The National Constitution Center presents this moot court on healthcare reform in America. Can the Obama Administration's health care reform law – the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – withstand constitutional scrutiny? Just one week before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, the National Constitution Center puts the law to the test during its annual Peter Jennings Project moot court program. Neal Katyal former Acting Solicitor General in the Obama Administration, will represent the federal government; Charles Rothfeld, a D.C. attorney and director of the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic, will oppose him. Former appellate court judge Timothy K. Lewis presides, alongside a stellar panel of federal judges, distinguished law professors, and other well-known legal thinkers. This program is made possible with support from the Foundation to Promote Open Society."
Dennis Michael Fisher is a United States federal judge of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was nominated on May 1, 2003 by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate unanimously on December 9, 2003.
Thomas C. Goldstein
Thomas C. Goldstein is an American attorney famous as an advocate before and blogger about the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a founding partner of Goldstein and Howe (now Goldstein & Russell), a Washington, D.C. firm specializing in Supreme Court litigation, and was, until the end of 2010, a partner at Akin Gump, where he was co-head of the litigation and Supreme Court practices. He has since returned to his previous firm. In 2003, he co-founded SCOTUSblog, the most widely read blog covering the Supreme Court, and remains the publisher and occasional contributor, providing analyses and summaries of Supreme Court decisions and cert petitions. He is a lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools, teaching Supreme Court Litigation clinics.
Kent A. Jordan
Kent Amos Jordan is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was previously a federal district judge on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
Neal Katyal, the Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University, focuses on Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Intellectual Property. He has served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States, where he argued several major Supreme Court cases involving a variety of issues, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, his unanimous victory against 8 states who sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming, and a variety of other matters. As Acting Solicitor General, Katyal was responsible for representing the federal government of the United States in all appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals throughout the nation. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times, and orally argued 15 U.S. Supreme Court cases, as well as numerous others in lower courts. He was also the only head of the Solicitor General's office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the important question of whether certain aspects of the human genome were patentable.
While teaching at Georgetown, Katyal won Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in the United States Supreme Court, a case that challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. The Supreme Court sided with him by a 5-3 vote, finding that President Bush's tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law, and international law. As former Solicitor General and Duke law professor Walter Dellinger put it "Hamdan is simply the most important decision on presidential power and the rule of law ever. Ever." An expert in matters of constitutional law, Katyal has embraced his theoretical work as the platform for practical consequences in the federal courts.
Katyal previously served as National Security Adviser in the U.S. Justice Department and was commissioned by President Clinton to write a report on the need for more legal pro bono work. He also served as Vice President Al Gore's co-counsel in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000, and represented the Deans of most major private law schools in the landmark University of Michigan affirmative-action case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). Katyal clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as well as Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He attended Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. His articles have appeared in virtually every major law review and newspaper in America.
Katyal is the recipient of the very highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award, which the Attorney General presented to him in 2011. The Chief Justice of the United States appointed him in 2011 to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules. Additionally, he was named as One of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Last Decade Nationwide by National Law Journal (2010); One of the 90 Greatest Washington Lawyers Over the Last 30 Years by Legal Times (2008); Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA (2006); Runner-Up for Lawyer of the Year by National Law Journal (2006); One of the Top 50 Litigators Nationwide 45 Years Old or Younger by American Lawyer (2007); and one of the top 500 lawyers in the country by LawDragon Magazine for each of the last five years. He also won the National Law Journal's pro bono award in 2004.
Katyal has appeared on every major American nightly news program, as well as in other venues, such as the Colbert Report.
Timothy K. Lewis
Former federal appeals judge Timothy K. Lewis is co-chair of Schnader's Appellate Practice Group. He also serves as a mediator, arbitrator, settlement counselor, and trial and appellate practitioner.
Theodore Alexander McKee is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He had previously served on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
Judge McKee was born in Rochester, New York. He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1969 and earned his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law where he was an honor student graduating magna cum laude in 1975.
Judge McKee was in private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1977. From 1977 to 1980 he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. McKee began in the General Crimes Unit, moved to the Narcotics and Firearms Unit, and finally worked in the Political Corruption Unit. In his first year as an A.U.S.A., Judge McKee investigated allegations of police brutality before a special grand jury, as part of a nationwide probe into police brutality by the United States Civil Rights Commission.
In 1980 he became a Deputy City Solicitor in the Philadelphia City Solicitor's office, where he remained until 1983 when he became General Counsel for the Philadelphia Parking Authority. In 1984 he was elected as a Judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where he served until 1994.
President Clinton nominated Judge McKee to the Third Circuit on March 22, 1994, to a seat vacated by A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Judge McKee was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 8, 1994, and received his commission on June 9, 1994.
Charles Rothfeld, recognized by USA Today as "part of an emerging elite private-sector group of lawyers who dominate advocacy at the Supreme Court" and by Legal Times as a "top-tier appellate advocate," focuses his practice on Supreme Court and appellate litigation. His appellate experience has earned him listing in Chambers USA (2009, 2010) and Best Lawyers in America (2009, 2010), and recognition as one of "Washington's top lawyers" by Washingtonian Magazine (Dec. 2009). He has worked on more than 200 cases before the United States Supreme Court and on numerous other cases before federal and state appellate courts. Rothfeld has argued 25 cases before the US Supreme Court, most recently in February 2010.
Since joining Mayer Brown in 1991, Rothfeld has represented foreign governments, states, municipalities, members of Congress, Indian tribes, and groups of state and local officials before the Supreme Court. His clients also have included Fortune 500 companies and other businesses in a range of industries, for whom he has worked in cases involving various aspects of constitutional law â€” including the Commerce and Due Process clauses, the First Amendment, and the Twenty-first Amendment â€” as well as antitrust, securities regulation, federal preemption, taxation, and banking law. Among his Supreme Court cases in the last two years, Rothfeld successfully argued before the Court on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and the Philippine National Bank in an effort to reclaim assets stolen by former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. He also prevailed in Polar Tankers, Inc. v. City of Valdez, 129 S. Ct. 2277 (2009), the first case since the nineteenth century in which the Court invalidated a state tax under the Constitution's Tonnage Clause.
Rothfeld is a founder and co-director of the Yale Law School's Supreme Court Clinic, which is among the largest and most successful appellate advocacy programs in the nation. Over the past four years, students in the Clinic have worked on more than 40 cases in the Supreme Court.
In addition, Rothfeld is a member of the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute. He also has served as a faculty member in the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Supreme Court advocacy program and is a judge in NAAG's annual "Best Supreme Court Brief" competition. He is a regular participant in moot courts for NAAG, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgetown Supreme Court Institute. He has published widely on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and appellate advocacy, and he is one of the co-authors of Mayer Brown's recently published treatise on practice in the federal courts of appeals.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Rothfeld served as Special Counsel for the State and Local Legal Center (1988â€“1990) and as Assistant to the Solicitor General, US Department of Justice (1984â€“1988), where he had primary responsibility for handling the government's Supreme Court litigation in the areas of banking and securities regulation. From 1982 to 1984, he worked with another law firm in Washington, DC. Earlier, Rothfeld served as Law Clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun, US Supreme Court (1981â€“1982) and to Chief Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1980â€“1981).
Neil S. Siegel
Neil S. Siegel is Professor of Law and Political Science and co-director of the Program in Public Law at Duke University School of Law. Professor Siegel teaches in the areas of U.S. constitutional law, constitutional theory, and federal courts. His research interests include constitutional law, constitutional theory, law and politics, and the economic analysis of constitutional law.
Professor Siegel served as special counsel to Senator Joseph R. Biden during the confirmation hearings of John G. Roberts and Samuel A. Alito. During the October 2003 term, he clerked for Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice and as law clerk to Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Professor Siegel received his B.A. (Economics and Political Science), summa cum laude, in 1994 and his M.A. (Economics) in 1995 from Duke University. He graduated in 2001 with joint degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, receiving his J.D. (first in class) from Berkeley Law and a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. While at Berkeley Law, he served as the Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review.
Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter
Dolores Korman Sloviter is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Born to a Jewish-American family in 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she attended Philadelphia High School for Girls. She graduated from Temple University in 1953 with an A.B. and received her J.D. in 1956 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served on the law review. Sloviter was in private law practice until she became a professor of law at Temple in 1972. President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the Third Circuit in 1979. Sloviter served as Chief Judge from 1991 to 1998, the only woman to have served as Chief Judge of the Third Circuit. Although Sloviter has been eligible to take "senior status" for some time, she has opted not to do so, preferring instead to remain on "active" status, with a full caseload and full voting rights.
In 1996 Sloviter was a member of a three-judge panel of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which heard a challenge to the Communications Decency Act, Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on grounds that it abridged the free speech provisions of the First Amendment. On June 12, 1996, their decision blocked enforcement of the act, ruling that it was unconstitutional, in addition to being unworkable and impractical from a technical standpoint. The "Findings of Fact" document — written for the case by Judges Sloviter, Ronald L. Buckwalter, and Stewart R. Dalzell — was posted on the Internet and cited as a lucid introduction to the Internet and related software. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld their ruling on June 18, 1997.
Patricia McGowan Wald is an American judge. Wald served as the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Wald graduated from Connecticut College in 1948 and earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1951. Following her graduation, she clerked for judge Jerry Frank for a year; during that year, Frank ruled on the appeal of the espionage conviction of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. She briefly entered private practice, only to leave for a number of years to help raise her five children.
Wald returned to the legal profession full-time in 1968, working in the field of public interest law for a decade. A Democrat, she served as Assistant Attorney General for legislative affairs during much of the Carter administration before being appointed by Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 30, 1979. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 24, 1979, and received her commission on July 26, 1979. She remained on the court until 1999 and served as its chief judge from 1986 to 1991.
Retiring from the U.S. courts, Wald was the United States's representative to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She currently chairs the board of directors of the Open Society Justice Initiative and is a member of the board of directors for Mental Disability Rights International. Wald is a member of the global council of the California International Law Center at the University of California, Davis School of Law.
On 6 February 2004, Wald was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission, an independent panel tasked with investigating U.S. intelligence surrounding the United States' 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Wald agreed to serve on The Constitution Project's Guantanamo Task Force in December 2010.
Richard C. Wesley
Richard Carl Wesley is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Attorney Charles Rothfeld argues for the State of Florida in a moot court case judging the constitutionality of the possible Congressional health insurance mandate under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Reacting to Rothfeld's argument that "Congress has never done anything like this", Theodore McKee, chief judge of the United States Court of Apeals for the Third Circuit, asserts that there's never been anything like it "because it's been the third rail of politics for a century."