8th Annual James Wilson Fellowship
Washington, D.C. Area
August 1-6, 2021
Professor Hadley Arkes, joined by other distinguished scholars, will offer a seminar over six days on Natural Law and its bearing on our jurisprudence. The course will focus on discussing the central points of a jurisprudence of Natural Law, such as the classic connection between the “logic of morals” and the “logic of law,” the properties of moral truths and the principles of judgment, and how we would see certain landmark cases differently if they were viewed through the lens of Natural Law. Our main objective is to restore a moral coherence to our jurisprudence.
Topics discussed in past seminars have included, “The Natural Law, the Positive Law, and the American Regime”; “The Natural Law and Ordinary Language: Recovering the Philosophic ground for the Restriction of Assaulting Speech Acts”; “Abortion, Privacy, and the Law: Who is the Bearer of Natural Rights?’”; and “Religion and the Law.” To read the biographies of our 2021 faculty, please visit here.
We are pleased to present the James Wilson Fellows Class of 2021:
Roberto Borgert previously clerked for Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and worked as an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, D.C. Roberto graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as a member of the University of Chicago Law Review and the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic. Prior to law school, he worked as a paralegal at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and spent a year volunteering at a monastery in northern Israel with the St. John’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps. Roberto graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs and Political Science.
Tiberius Davis is a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Julius N. Richardson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He will clerk for the Honorable Judge Benjamin Beaton of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for the 2021-2022 term. Previously, he served as a summer clerk in the U.S. Attorney Office for the District of New Mexico and as a summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis. Tiberius holds his B.A. in history and political science from the University of New Mexico. He graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as a programing director for the University of Chicago chapter of the Federalist Society, a staffer for the Legal Forum, and a research assistant to Professor Richard A. Epstein.
John Ehrett is counsel to U.S. Senator Josh Hawley on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with a particular focus on antitrust and technology policy. Previously, he was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and a law clerk to Judges James Ho and Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, respectively. During law school, he interned at SCOTUSblog and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and worked as a research fellow at the Connecticut Policy Institute. His work has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals in the fields of both law and religion, as well as in popular publications such as The American Conservative, the Claremont Review of Books, and Public Discourse. John holds a B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College, an M.A. in theology from the Institute of Lutheran Theology, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was features and book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal and debates chair of the Yale Federalist Society.
Jessica Freitas is a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence VanDyke of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She previously worked as a Senior Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Commerce, advising the General Counsel and the Secretary of Commerce on litigation, congressional investigations, space policy, and environmental permitting reform. Jessica graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, where she served as an assistant editor on the Pepperdine Law Review and received a certificate in business and finance from the Palmer Center for Law and Entrepreneurship. Jessica also graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University’s Seaver College with a B.A. in International Studies – Management, a B.A. in Political Science, and a Certificate in Conflict Management from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Josh Hammer is the opinion editor of Newsweek, a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, the counsel and policy advisor for the Internet Accountability Project, and a syndicated columnist. A frequent pundit and essayist on political, legal, and cultural issues, Josh has been published by many leading outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, National Affairs, The National Interest, National Review, City Journal, First Things, Public Discourse, The Spectator, The American Mind, and Tablet. His legal writing has been featured at the University of St. Thomas Law Journal and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Josh is a campus speaker through Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Young America's Foundation, and the Federalist Society. He previously worked at a large law firm and clerked for the Honorable James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Josh has also served as a John Marshall Fellow with the Claremont Institute. He graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.
Aaron Haviland is a law clerk for Chief Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He previously clerked for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, and a B.S. in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy. Before law school, he served our nation in the Marine Corps.
Zach Horton will serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable Justin R. Walker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He graduated from Columbia Law School as a James Kent Scholar in April 2021. At Columbia, Horton served on the Columbia Law Review and was the Co-Vice President of Events for Columbia’s chapter of the Federalist Society. He received the E. B. Convers Prize for his student Note. Prior to law school, he worked in finance at Rothschild & Co. and the Blackstone Group. Horton graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in Philosophy in 2015.
Katherine Beck Johnson
Katherine Beck Johnson serves as the Research Fellow for Legal and Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. In law school, she interned with Judge Elrod on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Hudson on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She also interned on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Office of Ted Cruz. She served as a legal extern in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy during the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Katherine graduated cum laude from William and Mary Law School and magna cum laude from University of South Florida with a B.S.W.
Daniel Judge will soon begin clerking for Judge Michael B. Brennan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He graduated in 2021 from Notre Dame Law School, where he served as the Executive Notes Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Board’s Seventh Circuit Team, and an inaugural participant in the Religious Liberty Initiative. During law school, Daniel was a summer associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, and an intern at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Daniel graduated with high distinction from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law.
Trevor Kehrer is a law clerk to the Honorable Jonathan A. Kobes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He previously worked as a judicial extern to the Honorable Sandra S. Ikuta of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he worked as a research assistant to Professor William Baude. Trevor also served as the Treasurer of the Federalist Society's University of Chicago chapter and the Executive Comments Editor for the Chicago Journal of International Law. Trevor graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in political science. He previously attended the Georgetown Center for the Constitution's Originalism Summer Seminar and the Federalist Society's James Kent Summer Academy.
Will Leathers is a 2021 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Will served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Review of Law & Politics, as a Vice President of UT Law's Federalist Society chapter, and as an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. Will interned for the Honorable Justice James D. Blacklock on the Texas Supreme Court and was scheduled to work as a summer associate for Baker Botts' D.C. office last summer. Starting in the Fall of 2021, he will clerk for the Honorable Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Will graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration, majoring in Management Information Systems and Spanish.
Cory Liu is a partner at the Ashcroft Law Firm in Austin, Texas. He has filed amicus briefs in cases involving race discrimination and religious expression for the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Cory previously served as an assistant general counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott as well as a law clerk to Judge Andrew Oldham on the Fifth Circuit and Judge Danny Boggs on the Sixth Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the University of Chicago.
Joseph Mazzara clerks for the Hon. Judge Stephen Alexander Vaden of the U.S. Court of International Trade. This fall, he will clerk for the Hon. Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Additionally, he has worked in-house for the Trump Campaign and clerked for the Hon. Judge Brantley Starr of the Northern District of Texas. Joseph also served our nation as a Marine. While on active-duty, Mr. Mazzara served as an artillery officer, deployed as a rifle platoon commander to Kajaki, Afghanistan, and later served as a judge advocate. Mr. Mazzara graduated from Christendom College with a B.A. in Philosophy and received a J.D. with honors from Antonin Scalia Law School. He is a recipient of Scalia Law’s Henry G. Manne Award for Excellence in Law and Economics, and has been published in the Marine Corps Gazette, Leatherneck Magazine, and The Green Bag.
Daniel Shapiro is an associate at Consovoy McCarthy PLLC, where he litigates a wide range of appellate, constitutional, election, administrative, and commercial matters. He is a future clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. After graduating from the Antonin Scalia Law School, he clerked for Judge Neomi Rao on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge E. Grady Jolly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. During law school, Daniel served as the Executive Editor of the Law Review, the President of the Federalist Society, the President of the Jewish Law Students Association, and a research assistant for several professors and for the Center for the Study of the Administrative State. During law school, he also interned at the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Defense, and the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Katie Smithgall is an Assistant Solicitor General for the State of Montana. She previously worked as an associate at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. Katie received her J.D. from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the George Mason Law Review. After graduating law school, Katie clerked for Judge Thomas A. Varlan on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Chief Judge Timothy T. Tymkovich on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Katie holds a B.A. in Economics and Communication Studies from Furman University.
Bryan Sohn is a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Dallas. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2020. He was Co-President of the Harvard Catholic Law Students Association, Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and Executive Submissions Editor of the Harvard Journal on Legislation. Bryan earned his B.A. in History, First Class, from the University of Oxford. There, he served as President of the Newman Society, founded in 1878. Bryan will clerk for the Honorable Judge John B. Nalbandian of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2021-22.