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News Release

Vermont Law School Symposium to Explore the Legitimacy, Legality, and Legacy of Donald Trump's Presidency

Thursday, February 11, 2021


U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to deliver keynote address.

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. (Feb. 11, 2021) – The Vermont Law Review at Vermont Law School (VLS) will explore and analyze the Trump administration’s use of constitutional powers when it hosts Volume 45’s annual symposium, "The Legitimacy, Legality, and Legacy of the 45th President of the United States."

Taking place Feb. 18 and 19, the event will be headlined by keynote speaker U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and feature three expert panels dissecting the Trump administration’s environmental record, use and misuse of executive powers, and blurring of lines under an untraditional separation of powers model.

“The Trump administration’s interpretation and application of environmental laws and executive powers was unique in thought and unprecedented in scale,” said Kelsey Schweitzer, one of two symposium editors for the journal. “It’s important for the legal community take a close look at what it did, how it did it, and what the ramifications are as we go forward with a new administration.”

The event symposium will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. both days, and is free and open to the public. Senator Tester will speak the second evening of the event, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The entire symposium will be livestreamed at

The first panel, “Executive Powers,” will take place Feb. 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and will be moderated by Vermont Law School Professor of Law Pat Parenteau. Panelists include: Jill Family, professor of law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School, and director for the Law and Government Institute; John Yoo, professor of law, Berkeley Law; Harold Krent, professor of law, Chicago-Kent School of Law; and, Richard Sala JD/MELP’13, interim director, Academic Success Program, assistant professor of law, Vermont Law School.

The second panel, “Environmental Legacy,” will take place that same evening from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., led by moderator Jennifer Rushlow, director of the VLS Environmental Law Center. Panelists include: Sandra Zellmer, professor of law, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, The University of Montana; Joel Mintz, professor of law emeritus, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law; Hannah Perls, legal fellow, Environmental & Energy Law Program, Harvard Law School; and, Mary Greene, public lands attorney and senior advisor, National Wildlife Federation.

The third panel, “Separation of Powers,” will be held Feb. 19, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and will feature moderator Hillary Hoffmann, professor of law, Vermont Law School, and panelists Grant Christensen, professor of law, University of North Dakota; Rodger D. Citron, associate dean and professor of law, Touro College of Law; Joshua Ulan Galperin, professor of law, University of Pittsburg School of Law; and, Michael Vitello, distinguished professor of law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.