Previous Lectures | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Previous Lectures


Erwin Chemerinsky

"The Supreme Court and Civil Rights on the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964"

Thursday, March 27, 5 - 6 p.m.

Lesar Law Building, Auditorium

Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

The Hiram H. Lesar Distinguished Lecture Series was established to honor founding Dean Hiram H. Lesar, whose many personal and professional concerns included an interest in civil rights. It is therefore fitting that, on the 40th anniversary of the law school he helped create, we take time to consider the legacies of two of the most fundamental civil rights events in our country’s history. 

Before assuming his current position in 2008, Chemerinsky was a professor at Duke Law School, University of Southern California Law School, and DePaul College of Law. His areas of expertise are constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights and civil liberties, and appellate litigation. He is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming The Case Against the Supreme Court (Viking 2014), and over 200 law review articles. He regularly argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court, and also serves as a commentator on legal issues for national media.

He was ranked #1 in the National Jurist’s recent list of the “Most Influential People in Legal Education.” 


Advocates for the Innocent: Gordon (Randy) Steidel, death row exoneree; Michale Callahan, retired Illinois State Police lieutenant; John Hanlon, Legal Director of the Illinois Innocence Project. Listen to WSIU radio interview


Sophie Lagueny, Chief of Party for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Haiti, Reporting from Ground Level in Haiti


Christopher Nugent, Senior Counsel with the Community Services Team of Holland & Knight, LLP, Washington, D.C. Highlighing the work that he & his firm are doing to assist Iraqi allies who are in peril for helping American soldiers.


Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman for the District of Columbia on the latest efforts to give the citizens of the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress


Hans Blix, Chairman of International Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction, “Disarming Iraq: A firsthand account of the events leading up to the 2003 war”


Honorable Priscilla Owen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, “What Does the Future Hold For Our Court Systems?”


Roger Cossack, ESPN Legal Analyst “The Role of the Media in High Profile Trials”


Cheryl Brown Henderson and John Stokes, plaintiffs in Brown v Board of Education “Separate But Equal: The Plaintiffs’ Perspective on the Landmark United States Supreme Court Case, Brown v Board of Education”


Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, Illinois Supreme Court Justice “Justice: A View from the Storefront Law Office to the Illinois Supreme Court”


L. Douglas Wilder, Former Governor of Virginia “Civil Rights in America: One Lawyer’s Perspective”


Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Former Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial “Speak Truth to Power”


Nadine Strossen, ACLU President “Hate Speech on Campus”


Stephen Bright, Director, Southern Center for Human Rights “A Privilege to Serve”


Morris Dees, Co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Klanwatch “A Passion for Justice”


Professor Sandra H. Johnson, St. Louis University School of Law “Physician Assisted Suicide: A Debate and Discussion”


Professor Stephen H. Legomsky, Washington University School of Law “E Pluribus Unum: Casual Slogan or Enduring Value?”


Professor Geoffrey Hazard, Jr., University of Pennsylvania“Morals, Ethics and Law”


Professor Susan F. French, University of California School of Law, Los Angeles “Under the Umbrella? Or Under the Thumb? Of the Homeowners Association: Pleasures and Pitfalls of Living in Common Interest Communities”


Professor John M. Finnis, University College of Oxford University, England “The Intrinsic Value of Human Life and the Right to Die — Reflections of Cruzan and Ronald Dworkin”