Law School

5:00-6:15 – Resolving the Statutory Interpretation Stalemate
Are courts doing an accurate and efficient job of statutory interpretation? Is the relationship between courts and Congress in need of improvement? Is more cooperation between the courts and Congress valuable or possible?

Hon. Shirley S. Abrahamson, Chief Justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
Prof. Abbe R. Gluck, Columbia Law School
Hon. Diana G. Motz, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Prof. Kate Stith, Yale Law School
Moderator: Charles A. Rothfeld, Yale Law School

The conference is sponsored by the generous support of the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.

March 23, 2010

A half-day follow-up conference to "Important Questions of Federal Law" took place at Yale Law School March 23, 2010. Thanks to all who attended. No proceedings will be published for this conference, the agenda for which was:

Panel I. The Judges' Perspective: Is the Court Taking the "Right" Cases?
4:10-5:25, Room 129
Moderator: Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School
Panelists:
Hon. Jose Cabranes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Hon. Sandra Lynch, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Drew Days,  Yale Law School

Panel 2. The Practitioners' Perspective: What Makes an Issue "important" to the Court?
5:40-6:55, Room 127
Moderator: Charles Rothfeld, Mayer Brown LLP and Yale Law School
Panelists:
John Elwood, Vinson & Elkins LLP
Orin Kerr, George Washington University Law School
Craig Lerner, George Mason University Law School of Law
Patricia Millett, Akin Gump LLP
Judith Resnik, Yale Law School 
 
September 18, 2009

The Yale Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic and the Yale Law Journal Online hosted the half-day conference, "Important Questions of Federal Law": Assessing the Supreme Court's Case Selection Process, on September 18, 2009, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The conference was a great success. Thanks to all participants and attendees for their thoughtful presentations and questions.
| Conference Program |

The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.

We are glad to be able to provide recordings of each panel for download, along with several of the participants' papers or remarks. Just click on the link after the title of each panel below for audio, and the panelists' names for the papers.

Panel I. Laying the Empirical Groundwork: What Has Changed, and Why?
| Download mp3 |
Welcome: Charles Rothfeld, Mayer Brown LLP and Yale Law School
Student paper by Adam Chandler (Yale Law School 2011) and Jennifer Harris (Yale Law School 2009)

Panelists: Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSBlog; Roy Englert, Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP; Lee Epstein, Northwest University School of Law; Richard Lazarus, Georgetown University Law Center; David Stras, University of Minnesota Law School
Moderator: Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School

Panel II. Assessing the Result: Does Today's Selection Process Identify the Right Cases for Review?
| Download mp3 |
Panelists: Lisa Blatt; Joshua Civin, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Fred Schauer, University of Virginia Law School; Steve Shapiro, American Civil Liberties Union; Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Moderator: Thomas Merrill, Yale Law School

Panel III. Considering the Alternatives: Can the Case Selection Process Be Improved?
Panelists: Vicki Jackson, Georgetown University Law Center; Sandy Levinson, University of Texas Law School; Alan Morrison, George Washington University Law School; Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin LLP; Ted Shaw, Columbia Law School; Seth Waxman, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP
Moderator: Andrew J. Pincus, Mayer Brown LLP and Yale Law School