Common Core, Commode Core, and the Growing Need for Decentralization in Education




Dr. James Shuls

Increasingly, the federal government is promoting controversial policies in America’s public schools. Common Core, de facto national learning standards, was promoted by the U.S. Department of Education through a $4.35 billion competitive grant program in 2009. More recently, the Civil Rights Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter which redefined the rules regarding sex discrimination of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Specifically, they state says schools must treat a transgender student the same as other students who identify with that gender.

While these issues appear very different on the surface, they highlight a growing problem facing America’s schools–federal encroachment.  Join us when Dr. James Shuls discusses the issues with each of these federal policies, the legal challenges, and the best path forward.   In short, he will argue that broader decentralization, which includes expanding educational options through school choice, is the best pathway for promoting liberty. 


Dr. James Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Director of Education Policy and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute. He is a recognized expert on Common Core, school choice and other education policy issues such as those recently litigated in the Vergarra v. California case.  His work has been featured in numerous national publications and media outlets.  Dr. Shuls earned his Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas, holds master’s degree from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University, both in elementary education. 

When: Thursday, June 23, 2016, 11:30 a.m. (registration), 12:00-1:00 p.m. (lunch)

Where: 1st Floor Conference Center, 2040 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614 (949) 760-0404

Cost: $30 for lunch and 1 hour of MCLE credit (Nonmembers, $35, Students/Judges $20). The Federalist Society is a California State Bar approved provider of MCLE.

RSVP and Pay: To RSVP and pay by credit card click the Buy Now button on this page. To pay by cash or check at the door, please send an RSVP no later than June 22, 2016 to Carol Matheis, at OCFederalist@cox.net and make checks payable to "The Federalist Society."

We welcome members, nonmembers, attorneys and non-attorneys to our events.

Climate Change: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

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Our Speaker:  Prof. Mario Loyola

Our President says, "The debate is over. Climate change is a fact." That statement is literally true -- but nothing about that statement is an argument for reducing carbon emissions, and for the EPA's bootstrapping of the Clean Air Act to put in place its Clean Power Plan, the implementation of which was stayed last month by the Supreme Court. The climate has always changed and will always change no matter what we do. The planet has been warming for centuries and is likely to continue warming no matter what we do. The crucial question for purposes of climate policy to regulate carbon emissions is -- how much of the current warming is attributable to carbon emissions? And among scientists, there continues to be a lot of debate about that. 

Prof. Loyola will put things in perspective for us when he joins us to review a brief history of the climate over the last 150,000 years, explore what scientists are actually saying, and how that differs from what many people think they're saying. He will examine the major proposed climate policies and statutes, and address the merits or lack thereof.

Prof. Loyola is an Adjunct Professor of Law at George Mason University of Law, in Fairfax, Virginia and senior fellow and Director of the Center for Competitive Federalism at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He is also a contributing editor at National Review. He began his career in corporate law and since 2003 has divided his time between government service and research and writing at prominent policy institutes. He served in the Pentagon as a special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy, and on Capitol Hill as counsel for foreign and defense affairs to the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, and a senior adviser for Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.  Prof. Loyola received a B.A. in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law.
When: Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 11:30 a.m. (registration), 12:00 pm (lunch)

Where:  Oliver's at the Equinox Sports Club Irvine, 1980 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614. Telephone (949) 975-8400. Parking in the structure. BRING YOUR TICKET FOR VALIDATION AT THE FRONT DESK.
Cost: $30 member/ $35 nonmember/ $20 students/judges for lunch and 1 hour of MCLE credit. (The Federalist Society is a California State Bar approved provider of MCLE).
RSVP and Pay: To RSVP and pay by credit card, click the Buy Now button. To pay by credit card, cash, or check at the door, please send an RSVP to Carol Matheis, at OCFederalist@cox.net by no later than COB March 29th, and make checks payable to "The Federalist Society."  
We welcome members, nonmembers, attorneys and non-attorneys to our events.

"Isn't It Time We Stopped Trusting Judges--What Would the Framers Advise?"




Some observers have been dismayed by apparent violations of the separation of powers by executive actions taken by President Obama. Affected parties have resorted to the courts, only to be let down by decisions seemingly crafted by an overarching intent by judges to define what the law should be, in terms of social policy or political intent, instead of what it is.  

Last week, the Supreme Court announced that they would review United States v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants.  The Justices further requested lawyers to submit briefs on whether the policy violated the Constitution's demand that the President “faithfully” execute the laws enacted by Congress.

Dr. David Forte, whose legal scholarship was cited by Chief Justice Roberts' dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), will be joining us to address these issues.  Dr. Forte is Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University.  He is an internationally recognized expert and writes and speaks nationally on topics such as constitutional law, religious liberty, Islamic law, the rights of families, and international affairs.  Dr. Forte served as book review editor for the American Journal of Jurisprudence and has edited a volume entitled, Natural Law and Contemporary Public Policy, published by Georgetown University Press.  His book, Islamic Law Studies: Classical and Contemporary Applications, has been published by Austin & Winfield.  He is Senior Editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (2006, 2014), a clause-by-clause analysis of the Constitution of the United States. 

Dr. Forte holds a B.A. from Harvard College, M.A. from Manchester University, England, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

When: Thursday, February 11, 2016, 11:30 a.m. (registration), 12:00 pm (lunch)

Where: First Floor Conference Center, 2040 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614 (949) 760-0404. Parking validated at event. Please validate with the lobby ambassador before or after the lunch. Tell the ambassador that you are attending the OC Federalist Lunch.

Cost: $30 members/$35 nonmembers/$20 students/judges for lunch and 1 hour of MCLE credit.  (The Federalist Society is a California State Bar approved provider of MCLE). 


RSVP and Pay: To RSVP and pay by credit card, click the Buy Now button. To pay by cash, check or credit card at the door, please send the RSVP to Carol Matheis, at OCFederalist@cox.net.  Checks are payable to "The Federalist Society."  Reserve by NLT February 10, 2016. 

We welcome members, nonmembers, attorneys and non-attorneys to our events.