Faculty Podcast

Aziz Huq, "What Good is Article V?: A Defense of Our Rigid and Inflexible Constitution"

The Constitution’s amendment rule in Article V renders the text inflexible, countermajoritarian, and insensitive to important contemporary constituencies. Comparative empirical studies show that textual rigidity is not only rare in other countries’ organic documents but highly correlated with constitutional failure.


59:34 minutes (54.53 MB)

Todd Henderson, "The Law & Economics of Self-Regulation"

Todd Henderson is Professor of Law and Aaron Director Teaching Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on May 3, 2013, at the annual Loop Luncheon held in conjuction with Reunion.


65:28 minutes (59.95 MB)

Richard Epstein, "A History of Public Utility Regulation in the Supreme Court"

Rate regulation today is often conceived of as an exotic topic of interest only to a select group of pointy-headed specialists. But the truth is quite the opposite.  The history of rate regulation raises some of the most fundamental challenges to the organization of a free society.


60:07 minutes (55.04 MB)

Justice Albie Sachs, "Same Sex Marriage Decision in South Africa"

Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa discussed the Fourie case, gay rights, and the same-sex marriage decision in South Africa. This lecture was recorded on April 9, 2013.


68:30 minutes (62.72 MB)

Philip Pettit, "Giving Corporate Agents their Due — and Only their Due"

Suitably organized, corporate groups mimic the capacities of individual persons and operate as agents with minds of their own. And in order to function in this agential manner, they have to be assigned legal rights that they can assert or transfer or waive in their dealings with others.


106:03 minutes (121.37 MB)

Geoffrey Stone, "When Contraception Was a Crime"

Geoffrey Stone (Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School) explores the history of laws against contraception, including discussion of those who struggled against those laws, how the tide turned, and what role the courts played in that process. This talk was recorded on February 19, 2013, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.


58:04 minutes (53.17 MB)

2013 Coase Lecture - Tom Ginsburg, "Constitutions as Products"

Constitutional lawyers tend to study constitutions as sets of legal rules and judicial decisions. But written constitutions are also products, with different design features: they can be more or less detailed, innovative, or ambitious; they can be produced in a more or less inclusive manner; and they can have a short-term expiration date or be designed for the long haul.


83:23 minutes (76.34 MB)

David Strauss, "Campaign Finance First Principles"

What limits should the government be allowed to impose on people who want to give money to a political campaign, or spend money in support of a campaign? The question is complex, difficult, and very important. Limits on the way money can be used to support candidates can undermine democracy - but so can the lack of limits.


58:20 minutes (53.42 MB)

Jonathan Masur, "Well-Being Analysis vs. Cost-Benefit Analysis"

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the primary tool used by policymakers to inform administrative decisionmaking. Yet its methodology of converting preferences (often hypothetical ones) into dollar figures, then using those dollar figures as proxies for quality of life, creates systemic errors so large as to deprive the tool of value.


65:23 minutes (59.87 MB)

Lee Fennell, "Property in Housing"

The question of how to structure and package the residential experience is a deeply interesting and difficult one. How physically large or small should residential holdings be? How densely should they be clustered? Should spaces for working, recreating, cooking, and bathing be contained within the private residential unit, shared with other households, or procured a la carte?


58:00 minutes (53.11 MB)
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