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Constitutional Law

Is having only 8 Supreme Court Justices a problem?

Short video featuring Steven Calabresi
Steven G. Calabresi June 10, 2016

Steven G. Calabresi, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, discusses the number of Justices who sit on the Supreme Court. He contrasts our current Court of nine Justices with earlier periods in US history, international Courts, and state Supreme Courts. He also explains what happens when a case gets a 4-4 vote.

Immigration Restrictions & the Constitution [FedSoc 5]

Transcript from short video featuring John Eastman and Ilya Somin
John C. Eastman, Ilya Somin April 01, 2016

A quick wrap-up of the immigration debate between Professors John Eastman and Ilya Somin from our 2016 National Student Symposium. 

Immigration restrictions keep millions of people stuck in impoverished countries – preventing them from improving their lives by moving somewhere else. However, some restrictions are clearly necessary to protect national security. And many say that our current laws do not go anywhere near far enough, arguing that additional restrictions are needed to prevent wage depression and the overburdening of our already-strained safety net. One way or another, immigration restrictions have an enormous impact on poverty, both domestically and abroad. But are such restrictions constitutional? This debate will address that question, along with the complex policy issues involved with the topic.

  • Prof. John Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Immigration Restrictions & the Constitution [FedSoc 5]

Short video featuring John Eastman and Ilya Somin
John C. Eastman, Ilya Somin April 01, 2016

A quick wrap-up of the immigration debate between Professors John Eastman and Ilya Somin from our 2016 National Student Symposium. 

Immigration restrictions keep millions of people stuck in impoverished countries – preventing them from improving their lives by moving somewhere else. However, some restrictions are clearly necessary to protect national security. And many say that our current laws do not go anywhere near far enough, arguing that additional restrictions are needed to prevent wage depression and the overburdening of our already-strained safety net. One way or another, immigration restrictions have an enormous impact on poverty, both domestically and abroad. But are such restrictions constitutional? This debate will address that question, along with the complex policy issues involved with the topic.

  • Prof. John Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

V.L. v. E.L. - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-30-16 featuring Robin Fretwell Wilson
Robin Fretwell Wilson March 31, 2016

On March 7, 2016, the Supreme Court decided V.L. v. E.L., a case involving an interstate dispute over custody of a child raised by a same-sex couple. A Georgia court entered a final judgment of adoption making petitioner V. L. a legal parent of the children that she and respondent E. L., her same-sex partner, had raised together from birth. V. L. and E. L. later separated while living in Alabama. V. L. asked the Alabama courts to enforce the Georgia judgment and grant her custody or visitation rights. The Alabama Supreme Court refused, holding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution did not require the Alabama courts to respect the Georgia judgment.

By a vote of 8-0 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Alabama Supreme Court and remanded the case, holding in a per curiam opinion that the Alabama Supreme Court erred in refusing to grant the Georgia adoption judgment full faith and credit.

To discuss the case, we have Robin Fretwell Wilson, who is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at University of Illinois College of Law.