Noted University of Chicago law professor to address Ryan symposium

Noted University of Chicago law professor to address Ryan symposium
November 9, 2007

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Renowned University of Chicago law professor Cass R. Sunstein will present a lecture titled “Does America Need A Second Bill of Rights?” from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15 in Scholl Hall Room 101 on the campus of Benedictine University. Sunstein’s lecture is sponsored by the Jim Ryan Symposium on Public Affairs at Benedictine University. In his inaugural address of January 11, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to make a greater commitment to economic and social rights by adopting a “second Bill of Rights” that would guarantee work, adequate housing and income, medical care and education to each citizen. The measure – designed to extend the New Deal and thwart the appeal of communism – didn’t pass. Sunstein took up the cause in his book, “The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution & Why We Need It More Than Ever,” published in 2004. He discussed the merits of Roosevelt’s proposed bill both as ideas kicked around in the post-World War II era and as they might be applied today. “Twenty percent of American children live in poverty – the highest rate of any industrialized nation in the world,” Sunstein said. “Millions of young people receive an inadequate education. Millions of Americans are unemployed. Millions lack health insurance – and as a result, thousands of Americans die prematurely each year.” Sunstein graduated in 1975 from Harvard University and in 1978 from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. After graduation, he clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, Sunstein worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. He also serves as legal affairs advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama. Sunstein is author of many articles and a number of books, including “The Partial Constitution” (1993), “Designing Democracy: What Constitutions Do” (2001), “Free Markets and Social Justice” (1997) and “Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide” (2002). The symposium, sponsored by the Department of Political Science, will be moderated by Ryan, a Distinguished Fellow at Benedictine University and former Illinois Attorney General. The symposium is open to the public. R.S.V.P. by calling the Department of Political Science at (630) 829-6460. For more information, visit www.ben.edu/ccl.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.