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As of October 1, 2011 the Jennings Project blog has moved and joined forces with Constitution Daily, the Center’s daily digest of smart conversation on the Constitution. All new posts will be published there, so be sure to subscribe and follow Constitution Daily on Twitter. If you are interested in submitting a post to Constitution Daily, please email Stefan Frank at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Featured Guest Blogger: Lyle Denniston

Of “Standing” and “Injury” and Something Called “Ashwander Doctrine”

Peering Through the Looking-glass at the Constitutional Challenges to “Obama-care”

When Americans join in a hearty fight over a major public policy, they usually prove that Alexis de Toqueville was right. The shrewd French observer of life in America wrote in 1831: "Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question." With the sweeping new federal law on health care, that happened sooner: within moments after President Obama signed the measure into law, its constitutionality was challenged in federal courts in Michigan, Virginia and Florida.

Arguing Before the High Court

You're case has been granted certiorari and you are preparing for your first oral argument in front of the nine justices of the highest court in the land. How do you prepare? Do you aim to convince the whole bench or the two or three justices you feel are most likely on the fence? Are you ready for their questions? Is there anything you don't know about your case? As part of the 2010 Peter Jennings Project annual event, four seasoned litigators joined CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on stage for a lively discussion. The entire transcript can be accessed [here.] A few of the livelier moments are presented below.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vic Walczak has Agreed to Join the PJP Answer Board

Witold "Vic" Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU and a member of the 2010 PJP faculty, has agreed to join the PJP panel of experts and has agreed to advise our Fellows in the area of student rights. 2010 PJP Fellows will recall Vic leading his group in the "sexting" case, Miller v. Skumanick. PJP is grateful for our continued association with Vic. He will also serve as a guest blogger, starting in the late spring.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PJP Board Member to Serve as Independent Prosecutor in the Paterson Ethics Case

Former Chief Judge of the State of New York, Judith Kaye, has just been named by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to serve as a special prosecutor investigating the alleged ethics violations of New York Governor David Paterson. Judge Kaye, who has served on the PJP Advisory Board and as the chief judge of the moot court since PJP's inception in 2007, will be examining charges that Gov. Paterson interfered in a domestic violence case and that he lied to a state ethics panel about receiving free World Series tickets to Yankee Stadium last fall.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Celebrating the Fourth Annual PJP Event at the NCC

On Saturday, February 27, in what was the main event of this year's annual PJP meeting, U.S. Army General Jack Keane (Ret.), Brigadier General H. R. McMaster, and Yale Law School professor Bruce Ackerman squared off on a timely subject: just how can the Constitution tolerate what many believe will be a protracted, thirty years war against Islamic terrorism? The panel was mounted in partnership with the Center for Oral History at West Point. Terry Moran of ABC News was the moderator. Excerpts from a few dramatic moments in the dialogue appear below. (Transcript Provided by ADEPT WORD MANAGEMENT – The Transcription Experts, 800-982-3378)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Richard Lazarus joins the PJP Answer Board

Richard Lazarus, who was recently named the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and who is the founder and co-director of that school's Supreme Court Institute, has joined the PJP panel of experts and is ready to advise PJP Fellows on all aspects of Supreme Court advocacy. 2010 Jennings Fellows will recall Lazarus from his appearance at our Sunday morning panel, "Arguing Before the High Court." We are deeply grateful for Richard's ongoing association with PJP.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Featured Guest Blogger: Lyle Denniston

Court to Face Question of Anonymity in Public Advocacy

When Americans engaged in perhaps their most important-ever political debate – whether to ratify the new Constitution drafted in 1787 – most of the leading advocates on each side wrote and spoke behind a shroud of anonymity. There was “Publius,” the three anonymous Founders who together wrote the highly influential Federalist Papers. On the other side, the Anti-Federalists, making compelling arguments against the new document, penned their views under such names as “Cato,” “Brutus,” “the Federal Farmer,” and others. Today, we know who they were (or have good guesses about it – especially, about the identities of the Anti-Federalists).