Professors and U.S. Lawmakers Have Conversations About Law and Policy

● Professor Swaine Testifies to the Senate Judiciary on Holocaust-Era Claims

In June, 2012, Professor Edward T. Swaine was an expert at the Senate Judiciary hearing on “Holocaust-Era Claims in the 21st Century.”  Professor Swaine was asked by Senator Schumer and Senator Grassley to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the international law implications of a bill that would make liable European railroads that participated in Holocaust deportations during the 1940s—the problem being that suits against some of them, including the French national railroad, have been dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds based on existing U.S. law.  He described the constraints that international law placed on U.S. reform efforts, and suggested approaches that might provide for reparations without raising international objections or undermining the rule of law.

“I was honored and moved to testify alongside Holocaust survivors and others who have advocated on their behalf,” said Professor Swaine.  “The statements and questioning by Judiciary Committee members and other bill sponsors suggest that they are actively engaged with the issue and wrestling with the difficult legal and policy questions it poses.  I'm glad to have had the chance to participate in the process.”

Professor Pierce on Social Security Disability Decision Making

Also in June, Professor Richard J. Pierce, Jr. participated in the House Ways and Means Committee’s hearing on “Securing the Future of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.”  Professor Pierce, a preeminent expert in administrative law, has researched and written extensively on the topic of disability decision making by the Social Security Administration and discussed his concerns about problems and concerns with the Social Security Subcommittee. 

Professor Turley Talks Recess Appointments with House Judiciary

In February, 2012, constitutional law expert Professor Jonathan Turley headed to Capitol Hill to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary to give his expert opinion on “Executive Overreach: The President’s Unprecedented ‘Recess’ Appointments.”

To read more about Professor Turley's testimony and to read a related editorial, please visit his blog,

In just one month’s time at the end of the Fall, 2011 semester, GW Law had five professors testifying before six United States Senate or House of Representatives hearings on various important legal and policy issues:

Professor David Fontana was invited to give testimony in
December to the House Judiciary Committee’s
Subcommittee on the Constitution concerning “Judicial
Reliance on Foreign Law.”

● December 14, David Fontana testified to the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution about “Judicial Reliance on Foreign Law.”
● December 13, Stephen Saltzburg testified to the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security about the “Criminal Code Modernization and Simplification Act Of 2011.”
● December 7, Arthur Wilmarth testified to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection on “Enhanced Supervision: A new Regime for Regulating Large, Complex Financial Institutions.”
● November 30, Alan Morrison testified to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights about “A Balanced Budget Amendment: The Perils of Constitutionalizing the Budget Debate”
● November 16, Arthur Wilmarth testified to the House Committee On Financial Services’ Subcommittee On Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises joint hearing on “H.R. 1697, The Communities First Act.”
● November 15, Orin Kerr testified to the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security “Cyber Security: Protecting America's New Frontier.”