• Archive for May, 2010

    What Goes Around, Comes Around: (De)regulation, Chilean “Super” Labor Inspectors and Obama Health Care Reform

    by  • May 26, 2010 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    By: César F. Rosado Marzán, PhD JD*

    Para versión en español pinche aquí (PDF)

    In the early 20th Century U.S. employers effectively escaped from government regulation of employment relations by arguing to the courts, and convincing them, that such actions violated the right of liberty and its alleged derivative, the freedom to contract. Lochner v. New York crystallized this right and was the law of the land for the first decades of the 20th century.  This doctrine, however, changed about three decades after Lochner in cases such as West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, where, amidst the worst economic depression experienced in the U.S., the Court upheld the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation.  Government could now restrict freedom to contract in employment relations as such regulations were seen to be in the public interest.

    But the pressure for profits in an evermore competitive, market economy compels employers to fashion new strategies and repackage old ones to lower their labor costs.  Chilean employers, one of the key political forces behind the country’s internationally discussed free market model, have been particularly creative and assertive in trying to escape government regulation of employment relations through a number of creative legal strategies.


    Eleven C-K Faculty Members Will Speak at Law & Society Conference in Chicago

    by  • May 26, 2010 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Eleven Chicago-Kent faculty members will present papers at this week’s Law & Society annual conference in Chicago.  The conference will be held at the Renaissance Hotel.  Faculty speakers include Bernadette Atuahene, Katherine Baker, William Birdthistle, Christopher Buccafusco, Steven Heyman, Robert Knowles, Nancy Marder, César Rosado, Christopher Schmidt, David Schwartz, and Carolyn Shapiro.  

    Knowing Ideology in Judging When We See It

    by  • May 7, 2010 • Faculty Commentary, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    By Carolyn Shapiro

    It appears likely that President Obama will soon announce his pick to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court.  As I argued shortly before Justice Stevens announced his retirement, claims about “neutral umpires” notwithstanding, judging on the Supreme Court inevitably (sometimes) involves political judgments.  At the same time, however, I do not believe that ideology or political judgments explain everything that the Supreme Court does, although there is a powerful strain of scholarship in political science that effectively makes this claim.  This view, championed in particular by Harold Spaeth and his co-author Jeffrey Segal, is known as the “attitudinal model.”  In an my article, Coding Complexity: Bringing Law to the Empirical Analysis of the Supreme Court, 60 Hastings L. J. 477 (2009), I criticized the ways in which Spaeth identifies the content of the cases that he studies, in particular omitting information about the legal content of the cases.  In my more recent article, The Context of Ideology: Law, Politics, and Empirical Legal Scholarship, 75 Missouri L. Rev. 79 (2010), and recently posted on SSRN, I argue that attempts by Spaeth and other empirical scholars to identify the ideological nature of Supreme Court cases has focused on the wrong metrics.  Rather than try to identify how liberal or conservative a given case is, as empirical scholars generally do, we would be better off trying to identify whether ideology played a particularly strong role in the case at all, that is, whether the case was ideologically salient.  The abstract of the article is below:


    Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital Part 2

    by  • May 4, 2010 • Faculty Commentary • 1 Comment

    Prof. Ralph L. Brill

    Two months ago I posted a summary of the Lebron case, in which the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the Illinois statute which placed caps on non-economic damages in medical negligence cases.  As I indicated there, my colleagues Professor Nancy Marder and Distinguished Professor Richard Wright joined me and a number of other law professors from other schools in submitting an amicus brief in the case.  In it, we advocated that the statute placing caps on medical malpractice damages constituted unconstitutional special legislation.