Chicago's Best Ideas

David Strauss, "Does the Constitution Always Mean What It Says?"

The U.S. Constitution is "the supreme Law of the Land." Of course some of its provisions are vague and must be interpreted. But when the Constitution says something clearly, we follow it. Don't we?

Tom Ginsburg, Jonathan Masur, and Richard McAdams, "Temporary Law: The Case of Smoking Bans"

Libertarians often assert that regulation is unnecessary because the market will meet any existing consumer demand.  The issue of smoking in bars is a paradigmatic context in which this argument arises.  Libertarians argue that bar patrons (and employees) are free to patronize or work in whichever bars they choose.

Martha Nussbaum, "What Is Anger, and Why Should We Care?"

"Although everyone is familiar with the damage anger can do in both personal and public life, people tend to think that it is necessary for the pursuit of justice.  People who don't get angry when they are wronged seem weird to many people, lacking spine and self-respect.  And isn't it servile not to react with anger to great injustice, whether toward oneself or toward others?

Participating faculty: 
Martha C. Nussbaum
Embedded video: 

Martha Nussbaum, "What Is Anger, and Why Should We Care?"

"Although everyone is familiar with the damage anger can do in both personal and public life, people tend to think that it is necessary for the pursuit of justice.  People who don't get angry when they are wronged seem weird to many people, lacking spine and self-respect.  And isn't it servile not to react with anger to great injustice, whether toward oneself or toward others?

Nicholas Stephanopoulos, "The South After Shelby County"

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court dismantled one of the two pillars of the Voting Rights Act: Section 5, which had barred southern jurisdictions from changing their election laws unless they first received federal approval. The burning question now is what will happen to minority representation in the South in the absence of Section 5. In this talk, Prof.

Brian Leiter, "Why Tolerate Religion?"

Is there a principled reason why religious obligations that conflict with the law are accorded special toleration while other obligations of conscience are not? In Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton, 2013), Professor Leiter argues there are no good reasons for doing so, that the reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience.

Participating faculty: 
Brian Leiter

Brian Leiter, "Why Tolerate Religion?"

Is there a principled reason why religious obligations that conflict with the law are accorded special toleration while other obligations of conscience are not? In Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton, 2013), Professor Leiter argues there are no good reasons for doing so, that the reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience.

Nicholas Stephanopoulos, "The South After Shelby County"

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court dismantled one of the two pillars of the Voting Rights Act: Section 5, which had barred southern jurisdictions from changing their election laws unless they first received federal approval. The burning question now is what will happen to minority representation in the South in the absence of Section 5.

Participating faculty: 
Nicholas Stephanopoulos
Embedded video: 

Chicago's Best Ideas: Professor Lior Strahilevitz, "Personalizing Default Rules and Disclosure with Big Data"

Date: 
04.07.2014
Location: 
Room II

The laws of intestacy are the same for men and women even though preferences for how one’s estate should be divided differ by gender. Peanut-allergic octogenarian men and gluten-allergic pregnant women see the same warnings on consumer products even though they are interested in seeing information that is much better tailored to them.

Chicago's Best Ideas, "Does the Constitution Always Mean What It Says?" - Professor David Strauss

Date: 
02.26.2014
Location: 
Room II

The U.S. Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land.” Of course some of its provisions are vague and must be interpreted. But when the Constitution says something clearly, we follow it. Don’t we?

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