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The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Podcast

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Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.
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Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.




Saul Levmore, "If the Common Law was Efficient, Why Did It Decline?"

One of the University of Chicago Law School’s best known ideas or outputs over the last fifty years is that the common law (made by judges and often passed down and adapted over many years) is efficient. It was an idea advanced by Richard Posner, with respect to tort law, in his time as a professor here, but it is also reflected in his and other judicial opinions which students across the country meet in almost every non-constitutional course. What does this idea really mean, and is it...


Justin Driver, "The Future of the Supreme Court: The Constitution of Public Schools"

Supreme Court decisions affecting the constitutional rights of students in the nation's public schools have consistently generated bitter controversy. From racial segregation to unauthorized immigration, from antiwar protests to compulsory flag salutes, from economic inequality to teacher-led prayer: these are among the defining cultural issues that the Court has addressed in elementary and secondary schools. Drawing from his provocative new book, The Schoolhouse Gate, Justin Driver...


James B. Comey, '85: "Law Enforcement and the Communities We Serve"

James B. Comey, class of 1985, is the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Recorded on October 23, 2015, at the University of Chicago Law School.


Laura ​Weinrib, ​“Labor, ​Lochner, ​and ​the ​First ​Amendment”

Laura Weinrib, Assistant ​Professor ​of ​Law ​and ​Herbert ​and ​Marjorie ​Fried ​Teaching ​Scholar, is a 2003 graduate of Harvard Law School. She completed her PhD in history at Princeton University in 2011. In 2000, she received an AB in literature and an AM in comparative literature from Harvard University. After law school, Weinrib clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. From 2009 to 2010, she was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal...


Axel Honneth, “Three, Not Two, Concepts of Liberty”

Even for those among us who are not altogether convinced by Isaiah Berlin's famous essay "Two Concepts of Liberty," it has by now become commonplace to adopt a distinction between "negative" and "positive" liberties that largely coincides with the one he offered. In my lecture I defend the thesis that this bifurcation of the concept of freedom is incomplete in a significant respect, because it omits a third type, which I will call "social freedom." I proceed first by illustrating with some...


William H. J. Hubbard, “Newtonian Law and Economics, Quantum Law and Economics, and ...”

“Newtonian Law and Economics, Quantum Law and Economics, and the Search for a Theory of Relativity” At this law school, “law and economics” is a mantra. But what is the “economics” in “law and economics”? There is a tendency to see research on cognitive biases and bounded rationality (“behavioral economics”) as challenging or even overturning an approach using models of rational behavior (“neo-classical economics”). With the help of an analogy to physics, I argue that such a view disserves...


Aziz Huq, “Hobby Lobby and the Psychology of Corporate Rights”

After the Hobby Lobby and Citizens United decisions, a robust public debate has emerged over corporate constitutional rights. Prof. Huq discusses ongoing empirical research about how the Hobby Lobby case has influenced public perceptions not just of those rights, but also of the Court itself. Aziz Z. Huq teaches and conducts research in constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal courts. A 1996 summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he received...


Richard A. Epstein, “Reasonable and Unreasonable Expectations in Property Law and Beyond”

The notion of reasonable expectations filters in and out of many given areas of law. It is often derided as circular claim in which reasonable expectations are shaped by the law that they are supposed to shape. On the other hand, it is often treated, most notably under the Supreme Court’s now pivotal decision in Penn Central Transportation Co v. City of New York, as the linchpin of modern real property law, and has been used as well in other areas, including financial regulation and the law...


Alison Siegler, “The Courts of Appeals’ Latest Sentencing Rebellion”

For over twenty-five years, federal courts of appeals have rebelled against every Supreme Court mandate that weakens the federal sentencing Guidelines. That rebellion has intensified since the Court dealt a blow to the Guidelines a decade ago by making them advisory, rather than mandatory. This ruling dramatically limited the courts of appeals’ authority to reverse district court sentences that deviate from the Guidelines. Rather than accepting this limitation on their power, the courts of...


Rising Storm: Ways of Addressing Climate Change's Impacts on Infrastructure and Housing

A Kreisman Housing Breakfast Series event co-sponsored by the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago and the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics Led by University of Chicago environmental lawyer Mark Templeton, an expert panel will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different public and private approaches for addressing the impacts of climate change on infrastructure and housing. Featuring panelists: - Henry Henderson, Midwest Director, Natural Resource Defense Council - Bill...


Youth/Police Conference: They Have All The Power

Why does police accountability matter in this context? How does the knowledge that severe abuses—brutality, sexual assault, false arrest, even death—have gone unpunished inform and shape encounters between youth and police? What are the costs and harms of the absence of accountability? How does the lack of accountability affect the relationships between youth and police? How does it impact our effectiveness in addressing crime and violence? How could improved transparency and accountability...


Federalist Society Student Symposium: Innovation And The Administrative State

Regulation can be a significant barrier to innovation, protecting incumbents and making it harder to bring new goods and services to market. Determining the appropriate regulation is all the more difficult when accelerating technology is creating many new opportunities as well as potential dangers. Can the administrative state itself innovate to promote beneficial innovation? Topics to be considered here will be the nature and scope of cost-benefit analysis, the use of experiments to guide...


Alison LaCroix, "The Shadow Powers of Article I"

The Supreme Court's federalism battleground has recently shifted from the Commerce Clause to two textually marginal but substantively important domains: the Necessary and Proper Clause and, to a lesser extent, the General Welfare Clause. For nearly a decade, these quieter, more structurally ambiguous federal powers – the “shadow powers” – have steadily increased in prominence. Paradoxically, the growth of shadow powers analysis has tended to narrow the permissible scope of congressional...


Omri Ben-Shahar, "The Unintended Effects of Access Justice Laws"

Access Justice laws give people equal opportunity to enjoy primary goods, ensuring that access to these goods is not allocated by markets and is not tilted in favor of wealth and privilege. But Access Justice often fails to meet its egalitarian aspirations, because access and its benefits are deployed disproportionately by elites, yet paid for directly by public budgets and indirectly by weaker groups. In this lecture, Professor Ben-Shahar explains why Access Justice law can unintentionally...


William Baude, "Is Originalism Our Law?"

At her confirmation hearing, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said that "we are all originalists." Is that true, and what would it mean for it to be true? In Is Originalism Our Law?, I argue that there is an important sense in which Justice Kagan was right. And if originalism is our law, it provides a new and better explanation for why judges today are bound to follow the decisions of the framers. William Baude is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law...


Panel: "Ferguson and Beyond: Criminal Procedure and Police Killings"

This panel was moderated by Professor Siegler and included Deputy Dean Ginsburg and Professors Huq, McAdams, and Randolph Stone. The event took place on February 4, 2015. It was presented by BLSA in partnership with the Law School and cosponsored by ACS, APALSA, Criminal Law Society, Defenders, Human Rights Law Society, LLSA, LSRJ, LWC, PILS, and SALSA.


A Conversation With Elena Kagan

In a conversation with David A. Strauss, Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law, US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan reflects on decision-making, persuasion, and hunting with Scalia. This event took place on February 2, 2015, at the University of Chicago Law School.


Will the Supreme Court Make Disparate Impact Disappear?

A panel discussion with John Relman, Jeff Leslie, Lee Fennell, and Tara Ramchandani As part of the Law School's Diversity Month, the panelists discuss the pending Supreme Court Case, "Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project." Presented on January 21, 2015, by ACS, ACLU, BLSA and APALSA with the Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy.


Martha Minow, "Forgiveness, Law and Justice"

Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School with comments by Martha Nussbaum, Aziz Huq, and Michael Schill What role if any should forgiveness play in law and legal systems? By forgiveness, I mean: a conscious, deliberate decision to forgo rightful grounds for whoever has committed a wrong or harm. Law may penalize those who apologize and in so doing make forgiveness by the victim less likely. Law may construct adversarial processes that render...


Richard McAdams, "How Law Works Expressively"

Although people sometimes violate the law, there is more legal compliance than we can explain by ordinary economic theory – that legal sanctions deter noncompliance. In some domains of international law and constitutional law, there is no credible threat of legal sanctions, yet there is compliance. In some historic examples, “courts” lacking any sanctioning power resolved disputes arising in medieval Iceland, among 18th century pirates, and among 19th century gold-rushers. Professor McAdams...