Town Halls

The Long Arm of the Bureaucracy

How Far will the Fourth Branch Go?

US Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes - 3:00
Zubik v. Burwell (Little Sisters) 18:30

In this tele-town hall, Dr. John C. Eastman, Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and his guests tackle the bureaucracy’s effort to avoid judicial review of its decisions as well as the now-famous case of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Dr. Eastman is joined by Professor Anthony T. Caso to discuss U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes. As in so many other areas, in this case the executive seeks to expand its authority under the Clean Water Act to include bodies of water never contemplated by Congress. The Court has limited the question before it to a procedural one—whether the Corps of Engineers may avoid judicial review by claiming that its ruling does not constitute a “final agency action”.

Professor Caso authored the Center’s amicus brief in Hawkes. He is on faculty at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University, where he directs the Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic. For nearly 30 years, he held a variety of positions at the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he argued and won cases at every level of the state and federal court systems.

Ilya Shapiro then joins Dr. Eastman for a conversation on the seven cases consolidated under Zubik v. Burwell. The question before the Court asks whether the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring religious nonprofits to provide contraception and abortifacients in violation of their religious beliefs. Claremont represented Congressman Bart Stupak, one of the authors of the ACA amendment prohibiting federal funds “to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion.” Our brief focuses its attention on how far outside of its legislatively granted authority HHS had stretched to institute the contraceptive and abortifacient coverage under the ACA.

Mr. Shapiro is the senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. We were pleased to have Mr. Shapiro join the distinguished ranks of Claremont’s own Lincoln Fellows this past summer.

Dr. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. He served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas in 1996-97. Dr. Eastman currently serves as the chairman for the National Organization for Marriage.