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Former acting U.S. solicitor general to speak at College of Law Oct. 11

Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general and the lead attorney representing Hawaii in State of Hawaii, et al v. Trump, the travel ban case before the U.S. Supreme Court, will deliver the 17th Annual Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail Memorial Lecture Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 1:30 p.m. in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

The free, public lecture titled “The President and the Courts in National Security Cases” is presented by the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Law, and the Law and Social Thought Program, with WGTE as a media sponsor.

State of Hawaii v. Trump is a challenge to President Trump’s March executive order banning travelers from six Muslim countries from entering the United States. The case has made national headlines since it was filed last spring. Katyal, who has argued 34 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, with 32 of them coming in the last eight years, will discuss the travel ban case and his experience as a leading advocate in the nation’s highest court. 

In the 2016-17 term alone, Katyal argued seven cases at the Supreme Court, more than any other advocate in the nation. At the age of 47, he has argued more Supreme Court cases in American history than any other minority attorney, with the exception of Thurgood Marshall, with whom Katyal is tied.

Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law and director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells.

While teaching at Georgetown, Katyal won Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in the Supreme Court, a case that challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. The Supreme Court sided with him by a 5-3 vote, finding that President Bush’s tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law and international law. As Walter Dellinger, former solicitor general and law professor at Duke University, put it, “Hamdan is simply the most important decision on presidential power and the rule of law ever. Ever.”

Katyal also served as Vice President Al Gore’s co-counsel in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000, and represented the deans of most major private law schools in the landmark University of Michigan affirmative action case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).

His accolades are many. He is the recipient of the Edmund Randolph Award, the highest honor the U.S. Justice Department can give to a civilian. This September Politico Magazine named Katyal to its annual “Politico 50” list of the key thinkers, doers and visionaries who are reshaping American politics and policy.

Katyal clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as well as Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He attended Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. His articles have appeared in virtually every major law review and newspaper in America.

The Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail Memorial Lecture was established and named after the late Dr. Ramzy Mikhail and his wife, the late Maryse Mikhail. Since 2001, it has been held annually at The University of Toledo and focuses on topics dealing with Arab culture, literature, history, politics, economics or other aspects of life in the countries of the Middle East, including issues of peace and justice.