For those of you who are unfamiliar with the right-wing legal organization, the Federalist Society, let me give you a quick background by way of an Op-ed from The Nation. The following excerpt was written by Abner Mikva, a former Democratic Congressman from Illinois, federal court of appeals judge and White House counsel under President Clinton. Note that this was written in 2006:
...during the Reagan Administration, a conservative legal movement symbolized by (but not limited to) the Federalist Society rapidly rose to prominence. Its agenda was clear: Government—all government, but especially the courts—must be hobbled and the struggle for social justice initiated by Brown [v. Board of Education] halted. Now, with Alito joining fellow conservative John Roberts on the Court, some on the right seem to believe that their great project is nearing completion.
...I am pleased to report that a new force—full of energy and optimism and new ideas—has entered the fray on the side of those who are committed to our founding values of liberty, equality and justice. It is the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), which employs many of the undeniably successful techniques perfected by the Federalist Society, but in pursuit of liberal ends....
ACS understands, as the Federalist Society does, the power of organizing linked to the generation and dissemination of ideas. It is this dynamic—of people coming together to write, argue and put ideas to the test, thereby attracting more people interested in developing those ideas—that gives these organizations their effectiveness....
Now, finally, ACS is building the same sort of network for liberalsThis Wednesday, ACS chapters in Maryland are hosting a panel discussion on the Maryland Dream Act, a law that provides all Marylanders a chance for an affordable college education. See the announcement below:
WHEN: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Brown Goldstein Levy LLP, 120 E. Baltimore Street, #1700, Baltimore, MD
REGISTRATION: RSVP at http://www.acslaw.org/Maryland_DREAM
WHAT: On November 9, 2011, the Maryland Lawyer Chapter, the University of Maryland School of Law Student Chapter, and the University of Baltimore School of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society will host a panel discussion on the Maryland DREAM Act.
Signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley this past spring, the DREAM Act was to allow undocumented immigrants access to in-state tuition discounts at public colleges and universities, provided the recipients fulfilled certain requirements. Implementation was suspended when opponents of the Act gathered the requisite number of signatures to force a referendum on repealing the Act in 2012.
Those collected signatures are, themselves, the subject of current litigation as supporters of the Act claim the signatures are legally deficient. This panel discussion will seek to clarify the current legal status of both the DREAM Act and efforts to repeal it, along with an in-depth discussion of what the Act actually seeks to accomplish with regards to Maryland’s immigrant population.
Mr. Sandler is currently a Member at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb, P.C. In this capacity, he is presently leading a legal team representing CASA de Maryland and eight other plaintiffs in litigation challenging the validity of the signatures which required the 2012 DREAM Act referendum. From 1998 through 2008, while at his law firm, Mr. Sandler served as general counsel of the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”). This was preceded by a five-year period in which Mr. Sandler served as in-house general counsel for the DNC. Prior to this time at the DNC, Mr. Sandler, while in private practice, served as general counsel of the Democratic Governors Association and general co-counsel of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and with honors from Harvard Law School.
Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore), Member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Forty-First District
For nearly thirty years, Delegate Rosenberg has served the people of Maryland as a member of the House of Delegates. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and is a Member of the Spending Affordability Committee, the Joint Committee on Welfare Reform, and the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee. From 2004 – 2011, Delegate Rosenberg served as Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Since 1990, he has been an adjunct professor at both University of Baltimore and University of Maryland Schools of Law. A native of Baltimore, Delegate Rosenberg is a graduate of Amherst College and Columbia Law School.
Zorayda Moreira-Smith, Staff Attorney, CASA de Maryland
Ms. Moreira-Smith is a staff attorney in the Department of Health and Human Services at CASA de Maryland, an organization seeking to help low-income Latinos in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. A native of Nicaragua who was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Ms. Moreira-Smith was a 2008-2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Law Graduate Fellow. This fellowship placed her in the chambers of The Honorable Reggie B. Walton, United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia. Ms. Moreira-Smith is a graduate of the College of Charleston and Rutgers School of Law.The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. Our mission is to promote the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. For more information about the organization, which has established student chapters at more than 180 law schools around the country and lawyer chapters in more than 30 cities, please visit www.acslaw.org.
P.S. Don't forget about the Dream Act debate between former Senator P.J. Hogan and "That Guy with the Speak English Lawnsign" on Monday, November 14 in Poolesville, Maryland.