Rank #1: David Strauss, "Does the Constitution Always Mean What It Says?"
Actually things are not that simple. There are several important examples of clear language in the Constitution that we do not follow. (For an example, look at the first word of the First Amendment.) Sometimes, in fact, it would be essentially unthinkable to follow themost obvious meaning of apparently clear language.
These are not just slips of the pen by the Framers of the Constitution.Things are more interesting than that: the Framers made deliberate choices that we do not always accept, even though those choices are reflected in the text. The ways in which we ignore apparently clear language in the Constitution can teach us a lot about how American constitutional law actually works.
This talk was recorded on February 26, 2014, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Lecture Series. David Strauss is Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.
Rank #2: Kurt Lash & Alan Gura, "Does the Fourteenth Amendment Protect Unenumerated Rights?"
Alan Gura’s practice focuses primarily on constitutional law. Prior to founding Gura & Possessky, PLLC, Mr. Gura began his career by serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Terrence W. Boyle, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Subsequently, as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Mr. Gura defended the State of California and its employees from all manner of lawsuits, in state and federal courts, at trial and on appeal. Thereafter, Mr. Gura entered the private practice of law with the Washington, D.C. offices of Sidley & Austin. In February 2000, he left the firm to serve for a year as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight.
Presented by the Federalist Society on January 25, 2017.
Rank #3: Barbara Herman, "The Moral Side of Non-Negligence"
Barbara Herman is Griffin Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law at UCLA. This talk was recorded on February 26, 2014, as the Dewey Lecture in Law and Philosophy.
Rank #4: Richard Posner, Empirical Legal Studies Conference keynote
Richard A. Posner is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Judge Posner clerked for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. From 1963 to 1965, he was assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission. For the next two years, he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. Prior to going to Stanford Law School in 1968 as Associate Professor, Judge Posner served as general counsel of the President's Task Force on Communications Policy. He first came to the University of Chicago Law School in 1969, and was Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law prior to his appointment in 1981 as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was the chief judge of the court from 1993 to 2000.
This talk was recorded on October 23, 2014.
Rank #5: Justin Driver, "The Southern Manifesto in Myth and Memory"
This Loop Luncheon was presented on April 29, 2016, as part of reunion weekend.
Rank #6: Jonathan Masur, "Deference Mistakes"
Jonathan Masur is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law, David and Celia Hilliard Research Scholar, and Director of the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Program in Behavioral Law, Finance and Economics.
Presented on January 12, 2016, as part of the Chicago’s Best Ideas lecture series.
Rank #7: Michael McConnell, "Religion and Law: Is There a Connection?"
Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, as well as Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, the relation of individual rights to government structure, originalism, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law. He is author of numerous articles and co-author of two casebooks: The Constitution of the United States (Foundation Press) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen). He is co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale Univ. Press). Since 1996, he has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Presented on November 15, 2016, by the Christian Legal Society, the St. Thomas More Society, and the Federalist Society.
Rank #8: Mary Anne Case, “Fifty Years of Griswold v. Connecticut"
Mary Anne Case is the Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law and convener of the Workshop on Regulating Family, Sex and Gender.
Presented by the Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the American Constitution Society on November 11, 2015.
Rank #9: Moshe Halbertal, "Three Concepts of Human Dignity"
Moshe Halbertal is the Gruss Professor of Law at NYU and Professor of Philosophy Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
The 2015 Dewey Lecture was recorded on November 11 at the University of Chicago Law School.
Rank #10: John Tasioulas, "Minimum Core Obligations: Human Rights in the Here and Now"
John Tasioulas is Visiting Professor of Law and the Charles J. Merriam Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School; Yeoh Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London; and Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy, and Law.
Presented by the International Human Rights Clinics and the Human Rights Law Society on May 5, 2016.
Rank #11: Michael Kirby, "North Korea and our Dilemma"
Michael Kirby was a Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009), the nation's highest appellate and constitutional Court. In 2013-14 he served as chair of the Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council investigating crimes against humanity in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). The commission found grave and long-standing crimes against humanity and called for referral of its report to the Security Council of the United Nations. That body has the power to refer matters to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. He warned the Supreme Leader of North Korea that, under international law, he was potentially personally accountable for failing to use his power to prevent and redress such crimes. Although the commission's report was duly sent to the Security Council by the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, so far the Security Council as failed to enliven the jurisdiction of the ICC. In recent weeks, the Council has imposed new and stronger sanctions against North Korea following the conduct of a fourth nuclear weapons test and missile tests. The report of the commission has been widely praised for its powerful description of great wrongs. But how do we move beyond another UN report into effective subjection of this dangerous state and its leadership to compulsory accountability before an international tribunal responding to the deep concerns of humanity? The speaker will outline our dilemma. He will also answer questions and suggest possible future developments.
The Ulysses and Marguerite Schwartz Memorial Lectureship at the University of Chicago Law School is held by a distinguished lawyer or teacher whose experience is in the academic field or practice of public service.
Presented on March 29, 2016, at the University of Chicago Law School.
Rank #12: Anthony J. Casey, "The Short Happy Life of Rules and Standards"
This lecture is in honor of Ronald Coase. Coase, who spent most of his academic career at the University of Chicago Law School, helped create the field of law and economics through groundbreaking scholarship that earned him the 1991 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and through his far-reaching influence as a journal editor.
Anthony J. Casey is Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Teaching Scholar. This Coase Lecture was presented on February 21, 2017.
Rank #13: Jonathan S. Masur, "The Behavioral Law & Economics of Happiness"
Jonathan S. Masur is John P. Wilson Professor of Law, David and Celia Hilliard Research Scholar, and Director of the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Program in Behavioral Law, Finance and Economics. The 2018 Coase Lecture in Law and Economics was presented on February 6, 2018.
Rank #14: Douglas Hallward-Driemeier & Daniel Hemel, "Insights from the Obergefell Supreme Court Arguments"
Doug Hallward-Driemeier leads Ropes & Gray’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. He has presented more than 60 appellate arguments, including before the U.S. Supreme Court and every federal circuit court of appeals. In the 2014-2015 Supreme Court Term, he argued two cases, including the landmark Obergefell case.
Daniel Hemel’s research focuses on taxation, risk regulation, and innovation law. His current projects examine the taxation of risk-based returns; the application of cost-benefit analysis to tax administration; and the role of international law in providing innovation incentives. As an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School, he teaches tax, administrative law, and torts.
This event was organized by the Office of the Dean of Students and sponsored by OutLaw. It was recorded on November 4, 2015.
Rank #15: Saul Levmore, "What Do Lawmakers Do?"
Saul Levmore is the William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law.
This Chicago's Best Ideas lecture was recorded on October 13, 2015.
Rank #16: M. Todd Henderson, "Lawyer CEOs"
This Loop Luncheon talk was presented on May 4, 2018.
Download the slides (PDF): https://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/2018-05/loop_luncheon_2018_slides.pdf
Rank #17: John G. Malcolm, "Current Topics in Criminal Justice Reform"
John G. Malcolm oversees The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law as director of the think tank’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. In addition to his duties at Heritage, Malcolm is chairman of the Criminal Law Practice Group of the Federalist Society. Malcolm has previously served in both the public and private sectors. Among other positions, he has worked as general counsel at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, as executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the Motion Picture Association of America, as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, as a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Malcolm & Schroeder, and as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Atlanta fraud and public corruption section. Malcolm began his law career clerking for Judge James C. Hill on the Eleventh Circuit and for Chief Judge Charles A. Moye, Jr. on the Northern District of Georgia. Malcolm is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia College.
Jonathan Masur received a BS in physics and an AB in political science from Stanford University in 1999 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 2003. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and for Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He joined the Law School faculty in 2007 and received tenure in 2012. He served as Deputy Dean from 2012 to 2014 and was named the John P. Wilson Professor of Law in 2014. He won the Graduating Students Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014 and 2017 and the Class of 2016 Award. He has served as director of the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Program in Behavioral Law, Finance and Economics since its founding.
Rank #18: M. Todd Henderson, "Do Judges Follow the Law?"
M. Todd Henderson is Professor of Law and Aaron Director Teaching Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on April 15, 2014, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.
Rank #19: Law in the Era of #MeToo: A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett
Valerie B. Jarrett is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Law School and former senior advisor to President Barack Obama. Emily Buss is the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law at the Law School.
Rank #20: Saul Levmore, "How Does Law Work? Concentration and Distribution Strategies"
This Chicago’s Best Ideas talk explores this tug-of-war, or evolutionary pattern, involving the two opposing strategies. How does law know which to use? Most important, what is the likely evolution of law as citizens call on Big Government to solve their big problems, like climate change or access to health care, and how does technological change alter the likely balance between these two strategies?
Saul Levmore is the William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on October 21, 2014, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.