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.)
Professor Carolyn Shapiro was a guest panelist on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” on May 30, 2017, to discuss the prospect of the U.S. Supreme Court reviewing president Trump’s second executive order on immigration. The executive order, which would temporarily ban travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries, is blocked by an injunction recently upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Shapiro also commented on cases on the Supreme Court docket related to gerrymandering and whether religious institutions have a right to receive government funds.
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
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.
On February 17, First Defense Legal Aid hosted a “CrImmigration” panel discussion to address these questions: What’s at stake when immigrants of color don’t know or access their rights when in contact with Chicago Police? What do First Defenders need to know & how do we watchdog the promises of a sanctuary city?
The event was sponsored by a number of local legal aid programs and community organizations. Speakers included our own Professor Richard Kling as well as legal aid volunteers, civic leaders and immigration community organizers.
On Wednesday, February 8, 2007 the Chicago-Kent Immigration Law Society and the SBA Diversity Committee sponsored an event reviewing recent executive orders related to immigration law, the BRIDGE ACT and volunteer opportunities.
The speakers were Chicago-Kent alumni with experience in immigration law for corporate cases, family law, and volunteer advocacy.
Professor Carolyn Shapiro was a guest on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” on February 8, 2017, for a discussion about the arguments heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for and against lifting a temporary restraining order that halted the controversial travel ban imposed by one of President Trump’s recent executive orders.
First, kudos to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for livestreaming the oral argument. The technology was not perfect, but opening the hearing to all citizens represents a needed step toward transparency in light of the controversy engendered by the Executive Order.
Second, the panel was prepared and peppered both sides with tough questions. The judges, despite their different ideological leanings (Judges Canby and Friedland were appointed by Democratic presidents, and Judge Clifton by a Republican), bolstered the image of an independent judiciary committed to the rule of law.
Third, despite the risks of predicting votes based on questions in oral arguments, the panel in my view is leaning towards recognizing that the State of Washington enjoyed standing to bring the lawsuit. At least two of the judges seemed convinced that the State could sue in its proprietary capacity because of its allegations that state universities would suffer if students and professors could not get into the country. In any event, the DOJ attorney conceded that individuals and their families who were directly affected by the Executive Order had standing, so that even if the State of Washington could not bring suit, other plaintiffs could.
Fourth, on the merits, there was little discussion of the question of the Order’s inconsistency with the 1965 statute, other than apparent agreement that the statute only prohibits country of origin categorization with respect to granting immigrant visas, and the President’s Order reaches far more broadly.
Writing as a legal historian, I want to say that President Trump’s Executive Order of January 27th regarding immigration and refugees was entirely unprecedented but it was not. What I can say is that looking back at immigration laws and policies, like those in the Executive Order, we can see how they were entirely misguided and driven by racist stereotypes. I briefly want to point to two such events involving Jewish refugees and immigrants.
In 1892 poor Eastern European Jewish refugees attempting to enter the United States spent months in U.S. quarantine under the mistaken belief that they were carriers of typhoid and later cholera. Such hysteria was driven by the wide-spread stereotype that such Jews were dirty, dangerous, and that they polluted the Christian body of the nation. Protecting the nation’s security was thus mapped on to the Jewish body. At the time, no one brought a habeas petition on behalf of those detained. Rather Jewish charities and others cooperated with officials hoping that the ban would soon be lifted.
Professor Felice Batlan comments on protests taking place at O’Hare International Airport on Monday, January 30, 2017, over President Trump’s executive order closing U.S. borders to refugees, immigrants and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Watch the video.