Monday, October 23, 2006

Marriage Amendment Debate Webcast

The Federalist Society would like to thank everyone who came to the October 3rd event "The Wisconsin Marriage Amendment: The Debate Over Gays, Civil Unions, & Beyond." The debate was an overwhelming success, considering that we packed Room 307 (which is no easy feat). If you couldn't make it to the event or just want to relive it, you can download the webcast here. Thanks again to everyone who attended!

Upcoming Death Penalty Debate

The Federalist Society will be one of the sponsors of an interesting debate and discussion on the death penalty in Wisconsin. This November, there will be an advisory referendum on the ballot asking voters whether or not Wisconsin should have the death penalty. In light of the controversial nature and general interest in this issue, the Federalist Society and the Criminal Law Society are sponsoring a debate at the law school.

We have assembled an incredible panel, including Professors Geske, Blinka, O'Meara, and McAdams, Charles Rice of Notre Dame Law, Neil McGinn of the State Public Defenders Office, Larry Dupuis of the ACLU, and Jeff Greipp of the Milwaukee County DA's Office. Assistant Dean Rofes will be moderating.

The debate will be on November 1st at 6 PM in room 307 of the law school. We hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Justice Scalia Debates the ACLU on Civil Liberties

On October 15th, Justice Antonin Scalia debated ACLU president Nadine Strossen on civil liberties. The debate was carried on C-SPAN and has been uploaded to their website. You can view it here.

At the beginning of the debate, NBC correspondent and moderator Pete Williams talked about the cases where Justice Scalia sided with the ACLU. These included the Kyllo case, which discussed whether infrared scanning of houses constituted a search, the Hamdi case, and Texas v Johnson, which discussed the constitutionality of flag burning.

Justice Scalia said that the results in these and all of his opinions are not always where he wants to be personally. However, his interpretation of the Constitution has led him this way. He sees his job as preserving the original intent of the Constitution, regardless of his personal views.

Justice Scalia also reaffirmed his belief that controversial issues must be debated openly and then voted on by the public. There are exceptions, but those are contained in the Bill of Rights. Those are the issues that have been taken out of the debate. However, those issues that have not been taken out of debate, including abortion and homosexual rights, can be decided by the public. Justice Scalia maintains that he is not saying whether particular laws or regulations are good, just that the public can regulate it.

The debate is an excellent discussion of Constitutional law and Justice Scalia's views on it. He forcefully and capably defends his philosophy.