Constitution of the American Constitution Society Chicago-Kent Student Chapter
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is a group of students, professors, lawyers, judges, and other interested individuals concerned about the pervasive conservative orthodoxy in American law and politics. We believe deeply in the importance of law as the mechanism that governs the relationships between and among the individuals and institutions that form our society, and we recognize the direct relationship between legal theory and the broader political debate about the kind of society in which we live.
In recent years, the view has been ascendant that the traditional values of compassion and respect for human dignity have little or no place in legal discourse. This view permeates all aspects of legal debate: academic scholarship, judicial interpretation, and debate about laws proposed for enactment. The cornerstone of this legal view is an approach to understanding the United States Constitution that is essentially devoid of concern for the way in which the law affects the lives of the people who make up the nation in which we live.
We believe, contrary to this conservative orthodoxy, that the law, and, in particular, the Constitution, serves human values. We believe that the Constitution is a charter of liberty, the blueprint for a noble and unique experiment designed to prevent the excesses of government in order to protect the human dignity necessary for individuals to realize the full potential of their lives. The goal of the Constitution, and the United States it created, is to permit people to succeed in the “pursuit of happiness,” one of the inalienable rights this nation explicitly was founded to secure to the American people.
We believe that the Constitution, and by extension, many other areas of American law, can be understood only by reference to principles of decency, reason, humanity, and compassion. We believe that those who enforce the law must have concern for the way in which it affects the lives of the people who make up the nation in which we live. And we believe these principles should form a starting point for enactment, as well as interpretation, of the law.
The mission of the American Constitution Society is to harness these values of compassion and respect for each individual, and to re-incorporate them into American law and politics, in order to build a stronger and more decent national community. We seek to restore the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice to their rightful—and traditionally central—place in American law. We want to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings of—and the public case for—a vision of the law in which these values are paramount. Our goal is a rekindling of the hope that by reason and decency, we can create an America that is better for us all.
Section 1. This organization shall be known as the American Constitution Society Chicago-Kent Student Chapter (hereinafter “ACS Chicago-Kent” or “Chapter”).
Section 2. Membership shall be open to all students, faculty, and staff of Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Section 1. The ACS Chicago-Kent Officers are the Faculty Advisor, President, Vice President of Internal Affairs, Vice-President of External Affairs, Vice-President of Administration, and Vice President of Financial Affairs.
Section 2. Officers shall be members of the ACS Chicago-Kent Executive Board, which will meet periodically to determine the general direction of ACS Chicago-Kent and to decide issues of importance to the Chapter.
Section 3. Only current students, faculty, and staff of Chicago-Kent College of Law may serve as Officers.
Section 4. The duties of Officers shall include, but are not limited to:
- (a) Faculty Advisor. The Faculty Advisor shall serve as a resource for ACS Chicago-Kent members, facilitate the acquisition of speakers, and serve as a liaison between the local chapter and the advisors of American Constitution Society chapters at other schools.
- (b) The President shall call Chapter meetings, coordinate the operations and direction of the Chapter, and serve as a liaison between the Chapter and Chicago-Kent administration.
- (c) Vice President of Internal Affairs. The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall call Chapter meetings in the President’s absence and coordinate the activities of the Chapter as it pertains to activities within the law school.
- (d) Vice President of External Affairs. The Vice President of External Affairs shall call Chapter meetings in the President’s and Vice President of Internal Affair’s absence and coordinate the activities of the Chapter as it pertains to activities outside the law school.
- (e) Vice President of Administration. The Vice President of Administration shall compile and maintain the minutes of meetings and the records of the Chapter, keep a current list of members, update the ACS National Calendar with Chapter events, and be responsible for notifying members of meetings.
- (f) Vice President of Financial Affairs. The Vice President of Financial Affairs shall maintain the financial accounts and records of the Chapter, set forth the Chapter’s budget, submit the Chapter’s financial reports to the Student Bar Association according to the Student Bar Association’s guidelines.
Section 1. ACS Chicago-Kent Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of present members at an election meeting to be held in April of each year. Such Officers shall assume the duties of their respective positions on the day after the last day of final examinations in May until the last day of final examinations of the next spring term.
Section 2. Officers may be removed for good cause by the unanimous vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board.
Section 3. In the event of a mid-year vacancy, an Officer position shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board. Such an elected Officer shall assume the duties of the position effective immediately upon election until the last day of final examinations of the spring term.
Section 4. Additional members may be appointed to the Executive Board, subject to a majority vote of the current members of the Executive Board.
Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board, except that no amendment shall be adopted without the affirmative vote of both the President and the Faculty Advisor.
This Chapter shall be governed by this Constitution; the rules and regulations of Chicago-Kent College of Law, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association; and any subordinate Chapter bylaws that may be adopted by a majority vote of the Executive Board.