I have been on a self-imposed blog hiatus the past month or so due to the massive amount of work I have had to accomplish. One of the main things I was working on was a Symposium held last Friday, sponsored by the North Carolina Law Review. This year’s Symposium was the brainchild of the hardest working man at the University of North Carolina Law School, Eric Muller. Professor Muller was faculty co-chair of the conference, titled “Law, Loyalty, and Treason: How Can the Law Regulate Loyalty without Imperiling it?”, and put in countless hours of work helping us make the Symposium possible, as well as recruiting our keynote speaker. Another editor and myself were responsible for organizing the conference, and between it, class, and family and friends my waking hours were spoken for during the last month. I also learned sleep is not a habit, as a fraternity brother of mine contends, but my normal seven hours of sleep was a nonessential luxury for the last week or so before the Symposium.
Regardless, it was worth every minute of work I put into it. I ate lunch at a table with our keynote speaker, Judge Michael Chertoff of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Chertoff was Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he directed the national prosecution effort against terrorism after September 11th. At lunch he talked about what it was like operating in the weeks after the attacks, trying to prevent the next big strike on American soil that everyone thought was coming (no one would have bet then that there would be no large scale terrorist attacks on American soil for more than two years after September 11th). After lunch, Judge Chertoff spoke for about 30 minutes, then answered questions for roughly another 20 minutes. He answered questions from several people in the audience (he passed over Professor David Cole, one of the administration’s chief critics on the War Against Terror), and even had time to discuss the difference between war and armed conflict with me on his way out.
All in all, the Symposium went better than I could have hoped. We had four panels, and Professor Muller was able to blog much of what was said during two of them (click here and scroll up). He was a participant in one and a moderator of another panel, preventing him from blogging what their panelists said. Hopefully, he will be able to post a summary of Judge Chertoff’s address soon.