WATCH: ‘The Future of the U.S. Supreme Court’ with CBS’ Jan Crawford and two former White House counsels to be hosted by Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy Nov. 29


Watch here 


The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 term generated landmark rulings that continue to reverberate across the nation. A major draft opinion was leaked to the public before the court’s ruling, and longstanding precedent wound up overturned. The future of the U.S. Supreme Court—its role in American democracy, its standing as a trusted institution and its ability to settle the nation’s most vexing challenges—is on the docket in the eyes of many Americans. 


The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy will host an in-person event on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 11 a.m. CT at Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center Ballroom to examine the potential impact of these recent Supreme Court decisions on the perceived politicization of federal courts. Panelists with experience as White House counsel in Republican and Democratic administrations are expected to discuss the intricacies of the federal judiciary’s nomination and confirmation process. Additionally, this expert group, including CBS News’ chief judicial correspondent, will highlight which decisions will generate headlines in the coming year and what effect, if any, the major decisions of 2022 had on the midterm elections.  


This in-person event will be livestreamed for those who prefer to attend virtually. Box lunches will be provided for in-person attendees who register for the event. Additionally, this program has been approved for Tennessee continuing legal education credit for in-person attendees.  


Panelists for the event are: 


Robert Bauer is professor of practice and distinguished scholar in residence at the New York University School of Law and co-director of NYU Law’s Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic. Bauer served as White House Counsel to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011. In 2013, Obama appointed him as co-chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. In 2021, President Joe Biden named Bauer as a co-chair of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.  


Jan Crawford, CBS News chief legal correspondent, is a recognized authority on the Supreme Court whose 2007 book, Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for the Control of the United States Supreme Court (Penguin Press), gained critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. She began covering the high court in 1994 for the Chicago Tribune and went on to become a law and political correspondent for all ABC News programs, a Supreme Court analyst for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and a legal analyst for CBS News' CBS Evening News and Face the Nation. For the past 15 years, she has reported on most of the major judicial appointments and confirmation hearings. 


Alberto Gonzales served as the 80th attorney general of the United States from February 2005 to September 2007. Additionally, he served as White House counsel for President George W. Bush from January 2001 through his appointment as attorney general. Before coming to coming to Washington, he served as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, as Texas secretary of state and as general counsel to then-Gov. George W. Bush. Gonzales became dean of the Belmont School of Law in 2014 and is the holder of the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. 


The discussion will be moderated by Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Free Enterprise at Vanderbilt Law School. A graduate of Harvard Law and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Fitzpatrick’s research at Vanderbilt focuses on class action litigation, federal courts, judicial selection and constitutional law.  


Registration is required to attend this event.