Faculty Podcast

David Armitage, "Civil War: A Genealogy"

Civil war is like pornography--we think know it when we see it. Yet ideas of civil war have a long and contested history with multiple meanings and contested applications. This lecture offers a critical history of conceptions of civil war, with special attention to its legal definition since the nineteenth century.

79:34 minutes (72.85 MB)

Tom Ginsburg, "An International Court for Constitutional Law"

Constitutions are quintessentially national documents, expressing the fundamental values of a sovereign people. They are traditionally interpreted and enforced by local constitutional courts.

59:04 minutes (54.08 MB)

"Restoring Justice: The Legacy of Edward Levi"

When President Gerald Ford nominated Edward Levi to be the Attorney General, Levi took over an office that had been marred by the corruption of the Watergate scandal. Levi's efforts to bring transparency, independence and integrity back to the Justice Department restored public confidence at a pivotal stage in U.S. history.

83:16 minutes (76.23 MB)

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)
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