National Association of Attorneys General

National Association of Attorneys General National Association of Attorneys General

2016 Southern Region Meeting: Atlanta

The New Federalism: State Sovereignty in a Time of Overlapping Federal and State Power

Federal law regulates many areas of historic state control, but often gives states a major role in implementing the statutory schemes. Meanwhile, states regulate many activities that affect interstate commerce. Does federalism function well when federal and state power overlap in this way? What can federal and state lawmakers and regulators do to make our modern federalism operate effectively? How has the answer to these questions varied among subject matters?

Moderator:
Robert Schapiro, Dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
Panelists:
Robert B. Ahdieh, Vice Dean and K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law, Emory University School of Law
Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
William Buzbee, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Marc Miller, Dean and Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Federalism and the Future of Chevron

Rules issued by federal agencies have an enormous impact on states, be they environmental regulations or rules governing the workplace. When states challenge federal rules, courts often defer to the federal agency’s interpretation of the governing statute under the Chevron doctrine. That doctrine, however, is facing increasing criticism by individual Justices and others; and several recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court may have cut back on the doctrine’s scope. What does the future hold for the Chevron doctrine? And what impact will changes in the doctrine have on Our Federalism?

Moderator:
Mark Herring, NAAG Southern Region Vice Chair and Virginia Attorney General
Panelists:
Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation
Gillian Metzger, Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Federalism and Immigration

Both the federal government and the states have taken steps to address unlawful immigration. In some instances, the result has been cooperative federal-state endeavors. In other instances, it has led to litigation: More than half the states have sued the United States to challenge the President’s plan to defer action on the deportation of about four million aliens; and the United States has asserted that various state laws addressing undocumented immigrants are preempted. How does the Constitution divide federal-state power in this area? What is the most productive role the states can play?

Moderator:
Herbert H. Slatery III, Tennessee Attorney General
Panelsits:
Ming Hsu Chen, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School
John Eastman, PhD, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service and Former Dean, Chapman University Fowler School of Law
Roderick Hills, William T. Comfort, III Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

The Federal Arbitration Act, Preemption, and the Privatization of the Law

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to preempt many state consumerand employee-protection laws. Some have criticized these decisions as depriving the public of its day in court and effectively immunizing wrongdoers. Others support these decisions as “provid[ing] a less expensive, less time-consuming, and less adversarial alternative to litigation.” What has been the effect of the Court’s FAA preemption decisions? Should the Court stick to its guns or change course?

Moderator:
Karl Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General
Panelists:
Chistopher Landau, P.C., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge, Dean and Herman E. Talmadege Chair of Law, University of Georgia School of Law

When States Can Sue and Be Sued

As sovereigns, states hold a special place in our legal system. States are entitled to sovereign immunity from lawsuits — an immunity broadly construed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Conversely, when a state institutes a lawsuit, it is “entitled to special solicitude in [the Court’s] standing analysis.” Are those two principles beneficial to our legal system? What are the limits on when states (and their officers) may sue or be sued?

Part I: When States Can Be Sued
Moderator:
Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General
Panelists:
Michael Scodro, Partner, Jenner & Block
Fred Smith, Jr., Visiting Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law and Assistant Professor of Law, Berkley Law School

Part II: States' Standing to Sue the United States
Moderator:
Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General
Panelists:
Ernest A. Young, Alston & Bird Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Jonathan Nash, Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Do People Still Identify with their States, and What that Means to Our Federalism

Guest Speaker:
Ernest A. Young, Alston & Bird Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

The Voting Rights Act after Shelby County v. Holder

Few federal laws have affected state governance as much as the Voting Rights Act, enacted in 1965 to address a long history of racially discriminatory voting practices. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court effectively invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, finding that states should not be subject to federal oversight based on their practices 50 years ago. What has been the impact of Shelby County? Can litigation under Section 2 of the Act fill the void? Do statevoter ID laws comply with Section 2?

Moderator:
Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General
Panelists:
Andrew Brasher, Solicitor General, Alabama Attorney General's Office
Pamela Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford University School of Law
Hashim M. Mooppan, Partner, Jones Day

Keynote Speaker

The Honorable William H. Pryor, Jr., Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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AG Spotlight

Doug Peterson, Nebraska Attorney General

Doug Peterson is the attorney general of Nebraska.