Law School News

Updated: 45 min 26 sec ago

How Information Analytics Will Change the Law

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 07:45
Becky Beaupre Gillespie Law School Communications March 29, 2017

Nearly 200 scholars from around the world gathered earlier this month at the 17th-century Palais du Luxembourg in Paris to explore the ways in which big data could fundamentally change law and the legal profession—a discussion notable not just because it placed radical thought against a backdrop of centuries-old tradition but because it was co-organized by the Law School’s Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics and grew from the institute’s six-year-old global initiative, the Summer Institute in Law and Economics.

For two days, professors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, students, and lawmakers met at the palace, which was built in 1625 and now houses the French Senate, debating how computer algorithms could be used to write smarter rules or even take the place of judges and institutions, discussions that prompted vigorous debate.

“Sitting in the Salle Clemenceau, the conference hall of the French Senate, speaking in English, and stirring our Chicago law-and-economics havoc in ordinary thinking about the law—it was unprecedented,” said Omri Ben-Shahar, the Leo and Eileen Herzel Professor of Law and the Kearney Director of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics, who co-organized the conference with Professor Florence G’sell of the François Gény Institute at the University of Lorraine in France.

“And without the Summer Institute,” he added, “this conference would not have happened.”

Indeed, G’sell, who attended the Summer Institute in 2015, was inspired by that Chicago experience to bring more law-and-social-science to France. With the help of the Coase-Sandor Institute, she recruited various French sponsors and the collaboration of the French Senate.

The two-week Summer Institute, which was launched by Ben-Shahar in 2012, has trained more than 350 top international scholars in the economic analysis of law, sparking a global domino effect of collaborative work. Past participants have already trained countless students and lawyers in the Chicago-type approach. They published papers on law and economics both in America and abroad, invited other participants and Law School faculty to speak at academic conferences in their home countries, and developed law-and-economics workshops and courses, all drawing on the knowledge and connections they nurtured in Chicago.

Participants at the Paris “Law and Big Data” symposium discussed a variety of issues related to the emerging data revolution, including the ways in which analytics will reshape the law and affect individuals. In many cases, technological advances offer more efficient and accurate ways to address legal issues by eliminating the bias inherent in human-driven interpretation and overcoming obstacles caused by complexity and unpredictability. But in some cases, the use of analytics can also raise questions about privacy and autonomy, a topic that stirs lively debates.

Five members of the law school faculty participated in the symposium. Anup Malani, the Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law, discussed how data science can be used to guide and evaluate the implementation of government programs in India; Jonathan Masur, the John P. Wilson Professor of Law, explored how the use of subjective well-being data could offer policymakers more accurate measures of benefits and costs than traditional economic markers; Anthony J. Casey, Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Teaching Scholar, examined how predictive technology could be used to tell people how to comply with the law in real time; and Ariel Porat, the Fischel-Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, presented his work, co-authored by Ben-Shahar, on data-driven personalized legal rules. Ben-Shahar himself discussed a new paper co-written with Lior Strahilevitz, the Sidley Austin Professor of Law, on how well-designed surveys could help interpret consumer contracts.

“The Chicago faculty learned a great deal from the French and European scholars at the conference. We also had a unique platform to present our own cutting-edge work on how sophisticated data analysis can be used to inform legal rules and build institutions,” Ben Shahar said. “It was an exciting intellectual event.”

Faculty:  Omri Ben-Shahar Faculty:  Anthony J. Casey Faculty:  Anup Malani Faculty:  Jonathan S. Masur Faculty:  Ariel Porat Faculty:  Lior Jacob Strahilevitz omri_paris.jpg

Richard Epstein: "Gorsuch v. Schumer"

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:04
Gorsuch v. Schumer Richard A. Epstein Defining Ideas March 27, 2017

It does not take a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing on Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination. Gorsuch will be confirmed, one way or another. If Senator Charles Schumer makes good on his pledge to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination, the Republicans will exercise their so-called nuclear option to end the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees, after which Gorsuch’s nomination will be confirmed, perhaps on a strict party-line vote of 52-to-48 Senators. The Democrats cannot get over the fact that the Republicans did not need to filibuster to stonewall Merrick Garland, given their majority in the Senate. They could just sit on his nomination. But since the Democrats could not stop the hearings for Gorsuch, they have chosen to act out their unhappiness by raising frivolous objections against an exceptionally well-qualified nominee who enjoys the respect of everyone who has worked with him.

This increased polarization of the Senate is a relatively recent phenomenon. Between 1954 and 2005, a large number of liberal justices were appointed by Republican Presidents. The list includes Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, Harry Blackmun, and David Souter. But the divisions have hardened since then. The last six choices to the Court—Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor—have not made any surprise judicial conversions. But Schumer was correct in noting that all six of these nominees overcame the filibuster hurdle by garnering 60 votes—a fact he is using to attack Gorsuch with: “If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes—a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees and George Bush’s last two nominees—the answer isn’t to change the rules. It’s to change the nominee.” In fact, the Democrats could still take the same approach they used with Samuel Alito in 2005: avoid the filibuster by a 72-25 vote (Obama and Schumer among the 25) and then allow confirmation to take place by a 58-42 vote, including some Democratic senators.

Instead, Schumer wants to bait Gorsuch, as Orrin Hatch has lamented. Schumer knows full well that Gorsuch has said that he will rule independently of the President’s preferences—be it Donald Trump or his successors. So why not believe him? Instead, Schumer asks for the impossible—he wants Gorsuch to endorse liberal views before being confirmed. After all, in his view, the reason that Gorsuch refuses to do so is that his “career and judicial record suggest not a neutral legal mind but one with a deep-seated conservative ideology.” The voting record of any appellate judge is an imperfect predictor of his behavior on the Supreme Court. But in any event, the phrase “neutral legal mind” applies far more accurately to Gorsuch, as former Tenth Circuit judge Michael McConnell has shown, than it does to die-hard progressives like Schumer, who think about every issue in partisan terms. Gorsuch is also keenly aware that the law is not a world of happy endings, in which the clever judge can always get his preferred moral outcome by a manipulation of the rules of statutory construction. Bad laws, he knows, often lead to unfortunate results. “A judge who likes every result he reaches,” he has written, “is very likely a bad judge, reaching for results he prefers rather than those the law compels.

Read more at: 

http://www.hoover.org/research/gorsuch-v-schumer

Faculty:  Richard A. Epstein

David Weisbach Cited: "Most Exhaustive Look at the Republican Tax Plan"

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 09:57
Can Elephants Learn From Failure? David Brooks The New York Times March 28, 2017

The most exhaustive look at the Republican tax plan I’ve seen was written by David A. Weisbach of the University of Chicago Law School. He notes that the Republican plan would simplify the rates and close a lot of loopholes — the simplification framework — but it wouldn’t radically reshape the taxation of individuals.

Business taxes, meanwhile, would be transformed. The Republican plan cuts corporate rates, allows the immediate expensing of investments and eliminates the taxation of income from sales in foreign countries while raising an import tax, which functions sort of like a VAT. “These changes would go a long way toward shifting the tax system to taxing consumption rather than income,” Weisbach writes.

Read more at: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/opinion/ca...

Faculty:  David A. Weisbach

Mark Templeton on News that IN Superfund Residents Will Receive Water Filters

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:18
IDEM to distribute water filters to Superfund residents Sarah Reese NWI Times March 24, 2017

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management will provide water filters for residents of a Superfund site where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently discovered elevated lead levels in drinking water, an IDEM spokesman said Friday.

[...]

Mark Templeton, an attorney at the University of Chicago Law School’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, said he and others working on behalf of residents were pleased to hear IDEM plans to provide water filters.

"We would urge them to act as quickly as possible on that," he said. "Obviously, the people who live in these zones have been experiencing the cumulative effect of lead contamination for years."

Templeton was among 17 attorneys, community groups and advocacy groups that recently signed on to a petition asking EPA to use its emergency powers to respond to drinking water problems in East Chicago. EPA said it received the petition and "will continue to work with the city and state to protect the health of East Chicago residents."

Read more at: 

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/idem-...

Faculty:  Mark N. Templeton

Geoffrey R. Stone on Where Sex, Religion, Law, and the Constitution Intersect (Audio)

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:41
Legislating Sex in America The Brian Lehrer Show March 24, 2017

Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, constitutional scholar and author of Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century  (Liveright, 2017), discusses where sex, religion, law, and the Constitution intersect now and throughout history.

Read more at: 

http://www.wnyc.org/story/legislating-sex-ame...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

Brian Leiter on Defending Faculty Speech

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:27
Academic Ethics: Defending Faculty Speech Brian Leiter The Chronicle of Higher Education March 22, 2017

In recent years, there has been a vigorous cottage industry of websites and publications (most but not all on the political right) trying to generate controversy about college professors who say or believe things outside the rather narrow mainstream of public opinion.

The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, Campus Watch, The College Fix, Breitbart, and College Insurrection, among others, devote themselves with some regularity to policing faculty speech, and then presenting it — sometimes accurately, mostly inaccurately — in order to inflame public outrage and incite harassment of academics who expressed verboten views. Because American law gives very wide latitude to malicious speech for partisan political ends, there is little legal recourse for faculty members subjected to such harassment. But we may still ask: How ought colleges and universities respond to these (often orchestrated) onslaughts against professors?

Read more at: 

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Academic-Eth...

Faculty:  Brian Leiter

Geoffrey R. Stone on Margaret Sanger and the Birth of the Birth Control Movement

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:24
Margaret Sanger and the birth of the birth control movement Geoffrey R. Stone The Washington Post March 24, 2017

In the spring of 1914, Margaret Sanger, who was born in upstate New York in 1879, rallied a small group of radical friends in her New York City apartment to launch the Woman Rebel, “a militant-feminist monthly.” A dynamic, titian-haired woman of Irish ancestry, Sanger was endowed with unfailing charm, fierce determination and persuasive wit.

In direct defiance of the federal Comstock Act, Sanger announced in the very first issue of the Woman Rebel that she would “advocate the prevention of conception” and that she would “impart such knowledge in the columns of this paper.” It was at this time that Sanger and her group coined the term “birth control.” The campaign Sanger initiated that spring would grow into “one of the most far-reaching social reform movements in American history.”

Sanger and her husband moved to New York City in 1911 and soon became part of the radical culture of Greenwich Village. Sanger tended obstetrical patients in the tenement districts on the Lower East Side, an experience that exposed her for the first time to the squalor and suffering caused by the combination of poverty and unwanted pregnancy. Sanger later wrote about how pregnant women, desperate to avoid childbirth, brought “themselves around” by drinking “drops of turpentine on sugar, steaming over a chamber of boiling coffee or of turpentine water, rolling down stairs, and finally inserting slippery-elm sticks, or knitting needles, or shoe hooks into the uterus.”

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

Omri Ben-Shahar on Three New Privacy Bills in the Illinois House

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:21
The Illinois Invention of Useless Privacy Protection Omri Ben-Shahar Forbes March 23, 2017

The Illinois legislature—the nation’s most defunct lawmaker—is active these days not in resolving the State’s ongoing pension and budget crises (Illinois has the worst budget deficit in its history and has not managed to pass budget legislation for over a year). Rather, exhibiting a stunning attention to minutiae, Illinois is worrying itself with so-called “privacy.” Already the State with the most aggressive privacy protection law, the Illinois House is now considering three new privacy bills that would blaze a new trail of class action activity. Illinois, in other words, is solidifying its stature as the Mecca for privacy litigation pilgrimage.

A few years ago, Illinois enacted a first of its kind law known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act. That law prohibited companies like Snapchat, Facebook, or Google from using “biometrics”—people’s photo and eye scans, fingerprint, or voiceprint—without prior written consent. Such digital biometric recognition brings great convenience to consumers by simplifying authentication and personalizing many forms of entertainment. Users of these services understand perfectly well that websites are using such recognition data, and are happy to indulge in the features that these sites offer. Nevertheless, a slew of lawsuits are alleging technical violations in the presentation of the consent forms, forcing internet companies to pay ransom settlements. None of these lawsuits has been prompted by any consumer harm or complaint, and none have demonstrated any concrete injury.

Read more at: 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/omribenshahar/20...

Faculty:  Omri Ben-Shahar

Geoffrey R. Stone on "Anthony Comstock and the Reign of the Moralists"

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:15
Anthony Comstock and the Reign of the Moralists Geoffrey R. Stone The Washington Post March 23, 2017

In this, the fourth in a series of five pieces derived from my new book, “Sex and the Constitution,” I will briefly address attitudes toward contraception and abortion in the 19th century. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, there were no laws prohibiting either contraception or abortion before quickening (defined as the moment in pregnancy when a woman first feels fetal movement, usually at 4½ months). By the 1870s, approximately 20 percent of all pregnancies were terminated by legal abortion. During this era, advertisements for both contraceptives and abortions services were commonplace.

Daily newspapers regularly ran ads for products that promised to “cure” pregnancy — a euphemism for terminating a pregnancy. Ads for “Cherokee Pills,” for example, promised that if used during the first three months of pregnancy, “the unfailing nature of their action would infallibly prevent pregnance.”

In the 1840s, the flamboyant Ann Lohman Restell, popularly known as “Madame Restell,” was the most famous abortionist in New York City. Born in England, Restell emigrated to America in 1831, where she was forced to make a living as a seamstress. She gradually developed an interest in women’s health, and began selling birth control products such as “preventative pills.” She then turned to abortion and served a genteel, middle- and upper-middle class clientele. She charged between $50 and $100 per abortion. Her abortion business on Greenwich Street proved highly profitable, yielding a considerable fortune and a lush mansion on Fifth Avenue. Madame Restell touted her “celebrated powers for married ladies,” and advertised extensively in the penny press of the day.

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

Daniel Hemel: "Is the Buffalo Buyout Constitutional?"

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:12
Is the Buffalo Buyout Constitutional? Daniel Hemel Whatever Source Derived March 23, 2017

The “Buffalo Buyout” has elicited considerable attention and a number of creative nicknames since it was added by House Republican leaders to the draft American Healthcare Reform Act on Monday night. (Among others: “Tammany Haul,” “Upstate Shakedown,” “Long Island Larceny,” “Hudson Heist.”) Amidst the outrage over the provision (outrage that is, I think, quite justified), one key point has been lost: the Buffalo Buyout is quite likely unconstitutional, and New York State will have a very strong argument if it tries to kill the provision in court.

Read more at: 

https://medium.com/whatever-source-derived/is...

Faculty:  Daniel Hemel

Geoffrey R. Stone: "Sex, the Constitution, and Standing Up for Core Values"

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:10
Commentary: Sex, the Constitution, and standing up for core values Geoffrey R. Stone The Philadelphia Inquirer March 26, 2017

Many, perhaps most, Americans assume that the sexual values and attitudes of the 1950s reflect the historical norm, and that with the advent of the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s we experienced a historically unprecedented shift in our attitudes toward sexually related issues. In fact, though, history is far more complex than many Americans assume. Homosexuality, for example, was seen as acceptable in the pre-Christian world, and the idea of the "homosexual" as a person with a distinct personal identity did not come into existence until the late 19th century.

Similarly, although many Americans assume that the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade was radical and revolutionary, in fact, abortion, at least prior to "quickening," which occurs at roughly 41/2 months into pregnancy, was legal throughout human history, including at the time our Constitution was adopted and, indeed, until the late 19th century. It might surprise many Americans to learn that abortion services in that era were widely and openly advertised in the press.

Along similar lines, there were no laws against sexual expression in the United States until the early 19th century, and material that later came to be called "obscene" was widely available and enjoyed in the United States until the era of Anthony Comstock and the late-19th-century social purity movement.

Read more at: 

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20170326...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

Inside the Minds of Rubenstein Scholars: Featuring the Class of 2017

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:55
Ann Fruland Law School Communications March 28, 2017

Last fall, David M. Rubenstein, ’73, generously renewed his commitment to the University of Chicago Law School’s Rubenstein Scholars Program with a $13 million gift, which will provide 60 full-tuition scholarships and stipends for outstanding students in the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.  

“David’s inspiring gift has transformed the Law School,” said Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics. “His generosity makes it possible for some of our brightest applicants to receive the very best legal education—a University of Chicago legal education.”

The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program was established in 2010 with an initial gift from Rubenstein, a University Trustee and the co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group. He renewed his commitment in 2013 and again in 2016 to fund an additional 120 three-year scholarships, ensuring that Rubenstein Scholars would account for approximately 10 percent of students at the Law School. The new gift brings Rubenstein’s support for the program to a total of $33 million since 2010.

The Rubenstein Scholars Program removes the burden of student-loan debt and opens up a wide range of professional opportunities for students, many of whom plan to pursue a career in public service upon graduation or in future years. The Class of 2017 included a record 24 Rubenstein Scholars. Immediately after graduation, eleven of those students will be working as law clerks for federal appellate court judges, six will be working as law clerks for federal district court judges, six will be working as associates at large law firms, and one will be working as a public defender. Rubenstein Scholarship awards, like all other scholarship awards at Chicago, are kept confidential. But this year, as they approach graduation, many of the recipients in the Class of 2017 agreed to be profiled for the alumni magazine.

Below are introductions to sixteen Rubenstein Scholars from the Class of 2017.

ADAM DAVIDSON

Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
After Graduation:
Clerking for the Hon. James Gwin (US District Court, Northern District of Ohio); the Hon. Diane Wood (US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit); and the Hon. Guido Calabresi (US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit).

Why did you decide to study law? I developed an interest in civil rights and law's ability to protect and improve the interests of the underprivileged.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? I was surprised at how willing Law School professors were to engage students both intellectually and personally outside of class.

What do you love most about the Law School? There will always be someone to present the best form of the argument opposite yours.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would continue to work toward increasing the diversity of the faculty and student body.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Critical Race Theory

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? More than anything, I'll take away the idea of shaping your argument for your audience.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I was involved in the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic and was amazed at the impact and complexity of the clinic's work.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? An increased focus on public interest careers and clinical education has allowed more students to stay engaged with the Law School.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Get to know your classmates; they are some of the most interesting people that you will meet.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? I was able to make early career choices that I believe will be a long-term benefit, but will be a short-term financial sacrifice.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? I'll look back on conversations – some serious, some very much not – that I've had with classmates sitting in the Green Lounge.

*** 

ALEXANDRA SCOTT

Undergraduate Institution: University of Chicago
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
After Graduation:
Covington and Burling, Silicon Valley office

Why did you decide to study law? While working at non-profits, I noticed that major changes were orchestrated through law. I wanted to make a difference as well.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I hope to be happy with my career and making a difference in a meaningful way.    

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? The rigor of the discussions, and how much there is to learn from everyone around me.

What do you love most about the Law School? I love that the Law School has taught me to be more open to different ideas and people, and has changed my way of thinking.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? To get rid of fall break and instead have a week off for Thanksgiving.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Trade Secrets with Professor Strahilevitz.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Transaction costs, for better or for worse. I see these pop up more than I ever would have expected.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? Neighbors and the Criminal and Juvenile Justice project; that it is always worth it to take a few minutes out of your day to help someone else

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? That when all is said and done, I am happy to have come to law school, and to have come to this law school in particular.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Relax and absorb—not the stress but the ideas.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? I'm grateful that it will liberate me to choose what I want my career to be, instead of what it has to be for financial reasons.       

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? The classes after the 2016 election: a reminder that not only does the world keep turning, but that we can do something about it.

***
ANDREW MACKIE-MASON

Undergraduate Institution: University of Chicago
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Judge Stephen Reinhardt (US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit)

Why did you decide to study law? I came to law school to be a public defender, because I wanted to be able to use the law to protect and speak for people who are too often ignored.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? In ten years, I hope to be a public defender and a zealous and effective advocate for my clients.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? Topics I never expected to be interested in—property, contracts, foreign relations law—have been fascinating while also teaching me important new ideas.

What do you love most about the Law School? The Law School is a place where people with wildly different views can debate and come to understand each other, even if they never agree.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would like the Law School to be more connected to the communities it is a part of—Hyde Park, the South Side, and Chicago more broadly.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? The Greenberg seminar with Professor Siegler and Dr. Siegler. It's been great to explore important ideas in a fun, informal setting.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? That law should be our way of making the world more just, not an excuse for accepting the injustices we see.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences?  My time with the Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the Federal Criminal Justice clinics has taught me the value of teamwork, and that there's always more we can do for our clients.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School?  Every day at this school challenges me to be better: more thoughtful, more hardworking, more compassionate.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? There's nowhere near enough time to take advantage of every opportunity here; focus on the ones that mean the most to you.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? It will allow me to pursue the career I've always wanted with far less concern about finances.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? A pre-2L weekend trip with some of my classmates, building friendships I hope will last for years.

***

CARMEL DOOLING

Undergraduate Institution: Arizona State University      
Hometown: Glendale, AZ
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. G. Murray Snow (US District Court, District of Arizona)

Why did you decide to study law? I've always loved reading and writing, so it just seemed like a good fit. Plus, the aspirational goal of justice is compelling.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I'd like to be doing civil rights or immigration litigation, or working in some sort of government role.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? Coffee Mess—it happens every week, but I always forget. Showing up and realizing I'll get a doughnut and coffee is still exciting.     

What do you love most about the Law School? The size—coming from a large school like ASU, I love knowing everyone in my class.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? We have amazing professors, but we need to make a bigger push to hire and retain women and minority faculty members.          

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Antitrust—the law & econ perspective finally made sense and clicked. It also exposed me to new business concepts.           

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Not an idea, but getting to know my classmates from so many different backgrounds. It's opened my eyes and built empathy.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences?  Law Review and Latino/a Law Students Association—both taught me leadership and gave me small families within the larger school.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? Don't worry, the school still lives up to its rigorous reputation.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? I would tell myself to go to office hours more—you don't need to ask a brilliant question. Just get to know the professors.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? Freedom. To travel, to move, to take whatever job I want. I've felt that freedom during Law School, and I know it will continue.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? My favorite Law School memory is a tie between President Obama’s visit last year and winning the Law Review Whirlyball Cup then celebrating in Wrigleyville the day after the Cubs' win.  

***

CHARLES EATON

Undergraduate Institution: Oakwood University     
Hometown: Loma Linda, CA
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Jesus G. Bernal (US District Judge, Central District of California)

Why did you decide to study law? I decided to study the law because I wanted to have a direct and positive impact on minority communities.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? By then I should have finished my clerkship and also obtained a Masters of Divinity and begun my career as a public defender.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? That I enjoyed many classes in areas that looked boring to me ahead of time.

What do you love most about the Law School? The lunch talks. Free food, new information—what's not to love?

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I wish there were more professors of color here.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Constitutional Law III with Professor Strauss.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Using economics as a tool to analyze the law.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences?  BLSA and the Juvenile Justice Clinic. These experiences reaffirmed that working for minority communities is my life's purpose.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? I made good friends, I was taught by excellent professors, and I'm well equipped to begin my career.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? “Hey Charles, whatever you did to keep yourself sane before law school, don't let those things go now.”

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? It allows me to pursue a career in public defense without fear of loans, and even to get a second degree without worry of debt.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Making friends in BLSA.

*** 

ELIZABETH KIERNAN

Undergraduate Institution: University of Alabama
Hometown: Metairie, LA
After Graduation:  Clerking for the Hon. Jerry Smith (US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit), and the Hon. William Pryor (US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit).

Why did you decide to study law? I decided to study law because I wanted a challenging career that would allow me to make a difference.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?  I hope to be working in some capacity for the government.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? How close-knit the Law School is. The Law School is a close community and everyone cares and knows about each other.

What do you love most about the Law School? I love how involved Law School professors are with their students. Professors here know us both academically and personally.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? The ability to take more seminars. Some of the most interesting classes are seminars. The cap really limits our studies.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Constitutional Law I: Governmental Structure.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Viewing the world and law through a law and economics lens. Considering the incentives is crucial to understanding our legal system.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? Federalist Society. I took away a strong tradition of community, discussion, and debate.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? The Law School fostered debates but also a strong sense of camaraderie among students.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Relax! 1L seems so daunting and stressful, and it really doesn't need to be.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? As someone not quite sure the type of law or legal practice I want to pursue, it gives me the ability to freely explore options.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Pie Day. I loved that after first quarter 1L grades, we got pie to remind us this was just one slice of our law school career.

***

ERIC LEWIN

Undergraduate Institution: Brown University
Hometown: Fair Haven, NJ
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. A. Raymond Randolph (US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit)

 Why did you decide to study law? After college, I worked in the world of financial regulation and gradually decided that I wanted to become a regulatory lawyer.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I hope to be working on engaging and challenging issues as a financial regulatory lawyer.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? The Law School is a tight-knit community beyond purely academic matters, with remarkable students who surpassed my expectations.

What do you love most about the Law School? It is a pleasure to be surrounded by brilliant people who constantly think critically about the law and are also great friends.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would love for the Law School to have coffee mess (or at least coffee) every morning instead of only once per week.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? I’ve loved all of my classes so it is hard to pick only one, but Antitrust with Professor Picker was exceptionally fantastic.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Professor Picker often talks about lawyers as “institutional engineers” who create the plumbing that helps organize society.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I am an editor for the Law Review and participate in the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab, both of which have provided valuable practical skills.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? Attending the Law School is a privilege, and I am thankful for the opportunity to learn with such a wonderful group of students.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Take time off every now and then to enjoy Chicago.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? The scholarship made 1L year significantly less stressful and afforded me financial freedom, for which I am extremely grateful.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? My year-long experience in the Law and Economics Workshop was particularly formative.

***

HOLLY NEWELL

Undergraduate Institution: Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: Davis, CA
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Richard A. Paez (US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit)

Why did you decide to study law? I decided to study law because I wanted to be able to advocate for others and because it matched my academic interests.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I do not have a set career path at this point, but I hope to still be engaged in learning about developments in the law.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the UChicago Law community was—it’s been both an intellectually challenging and enjoyable three years.

What do you love most about the Law School? The people! The professors and my fellow students have pushed me to think about things in new ways.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? It would have been nice to have more time 1L summer, pre-OCI, to have a more thorough working experience at the 1L summer jobs.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? It's hard to pick just one course, but I really enjoyed both Copyright with Professor Picker and Patent Law with Professor Masur.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Examining how policies or laws may incentivize certain actions has caused me to examine my own views.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? Law Review provided a great insight into legal academia and Neighbors, the community service organization, balanced that nicely.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? The mix of academics and a strong sense of community have challenged me and been such a delight to experience!

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? I would challenge myself to speak up more in class.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? It will allow me to pursue opportunities that come my way, without having to be as concerned about finances in my decisions.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Spending my 1L summer interning in Slovenia at a Human Rights NGO!

***

JASMINE JOHNSON

Undergraduate Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Hometown: Fort Washington, MD
After Graduation: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York office

Why did you decide to study law? I chose to study law so that I would have the ability to give back and help minority communities.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? How much support I have received from students and faculty.

What do you love most about the Law School? I love the collegiality of my Law School classmates and how regularly the faculty interact with students outside of the classroom.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would increase the space for and the size of the clinics.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Constitutional Law III.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? Importance of a diversity of ideas within the legal community. This has taught me to approach problems from multiple perspectives.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I am involved in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project clinic. It allows me to help disenfranchised minorities.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? It has challenged us intellectually and allowed us to engage in constructive and enlightening dialogue with each other.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Enjoy the diversity of ideas present within the University of Chicago community.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? The Rubenstein Scholarship will allow me to pursue the career I am interested in while affording me the opportunity to help other minorities.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Participating in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project clinic.

***

JOE WENNER

Undergraduate Institution: American University
Hometown: Radnor, PA
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Sidney Fitzwater (US District Court, Northern District of Texas)

Why did you decide to study law? I went to law school to become a better problem solver.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? It would be a dream to work as a federal prosecutor, but I would be happy tackling any legal issues in the public sector.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? I did not expect so much of my Law School education to come from conversations with my fellow classmates.

What do you love most about the Law School? That anywhere on campus, it is incredibly easy to stumble into a fascinating conversation.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? Increase distance learning opportunities during the winter quarter. (This is a weather joke.)

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Professor Eric Posner’s Law and the Financial Crisis seminar.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? The rules/standards dilemma is everywhere. And I remember the very Elements of the Law class where I had this "a-ha" moment.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences?  As the president of Public Interest Law Society, I recognized how dedicated some of my classmates are to public service careers.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? The Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative is great and allowed me get to know many more of my classmates than I otherwise would have.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? I would tell myself to show up early so you’re not stuck in the back row of Contracts.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? The Rubenstein Scholarship is an incredible opportunity to pursue a public service career. It truly is a privilege; I plan to make it count.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? My 1L section’s impromptu pizza party held on the steps of the Law School the Sunday before our Bigelow brief was due.

***

JONATHAN HAWLEY

Undergraduate Institution: Harvard University
Hometown: Oceanside, CA
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Philip Gutierrez (US District Court, Central District of California) and the Hon. Milan Smith ’69 (US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit)

Why did you decide to study law? I wanted to explore how the law can encourage technological and artistic innovation, which are both very important to me.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I don't know, and that's the best thing about the scholarship: I have incredible options and no limit except my imagination.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? Like all 1Ls, I'd heard about the Law School's competitive reputation, so I was thrilled by my class's collegial spirit.

What do you love most about the Law School? I love the Law School's professors. They are not only the brightest people I've ever met, but also some of the warmest and most inspiring.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? Students now expect greater transparency and open discussion of policies, so I'd like to see more of that at the Law School.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? I'd have to go with Copyright. It's all about how we can maximize creativity and progress, which is both fun and meaningful.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? I've learned that although the law cannot right every wrong, at its best, it can push society in a more just direction.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? Law Review, Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative, and the Law School Musical remind me that my classmates are not only brilliant, but remarkably talented too.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? The Law School is not "where fun goes to die." Quite the contrary, these past three years have been the best of my life.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? If I could go back to the first day of Law School, I'd tell myself to enjoy every minute of it. There's nothing better than debating high principles with your best friends.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? It has given me the privilege to dream. I get to chart my course through life based on my aspirations and ideals, not debt.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? I met my fiancée on our first day visiting the Law School, so every day since has been my best memory.

***

JULIA HAINES

Undergraduate Institution: Grove City College
Hometown: Hockessin, DE
After graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Thomas Griffith (US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit)

Why did you decide to study law? I love problem solving, so litigation seemed like a good fit!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?  Practicing patent law.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? How much our professors care about our intellectual and professional growth.

What do you love most about the Law School? How much I learn about the law and life from my classmates.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would make the winters warmer?

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Patent Law with Professor Masur.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? The importance of voluntary exchanges!

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I was involved with the Federalist Society and the Edmund Burke Society. They challenged and formed my understanding of the law.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? It's still rigorous! Students shoulder high standards, but we grow enough to expect even more of ourselves.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Don't fight the hypothetical. That is, solve the problem before you today, not the problem you expected.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? I wouldn't have received a better education anywhere else, and Mr. Rubenstein made UChicago possible for me.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? My favorite memory from Law School is ice skating with Professor Helmholz!

***

LINDSAY STONE

Undergraduate Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Hometown: Webster, MA
After Graduation: Working in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender

Why did you decide to study law? To acquire the tools I needed to help combat mass incarceration.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? Doing what I love, defending the indigent accused.

What do you love most about the Law School? The clinical opportunities.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I would make UChicago a bigger destination for public interest students.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Constitutional Law III with Professor Strauss

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I was involved with the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic, where I was able to directly represent clients and develop as an advocate.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? I want alumni to know how crucial the law school's clinical offerings have been to my legal education.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Relax.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? The Rubenstein Scholarship has allowed me to pursue public interest work without the tremendous burden of debt.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Completing the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop.

***

MAX FIN

Undergraduate Institution: University of Florida
Hometown: Lynbrook, NY
After Graduation: Latham & Watkins, Houston office

Why did you decide to study law? Part of a lawyer's role as that of a navigator, helping clients brave oft-perilous legal waters. I thought that sounded challenging and interesting.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?  I'm focusing on one year at a time, but I hope I find whatever it is to be captivating, stimulating, and still fresh. 

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? My colleagues may be smart and intellectual, but this is tempered with social and emotional maturity. They have it all, one might say.

What do you love most about the Law School? My friends—they are inspiring, entertaining, dedicated, and loyal. I'm beyond lucky to have them in my life.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? I wish I could take more seminars with practitioners – they've had the most impact on my actual ability to practice, I would say.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? My favorite course as a 1L was either Torts with Professor Levmore or Property with Professor Helmholz. Since then, Chancellor Chandler’s Delaware Law seminar emerged as another favorite.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? I would not have been able to use the lens of economics to analyze law and society writ large before the Law School.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? The Edmund Burke Society proved the adage that learning need not be in a classroom or a serious setting.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? I would like our alumni to know that academic rigor is alive and well at the Law School, but there remains a sense of collegiality and camaraderie that will stay with us forever.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Your impostor syndrome is unwarranted, despite being constantly surrounded by the most fantastic individuals. Focus on your own growth, not that of others.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? I have the freedom to build my career based on interests, rather than needs, and still be able to take care of my family.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Any dinner with Professor Zarfes of the Corporate Lab. He is incredibly generous with both his time and his stories.

***

MICA MOORE

Undergraduate Institution: Columbia University
Hometown: Chicago
After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. William A. Fletcher (US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit) and the Hon. Vince Chhabria (US District Court, Northern District of California)

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? Working on challenging problems with interesting people.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? The kindness of my classmates and professors.

What do you love most about the Law School? At roughly 200 students per class, Chicago is smaller than my high school! I love the small size.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? Soia Mentschikoff must be getting pretty lonely—she’s the only woman with a portrait in the main hallway.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? Constitutional Law III with Professor Strauss. Working in the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic has also been a highlight.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? The Law School has taught me the importance of practical thinking. Even the most complicated legal issue still happens in the real world, with real people.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with and what did you take away from those experiences? Law Review, Public Interest Law Society, and ACLU of Chicago Law. In all, it's amazing what you can accomplish by offering food.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Exercise more.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? I'm thankful for the career flexibility the scholarship has offered, and I'm excited to meet our future classes of scholars.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Getting milkshakes and onion rings at Medici with friends after exams. It’s the best way to unwind after three hours of typing.

***

PHILIP EHRLICH

Undergraduate Institution: University of Chicago   
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

After Graduation: Clerking for the Hon. Frank Easterbrook (US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit)

Why did you decide to study law? I’ve always been fascinated by the way lawyers think about and solve all sorts of problems.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? I hope to be working on problems that are intellectually interesting and that involve issues that I care about.

What have been the biggest surprises about the Law School? That professors genuinely care about getting to know students, and how quickly the coffee at Coffee Mess disappears. 

What do you love most about the Law School? I love that the University of Chicago really is a place that cares about ideas. I also love the food at lunch talks.

If you could change one thing about the Law School what would it be? Try to structure classes so that we have more frequent opportunities to apply what we’re learning.

What has been your favorite course at the Law School? In Civil Procedure I, I liked the chance to think about how procedure affects substance.

What is an idea you've encountered at the Law School that has affected the way you think about the world? I think the right answer is the Coase Theorem? But, I’ve been particularly interested in situations when distribution matters.

What extracurricular activities or clinics were you most involved with, and what did you take away from those experiences? I’ve been involved with Law Review and the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, and I’ve also volunteered with Neighbors as a mentor/tutor.

What would you want alumni to know about the experiences of you and your classmates at the Law School? Even though Chicago is rigorous, most people are nice.

If you could go back to your first day of law school and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Enjoy being a student again. Take the time to go to interesting lectures and to the gym in the middle of the day.

How do you think the Rubenstein Scholarship will affect your life? The Rubenstein Scholarship will allow me to be more flexible in making career decisions and will let me pursue opportunities I care about.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the Law School? Attending President Obama’s conversation with Professor Strauss and hearing two inspiring people talk about the law.

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Geoffrey R. Stone Interviewed About "Sex and the Constitution" (Video)

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 14:47
Chicago Scholar Tackles ‘Sex and the Constitution’ Chicago Tonight March 22, 2017

“Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life, has indisputably been a subject of absorbing interest to mankind through the ages.”

So wrote Justice William Brennan in a landmark 1957 Supreme Court decision. And that quote opens a new book that traces the surprising history of attitudes toward sex, from ancient Greece up to present day America, and explains how those attitudes intertwine with religion, morality and the law.

The just-released book “Sex and the Constitution” tells the story of when, why and how lawmakers and judges weighed in on obscenity, contraception, homosexuality and more.

Author Geoffrey Stone, professor of law at the University of Chicago, joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation.

Read more at: 

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/03/22/chi...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

William Baude Offers "A Better Constitutional Basis for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017"

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 14:43
A better constitutional basis for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 William Baude The Volokh Conspiracy March 23, 2017

It has sometimes gotten lost amid some of the other doings in Congress this week, but the House is considering a bill, HR 38, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” that would create a federal right of reciprocity for holders of a state permit to carry a concealed firearm.

There are questions, however, about Congress’s authority to pass the bill, which seems to stretch the limits of the commerce power and of the 14th Amendment’s enforcement power, as discussed in posts by Josh Blackman and Joseph Blocher, among others. But there may be another way.

In a letter sent today, Stephen Sachs, Randy Barnett and I argue that Congress should not rely on the commerce power but should instead rely on the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  William Baude

Geoffrey R. Stone on "Sexual Expression Before the Moralists Invented Obscenity"

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 14:38
‘Sex and the Constitution’: Sexual expression before the moralists invented obscenity Geoffrey R. Stone The Washington Post March 22, 2017

For Part 3 of this series drawing on excerpts from my new book, “Sex and the Constitution,” I thought a bit of history on the concept of obscenity might be fun:

From the early 19th century to the present, moral and religious concerns over sexually-oriented expression have played a central role in legal and constitutional debates about freedom of speech in the United States. In ancient times, though, sexual explicitness in drama, poetry, art and sculpture was not considered offensive, shameful or harmful. Although Greece and Rome punished seditious, blasphemous and heretical expression, they did not punish expression because it was “obscene.”

After the rise of Christianity, censorship on religious grounds became more prevalent, but for more than a thousand years neither the Church nor the state censored sexual expression because it was thought to be obscene. Indeed, the English language did not even have a definitive word for offensive sexual expression until the 16th century, and even then the word — “bawdy” — did not have a negative connotation. Bawdy ballads, poems and plays might have offended some people, but they were not thought to present a problem appropriate for official intervention.

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

Why We Love Elements of the Law

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:55
Law School Communications March 23, 2017

The first-year Law School course Elements of the Law is sometimes described as the class you take first but understand last. It is so memorable that alumni often discuss it when asked about the parts of their Law School experience that have resonated in the years since graduation. It is difficult, and beloved, and an integral part of the University of Chicago Law School experience.

But what is it, exactly, that make Elements so special?

We put Professor David Strauss, who has been teaching Elements since 1986, in a studio with a former student—Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, '95, the Law School's Associate Dean for Communications—to discuss the course that has been a 1L fixture since 1937.

Faculty:  David A. Strauss Faculty:  Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky

Geoffrey R. Stone: "Sex and the Constitution: The Ancient Greeks"

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 12:48
'Sex and the Constitution': The ancient Greeks Geoffrey R. Stone The Washington Post March 21, 2017

In my first piece in this series on my new book, “Sex and the Constitution,” I noted in passing that “the ancient Greeks and Romans did not attach any religious significance to sex.” I thought it might it interesting in this piece to elaborate a bit on that observation and to give you at least a glimpse of that world. The following is a brief excerpt from the chapter in “Sex and the Constitution” on “The Ancient World”:

From the sixth to the fourth century B.C., Greek culture attained its most impressive achievements in literature, philosophy, politics, science and the arts. The Greeks of this era generally eschewed the legal enforcement of moral or religious notions of “right sexual conduct.” Classical Greek morality and law focused not on sexual sin, but on whether an individual’s conduct was harmful to others. To the ancient Greeks, eros was a primal force that permeated all facets of life.

The Greek gods indulged freely in sexual pleasure. In Greek mythology, Zeus variously became a bull, a swan and even rain with the goal of seducing mortals. Aphrodite was the goddess of love and of sexual rapture. Sex was “ta aphrodísiæ”  — “the things of Aphrodite.” It is said that during the festival of Aphrodite her priestesses had sexual intercourse with strangers as a form of worship.

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  Geoffrey R. Stone

William Baude on Why Judicial Nominees Do Not Answer More Questions

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:49
A note on why judicial nominees do not answer more questions William Baude The Volokh Conspiracy March 21, 2017

The current norms about what kinds of questions nominees are allowed to evade are mostly just norms. With the exception of a few things governed by the canons of judicial ethics (and relevant mostly to sitting judges), those norms can be changed if enough Senators are willing to put their political capital at risk in doing so. Indeed, we have seen some such norms changes in recent years, for better or worse.

The reason that nominees do not give more in-depth answers about how they would rule in given cases, or whatever else, may simply be that they have no incentive to do so. In today’s political configurations, there are very few Senators who both 1, will vote against a nominee because he or she didn’t answer enough questions, and 2, would likely vote for that nominee if they got honest answers. In other words, I doubt that the Senators actually care whether nominees answer their questions, or at least they do not care enough to reward nominees they otherwise oppose, or to punish nominees they otherwise support.

Read more at: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co...

Faculty:  William Baude

Randy Picker, Chair of Committee on University Discipline for Disruptive Conduct, Comments on New Report

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:42
Dealing With Disrupters Colleen Flaherty Inside Higher Ed March 22, 2017

Perhaps most significantly, the committee recommends that disruptive conduct, which is currently addressed at Chicago within individual academic units, be covered by a centralized disciplinary process. While the committee’s hope is to provide “greater consistency across cases,” it does not propose prescribed actions for specific offenses. Rather, it seeks to create a voting committee of five members -- three professors, one student and one staff member drawn from a larger pool appointed by the provost -- to mete out discipline on a case-by-case basis. So while leaving punishments to a committee and designated administrative support office, it's clear that protests that prevent someone from talking violate university rules.

“It was clear to us in meetings on campus with students and faculty that there were a wide range of views on how speech should be approached at the university, and so we didn’t try to hardwire particular punishments,” Randal C. Picker, committee chair and James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at Chicago, said via email. “I expect that to play out in particular cases if we reach that point, but of course I hope that we don’t.”

Read more at: 

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/2...

Faculty:  Randal C. Picker

Daniel Hemel: "How ‘Price Discrimination’ Helps Less-Affluent Countries"

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 09:58
How ‘Price Discrimination’ Helps Less-Affluent Countries Daniel Hemel The Wall Street Journal March 20, 2017

Supreme Court decisions affect ordinary Americans on matters from health care to housing, but rarely does a ruling make a material difference for people abroad. On Tuesday the high court will hear a case that represents an exception to the rule.

Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International is at bottom a case about price discrimination, the practice of charging higher prices to customers who likely can pay more and offering discounts to those who cannot. In many cases, the practice benefits less affluent consumers, who receive a discount to purchase products that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The Supreme Court’s decision will determine whether companies can continue to use patent laws to protect their interest when they set prices lower for consumers abroad.

Read more at: 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-price-discri...

Faculty:  Daniel Hemel

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