The Role of the Supreme Court in American Society

Symposium

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Role of the Supreme Court in American Society

Moderator

Ken Starr, President, Baylor University

Panelists

Jennifer Elrod, Judge, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Wallace Jefferson, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Thomas R. Phillips, former Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Stuart Taylor, Contributing Editor, Newsweek, and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution

Break-Out Sessions

Packing Heat and the Second Amendment

David M. Guinn, The Olson Professor of Local Government and Constitutional Law, Baylor Law School
David Guinn, Jr., Attorney and Lead Counsel in United States v. Emerson

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has long been an enigma in constitutional law. Until recently, only one U.S. Supreme Court decision dating back to 1939 has addressed, albeit remotely, the right of citizens to bear arms, and the nature of the amendment as a limit on federal power or, through incorporation theory, on state power. In two recent opinions, the Court has addressed these issues. The question may now be whether any articulated right of a citizen to bear arms (in constitutional theory and jurisprudence) has any practical bearing, given the pervasive regulation of firearms throughout our nation's history.

Immigration in America - Who's Really in Charge

Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Adjunct Professor, Baylor Law School

The current debate on immigration calls into question the true meaning of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. Among both the federal and state governments there is consensus that the current immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul. Nonetheless, the lack of any collaborative action has caused the States to take matters into their own hands. Now the battle has begun to determine who really - the States or the federal government - has control, and what it will take to cause true change in America's immigration policy.