Janus Forum examines the Supreme Court and state of our democracy

Ana Navarro and Neal Katyal address "On the Docket: The Supreme Court and the Future of American Democracy" October 17

The upcoming midterm elections and the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court remind us that the courts live in a turbulent political environment and are an essential component of the American experiment in self-government.

On Wednesday, October 17, the Janus Forum will welcome two political and judicial experts to publicly discuss these latest occurrences in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court's important legacy: GOP strategist, political news contributor, and lawyer Ana Navarro and former Acting Solicitor General and Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal.

"On the Docket: The Supreme Court and the Future of American Democracy" takes place at 6:30 pm in Wilks Theater of Armstrong Student Center, with a public reception to follow in the Pavilion. Due to limited seating, free tickets are available at the Miami University Box Office in the Campus Avenue Building on Miami's Oxford campus.

The president of the Janus Forum is Annika Fowler, a junior majoring in political science and finance. The chair of the Janus Forum Steering Committee is Sara Rosomoff, a senior economics and political science double major.

"We are looking forward to having an intelligent and substantive discussion with two extremely knowledgeable and experienced scholars on SCOTUS and the judiciary," said Rosomoff.

photo of Ana NavarroA widely respected Republican strategist and CNN political analyst, Ana Navarro has frequently appeared on Meet the Press, Real Time with Bill Maher, Anderson Cooper 360, ABC's The View, and other programs. She has also served as the national Hispanic co-chair for Governor Jon Huntsman's 2012 campaign, the national co-chair of John McCain's 2008 Hispanic Advisory Council, and the national surrogate for the McCain 2008 campaign. She was a member of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's transition team in 1998 and served as his first director of immigration policy.

In 2001 Navarro served as ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where she worked to condemn human rights abuses in Cuba. She was born in Nicaragua and immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 with her family as a result of the Sandinista revolution. She graduated from the University of Miami in Florida.


photo of Neal KatyalNeal Katyal focuses on appellate and complex litigation and is former Acting Solicitor General of the United States. He was named Litigator of the Year in December 2017 by American Lawyer magazine, and, at the age of 48, has also argued more Supreme Court cases in U.S. history than has any minority attorney — recently breaking the record held by Thurgood Marshall.

Katyal has orally argued 37 cases before the Supreme Court, including seven cases in six separate arguments in the 2016-17 term alone. His 2017 win in Bristol Myers Squibb v. Superior Court is considered a landmark victory for personal jurisdiction law. As Acting Solicitor General of the United States, Katyal successfully argued for the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, defended former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and was awarded a unanimous victory against eight states who sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming.

In 2011 Katyal received the Edmund Randolph Award, the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice. A graduate of Yale Law School, he has served as a law professor for over two decades at Georgetown University Law Center.

This semester's Janus Forum will be moderated by 4-year Janus Forum member Emily Tatum. Tatum is an Honors senior double majoring in international studies and political science with minors in Spanish and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. She has interned at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense.

"I see judicial politics as a central issue for my generation, and I'm glad that our student body has the opportunity to dive into these topics by attending the Forum," said Tatum. "These speakers will foster a fascinating discussion regarding the future of the courts and current state of the judicial system."

"We are fortunate to bring two great speakers to campus to spend time with our students and community," said Janus adviser Patrick Haney, professor of political science and an associate dean in the College of Arts & Science. "The event will focus our attention on the crucial role of the courts in our democracy."

Other members of the Janus Executive Board include Vice President for External Affairs Bradley Dick, a senior public administration major, and Vice President for Internal Affairs Erica Edwards, a junior economics major.

The Janus Forum is sponsored by The Thomas W. Smith Institute for Political Economy and the Miami University Department of Political Science. It is made possible through the generous support of The Thomas W. Smith (Miami '50) Foundation.

For more information, visit The Janus Forum or contact Dr. Patrick Haney (haneypj@MiamiOH.edu).