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· 2 hours

Pack the Court?

Tue, Jan 26, 2021 · 6:30 PM · Central Time (US & Canada)
About This Webinar

Can You Really Reform the Supreme Court by Restructuring It?

More than eighty years ago, it was a scandal—a symbol of presidential overreach.

But now the idea is making a comeback.

The idea? To dramatically increase the number of Supreme Court justices.

FDR’s “court-packing” plan failed in 1937. But today, many politicians, pundits, and professors are urging President-elect Joe Biden to pack the Court.

How would court packing work? Is it constitutional? What would it achieve? And is it aimed at genuine judicial reform  . . . or partisan gain?

In this debate, two of the country’s top legal minds will address these and other questions for you.

Arguing against packing the court will be Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute.

Arguing in favor of packing the court will be Daniel Epps, the Washington University law professor behind Pete Buttigieg’s court-packing plan.

The resolution they will debate: The best way to reform the Supreme Court is to restructure it.

This debate is a part of the Diana Davis Spencer Debate Series and is presented by the Austin Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Spots are limited. Reserve yours now to watch this live debate!

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Director, Cato Institute’s Robert E. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies
Ilya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/​adviser to the Multi‐​National Force in Iraq on rule‐​of‐​law issues. He also clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced law at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. In 2015, National Law Journal named him to its 40 Under 40 list of “rising stars.”

A much-sought-after legal commentator, Shapiro has testified before Congress and state legislatures, has filed more than 400 amicus curiae “friend of the court” briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, Newsweek, and many other publications. He is the author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court (2020), co​author of Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution (2014), and editor of eleven volumes of the Cato Supreme Court Review (2008–18).

Shapiro holds an AB from Princeton University (where he became an ISI Honors Scholar), an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.
Webinar hosting presenter
Associate Professor of Law, Washington University in St Louis
Daniel Epps, who teaches law at Washington University in St. Louis, is a nationally recognized expert on the Supreme Court and constitutional law. An experienced Supreme Court litigator, he most recently served as co-counsel for the defendant in Ocasio v. United States (2016), which addressed the scope of criminal conspiracy liability for public-sector extortion.

In 2019, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg brought new attention to court-packing plans when he put forward a proposal based on a Yale Law Journal article that Professor Epps coauthored. Epps has also written for the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the NYU Law Review, as well as for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vox, and The Atlantic.

Professor Epps has clerked for Supreme Court justice Anthony M. Kennedy and served as an appellate specialist at King & Spalding LLP in Washington, D.C. He received his AB summa cum laude from Duke University and his JD magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Webinar hosting presenter
Executive Director of the Austin Institute
Kevin E. Stuart is the executive director of the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied public law and political philosophy, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. He earned a Master of Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science after receiving undergraduate degrees in history and English literature from Louisiana State University. Dr. Stuart is the editor of the Catholicism and Society book series for the Society for Catholic Social Scientists (Franciscan University Press).
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