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Office of Public Affairs

Gwendolyn Osborne
565 W. Adams St., Room 665
Chicago, IL 60661
gosborne@kentlaw.iit.edu
P: (312) 906-5251
F: (312) 906-5363

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Weekly Media Advisory

CHICAGO—January 23, 2012—IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has experts available to discuss current issues. To reach experts on IIT's Downtown Campus, please call Gwen Osborne, director of public affairs, (312) 906-5251. Press releases and earlier advisories are available on our website: www.kentlaw.iit.edu/news. For assistance with breaking news stories, please follow us on Twitter @ChicagoKentLaw.

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will deliver the Republican response. Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is expected to deliver the Tea Party response. Presidents traditionally have used the State of the Union address to lay out their legislative agenda before Congress. IIT Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent is the author of Presidential Powers (NYU Press 2005), a comprehensive examination of the president's role as defined by the U.S. Constitution and judicial and historical precedents. Dean Krent can comment on the speech, separation of powers, President Obama's recent recess appointments, and the controversies surrounding the attendance of U.S. Supreme Court justices at the State of the Union address. 

In February, HBO will air the "The Loving Story," a documentary about Richard and Mildred Loving, who successfully challenged Virginia's anti-miscegenation law that prohibited marriages between persons of different races. According to the network, "The Loving Story" will "examine the drama, the history, and the current state of interracial marriage and tolerance in the United States" through the lives of the Loving family. The film will be shown on Valentine's Day in conjunction with Black History Month. However, this year also marks the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia. When Loving was heard in 1967, 16 states prohibited interracial marriages. Later that year, the justices unanimously ruled that "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." (Despite the court's ruling, Alabama did not officially repeal its law until 2000.) Constitutional scholar and Distinguished Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod is available for interviews about Loving v. Virginia. Professor Carolyn Shapiro, director of IIT Chicago-Kent's Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, is also available for interviews about the case. Professors Nahmod and Shapiro will comment on the legal issues, but will not discuss the documentary.

Read the facts and listen to oral arguments in Loving v. Virginia via the Oyez Project  (http://www.oyez.org/). The site, which is part of IIT Chicago-Kent's Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Oyez Project archive of digitized arguments enables users to search for key terms relevant to their research. Free Oyez Today apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

"Red Tails" is filmmaker George Lucas' new movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, the military's first African-American aviators who served during World War II. (The film's title and group's nickname come from the distinctive markings on their aircraft.) Although African Americans served in the military throughout the country's history, they often served in segregated units. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman abolished segregation in the military through Executive Order 9981. Military law expert and Professor Michael I. Spak is available for interviews about legal issues related to African Americans in the military. Professor Spak served on active duty with the U.S. Army in the Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1963 to 1969 and has remained in the U.S. Army Reserve. As Colonel Spak, he is currently liaison officer of the Judge Advocate General's School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dean Harold J. Krent is available to discuss presidential power and the issuance of executive orders. Neither Professor Spak nor Dean Krent are available to discuss the movie.