PREVIEW: Money and Judicial Elections

Click here for the ACS report, Justice at Risk.

Remember to join us in Room 570 at noon on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, for lunch and discussion on the troubling influence of money in state judicial elections. Our chapter’s attention to this issue was spurred by a recent ACS report, Justice at Risk. Make sure to check out the report and continue the discussion in your own circles and through our social media channels: Twitter (@ACSChicagoKent) and Facebook.

PANELIST PROFILES

David Melton, the Executive Director at the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, is a cheesehead and a recovering lawyer, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in history and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an active participant in the law school’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.  He spent his initial ten years in practice focusing mainly on  commercial litigation, before shifting his focus to intellectual property litigation (consisting mainly of patent cases) for the last twenty years of his career, which he spent practicing with large law firms in Chicago. He largely retired from the active practice of law in 2009 but he remains active in bar association and law reform efforts in the intellectual property, civil liberties and election law areas.

Throughout his career David has also been active in a variety of law reform efforts and related litigation.  In 1981 he participated in litigation challenging Illinois litigation that first authorized multi-bank holding companies in Illinois. (They lost.)   In 1988 and 1989 he represented David Orr in litigation aimed at requiring Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer to hold a special mayoral election in Chicago in 1989. (They won.)  Between 1994 and 1996 he represented Cook County Clerk David Orr in litigation in cooperation with the League and others to force the State of Illinois to comply with provisions of the National “Motor-Voter” legislation.  (They won twice and five lawyers, including David and a young Barack Obama received an award for their efforts.)  Between 1996 and the present, David has actively participated in evaluating judicial candidates in contested and retention elections, while holding various positions with the Chicago Council of Lawyers, including President of that organization from 2001 to 2003.  Earlier this year, he participated as amicus counsel in a federal lawsuit defending the constitutionality of the Illinois campaign finance limits on behalf of three law reform organizations.  (They won again.)  David is also an active member of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (which focuses on campaign finance and other issues in Illinois) and the Chicago Council of Lawyer’s  Civil Liberties Committee.

David is a resident of Evanston where he lives with his wife Nancy and they raised their two children.  For the past 30 years he has also played basketball in a weekly pick-up game, primarily for the amusement of his friends.

Nick Daggers is a Vice President at Campaign Finance Officers, LLC. He has worked on campaigns throughout the Midwest and helped raise millions of dollars for Democratic candidates. After starting his career as a field organizer in Iowa for Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign, Nick returned to Illinois to start raising money for Debbie Halvorson’s successful campaign for Congress in 2008. In 2010 he was the Finance Director for Congressman Bill Foster whose campaign raised over $3.8 million, the most of any Democratic incumbent in Illinois that year.

Now in his second year with CFO he served numerous campaigns including; two aldermanic campaigns in Chicago, four congressional campaigns, and three sitting Illinois State Senators. He has worked with those clients to reach their fundraising goals and has also assisted in numerous other capacities including general consulting, budgeting, and establishing long term campaign plans.

Nick holds a degree in Politics & Government and History from Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois. His campaign experience and knowledge of political fundraising make him an ideal member of your next campaign team.

He lives in the Chicagoland suburbs with his wife Christina.

Elizabeth Monkus leads the research team for the Judicial Performance Commission and generally focuses on judicial reform projects at Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor at the American Criminal Law Review and a member of the Federal Legislation Clinic. Prior to joining Chicago Appleseed, she worked both as a criminal defense attorney in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil litigation. Elizabeth has been an adjunct professor of Constitutional Law at Governors State University and a writing advisor at The John Marshall Law School Writing Resource Center.

Follow up to the Supreme Court Review event

We had a fantastic turnout for the October 23rd Supreme Court Review event.  In case you are interested in learning more about the four cases discussed and SCOTUS news in general, here are some links you may want to check out:

ACS National had a Supreme Court Preview in September, the video for which can be found on YouTube.

Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States provides regular coverage of issues surrounding the Supreme Court through its ISCOTUSnow page.

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (the presidential recess appointment case)

Town of Greece v. Galloway (the Establishment Clause case)

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (the affirmative action case)

Burt v. Titlow (the ineffective assistance of counsel case)

Upcoming Event on Same-Sex Marriage and Constitutional Interpretation

ACS Chicago-Kent Chapter is co-sponsoring a panel discussion on Thursday, October 10, 2013, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, called, “When Did It Become Unconstitutional for States to Ban Same Sex Marriage?: Constitutional Interpretation in the 21st Century.” The event will take place in Ogilvie Auditorium.

Moderated by Professor Steven Heyman, the panel will include Professors Katharine Baker and Carolyn Shapiro of Chicago-Kent College of Law as well as Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University School of Law. The conversation will include a discussion on last term’s two major U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding same-sex marriage: Hollingsworth v. Perry (California Prop 8 case) and U.S. v. Windsor (Defense of Marriage Act case).

Those interested in attending should RSVP to Professor Christopher Schmidt at cschmidt [at] kentlaw [dot] iit [dot] edu.

EVENT: Transparency in Government

Join ACS on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at 12:00 PM, for lunch and a talk on transparency in government! Natalie Brouwer-Potts, the former Director of the Chicago-Kent Center for Open Government, and Maryam Judar, Executive Director for the Citizen Advocacy Center, will be discussing the latest issues and developments surrounding open government issues in the State of Illinois.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Time: 12:00 PM

Location: Room 570

FOOD PROVIDED!

Speakers:

Natalie Brouwer-Potts, former Director, Chicago-Kent Center for Open Government

Maryam Judar, Executive Director, Citizen Advocacy Center

First 2013-14 ACS General Meeting on Sep. 25 and other upcoming events!

GENERAL MEETING

Join ACS and become part of a national network of progressive attorneys and law students! ACS is “Shaping Debate, Building Networks, Making a Difference.”

  • Wednesday, September 25 
  • 3 pm
  • C40
  • Food and drinks provided!

We’ll introduce you to ACS, discuss upcoming events, elect new executive board members, and eat!

BONUS: Network with local lawyers through our collaborations with the active Chicago Lawyer Chapter of ACS.

OPEN POSITIONS

Interested in getting the message out? Want to be involved in setting the tone at Kent? Want to network with 2Ls, 3Ls, professors and lawyers? Join our exec board and gain student leadership experience! We have openings both big and small. Contact us at acs@kentlaw.iit.edu for more information. Elections will be held at the first general meeting on September 25.
BONUS: Receive an ACS scholarship to attend the student convention in LA in late February, or the ACS National convention in DC in June!

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Kent’s 125th Anniversary Block Party, ACS and Women In Law are cosponsoring a photo booth with legal props!
    • Saturday, September 28
    • 11:00 am- 8:00 pm
    • West side of Kent’s main entrance
    • Across from the beer tent.
  • Transparency in Government
    • Tuesday, October 1st
    • Noon
    • Lunch provided
    • Natalie Brouwer-Potts and Maryam Judar from the Citizens Advocacy Center
  • Constitution Day: Same Sex Marriage and Constitutional Interpretation
    • Thursday, October 10th
    • 3:30 pm- 5:00 pm
    • Ogilvie Auditorium
    • Kathy Baker, Carolyn Shapiro, and Steve Heyman from Chicago-Kent, along with Ilya Somin from George Mason Law.
  • ACS Happy Hour
    • Cosponsored by the Chicago Lawyer Chapter
    • Cosponsored by Chicago-land Student Chapters (U of C, Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola, John Marshall)
    • Date TBD!
  • AND MANY MORE! Come to the meeting to get involved in the 10+ other events we’re planning.

SUGGESTIONS/COMMENTS/FEEDBACK

Know of another student org event you think ACS would be interested in cosponsoring? Have an idea for another event? Have a suggestion? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at acs@kentlaw.iit.edu with information about the event or idea, and we’ll get back to you.

Welcome to our redesigned website!

The ACS Chicago-Kent Chapter website will be the hub for our organization’s news, events, and announcements. Check back regularly and to find out the latest! More features will be coming in the near future.

Know of another student org event you think ACS would be interested in cosponsoring? Have an idea for another event? Have a suggestion? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at acs@kentlaw.iit.edu with information about the event or idea, and we’ll get back to you.