The Fifth Annual Constitutional Institute at George Washington's Mount Vernon: Litigating the Constitutionality of Executive Actions — Including Lessons from President Trump's Southern Border Emergency Declaration

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Live on Site: Thursday, October 3 OR Friday, October 4 (same program both dates) /
Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Program: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 6.0Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol


Why Attend?

  • A one of a kind, truly immersive CLE experience at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon
  • Practical guidance and historical perspective for any attorney dealing with constitutional litigation involving Executive Orders and Executive Actions
  • A unique look into George Washington’s governing philosophy as it related to Executive Authority
  • An all-star faculty including practicing lawyers, law educators, and Federal Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas, the US judge who has likely heard more "wall cases" than any American jurist
  • A special reception hosted by the Virginia Law Foundation will follow each program and is included at no charge. Guests are welcome at the reception.

Cosponsored with George Washington's Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon Presented to a limited audience at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington on the grounds of Mount Vernon, this program will transport you to the very root of American constitutional jurisprudence with a unique opportunity to examine the governing philosophy of George Washington and the constitutionality of executive actions and orders, including lessons from President Trump's Emergency Declaration at the U.S. southern border.

Join our distinguished faculty drawn from across the nation in this one-of-a-kind pastoral, educational, and historical setting, as they address one of the most pressing constitutional issues facing our nation today.

A special reception hosted by the Virginia Law Foundation will follow (no charge), as well as optional Washington Library tours (no charge).

This Experience CLE is not eligible for discounts.



COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change)

8:30–9:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee
9:00–9:15 a.m.


9:15–10:00 a.m.

A Litigator's Basis for Understanding Disputes Involving Executive Authority: Checks and balances and the foundations of constitutional liberty

10:00–10:45 a.m.

Tracing Supreme Court Justice Jurisprudence in the Context of the President and the Prerogative Power

10:45–11:00 a.m. Break
11:00–11:45 a.m.

Federalist Concepts of Executive Authority

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Moderated Discussion featuring three speakers in conversation with the audience Executive Authority in its historical context and how it applies to modern law practice

12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch on Founders Terrace
1:30–3:00 p.m.

Federal Court Perspective: Fact based analysis from cases involving recent litigation concerning immigration matters on the Southern Border

3:00–3:15 p.m. Break
3:15–5:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion Chronicling Executive Orders and Executive Actions in the 21st Century

5:00–5:45 p.m.

Optional Cocktail Reception hosted by the Virginia Law Foundation (no charge) and Optional Washington Library Tours (no charge)



The Honorable Andrew S. Hanen is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Jeremy D. Bailey holds a dual appointment in Political Science and the Honors College at the University of Houston. His research interests include executive power, constitutionalism, and American political thought and development. His major publications include The Idea of Presidential Representation: An Intellectual and Political History (University Press of Kansas, 2019), James Madison and Constitutional Imperfection (Cambridge University Press, 2015), The Contested Removal Power, 1789-2010 (University Press of Kansas 2013, coauthored with David Alvis and Flagg Taylor), which was named a 2014 “Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice, "The New Unitary Executive and Democratic Theory," (American Political Science Review 2008) and Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power (Cambridge University Press 2007). With Susan McWilliams, he is editor of American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture, published quarterly by University of Chicago Press.

Lindsay M. Chervinksy is a White House Historian for the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. with honors in history and political science from George Washington University and her masters and Ph.D. in Early American History from the University of California, Davis. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University before joining the WHHA. Her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, will be published by Harvard University Press in early 2020. She has also published articles in the Law and History Review, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Oxford Foreign Relations, and written opinion pieces for Time and The Washington Post.

Michael S. Greve is a Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. Previously, he served as John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he specialized in constitutional law, courts, and business regulation and served as chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Prior to joining AEI, Greve was founder and co-director of the Center for Individual Rights, a public interest law firm specializing in constitutional litigation. Greve has served previously as an adjunct professor at a number of universities, including Cornell and Johns Hopkins Universities, and has been a visiting professor at Boston College since 2004. He was awarded a PhD and an MA in government by Cornell University. Greve also earned a Diploma from the University of Hamburg in Germany. A prolific writer, Greve is the author of nine books and a multitude of articles appearing in scholarly publications, as well as numerous editorials, short articles, and book reviews. He is a frequent speaker for professional and scholarly organizations and has made many appearances on radio and television. In addition Greve has provided congressional and state legislative testimony, has lobbied and consulted in federal agency proceedings, and has provided litigation services and management in over 30 cases, including matters before the U.S. Supreme Court.

M. Tia Johnson is a Visiting Professor of Law, and Director, National Security Law LL.M Program at Georgetown Law and a Visiting Fellow at Georgetown’s Center on National Security and the Law. She is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Immediately prior to her appointment at Georgetown, she served in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Before that, Ms. Johnson was the Senior Advisor to the Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Ms. Johnson retired from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where she specialized in international and national security law. In 2002, she became the first African-American female to be selected to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army’s JAG Corps’ 227-year history. In her final assignment, she served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Department of Defense General Counsel. Ms. Johnson is a Member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security. She is a contributing author to the ABA’s recently published, “Sourcebook of Public-Private Partnerships for Security and Resilience.” Ms. Johnson obtained her J.D. from Temple University, and two LL.Ms; one from the Judge Advocate Generals’ School, and the other from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also has a M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Benjamin A. Kleinerman is Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy at James Madison College, Michigan State University whose research focuses mostly on the relationship between executive power and the constitutional order. He is also a former Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on Constitutional Government and a former Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Professor Kleinerman has published articles on this subject in Perspectives on Politics (APSA), American Political Science ReviewTexas Law Review and several edited volumes including Nomos and The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. He has also been invited to give talks at Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, Kenyon College, and the University of Cincinnati. Professor Kleinerman’s first book, The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power published by the University Press of Kansas, has been reviewed in The New Republic and Political Science Quarterly. He is currently working on a second book that continues the investigation of executive power currently titled, Becoming Commander-in-Chief: A Constitutional Success Story. Professor Kleinerman teaches classes on both political thought and political institutions. He has also published on other subjects including literature and politics and American political history.

Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at George Mason University. During the Spring 2020 semester, he will be a Visiting Scholar at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, at Georgetown University Law Center. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. He is the author of Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, revised and expanded second edition, 2016), and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (University of Chicago Press, 2015, rev. paperback ed., 2016), coauthor of A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-editor of Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Somin’s work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and he has published articles in a variety of popular press outlet. He has been quoted or interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, The Economist, the Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, CBS, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, Reuters, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Al Jazeera and the Voice of America, among other media.



Locations, Dates and Fees

LIVE ON SITE REGISTRATION FEES (Lunch and printed materials included)
George Washington's Mount Vernon
$349 regular registration.

Guests are welcome to attend the reception.

If space is available, on-site registration will be available on the day of the program for an additional $20.

Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon /
(Venue Website / Google Map)
3600 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA
(703) 780-3600

Participants should park in the West Parking Lot and enter through the Library pedestrian gate.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar.

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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