Join the Ohio Lawyers Chapters of the Federalist Society for our Second Annual Ohio Conference on April 6, 2018 at the The Westin Columbus.



10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Opening Remarks
11:00 AM - 11:10 AM

  • Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice

Introduction to Originalism and Federalism: Where Are the Courts Heading?
11:10 AM - 12:15 PM

Since the 1980s, the originalist approach to constitutional interpretation has gained greater and greater acceptance in legal circles, and the number of originalists within the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary has grown. At the same time, originalism still has fierce critics who argue that it is an inappropriate method for constitutional interpretation. Likewise, in the last decades of the 20th century the U.S. Supreme Court breathed new life into a federalist view of the Constitution and the relationship between the federal government and the states. As with originalism, the federalist movement has its own strong critics. The panelists will discuss these two legal concepts. What are originalism and federalism, really? Are they valid or flawed? What developments may we see from the federal courts with regard to these concepts in the future—particularly in light of Neil Gorsuch’s joining the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017? And how do these concepts apply to the work of ordinary legal practitioners?

  • Professor Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law; Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Eric Murphy, State Solicitor, Ohio
  • Peter M. Shane, Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • Hon. Gregory G. Katsas, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (Moderator)

Lunch Discussion: Janus v Afscme
Lunch Buffet: 12:15 PM - 12:30 PM
Discussion: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. The case turns on the question of whether “agency fee” arrangements—which require workers to pay union fees to public sector unions to cover the unions’ activities other than political action—violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court previously found such mandatory union fees to be constitutional in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977). However, in 2016, the Supreme Court split 4-4 on this question in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. William L. Messenger, who delivered the oral argument on behalf of Mark Janus, will explain the legal arguments in favor of his client’s position. Professor Hebert will explain the legal arguments in favor of the union’s position. Mr. Messenger and Professor Hebert will also discuss how public sector unions could be impacted if the Supreme Court finds agency fee arrangements to be unconstitutional.

  • William L. Messenger, Staff Attorney, National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation
  • L. Camille Hebert, Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University
  • Robert Alt, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Buckeye Institute (Moderator)

Criminal Justice Reform: A Necessary Correction or a Dangerous Experiment?
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Demand for criminal justice reform appears to be growing across the political spectrum. Bipartisan coalitions have formed to address overcriminalization, prison reform, bail bond reform, sentencing guidelines reform, and more. Panelists will explore these efforts. Are reforms truly needed, or does the criminal justice system already work well? If reforms are needed, what reforms are best—and are there reforms in other states that may be worth exploring in Ohio? What efforts have the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Supreme Court made to address criminal justice reform? Are there arguments that criminal law practitioners should be making in the courtroom in light of these legal developments?

  • Dave Yost, Ohio State Auditor
  • Daniel Dew, Legal Fellow, Buckeye Institute
  • Heather Childs, Vice President, Compliance, Capital One
  • Hon. Sharon Kennedy, Associate Justice, Ohio Supreme Court (Moderator)

Analyzing Ohio's Judicial System and the Ohio Supreme Court
3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

What methods of interpretation should Ohio courts use in constitutional matters and in cases involving disputes over statutory text? Does the Ohio Supreme Court have obligations or restrictions different from those facing federal courts? Are there systemic problems in the Ohio judicial system that the Ohio Supreme Court needs to address? Has the Ohio Supreme Court improperly ignored established precedent or constitutional or statutory requirements in ways that need to be corrected? Can judges really maintain independence if they are elected by voters and must run in partisan primaries? If so, how? What role do lawyers play in building citizen trust and support in the judiciary? Candidates for the two current vacancies on the Ohio Supreme Court will share their views on how the Ohio Supreme Court should address these and other questions. They will also explain how their views are informed and shaped by the Ohio Constitution, the Ohio canons of judicial ethics, and past studies of the administration of justice in Ohio’s courts.

  • Hon. Mary DeGenaro, Associate Justice, Ohio Supreme Court
  • Hon. Craig Baldwin, Fifth District Court of Appeals
  • Hon. Michael Donnelly, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
  • Hon. Melody Stewart, Eighth District Court of Appeals
  • Douglas R. Cole, Partner, Organ Cole LLP (Moderator)

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM



  • $10 - Active Student Members (Must be logged in)
  • $50 - Active Members, Judges, Government Employees (Must be logged in)
  • $75 - Non-Members

OH CLE Credit will be requested.

Prices will increase after April 4, 2018.