Chicago's Best Ideas

Laura Weinrib, "Free Speech When Constitutionalism Was Unpopular"

In the mid-1930s, the future of judicial review was uncertain.  Politicians, social activists, and even legal academics denounced the federal judiciary’s hostility toward New Deal legislation as a threat to democratic progress and economicrecovery.  In the face of President Roosevelt’s “court-packing plan” and competing proposals to curb judicial power, conservative lawyers sough


47:08 minutes (43.15 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?

Saul Levmore, "Intermediation and Intervention"

What can law do well? It tries to “intervene” in order to control antisocial behavior, to enforce promises, and to prevent violence. But it is also called on to “intermediate” so that citizens need not confront one another directly and need not even control themselves.


60:57 minutes (55.81 MB)

Saul Levmore, "Intermediation and Intervention"

What can law do well? It tries to “intervene” in order to control antisocial behavior, to enforce promises, and to prevent violence. But it is also called on to “intermediate” so that citizens need not confront one another directly and need not even control themselves.

Martha Nussbaum, "Teaching Patriotism"

Schools teach patriotism all the time, but many people think that this is a bad idea. Patriotic rituals may convey misplaced and hierarchical values; they may coerce conscience; and they may promote a dangerous type of uncritical homogeneity. On the other hand, it seems difficult to motivate sacrifices of self-interest for the common good without patriotic emotion. Prof.


67:11 minutes (61.52 MB)

Chicago's Best Ideas with Tom Ginsburg, "How about 'An International Court for Constitutional Law?'"

Date: 
05.08.2013
Location: 
Room II

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

Faculty: 
Tom Ginsburg

Chicago's Best Ideas with Aziz Huq, "What Good is Article V?: A Defense of Our Rigid and Inflexible Constitution"

Date: 
04.23.2013
Location: 
Room II

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.

Faculty: 
Aziz Huq

Chicago's Best Ideas with Richard Epstein, "A History of Public Utility Regulation in the Supreme Court"

Date: 
04.09.2013
Location: 
Room II

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.

Faculty: 
Richard A. Epstein

Chicago's Best Ideas: "Well-Being Analysis vs. Cost-Benefit Analysis" by Jonathan Masur

Date: 
02.04.2013
Location: 
Room II

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.

Faculty: 
Jonathan Masur

Chicago's Best Ideas with David Strauss, "Campaign Finance First Principles"

Date: 
01.30.2013
Location: 
Room II

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.

Faculty: 
David A. Strauss
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