IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law establishes Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer to speak at the law school on September 12

Monday, September 12, 2011

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will speak at the inaugural program of IIT Chicago-Kent's Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States (ISCOTUS). Justice Breyer will address an invitation-only audience on September 12 at 3:30 p.m. in the law school's Governor Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium. The lecture will also be available to the greater IIT community and the general public on the law school's YouTube channel.

Justice Breyer's presentation will discuss themes set forth in his book Making Our Democracy Work -- A Judge's View. In the book, he addresses such issues as how the U.S. Supreme Court derives the power "to interpret the Constitution authoritatively," how the Court carries out its constitutional responsibility, and how it has dealt with the challenges that arise when national security interests are in tension with individual liberties.

"We are delighted to inaugurate the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States by welcoming Justice Breyer to the law school to share his views on the critical role of the judiciary in our constitutional democracy," said IIT Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent.

The Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States leverages two of IIT Chicago-Kent's core strengths—cutting-edge legal scholarship and technological innovation—to educate internal and external audiences about the Court and its role in our constitutional system of government. ISCOTUS will present law review symposia, public lectures and continuing legal education programs drawing on the significant intellectual contributions of the law school faculty.

The institute will also incorporate the Oyez Project, a multimedia archive of information about the Supreme Court, including audio recordings and transcripts of oral arguments, opinions, and virtual tours of the Court building, all of which are available to the public for free at www.oyez.org. The project, which is housed at the law school and directed by political scientist and IIT Chicago-Kent research professor Jerry Goldman, continues to use new technology to make information about the court more accessible, most recently with the release of its free app, Oyez Today, for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

The institute will be headed by Professor Carolyn Shapiro, a member of the IIT Chicago-Kent faculty since 2003, whose scholarly interests include the federal courts. Professor Shapiro earned her undergraduate, graduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She clerked for Chief Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice Breyer.

"The Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States will promote academic inquiry into the court and its jurisprudence," said Professor Shapiro. "At the same time, ISCOTUS, with the extraordinary foundation provided by the Oyez Project, will help make the work of the Court and its role in our system of government more accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. It will be an excellent resource for students, educators, the media and the public."

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law.