• Lies and the First Amendment

    by  • April 22, 2014 • 0 Comments

    By Christopher Schmidt [reposted from ISCOTUSnow]


    This post on United States v. Alvarez is part of ISCOTUS Director Chris Schmidt’s “Drama in the Court” series.

    Today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that prohibits intentionally false statements about political candidates. The case itself presents the basic free speech question only obliquely. The central issue before the Court is a technical one: whether a party can even go to court to challenge this kind of law prior to being prosecuted for violating that law. This is a question, in other words, of whether the plaintiff has “standing” to make the First Amendment challenge. But the underlying constitutional question—whether the First Amendment permits the regulation of blatant lies in political campaigns—will surely be part of the tomorrow’s oral argument.

    The First Amendment status of lies is not a new issue for the Roberts Court. It was at issue before just two years ago in United States v. Alvarez, a case involving a small town public official who liked to tell stories about himself. In describing his background at a local water board meeting, Xavier Alvarez described himself as a retired marine who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor. This was a bald-faced lie. Alvarez had never even served in the military. It was, as the Court would describe it, “a pathetic attempt to gain respect that eluded him.” Alvarez was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, a federal law that prohibited falsely claiming military decorations or medals. Alvarez challenged the law as infringing his First Amendment right to free expression.

    The Supreme Court sided with Alvarez. Justice Kennedy, writing for a 6-3 majority (although his reasoning had only four votes), rejected the Justice Department’s contention that lies receive no protection under the First Amendment. As content-based speech restrictions, lies must be held to the most exacting demands of the First Amendment. “Some false statements are inevitable if there is to be an open and vigorous expression of views in public and private conversation, expression the First Amendment seeks to guarantee,” wrote Justice Kennedy.

    By looking back at oral argument in Alvarez, we can find a couple of fascinating moments that may help illuminate the issues the Court will consider tomorrow in the Susan B. Anthony List case. (more…)

    Documentary Film Series on Race: “Raising Our Voices”

    by  • April 18, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Chicago-Kent’s Documentary Film Series on Race shows important films throughout the semester in an effort to create meaningful discussions about race.

    Join faculty, students, and alumni on Tuesday, April 22, at 12:00 pm for the final event in this semester’s series—a screening of “Raising Our Voices,” an award-winning documentary that seeks to raise awareness about the increasing hate crimes and bias incidents affecting South Asian communities, especially in the late 1990s. See a short summary from the documentary’s website below:

    The documentary features South Asian survivors of hate crimes and their families in Queens, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, as well as organizers, lawyers and community advocates who mobilized the South Asian community and demanded justice. When the film was completed two weeks before September 11th, 2001, little did we know how the landscape of the South Asian community in the United States would change. With the alarming increase of hate crimes, bias incidents, and profiling that South Asians, especially those who are Sikh and Muslim, endured in the days and months after 9/11, SAALT re-envisioned the documentary and shot additional footage.

    Read more →

    Information:

    Tuesday, April 22, at 12:00 pm
    IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Governor Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium
    Contact Grace Akinlemibola for more information

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 4/17/14

    by  • April 17, 2014 • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week, 4/10/14 to 4/17/14.

    4/11Richard Kling was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article on the death of a man who recently testified against former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson (“Man who testified in Peterson case dies in I-55 crash”).

    4/15Douglas Godfrey was quoted in a Deseret News National article on dishonesty in modern society (“‘You can’t handle the truth’: 96 percent of Americans admit to lying”).

    4/16Ron Staudt was quoted in a College of Law Practice Management press release calling for nominations for the 2014 InnovAction Awards. According to Staudt, CLPM is “seeking and recognizing creativity and new ways of thinking in legal services delivery.”


    For more information, contact Gwendolyn Osborne, Director of Public Affairs, (312) 906-5251.

    Schwartz Takes Part in Patent Troll Debate

    by  • April 11, 2014 • 0 Comments

    On Friday, April 4th, Professor David Schwartz participated in a debate on “patent trolls” as part of the fourth annual Patent Conference (PatCon4), the largest conference for patent scholars in the world. John F. Duffy of the University of Virginia School of Law joined Schwartz in debating Mark Lemley of the Stanford Law School and Michael Meurer of the Boston University School of Law on the issue. Over at the patent blog Comparative Patent Remedies, law professor Thomas Cotter live-blogged the proceeding, which he introduces with the following:

    As I mentioned yesterday, one of the events at the PatCon 4 conference is a debate on the questions of whether hostility to patent trolls is “well  justified  theoretically or empirically” and whether said hostility “will likely result in bad law.” Arguing that the hostility is not well justified are Professors John Duffy and David Schwartz. Arguing that it is are Professors Mark Lemley and Michael Meurer.

    Click here to read Professor Cotter’s post, and be sure to check out some of Professor Schwartz’s scholarship on patent trolls, including the following articles: Unpacking Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) and Analyzing the Role of Non-Practicing Entities in the Patent System.

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 4/10/14

    by  • April 10, 2014 • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week, 4/3/14 to 4/10/14.

    4/6Richard Warner was mentioned in a News-Gazette blurb about the Champaign County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and its upcoming annual meeting, which will take place on Sunday, April 13th. Warner will give a presentation titled “Is It All Over? Privacy and the Surveillance State.” Click here for more information on the Champaign County ACLU website.

    4/9 – Dean Harold Krent was quoted in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article on the state of the job market for recent law school graduates (“Job market remains slow for 2013 grads”).

    4/10Lori Andrews was featured in an IIT Today article on an upcoming conference, “Infrastructures of Creativity: Institutions and Innovation in the 18th and 21st Centuries.” Andrews will speak on “The Effects of Patent Law on the Past, Present and Future of Innovation” at 2 pm on Friday, April 11, in the Hermann Hall Ballroom at IIT. Visit the conference website for more information.

    Blogs:

    4/8 - Sheldon Nahmod added a new post to his series on cases featuring section 1983 “malicious prosecution” claims. In the post, he outlines three recent circuit decisions—two from the Seventh Circuit and one from the Tenth Circuit—that deal with such claims.


    For more information, contact Gwendolyn Osborne, Director of Public Affairs, (312) 906-5251.

    The Right to Discriminate in Historical Perspective

    by  • April 9, 2014 • 0 Comments

    By Christopher Schmidt [reposted from ISCOTUSnow]


    Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a New Mexico case involving a photography business that refused to take pictures at a same-sex commitment ceremony. This act of discrimination, according to the state human rights commission, ran afoul of the New Mexico public accommodations law. The couple who owned the photography company claimed that a legal requirement to serve same-sex customers in this context infringed their First Amendment rights. Their argument, in essence, was that in certain circumstances they had a right to discriminate.

    These kinds of claims of a right to discriminate have a long history in this country, although they have been conspicuously unsuccessful in the U.S. Supreme Court. As far as I can tell, the first time the Supreme Court squarely faced the question of whether an anti-discrimination law unconstitutionally infringed someone’s individual liberty was in 1945. Railway Mail Association v. Corsi involved a New York state law that prohibited racial discrimination in unions. A union of postal clerks claimed that this law infringed their property and liberty of contract rights, as well as their “social rights.”

    “There will always be discriminations,” the union’s brief explained. “We discriminate in the method of our religious worship. We discriminate in the choice of our friends. We differ in our tastes and likes, and yet nothing can be done about this for it is beyond regulation in the absence of a binding grant from us to our form of government…. This is a personal and constitutional right beyond the power of legislation.” The Supreme Court summarily rejected this argument as having “no constitutional basis.” After Corsi, this basic premise, that the Constitution does not protect an individual’s right to discriminate, was repeatedly reaffirmed in the courts, always in similarly summary fashion. (more…)

    Chicago-Kent Research Paper Series No. 6.1

    by  • April 4, 2014 • 0 Comments

    The Chicago-Kent Research Paper Series (RPS) is an SSRN ejournal publication, distributed monthly, that highlights new abstracts, works in progress, and recently published articles by Chicago-Kent faculty.

    The latest edition (6.1) of the RPS was distributed April 3rd. This edition includes the following articles:

    Steven HarrisWhen is a Dog’s Tail Not a Leg?: A Property-Based Methodology for Distinguishing Sales of Receivables from Security Interests That Secure an Obligation (with Charles Mooney, Jr.), 82 University of Cincinnati Law Review __ (forthcoming 2014).

    • César Rosado MarzánDanbury Hatters in Sweden: An American Warning Against Punitive Damages for Workers’ ‘Illegal’ Collective Action (with Margot Nikitas), under review at International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations (2014).

    • Christopher SchmidtExplaining the Baseball Revolution, 45 Arizona State Law Journal 1471 (2013).

    • Richard WarnerSelf, Privacy, and Power: Is it All Over? (with Robert Sloan), working paper (2014).

    Click here to see the abstract page for the Series and to subscribe to the ejournal.

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 4/3/14

    by  • April 3, 2014 • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week, 3/27/14 to 4/3/14.

    3/28 – West Virginia University’s State Journal announced the third annual C. Edwin Baker lecture, which Steven Heyman delivered today at WVU’s law school. Heyman’s topic was “The Conservative-Libertarian Turn in First Amendment Jurisprudence.”

    3/28David Schwartz was mentioned in a Patent Docs preview of the fourth annual Patent Conference—PatCon4—which will take place April 4-5, 2014, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego. Schwartz will participate in a debate on “patent trolls” along with John F. Duffy (Virginia), Mark Lemley (Stanford), and Michael Meurer (Boston University).

    Blogs:

    3/31Vinay Harpalani’s latest article, Narrowly Tailored But Broadly Compelling: Defending Race-Conscious Admissions after Fisher (forthcoming in vol. 45 of the Seton Hall Law Review), was featured on Lawrence Solum’s Legal Theory Blog. Click here to download the article on SSRN.


    For more information, contact Gwendolyn Osborne, Director of Public Affairs, (312) 906-5251.

    Hobby Lobby Debate at C-K

    by  • April 2, 2014 • 0 Comments

    [Via Chicago-Kent Events]


    Don’t miss the opportunity to see Dean Harold Krent go up against Professor Kent Streseman in this Heavyweight oral argument competition—gloves off! The participants will debate the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate and the Hobby Lobby case, which the Supreme Court heard last week. In a unique turning of the tables, you’ll get to see the Moot Court team student champions judge the faculty’s performance in the competition.

    When and Where:
    Wednesday, April 9, at 3:30 pm
    IIT Downtown Campus – Chicago-Kent College of Law, Room 510

    Contact Information:
    Kayla Higgins

    Heyman to Speak at WVU

    by  • March 31, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Professor Steven Heyman, an expert on the First Amendment, will deliver the third annual C. Edwin Baker lecture at noon on Thursday, April 3, at the West Virginia University College of Law. His topic is “The Conservative-Libertarian Turn in First Amendment Jurisprudence.” According to the WVU business newspaper, the Baker Lecture “is presented in honor of C. Edwin Baker, a leading constitutional law scholar who died in 2009. He was the Nicholas F. Gallicchio Professor of Law and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.” Click here for more information.

    Professor Heyman has written extensively on the First Amendment. For more of his scholarship on the topic, visit his Selected Works page, which includes the following recent publications:

    To Drink the Cup of Fury: Funeral Picketing, Public Discourse and the First Amendment, 45 Connecticut Law Review 101 (2012).
    The Dark Side of the Force: The Legacy of Justice Holmes for First Amendment Jurisprudence, 19 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 661 (2011).
    Ideological Conflict and the First Amendment, 78 Chicago-Kent Law Review 531 (2003).

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 3/27/14

    by  • March 27, 2014 • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last two weeks, 3/13/14 to 3/27/14.

    3/19 - Photos from the Bohemian Lawyers Association of Chicago’s monthly meeting—at which Lori Andrews was present—were featured in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin headline (“Bohemians mingle,” behind paywall).

    3/21David Schwartz was quoted in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article on a settlement in a “patent troll” case (“Once seeking $4B, ‘troll’ gets $2.7M”).

    3/27Hank Perritt was quoted in a Chicago Business article on the NLRB’s recent decision that Northwestern University football players have a right to unionize (“Northwestern football union ruling: What happens next?”). Perritt was also interviewed by NPR’s Morning Edition and appeared in an ABC7 video to discuss the topic.

    Blogs:

    3/23 – At The Walters Way, Adrian Walters posted on the US News Law School rankings for 2015.

    3/24 – At Nahmod Law, Sheldon Nahmod posted on the 31st Annual Conference on Section 1983, which will be held at Chicago-Kent on Thursday and Friday, April 24-25, 2014.


    For more information, contact Gwendolyn Osborne, Director of Public Affairs, (312) 906-5251.

    31st Annual Conference on Section 1983

    by  • March 26, 2014 • 0 Comments

    This spring (April 24-25), Chicago-Kent will host the 31st Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference, a comprehensive update on liability arising out of Section 1983. Professor Sheldon Nahmod, a well-known expert on civil rights and the law of Section 1983, has organized the conference and will act as program chair. Here are a few words about the conference from Professor Nahmod’s blog:

    This national two-day conference, heading into its fourth decade, features expert academic speakers including Erwin Chemerinsky on immunities as well as his Supreme Court review, Karen Blum on local government liability, Rosalie Levinson on equal protection and Sheldon Nahmod on the section 1983 claim as well as the Second Amendment.

    It also features outstanding practitioners from around the country, including Gerry Birnberg (Texas) on fees and ethical issues, John Murphey (Illinois) on practical considerations in section 1983 litigation and Brendan Egan (New Mexico) on immigration related issues.

    For further information, please contact Chicago-Kent’s CLE department via email at cle@kentlaw.iit.edu or via phone at 312-906-5090.

    The conference brochure also provides the following information:

    Who should attend:
    Municipal and state attorneys, plaintiffs’ attorneys and criminal defense attorneys.

    Why:
    Liability arising out of Section 1983 presents a continuing challenge for all municipal lawyers, private practitioners, and litigators who try cases in this dynamic area. Keeping up with this ever-changing environment is critical. You will learn both the fundamentals and more advanced aspects of Section1983 practice and trial skills, and analyze the latest judicial decisions.

    The brochure also provides information on schedules and speakers.