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51 Imperfect Solutions: A Discussion of State Constitutionalism

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Sheppard Mullin, 4 Embarcadero Center 17th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

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Please join the San Francisco Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for a discussion of Judge Jeffrey Sutton's new book, 51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law. Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court will provide commentary, and the event will be moderated by Professor David Carrillo, Executive Director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law.
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When we think of "constitutional law," we mean the decisions of the United States Supreme Court and the decisions of our federal court system. But much of constitutional law is not made at the federal level. In his new book, Judge Sutton tells four stories in four different areas of constitutional law: equal protection, criminal procedure, privacy, and free speech/free exercise of religion. Traditional accounts of these important doctrines zero-in on the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, but these explanations are just one part of the story. Judge Sutton's new accounting--which emphasizes state constitutions and state judges--reveals a remarkably complex, nuanced, and ever-changing federalist system: a system that should make lawyers and litigants pause before reflexively assuming that the United States Supreme Court alone has all the answers to the most vexing constitutional questions.

Jeffrey S. Sutton has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 2003. Before that, he was the State Solicitor of Ohio and a partner at Jones Day in Columbus. He has argued twelve cases in the United States Supreme Court and numerous cases in the state supreme courts and federal courts of appeal. Judge Sutton served as a law clerk to Justices Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (Ret.) and Antonin Scalia, as well as Judge Thomas Meskill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Sutton received his B.A. from Williams College and his J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law.

Since 1993, Judge Sutton has been an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University College of Law, where he teaches seminars on State Constitutional Law, the United States Supreme Court, and Appellate Advocacy. He also teaches a class on State Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. Among other publications, he is the co-author of a casebook, State Constitutional Law: The Modern Experience, as well as The Law of Judicial Precedent.

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Justice Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Before joining the court in 2011, Justice Liu was Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he served as Associate Dean and taught constitutional law and education law and policy. The son of Taiwanese immigrants and the first in his family to become a lawyer, Justice Liu graduated from Yale Law School after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also worked as special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, as senior program officer for higher education at the Corporation for National Service (helping to launch AmeriCorps), and as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. He serves on the Council of the American Law Institute; the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; and the board of directors of the James Irvine Foundation. He has previously served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the governing boards of the American Constitution Society, National Women’s Law Center, and Public Welfare Foundation.

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David A. Carrillo joined the Berkeley Law faculty as the founding Executive Director of the California Constitution Center in 2012. The center is devoted to developing scholarship concerning the California Constitution and the California Supreme Court.

Dr. Carrillo received his doctorate from Berkeley Law, with a dissertation focused on several areas of California constitutional law. Dr. Carrillo teaches courses on the California Constitution and the California Supreme Court, publishes articles on those subjects in law journals and other scholarly publications, and edits a blog about the state high court (SCOCAblog.com).

Dr. Carrillo was in active practice for 16 years, as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, as a Deputy City Attorney in San Francisco, as a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County, and as a commercial litigation associate in private practice.


Event Details
Tickets are $5 for current members of the Federalist Society and students, $10 for non-members. Please RSVP by October 25 either through EventBrite or by remitting payment by PayPal to joerrose@gmail.com or by Venmo to @Joseph-Rose-13.

1.0 hours of MCLE credit will be available.


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Sheppard Mullin, 4 Embarcadero Center 17th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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