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at law.wne.edu/ilga. *
Our series began on January 19, the day before the Inauguration, with
a discussion of the Electoral College. Professor John Baick of
our History Department opened with an examination of the history
of the method by which we select our presidents; not directly by the
people but indirectly through electors. President Trump prevailed
in the Electoral College, while Secretary Clinton won the popular vote
(a result that has happened five times in our history).
Professor of Law Bruce Miller then explored an option that, while
keeping the Electoral College, would tie the result to a majority of the
voters without amending the Constitution. He noted that since states
essentially control the voting process, they could require their electors to cast their votes consistent with the popular vote.
The following week, Professor Baick and Professor of Law Sudha
Setty examined the history of inaugurations and the content of
President Trump’s inaugural address. Historian Baick noted some of
the most memorable addresses, such as Lincoln’s Second Inaugural,
was delivered just before the Civil War ended. President Harrison
died one month after his speech, when he caught pneumonia, having
given the longest address.
Professor Setty noted themes from President Trump’s address,
including its “dark side” reference to “carnage” in America. It
contrasted with the usual positive inaugural speeches, such as
President Reagan’s “Morning in America” address.
Our third session focused on “The Future of Healthcare,”
including the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Attorney Ali Bers from the
Center for Medicare Advocacy is an expert on Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid. She examined the principal features of the ACA
that many Americans covered by it support, and the provisions that
others oppose. Bers discussed the features that opponents might
include in their “repeal and replace”bill, which the House Republicans included in a bill they filed a few weeks later.
Immigration matters have dominated President Trump’s early
days in the White House. Professors Miller and Wolf explored the
civil action between the states of Washington and Minnesota and
President Trump in which the states challenged his Executive Order
relating to immigration. They examined closely the procedural
and substantive aspects of the litigation, including the district
court’s temporary order preventing nationwide enforcement of the
President’s order, the appealability of the district court’s order, and
the ruling of the Court of Appeals affirming the injunction. President
Trump issued a second immigration executive order, which at this
writing, was blocked by another temporary restraining order by
Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii.
At the halfway mark of the 100 Days series, Professor Julie
Steiner, our resident expert on environmental law, discussed the
impact the Trump Administration is having and will continue to have
on policies affecting climate change, water and air quality,
pipelines, and related matters. She examined the views of new
appointees to critical positions, including their justifications for
altering policies environmentalists support. ◆
Attendees participate in a series of public discussions sponsored by The Institute for Legislative and
Governmental Affairs together with the Springfield Public Forum. A variety of topics were presented by
Professor of History John Baick, Professor of Law Bruce Miller, Director of the Institute Professor Arthur D.
Wolf, Professor of Law Sudha Setty, and Professor of Law Julie Steiner.