Alumni events

Lecture with US District Judge, Wendy Beetlestone

Tuesday 13 March, 6pm

Wendy Beetlestone

Join Liverpool alumna and US District Judge, Wendy Beetlestone (BA Hons Philosophy 1984) on 13 March as she delivers this year's Annual Law School and Alumni Association Lecture, entitled The United States Federal Judiciary: The Weakest Branch of Government? Or What?

Judge Beetlestone was nominated to the role of District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Barack Obama in 2014. Her jurisdiction covers everything from constitutional challenges and violations of federal statute to drug and gun crime, Mafioso and other organised crime activity, as well as complex fraud. Most recently, Judge Beetlestone was instrumental in issuing an injunction to block a controversial change to women’s reproductive healthcare rights by the Trump administration.

The United States Constitution contains a tripartite system of checks and balances in which the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary have specific roles. The Legislature is responsible for enacting the laws, the Executive is charged with enforcing the laws and the Judiciary is entrusted to interpret the laws. The founding fathers of the United States conceived of the Judiciary as the weakest of the three believing that because judges have “no influence over either sword or purse [they] may truly be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment.” The founders also anticipated little interaction between the President, in whom the Executive power is vested, and the Judiciary.

Through a contextual and historical analysis of Supreme Court precedent and an examination of how President Trump’s executive orders regarding immigration have fared when challenged in the courts, Judge Beetlestone will examine how the founders’ assumptions and expectations have stood the test of time and discuss the tension, at times, between the Executive branch and the Judiciary from the inception of the United States through the present day.

The lecture will take place in Lecture Theatre A in the Central Teaching Hub (Building 221 Grid Ref F6 on campus map), University of Liverpool campus at 6pm on Tuesday 13 March and will be followed by a drinks reception.

Please note online bookings have now closed.

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