In our continuing series of posts introducing you to our wide variety of student groups, we today present a post by 3L Christine Graham talking about the American Constitution Society:
"Are you a liberal student interested in Chicago? Don’t worry—you’re in good company. Chicago has one of the largest student chapters of the American Constitution Society (“ACS”), a national legal organization. In general, ACS promotes a progressive vision of law that protects people’s civil and individual rights, advances equality, and ensures access to the courts. The progressive view finds support in the United States Constitution, which protects individual rights and advances equality through the Bill of Rights and the subsequent Constitutional amendments. Normatively, the progressive view embodies the notion that the law should protect individuals who are unrepresented by other divisions of government.
Structurally, ACS has three main goals: to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings for progressive law and policy; to promote the progressive view of law among the legal community; and to build a network of progressive judges, academics, lawyers, and students.
Our chapter tries to meet these goals in several ways. Most visibly, we arrange on-campus lunch events that discuss or debate progressive ideas of the law. This year, we’ve hosted:
- Judge Abner Mikva to speak on habeus corpus rights of individuals held by the United States government
- Guantanamo litigator Gary Issac and Human Rights expert Susan Gzesh to discuss the detention policies at Guantanamo Bay
- Nicole Ozer, ACLU Civil Liberties and Technology Policy Director
- Kent Greenfield and Gordon Smith to debate a progressive vision of corporate law
- Co-sponsored with the Federalist Society, Judge Richard Posner and Professor Brian Leiter to debate Pragmatic Adjudication (watch it here)
In addition, we involve our student members through our regular Mikva dinners, which are small, informal dinners with faculty members and ACS students. During an average year, we host nine to twelve of these dinners, and dinner conversation topics range from presidential candidates to Superbowl contenders.
This year, we are organizing and hosting the semi-finals of the National ACS Moot Court competition. Find out more here.