Supreme Court Institute Annual Press Briefing

September 4, 2012 —


Supreme Court Institute Annual Press Briefing:
Anticipating the Supreme Court's October Term 2012: What to Expect


Tuesday, September 18, 2012
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (Continental breakfast served at 8:30 a.m.)


Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor
120 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001


Irv Gornstein, Executive Director, Georgetown Law Supreme Court Institute


David Cole, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Pamela Harris, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Neal Katyal, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Louis Michael Seidman, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center


Topic: Equal Protection - Affirmative Action
CaseFisher v. University of Texas at Austin (consideration of race in university admissions)

Topic: International Law - Alien Tort Statute
Case: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (jurisdiction, corporate liability and extraterritoriality under the ATS)

Topic: National Security and Policy
Case: Clapper v. Amnesty International (standing of U.S. citizens to challenge government's monitoring of overseas calls under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)

Topic: Law Enforcement and Privacy
Cases: Florida v. Jardines (whether a narcotics dog sniff outside a home is a Fourth Amendment search); Florida v. Harris (whether an alert by a narcotics dog provides probable cause to search a vehicle)

Topic: Gay Marriage
Cases: Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Reps v. Gill, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Massachusetts, Office of Personnel Management v. Gill, Office of Personnel Management v. Golinski, Windsor v. United States (constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act); Hollingsworth v. Perry (constitutionality of California Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage)

Topic: Voting Rights
Cases: Nix v. Holder, Shelby County v. Holder (constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, requiring federal pre-clearance of voting regulations in certain states)


David Cole is an expert on constitutional law, criminal justice and national security. He is a volunteer attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He is the author of six books, including Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror; Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism; and most recently The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable. He has litigated many significant constitutional cases in the Supreme Court and has been involved in many of the nation's most important cases involving civil liberties and national security. He has received numerous awards for his civil rights and civil liberties work.

Neal Katyal returned to Georgetown Law last fall after serving as acting solicitor general of the United States, where he successfully defended the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, won a Supreme Court case defending former Attorney General John Ashcroft against alleged abuses in the war on terror and successfully argued in favor of the constitutionality of President Obama's health care bill in the lower courts. In 2006, Katyal was lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. In a 5-3 decision, the Court ruled that the military commissions violated military and international law. He also served as Vice President Al Gore's co-counsel in the election dispute of 2000 and represented a group of private law school deans in the landmark University of Michigan affirmative action case Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003.

Pamela Harris is a visiting professor at Georgetown Law and former executive director of the Supreme Court Institute. She served as principal deputy to the assistant attorney general for Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2010 to 2012. Until 2009, she was a partner and then of counsel at O'Melveny & Myers, where she was a member of the Supreme Court and appellate practice, specializing in public interest litigation. She was also a lecturer at Harvard Law School, as co-director of Harvard's Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Clinic. Before joining O'Melveny, Harris taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specialized in constitutional criminal procedure and the law of church and state. From 1993 to 1996, she worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Louis Michael Seidman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and as a staff attorney with the D.C. Public Defender Service before joining the Law Center faculty in 1976. He teaches a variety of courses in the fields of constitutional and criminal law, and is co-author of a constitutional law casebook and the author of several articles on criminal justice and constitutional law. His most recent books are On Constitutional Disobedience (forthcoming); Silence and FreedomEqual Protection of the Laws; and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review. In 2011, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Irv Gornstein is the executive director of the Supreme Court Institute and a visiting professor at Georgetown Law. Prior to joining the Law Center, he worked at O'Melveny & Myers in the firm's appellate practice, specializing in Supreme Court litigation. He was also a lecturer at the Harvard Law School Appellate Advocacy Clinic. Before that, he worked in the Department of Justice, first in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division and then at the Solicitor General's office. Gornstein has argued 36 cases in the Supreme Court and more than 30 cases in the courts of appeals. He was named Appellate Lawyer of the Week by the National Law Journal in 2010 and has been recognized as a leading appellate lawyer in Chambers USA.

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