EVENT: The Religion Clauses: Understanding Town of Greece and Hobby Lobby

Join Us on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:00pm in room C50 for food, drinks, and a discussion on the state of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, with a focus on Town of Greece v. Galloway and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.  The discussion will begin with a lecture by Professor Sheldon Nahmod, and will conclude with an open audience discussion.  Contact acs@kentlaw.iit.edu with any questions.

Co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society, the Federalist Society, the Muslim Law Students Association, the Jewish Law Students Association (Decalogue), and the Christian Legal Society.

EVENT: The Press, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution

On Monday, September 15, 2014 at 4:00pm in the Marovitz Courtroom, join Carolyn Shapiro, Chicago-Kent Professor and Illinois Solicitor General, who will lead a panel discussion featuring Dahlia Litwick, columnist for Slate, Sonja West, Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, and RonNell Anderson Jones, Professor of Law at BYU Law School.

EVENT: First General Meeting of the Fall Semester and Elections

Join us for our first general meeting of the semester!  We will be discussing events planned for the semester, as well as holding elections for 1L Section Representatives and the Lawyer Chapter Liaison position.  If you are interested in applying for one of these positions, please email a paragraph to acs@kentlaw.iit.edu, stating what position you are interested in and why you are interested in serving on the ACS Executive Board.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 10, at 3:00pm in room C40.  Food and beverages will be served!

EVENT: Constitution Day Lecture and Discussion: Conservative Libertarianism and the Transformation of First Amendment Jurisprudence

In celebration of Constitution Day, join us on Wednesday, September 17, at 3:00 PM in Room 520 for food, drinks, and a discussion on the impact of conservative libertarian ideology on the First Amendment. The discussion will begin with a lecture by Chicago-Kent Professor and leading First Amendment scholar, Steven J. Heyman, followed by a brief response by Professor Christopher Schmidt and open audience discussion. Contact acs@kentlaw.iit.edu if you have any questions.

EVENT: Do Your Legal Career Justice

Join us on Wednesday, August 27, at 3:00pm for Do Your Legal Career Justice!  We will be exploring careers in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with guest speaker Micheal Loterstein, Chicago-Kent grad and an attorney with the DOJ, Anti-Trust Division.  The event will be held in room 210, and is sponsored by the CSO, the Federal Bar Association, and the American Constitution Society.

Chicago Lawyer Chapter Event: Eleventh Annual Supreme Court Term in Review

The Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the Public Interest Law Initiative, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, and Mayer Brown LLP present:

Eleventh Annual Supreme Court Term in Review


  • Colleen Connell, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois; Member, Board of Advisors, ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter
  • Steve Sanders, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Steven D. Schwinn, Associate Professor, The John Marshall Law School; Member, Board of Advisors, ACS Chicago Lawyer Chapter
  • Joshua D. Yount, Partner, Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Group, Mayer Brown LLP

Moderated by:

  • Gretchen E. Helfrich, Associate, Mayer Brown LLP

Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Mayer Brown LLP, 71 S. Wacker Drive 33rd floor, Chicago, IL

RSVP here

Chapter Sponsor Mayer Brown LLP will provide free lunch for attendees.

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.


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.