September 28, 2015

PLF’s annual Supreme Court Preview lunch event on Oct. 2 in Washington D.C.

By Todd F. Gaziano Chief of Legal Policy and Strategic Research, and Director, Center for the Separation of Powers

PLF’s DC Center is proud to organize our second annual Supreme Court Preview event thisponnuru Friday, October 2, at noon EDT, which we are co-hosting again with National Review and the National Review Institute. After a brief welcome and introduction by PLF, National Review’s senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru will moderate the discussion. Like last year, we have a “fair-and-balanced” panel of renowned Supreme Court advocates to discuss the important cases already on the Court’s docket, those the justices will accept this week from their Long Conference, and those they are likely to seriously consider and potentially hear later in the term, including several PLF cases we have asked the Court to hear.

Our distinguished panelists, Michael A. Carvin (Jones Day), Kannon K. Shanmugam (Williams & Connolly), and Paul M. Smith (Jenner & Block), have argued about 50 cases before the High Court between themselves, and they are arguing some of the most significant cases this term as well. The Court has already agreed to hear an explosive case challenging dues from non-union teachers, Friedrichs, et al. v. California Teachers Association, which Mike Carvin will argue on behalf of the teachers who don’t want to be forced to pay dues to a union of government employees. PLF has filed an amicus brief in support of the non-union members.

Paul Smith will argue a high-profile case on behalf of Arizona’s redistricting agency, Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which presents the issue of whether the districts drawn by the Commission were unconstitutionally uneven and partisan in their composition. The panelists will also discuss the return of the Fisher v. University of Texas racial preference case, Evenwell v. Abbott, a constitutional challenge to the inclusion of non-citizens in legislative districting, and Spokeo v. Robins, a case challenging whether Congress can create standing in federal court for mere violation of a federal statute without other concrete harm to the plaintiff. PLF filed amicus briefs on behalf of the challengers/petitioners in Fisher and Spokeo.

We also expect the panelists to discuss at least a few of the seven PLF cases currently pending or that will soon be pending before the Supreme Court for review. They include two pending petitions for certiorari that follow-up on PLF’s unanimous victory in Sackett v. EPA (2012) concerning when property owners may seek judicial review of questionable federal agency wetlands determinations. Those petitions are in Kent Recycling Services v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. As Reed Hopper has explained here the federal government and our clients now agree that one of those cases should be heard by the High Court this term, although we disagree about which case presents the best vehicle for the Court to decide the issue. The Court could even consolidate the cases, both of which PLF initiated on behalf of different property owners. The panelists may also discuss PLF’s leading Origination Clause challenge to ObamaCare, Sissel v. HHS, which evoked an interesting debate among seven DC Circuit judges and which PLF will ask the Court in late October to review.

Last year, C-SPAN broadcast the program live and re-broadcast it several times. We are hopeful C-SPAN will cover it again, and if so, we will update this post so you can view the entire program remotely. For those who live in the DC area or who travel here by Friday (and who wouldn’t like that?), here is the flyer with event information. We urge you to RSVP to KAP@pacificlegal.org today so we can hold a seat and a lunch for you.

The affirmative RSVPs by the leading Supreme Court reporters has been especially strong, so if you are a groupie of their coverage, our speakers, or Ramesh (or any combination of them), we encourage you to attend. If you can’t attend in person, we’ll also try to live-tweet the event @PacificLegal during the program on Oct. 2 and post other information afterwards.

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