The Miami branch of the Federalist Society, a national group promotingconservative and libertarian thought in the legal professions,sponsored a panel discussion on “The Federalization of State CriminalLaws” on April 29 at the Miami City Club. Panelists included 11th U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stanley Marcus, U.S. District CourtChief Judge Edward B. Davis, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Scott and FederalPublic Defender Kathleen M. Williams. The moderator was FederalistSociety president Frank A. Shepherd. This is an edited transcript oftheir opening remarks.

Frank Shepherd: A week before he begin presiding over the Senate in theimpeachment trial of the president, Chief Justice William Rehnquistblamed Congress for neglecting serious problems of the federal courts.He faulted Congress for contributing to a dramatic increase in federalcriminal cases and providing sub-standard pay for court-appointedcriminal lawyers.

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