• Perritt on Kurdistan’s strategic future

    by  • November 2, 2009 • 5 Comments

    By Henry H. Perritt, Jr.

    In evaluating ways to clean up the mess that the Bush Administration made in Iraq, too little attention has been paid to the strategic options presented by the Kurds, who comprise about 25 % of Iraq’s population and now control 10-20 % of its territory under the umbrella of the Kurdistan Regional Government (hereinafter “Kurdistan” or “KRG”).

    I was in Kurdistan last week. Its second city, Sulamaniyah, is crowded with traffic, and construction cranes dot the skyline. Civilians rush about, patronizing high-end clothing stores as well as traditional markets. The atmosphere is calm, with few worries about security. Not a single American soldier or marine has been killed, wounded or kidnapped in Kurdistan since the invasion of 2003. Unlike in southern Iraq, Americans are popular.

    KRG is guaranteed political autonomy by the Iraqi constitution. The Kurds intend to hold on to the autonomy and, if possible, to expand it, hoping to extend the geographic reach of KRG to the oil-rich governorate of Kirkuk. With the revenue from Kirkuk’s energy resources, protection from KRG’s Peshmerga–militia forces estimated to number anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000, and a modicum of support from U.S. forces, the Kurds are well-positioned to play a crucial role in the reshaping of the Middle East.

    Five scenarios can be envisioned. The first is least likely: a genuinely unified and democratic Iraq.


    Professor Kraus quoted in USA Today article on Diabetes in Schools

    by  • November 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

    Professor Ed Kraus was quoted at length in an article on the resources available to diabetic schoolchildren.  From the article:

    Although more schools have fewer full-time nurses while, experts say, there is an increasing number of children being diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, many schools are successfully adapting to the needs of these kids, which the federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires they do, says attorney Ed Kraus, an associate professor at Chicago Kent Law School who works with the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Yet, too many schools are still falling short, he says.

     Read the article here.

    Birdthistle on Jones v. Harris

    by  • October 31, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Morningstar just uploaded a video of our very own Professor William Birdthistle and Professor John Coates of Harvard Law School debating the issues in Jones v. Harris, which will be argued on Monday in the Supreme Court. It’s currently at the top of their website.  Click here to view it.

    And continuing his run with the press, Professor Birdthistle was heard yesterday discussing the same case on NPR’s Markeplace. You can hear that interview here.

    Student Brief: Nahmod on Constitutional Torts, Over-Deterrence and Supervisory Liability After Iqbal

    by  • October 30, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By student blogger Moshe Marvit

    Recently Professor Sheldon Nahmod presented a talk to the Chicago-Kent College of Law faculty about the Supreme Court’s recent decision of Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009). Though the case is primarily a pleadings case involving §1983 pleading requirements after Twombly, the talk focused on the Court’s revisionist treatment of §1983 supervisory liability.

    Professor Nahmod’s talk, entitled, “Consitutional Torts, Over-Deterrence and Supervisory Liability After Iqbal,” proceeded in three parts. First a primer on §1983 and Bivens actions was discussed, with particular attention paid to the purposes of §1983, the role of immunities, and the statutes so called “background of tort liability.” Next, Professor Nahmod discussed the role that deterrence, and perhaps over-deterrence, has played in the developing interpretation of the statute. Finally, a framework for understanding the different approaches that the Court has taken towards supervisory liability was provided, and an argument made for why the Court’s current approach in Iqbal is inconsistent with the statute’s purposes and prior precedent.


    Investment Indiscipline: A Behavioral Approach to Mutual Fund Jurisprudence by Professor Birdthistle

    by  • October 27, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Professor William Birdthistle has recently posted his article Investment Indiscipline: A Behavioral Approach to Mutual Fund Jurisprudence on ssrn.  It will be published in the Illinois Law Review.  Here is the abstract:

    Next Term, in Jones v. Harris, the Supreme Court will be called upon to resolve philosophical divergences on a massive, critical, yet academically slighted subject: the dysfunctional system through which almost one hundred million Americans attempt to save more than ten trillion dollars for their retirement. When this case was in the Seventh Circuit, two of the foremost theorists of law and economics, Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Richard Posner, disagreed vociferously on competing analyses of the investment industry. The Supreme Court’s ruling will not only resolve the intricate fiduciary and doctrinal issues of this dispute but also have profound implications upon several major theoretical debates in contemporary American jurisprudence: the clash of classical versus behavioral economics; the judicial capacity to evaluate increasingly sophisticated econometric analyses of financial systems; and the determination of the legal constraints – if any – upon executive compensation decisions. 

    In this Article, I advance a positive account of the economic and legal context of this dispute and then argue normatively for a behavioral approach to its resolution. Because of the unique structure and history of the personal investment industry in the United States, the architecture of this segment of the economy is singularly bereft of beneficial market forces and thus vulnerable to significant fiduciary distortions. The ultimate judicial resolution of this dispute should take full account of the behavioral constraints upon individual investors and their advisors to avoid nullifying a federal statute and to impose discipline in a vital segment of the U.S. economy.

    In addition, Professor Birdthistle will be speaking at the first Faculty-Student Workshop today at noon.  Look for a video podcast of the event on this blog in the near future.

    The Economics of Injunctive and Reverse Settlements by Professor Cho

    by  • October 27, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Professor Sungjoon Cho and his co-author Keith Hylton (Boston University) have recently posted their new working paper "The Economics of Injunctive and Reverse Settlements" on ssrn.  Here is the abstract:

     This paper extends the economic literature on settlement, and draws some practical insights on reverse settlements. The key contributions to the economic literature on settlements follow from the distinction drawn between standard settlements, in which the status quo is preserved, and injunctive settlements, which prohibit the defendant’s activity. The analysis identifies the conditions under which injunctive settlements (rather than standard settlements) are likely to be observed and the conditions under which reverse settlements will be observed among the injunctive settlements. Specifically, reverse settlements are likely when the stakes associated with the injunction are large relative to damages and litigation costs. The analysis of settlement here has broader implications for efficient remedies and legal rules.

    Teaching Brown v. Board of Education

    by  • October 26, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By Sheldon Nahmod [via Nahmod Law]


    Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), is one of the great constitutional law cases and perhaps the most important Supreme Court decision of the 20th century. I want to describe how I approach the case in class and what I hope students will learn.


    Brown cannot be understood in isolation from what preceded it: the history of slavery, the Civil War, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and Jim Crow in the South as exemplified by Plessy v. Ferguson, 166 U.S. 537 (1896). In Plessy, the Court, over Justice Harlan’s prescient dissent, had upheld separate but equal for railroad cars, with far-reaching implications for segregation generally.

    Similarly, Brown cannot be understood apart from its own specific historical setting: victory over the racist Nazi regime in the Second World War, the rise of the Soviet Union, the integration of the American military, the urgent need for workers after the Second World War and important demographic changes.

    Finally, there is an obvious moral dimension to Brown, although the Court did not expressly ground Brown on moral considerations.

    In this connection, I raise the question in class whether the Court in Brown was leading the nation, whether it was following the nation or some combination thereof. I also disabuse my students of the notion that the Court as an institution was particularly heroic in Brown, since its own late 19th and 20th century decisions enabled and encouraged the South to continue the segregationist policies that the Court in Brown finally  began to dismantle.


    “The Nazi Obsession with Legalizing the Holocaust” – Law and Humanities Event

    by  • October 22, 2009 • 0 Comments

    The Institute for Law and the Humanities is pleased to announce that nationally known Nazi Holocaust scholar Harry Reicher, who is Adjunct Professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School and Scholar-in-Residence at Touro Law School, will speak at Chicago-Kent on November 4, 2009, at 3 pm in the Event Room. A reception follows at 4 pm. All faculty, staff and students, as well as the public, are invited. 

    The title of his presentation is The Nazi Obsession with Legalizing the Holocaust. Here is his description: 


    Chicago-Kent and UIC Host Law and Society Symposium

    by  • October 21, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Scholars representing diverse disciplines at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago-Kent College of Law will discuss issues related to political economy and the law during a symposium at UIC's Institute for the Humanities. 

    Oct. 21
    3 – 5 p.m.

    Institute for the Humanities
    Stevenson Hall, lower level, 701 S. Morgan St.

    Scholars scheduled to present are:

    Bette Bottoms, dean of the UIC Honors College, vice provost for undergraduate affairs, and professor of psychology
    "Psychological Perspectives on Race in Cases involving Child Victims and Offenders"

    Stephen Engelmann, UIC associate professor of political science
    "Fairness, Efficiency, and the Making of Markets"

    Nancy Marder, professor of law, Chicago-Kent College of Law
    "Theories of Juror Bias, Voir Dire and Jury Decision-Making"

    Mark Rosen, professor of law, Chicago-Kent College of Law
    "The Constitutional Principle of Democratic Integrity: A Critical Re-examination of the Political Gerrymandering and Voter Identification Cases"

    Walter Benn Michaels, UIC professor of English, and Katharine Baker, professor of law and associate dean, Chicago-Kent College of Law, serve as the program's moderators.

    Admission is free. For more information call (312) 996-6354.

    Student Brief: Mark Rosen: What Our Constitution Does (and Does Not) Do

    by  • October 20, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By Student Blogger Danny Hergott

    In honor of Constitution Day, constitutional law Prof. Mark Rosen presented his thoughts on the founding document of the United States of America.  The event was held at Chicago-Kent and attracted a diverse audience of students, faculty members and interested members of the public. 

    Prof. Rosen began by immediately admitting his bias: "I love the Constitution." (Perhaps constitutional law professors are required to publicly admit their love of the Constitution on Constitution Day.  See here for other Constitution Day requirements.)  In any event, Prof. Rosen possesses more than strong feelings for the document; he is an erudite scholar of its history and interpretation.  See some of his work here.