THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REVIEW &
THE PROGRAM ON LAW AND GOVERNMENT
"Whose Reign of Terror at the Department of Interior?
A Debate About Cobell v. Norton."
September 21, 2004, 7:30 pm
Washington College of Law, American University
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
RICHARD J. PIERCE, Professor of Law at George Washington University.
JAMIN RASKIN, Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law; member of
the Plaintiffs’ legal team in Cobell v. Norton on constitutional issues.
KEITH HARPER, plaintiff class counsel in Cobell v. Norton.
ANDREW POPPER, Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law.
The Administrative Law Review and the Program on Law and Government at the Washington
College of Law cordially invite you to “Whose Reign of Terror at the Department of Interior? A
Debate about Cobell v. Norton,” a debate between Professor Richard J. Pierce and Jamin Raskin and
Keith Harper at the Washington College of Law on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at 7:30 pm.
In his article “Judge Lamberth’s Reign of Terror at the Department of the Interior,” Pierce
discusses several rulings by Judge Lamberth, where, for the first time in modern history, cabinet officers
have been held in contempt of court. The debate concerns Cobell v. Norton, a class action lawsuit by
hundreds of thousands of American Indians alleging mismanagement of trust funds created by the
government for land that was taken from them. The presiding judge in the case, Royce Lamberth, has
handed down a series of controversial judicial contempt citations against government officials for their
failure to comply with court orders. Pierce argues that Judge Lamberth’s actions are intolerable, and he
addresses potential ways in which the legal system can reduce the risk of a judge taking such
inappropriate actions in future cases.
Professor Raskin's response to Professor Pierce’s article will appear in the next issue of the
Administrative Law Review. He argues that Judge Lamberth has conducted himself with remarkable
restraint and judiciousness in the Cobell litigation given the obstructionism, deceit, and untrustworthiness
of the government defendants, who allegedly continue to mismanage billions of dollars of money held in
trust for the American Indians. Professor Raskin asserts that the judicial contempt citations were richly
deserved and that Professor Pierce's article is an attempt to distract attention from one of the most
shocking scandals and cover-ups in American history.
Please contact Terry Hoverter at the Administrative Law Review
with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org