Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Some Panels of Interest at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

The next edition of the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools will be held in San Diego on January 3-6, 2018. There are several programs of interest to our readers. I’ve taken the liberty of identifying a few of them below. The full program is available here.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the conference.

I. Federalism and Sanctuary Cities

Thursday, January 4, 10:30am–12:15pm
AALS Hot Topic Program
Marina Ballroom E, South Tower/Third Floor, Marriott

1. Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law Houston
2. Jennifer M. Chacon, University of California, Irvine School of Law
3. Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
4. John C. Eastman, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
5. Ilya Somin, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University (Moderator and Speaker)

The Trump administration’s efforts to target “sanctuary cities” have led to extensive ongoing legal challenges, which raise a variety of important constitutional and policy issues. They include the extent to which the executive branch can impose conditions on state and local government recipients of federal funds, what kinds of spending conditions count as “coercive” or insufficiently related to the purposes of the grant program they are attached to, and whether federal laws targeting sanctuary cities violate Tenth Amendment restrictions on “commandeering.” These cases also involve notable role reversals by both conservatives and progressives. The latter are relying heavily on federalism doctrines traditionally championed by the former. This panel will consider both the specific issues raised by the litigation over sanctuary cities, and the broader implications for constitutional federalism, separation of powers, and immigration law.

II. Global Trends in Election Law: Comparative Perspectives

Thursday, January 4, 1:30pm-4:30 pm
Comparative Law and Law and South Asian Studies Joint Program
Del Mar, South Tower, Third Floor, Marriott

Panel 1
1. Bruce E. Cain, Professor, Stanford University Department of Political Science
2. Mark S. Kende, Drake University Law School
3. Manoj Mate, Harvard Law School (Moderator)
4. Michael Pal, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Ottawa, Common Law Section

Panel 2
1. Richard Albert, University of Texas School of Law
2. Sahar Aziz, Rutgers Law School
3. James A. Gardner, University at Buffalo School of Law, The State University of New York
4. Kim Lane Scheppele, Professor, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University
5. Seval Yildirim, Whittier Law School (Moderator)

The program will consist of two panels that explore broader issues in election law and election reform across different regions and electoral systems globally. Speakers will explore issues ranging from electoral design and constitutional reform to voting rights and representation in countries including South Africa, Hungary, India, Egypt, Turkey, and Canada. Business meeting for Comparative Law at program conclusion. Business meeting for South Asian Studies at program conclusion.

III. Reconstruction, the Second Founding

Thursday, January 4, 1:30pm-4:30pm
Constitutional Law and Legal History Joint Program
Pacific Ballroom Salon 19, North Tower/Ground Level, Marriott

Panel 1
1. Henry L. Chambers, Jr., The University of Richmond School of Law
2. Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest University School of Law
3. James W. Fox, Jr., Stetson University College of Law
4. Mark A. Graber, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (Moderator)
5. Martha Jones, The Society of Black Alumni Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University
6. Kurt T. Lash, The University of Richmond School of Law
7. Lea VanderVelde, University of Iowa College of Law

Panel 2
1. William D. Araiza, Brooklyn Law School (Moderator)
2. Randy E. Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center
3. William M. Carter, Jr., University of Pittsburgh School of Law
4. Sam Erman, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
5. Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School

This Joint Program of the Sections on Constitutional Law and Legal History will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Reconstruction, the second founding of our nation. The Reconstruction Amendments transformed our Constitution from a document that condoned the institution of slavery to one that prohibits slavery, recognizes the fundamental rights of free persons, and protects individual rights against state infringement. Thus, the Reconstruction Era represents a “new birth of freedom” which laid the groundwork for the twentieth century civil rights movement, the incorporation of the Bill of Rights against state governments, and other advances in human rights in our country. The first panel of this program will explore the history of the Reconstruction Era, including the antebellum antislavery movement, debates in the Reconstruction Congress, the contemporary meaning of the rights protected by Reconstruction measures and the abolition of slavery, and the ideology of free labor. The Section held a virtual business meeting prior to the Annual Meeting.

IV. Islamic Jurisprudence, Civil Rights, and Social Justice

Friday, January 5, 2018, 8:30am-10:15am
Section on Islamic Law, Co-Sponsored by the Section on Comparative Law
Pacific Ballroom Salon 14, North Tower/Ground Level, Marriott

1. Samy Ayoub, The University of Texas School of Law
2. Sahar Aziz, Rutgers Law School
3. Russell Powell, Seattle University School of Law
4. Seval Yildirim, Whittier Law School (Moderator)
5. Adnan Zulfiqar, Rutgers Law School

This panel will explore various perspectives on the history of Islamic jurisprudence as it intersects with or contributes to civil rights and social justice. Muslim scholars, jurists, and NGOs who actively pursue these goals are seldom heard in mainstream and social media. This panel will consider bases in Islamic jurisprudential tradition that support civil rights and social justice aspirations as well contemporary and comparative examples of application. Papers from this program will be published in Seattle Journal for Social Justice. Business meeting at program conclusion.

V. Foreign Interference in Elections

Saturday, January 6, 10:30am–12:15pm
AALS Discussion Group
Point Loma, South Tower/Ground Level, Marriott

1. Richard Albert, University of Texas School of Law
2. Sahar Aziz, Rutgers Law School
3. Christopher J. Borgen, St. John’s University School of Law
4. Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
5. Franklin A. Gevurtz, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (Co-Moderator)
6. Chimène I. Keitner, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
7. Thomas H. Lee, Fordham University School of Law
8. Eugene D. Mazo, Rutgers Law School
9. Michael T. Morley, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
10. Albert E. Scherr, University of New Hampshire School of Law
11. Jarrod Wong, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (Co-Moderator)

Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are currently dominating the news. Yet, foreign interference in other nations’ electoral politics is not limited to recent years, and Russia is not the only country that attempts to influence elections. In fact, the United States itself has engaged in covert and overt attempts to influence other elections. This Discussion Group will explore the legal and policy issues raised by such interference. Among the questions we hope to address are: (1) Is there any accepted customary international law regarding what are unacceptable efforts to influence elections outside of one’s borders? What players are subject to such laws and what remedies can nations pursue if they are victims of interference that violates international law? (2) How do laws in different nations attempt to limit the influence of foreign nations and parties? (3) Do the principles underlying freedom of speech (the marketplace of ideas) extend to efforts by those outside of the nation to influence elections (even if specific domestic protections do not apply)? Do efforts by those outside the nation to influence elections, if successful, undermine the democratic legitimacy of the outcome?


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