Professor Forman described how, while working as a public defender early in his career, he saw many of African-American prosecutors and judges using the same history that motivated him to become a public defender to instead justify incarceration of his clients, and he wanted to understand why.
For me, it was telling that story of the criminal system over the last 50 years through the lens of African-American prosecutors, police chiefs, judges legislators, citizen activists, everyday citizens – trying to figure out, through their voices, what was going on and how was it that at least some of them had come to think that these policies that the government, that the United States as a nation was pursuing made sense. Were they tricked? Were they coerced? What was the story?
This week Chicago-Kent faculty, students and staff observed Constitution Day 2017 with a panel discussion featuring Dean Harold Krent and Professors Sheldon Nahmod, Mark Rosen and Carolyn Shapiro. Professor Christopher Schmidt moderated the panel discussion and open Q&A following their presentations.
This panel represented the range of constitutional experts at Chicago-Kent. Each faculty member was asked by the moderator to emphasize issues they saw as the most relevant, important, or pressing issues related to the Constitution and the Trump presidency so far.
The American Constitution Society hosted “Congressional Forum: Holding the President Accountable” at Chicago-Kent on May 31, 2017. The event featured a fast-paced discussion from a distinguished panel, including Congresswoman Schakowsky, constitutional legal scholars and leaders from the American Constitution Society.
If you weren’t able to attend in person, we’ve gathered the social media coverage and videos from the event here so you can explore the many topics they discussed, from checks and balances to congressional investigations and pushback on executive orders for immigration.
Video of the program has been excerpted by speaker and organized into a playlist, but you can also find the full length video here. (You can access the playlist using the three-bar “hamburger” menu in the upper left corner of the video frame below.)
The American Constitution Society hosted this program with a distinguished panel to discuss a wide range of topics germane to the Trump administration. These included immigration, separation-of-powers issues with the Russia investigations, the judicial vacancy crisis, and how lawyers can use their law degrees to help address these issues.
Aziz Huq, Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law at the University of Chicago
Steven Schwinn, Associate Professor & Director, Clinical Programs Professor, John Marshall Law School and Member of the ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter Board of Advisors – @sschwinn
Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, Co-Chair of the Chicago Lawyer Chapter Board of Advisors and Member of ACS’s National Board of Advisors – @stone_geoffrey
Amy M. Gardner, Director of Lawyer Chapters, The American Constitution Society for Law & Policy
Join us for “Law, Democracy, and the Right to Vote” on Thursday, April 27. In this panel discussion, civil rights and advocacy experts will discuss the historical developments of the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, access to the polls, ID laws and more. We will address the experiences and burdens on the right to vote and make sure you know your rights.
Ryan Cortazar, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, @RZCortazar
What rules do the police need to follow when interacting with protesters? What are the privacy laws related to police body cams and protester-created videos?
“Public Protest and the Law,” a two-hour panel discussion among civil rights and advocacy experts held at Chicago-Kent College of Law on March 2, 2017, addressed First Amendment rights as they relate to protests, local protest permit laws and how they relate to spontaneous protests, issues undocumented immigrant and non-citizen protesters might face if arrested, proposed legislation to curb protester rights, and more.
This panel discussion was co-hosted by our Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and International Law Student Association. The event flyer, slides from our speakers, and a video of the discussion are available here if you missed attending this event.
Dr. James Nolt, Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University Program in International Relations and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute
Edward Harris, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for International LL.M. programs at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Bartram S. Brown, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Program inInternational and Comparative Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Kofi Ademola gave some historical context for the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. These three black queer women started the hashtag on social media in reaction to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.
The Black Lives Matter website helped build the movement when activists protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson used it to start local chapters across the country.
Criminal Justice Reform in Chicago
In Chicago, Kofi Ademola noted there had already been 20 police shootings in 5 years with no convictions, so the issue of police violence has always been central. He said the goal of Black Lives Matter Chicago is to decentralize power and to centralize marginalized voices and communities.
Our Muslim Law Student Association hosted an “Ask Muslims Anything” event during our Diversity Week 2017, giving students a chance to submit questions about Islam or Muslims anonymously.
These questions covered a range of topics from historical Islam to understanding religious practices and challenges Muslims face in the United States due to common misconceptions or outright discrimination.
The panelists represented a range of different personal and religious backgrounds and offered contrasting perspectives throughout the discussion.