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Symposium Honors Rehnquist’s Legacy

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Delivers Keynote Address

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a moving and personal keynote address at the symposium on the legacy of her colleague, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, hosted by The George Washington Law Review.

Julie Woodford

The George Washington Law Review in October hosted a two-day, six-panel symposium honoring the legacy of Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a moving and personal keynote address to a standing-room-only crowd. Legal experts, scholars, judges, students, faculty members, and alumni also helped to celebrate Rehnquist’s life and career.

“This is a first-rate conference and it’s been organized mainly by students,” noted Dean Frederick M. Lawrence during his welcoming remarks.

When Ginsburg first accepted the Law School’s invitation to attend the event—extended by her former clerk, professor Amanda Tyler—Ginsburg looked forward to congratulating her colleague on his 33 years with the court in person.

“Though he fought a dreaded disease bravely, he was unable to complete the 20 years all his colleagues hoped he would have at the Court’s helm,” Ginsburg said. “Of all my bosses … he was the fairest and most efficient. Presiding over six prime dons and two prima donnas, he kept us all in line and on time.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stands between Dean Frederick M. Lawrence and GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. They are joined by The George Washington Law Review members Sonia Nath (back left), notes and projects editor; Jennifer Mascott, senior projects editor; and Phil Warrick (third from left), editor in chief; as well as professors Bradford Clark and Amanda Tyler (center).

Claire Duggan

Rehnquist’s intelligence, knowledge, and sense of humor were also discussed by a panel of speakers who have clerked for Rehnquist. The panel was moderated by former GW Law dean (and former Rehnquist clerk) Michael K. Young, who is now president of the University of Utah. Faculty members including Jonathan Turley, Paul Butler, Stephen Saltzburg, Bradford Clark, and Tyler assisted students in organizing the event and served as panelists.

Tyler invited David Shapiro, her former professor at Harvard Law, to speak. “I’m honored to be part of such a significant event with so many distinguished guests,” Shapiro said.

Panel topics included federalism, solicitors general, criminal justice, media, and national security. Papers written by panelists will be published in a special upcoming issue of The George Washington Law Review.

—Claire Duggan

Former Rehnquist clerks (from left) Gregory Garre, JD ’91; Paul Zidlicky, JD ’93; Courtney Gilligan, JD ’02; and Ann O’Connell, JD ’04, discuss the late chief justice’s personality and career.

The solicitors general panel featured (from left) former Deputy Solicitor General Maureen Mahoney, Latham & Watkins; former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Walter E. Dellinger III, Duke Law School; Solicitor General of the United States Paul Clement; and former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr. Former Solicitor General Drew S. Days III of Yale Law School also was a panelist.

Photos by Claire Duggan

Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times, Tony Mauro of Legal Times, and David Savage of The Los Angeles Times speak on the media panel moderated by professor Jonathan Turley (not shown).

Hon. Carlos Lucero, JD ’64, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit; Rachel of the Barkow of New York University; Stephanos Bibas of the University of Iowa; and GW Law professors Paul Butler and Stephen Saltzburg speak on the Criminal Justice Panel.

Seeking Global Housing Solutions

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Miloon Kothari led discussions and interviews during the U.N.’s Regional Consultation on Women and the Right to Housing in North America project, hosted by GW Law.

Claire Duggan

From Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, GW Law hosted the U.N.’s Regional Consultation on Women and the Right to Housing in North America project. U.N. Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Miloon Kothari led the project, documenting testimony and listening as more than 20 women—many of whom were recommended to the panel by grassroots organizations—discuss their experiences with housing in this region of the world.

The experiences of the participants included stories of violence, discrimination, harassment, disempowerment, and homelessness, among other hardships and traumas. Several women discussed how a lack of adequate housing led to the state taking away custody of their children. The goal of the consultation was to gather testimonials and ideas from women that will be included in the “Women, Housing and Land Report” that will be released by the U.N. in 2006.

GW Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and the Human Rights Law Society sponsored the event. Students from these groups transcribed the testimony and will go back to tapes and other interviews to compile all of the statements. They also will be involved in writing the final report.

“It was compelling to hear all the different testimony and to have real women here talking about what they’ve experienced,” says 3L Rebekah Matter.

The event ended with an Enrichment Series Lecture by Kothari, where he discussed the project’s progress and reviewed findings from East Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, among other regions. Kothari said the U.N. estimates that worldwide, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing with another 100 million completely homeless. He said one of the most striking figures is that 75 percent of all private land is owned by just 2.5 percent of landowners. “That is startling,” Kothari says. “What is the impact of this?”

Kothari concluded with thoughts on possible remedies; participants were encouraged by his efforts.

“It’s been a very encouraging experience,” said participant Eleanor Hill of Kentucky. “You finally feel like not only is someone listening, but they’re putting action behind it and looking for solutions.”


GW Law Team Wins Space Law Competition

Claire Duggan

Kristie Blase, 3L, and Olivia Hussey, JD ’05, won the world championship of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court held in October in Fukuoka, Japan. The team was coached by Henry Hertzfeld of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs and Steve Mirmina, a senior attorney with NASA’s Office of the General Counsel’s commercial and international law practice team. Hussey and Blase previously bested teams in the North American Round of the Competition and the European Round team from Cambridge to make it to the finals. Both worked as interns at NASA’s OGC in the summer of 2004.

Alumni Offer Insight on Veterans Benefits Law

Several alumni shared expertise with GW Law students when the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims heard oral arguments on Ramsey v. Nicholson in the Burns Moot Court Room Sept. 22. Judge Mary J. Schoelen, JD ’93, presided over the case with Chief Judge William P. Greene Jr. and Judge William A. Moorman. Two other veterans claims judges, Lawrence Hagel, LLM ’83, and Robert Davis, attended the proceedings.

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Judges William A. Moorman, William P. Greene Jr., and
Mary J. Schoelen, JD ’93, heard oral arguments in Ramsey v. Nicholson at GW Law in September.

Claire Duggan

The court holds similar events at other law schools to educate the public about its work and impact.

Michelle Bernstein, JD ’94, presented an overview of veterans benefits law before arguments began. The arguments lasted about an hour. The case involved tinnitus, a ringing sensation in the ear. Ronald L. Smith of Disabled American Veterans represented the petitioners, John R. Ramsey and Robert C. Johnson. The secretary of Veterans Affairs was represented by R. Randall Campbell. There is no set time for the court to return its verdict. The judges then participated in a question-and-answer session with students in the audience. Schoelen said she first became interested in veterans affairs law as a student at GW Law, where she worked on several related pro bono cases and emphasized the importance of such efforts.

“Your work is rewarded with actual practice and experience,” Schoelen said. “You interact with your clients and actually argue the cases. The work is incredibly important to them and the experience you get is invaluable.”

Todd M. Wesche, LLM ’04, senior law clerk to Judge Bruce E. Kasold of the court, discussed the specialized court in depth during a post-event luncheon.

Several local attorneys who represent veterans on a pro bono basis attended the event. Brian Robertson of the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provided students with information on what his group does and how students can become involved. He also talked about the unique procedure the court allows to advocates for its appellants—one does not have to be an attorney to argue in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.


Abdul el-Tayef


As its first sponsored event this academic year, the Muslim Law Students Association presented “Islamaphobia.” The featured speaker was University Professor of Islamic Studies Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who discussed past, present, and future images of Islam. Nasr delivered the same lecture to the United Nations.



Gregory G. Garre, JD ’91

In September, professorial lecturer Gregory G. Garre, JD ’91, was named principal deputy solicitor general of the United States. Previously, he served as an assistant in the office. He formerly was head of the appellate section at Hogan & Hartson’s Washington office. Garre clerked for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and served as a pallbearer at his funeral. At a symposium on Rehnquist’s legacy held at GW Law in October, Garre served as a panelist alongside fellow former clerks.

Claire Duggan

Immigration Clinic Honored

In October, Professor Alberto Benitez accepted on behalf of GW Law’s Immigration Clinic the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s Hugh A. Johnson Jr. Memorial Award. The clinic, established in 1979, was recognized for its commitment to public service and social justice. He was joined by Clinics Executive Assistant Milagros Tudela (center) and HBA-DC President-Elect Christina Guerola Sarchio, JD ’95.

Claire Duggan

Remembering John Cibinic Jr.

John Cibinic Jr., professor emeritus and one of the founders of the Law School’s internationally recognized Government Procurement Law Program, passed away Aug. 1. He taught at GW Law for 30 years and was the author of many of the leading texts in the government contracts field. He was honored by 250 family members, friends, former students, and colleagues Sept. 12 in GW’s Marvin Center. Among many who offered remarks were Dean Frederick M. Lawrence and Professor Emeritus Ralph Nash. Family members have established a fund in Cibinic’s name at the Law School. For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at (202) 994-6117.

Symposium Honors Edward R. Cummings

Alumnus Receives Fulbright Award for Distinguished Public Service

Following a daylong symposium in honor of the work of Ret. Lt. Col. Edward R. Cummings, JD ’75, Dean Frederick M. Lawrence presented Cummings with the J. William Fulbright Award for Distinguished Public Service Sept. 30. Cummings was recognized for his distinguished service to the Department of State—where he served as a legal adviser for nearly 30 years—and the Judge Advocate General’s War Crimes and Prisoners of War Branch. From 2000 to the present, he has served as the U.S. head of the delegation to negotiations relating to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

The symposium, “Lawyers and Wars,” brought together scholars and practitioners who are associated with Cummings and his career.

Ret. Lt. Col. Edward R. Cummings, JD ’75 (right) received the J. William Fulbright Award for Distinguished Public Service in September. Judge Thomas Buergenthal of the International Court of Justice (center) delivered the keynote address. They are joined by professor Dinah L. Shelton.

Claire Duggan

“Today we’re celebrating the accomplishments of a remarkable man and his commitment to the development of international law,” said Susan Karamanian, associate dean for international and comparative legal studies. “We’re so grateful to Ed’s enormous contribution to this field and to our school.”

The symposium explored various deeply rooted questions that have been central to Cummings’ career, such as the balance of humanitarian requirements and military necessity; the definition and redefinition of lawful combatancy; and the intersection of human rights law and international humanitarian law. Panel topics were: “Continuity and Change in the Law of War: 1975 to 2005,” “New Dilemmas and Confusions,” and “The Role of the Lawyer in Warfare.”

“The theme of this symposium is that all of the participants are truly aware of how important it is to work closely together,” Cummings said. “Defense, state, military, everyone has been working closely in this field for decades, and that’s not true in all areas of law.”

Judge Thomas Buergenthal of the International Court of Justice (and GW Law’s Professor Emeritus of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence) began the symposium with a keynote address on recent ICJ decisions and its decision-making processes. Buergenthal spoke about Cummings’ dedication to his work, calling him a “pillar in his field.” To illustrate that point he told a story of how Cummings took an important phone call from him—on an icy cliff as he was mountain climbing in Switzerland in August.

Sir Frank Berman of the Essex Court of Chambers delivered the luncheon address, “What Do We Expect of Lawyers and Law in Armed Conflict?” The former legal adviser to the United Kingdom began his speech with some thoughts on his colleague and friend: “[Cummings] sees the law as an honorable and above all principled profession,” Berman said. “It’s a welcome and refreshing world view, and one worth often reminding ourselves of.”

Closing the day was the 2005 Susan N. and Augustus diZerega Jr. Lecture, given by Theodor Meron, judge and president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Meron’s lecture was entitled, “Leaders, Courtiers, and Command Responsibility in Shakespeare,” and he spoke to the audience about the role of the adviser and responsibility of those in power using examples like the relationship between Caesar and Pompey and discussed such topics as the medieval code of chivalry.
On Cummings’ place in the history of international law, Meron said, “To me and to many others, he has been a mentor and a model of professional and ethical responsibility.”


Praise for GW Law Faculty

GW Law’s faculty ranked 16th out of the top 30 law schools in the category “faculty quality based on scholarly impact” in a 2005 survey published in the fall by Leiter’s Law School Rankings. Jerome Barron, Paul Butler, Charles Craver, Jack Friedenthal, William Kovacic, Ira C. Lupu, Lawrence Mitchell, Thomas Morgan, Sean Murphy, Richard Pierce Jr., Jeffrey Rosen, Stephen Saltzburg, Michael L. Selmi, Dinah Shelton, Louis Sohn, Lewis Solomon, and Jonathan Turley were specifically mentioned in the rankings.