• Student Brief: “The Nazi Obsession with Legalizing the Holocaust” by Harry Reicher

    by  • November 20, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By student blogger Moshe Zvi Marvit

    On November 04, 2009, Professor Harry Reicher, Adjunct
    Professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School and Scholar-in-Residence at
    Touro Law School, presented “The Nazi Obsession with Legalizing the Holocaust”
    to a packed room of students and faculty. Professor Reicher addressed up front
    the inherent tensions of discussing the Holocaust and law, because the general
    conception of the Holocaust is at odds with what most think of when one thinks
    of the law. Where law is associated with justice, morality, due process, and
    respect, the Holocaust is associated with brutality, injustice, dehumanization,
    and hate.

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    “Happiness and Punishment” on The Legal Workshop

    by  • November 17, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By Christopher Buccafusco


    My recent article with John Bronsteen and Jonathan Masur, Happiness and Punishment, has recently appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review.  Please email me if you’re interested in receiving a reprint.

    In addition, an editorial-style version of the article has just appeared online in The Legal Workshop.  Here’s the first paragraph from the article:

    New findings in hedonic psychology have implications for punishment theory.  Specifically, these findings suggest that criminals adapt surprisingly well to fines and even to incarceration, but that incarceration negatively affects post-prison life in ways that tend to be unadaptable.  These results increase the difficulty of using adjustments in the size of a fine or the length of a prison sentence to tailor a punishment to fit a crime.  Because such adjustments are our primary means of crafting proportional punishments, and because such proportionality is important to retributive and utilitarian theories of punishment, a problem with their effectiveness could necessitate a rethinking of penal assumptions.

    Student Brief: More from Professor Birdthistle on Mutual Funds in the Supreme Court

    by  • November 4, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By student blogger Orijit Ghoshal

        On Tuesday, October 27, Professor William Birdthistle kicked off a series of lectures designed to give students a glimpse into the faculty’s academic scholarship with a lecture on Jones v. Harris Associates. In addition to writing an article to be published by the University of Illinois Law Review on the subject, Prof. Birdthistle served as counsel of record on two Briefs Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support of the Petitioners.

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    Student Brief: The Legal Implications of Drug Testing in Sports by Professor Schmidt

    by  • November 4, 2009 • 3 Comments

    By student blogger Mark Berardi 

        The Sports and Entertainment Law
    Society recruited Professor Christopher Schmidt of Chicago-Kent College of Law
    to present the history and legal implications of drug testing in sports.
    Professor Schmidt’s talk drew on a project he is currently working on entitled,
    “Governing Baseball.” He is exploring the history of the relationship between
    baseball and the government through four case studies: (1) The appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first
    Commissioner of baseball in the wake of the Black Sox Scandal; (2) the
    integration of baseball; (3) team relocations and the expansion of major league
    baseball in the 1950s and 1960s; and (4) the introduction of drug testing in
    the past decade. He argues that while organized baseball has generally prided
    itself on its independence from government regulation, the game actually has a
    long history of reliance on government, and, furthermore, government
    involvement has generally benefited the game.

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    Student Brief: Alison LaCroix: Temporal Imperialism

    by  • November 3, 2009 • 0 Comments

    By student blogger Laura Elkayam

    In September Professor Alison LaCroix, a legal historian and an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School, presented her recent article, “Temporal Imperialism”, which identifies and critiques the United States Supreme Court’s disoriented relationship with notions of time. Specifically, Professor LaCroix argues that despite its proclamations of institutional continuity, the Court in fact routinely engages in a kind of “temporal packaging” that indicates a more severed state of affairs.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.