Columns

Columns

Capitol Fax | State fairground really needs a reboot

Back in the old, old days, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley would pack passenger trains full of loyalists and send them all to the Illinois State Fair's Democrat Day rally, where they were treated to rousing speeches by party leaders and candidates. Gov. Rod Blagojevich kept that tradition alive on a somewhat smaller scale by chartering buses filled with supporters.

Jim Dey | Ousted Marquette professor gets his job back

Free speech on college campuses continues to be a source of controversy. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week struck a blow for freedom of expression when it ruled that a Marquette University professor effectively fired three years ago is entitled to reinstatement and back pay.

Off the Bench | Pro se litigants face several challenges

Recently, I saw a commercial in which a man was depicted performing surgery on himself. While that may have been an attention-getter, we all know that we cannot go to the hospital for such a procedure. On the other hand, we can go to the courthouse and pursue our own case. If so, we are said to be proceeding pro se.

Austin Berg | Illinois' fireworks ban is still law of the land

"[T]hey can't have a first-rate Fourth without a little noise and nonsense."

That's what long-gone Chicago newspaper The Inter Ocean editorialized on July 4, 1877, writing about its paperboys and the city's ban on fireworks.

"They envy the country boys who have no ... city ordinance to prohibit them from having a jolly time."

Jim Dey | DuPage college scandal continues to make big waves

In 2014, a member of a public spending watchdog group decided to take a look at how the largest community college in Illinois — the College of DuPage — was spending its money.

Four years later, they're still fighting over the ramifications of what OpentheBooks' Adam Andrzejewski found.

Jim Dey | Morass of complex legal issues dog Schock case

Lawyers for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock say it would be unreasonable for them to be required to prepare for trial while they pursue an appeal they hope will result in a dismissal of the corruption case against their client.

Jim Dey | Rauner running uphill as Democrats await sure win

Gov. Bruce Rauner, who barely escaped an embarrassing defeat in the March primary, needs a united Republican Party behind him if he's going to defeat his well-heeled Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker, in the November election.

But that is looking more and more difficult. As time passes, estranged conservatives appear more determined to see Rauner lose and Pritzker win.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk | The Trump regime has no shame

"They ain't got no shame," is a popular African-American aphorism my grandmother used to characterize white people (except Greeks and Italians). The Trump regime exemplifies that adage. No crime or evil is too much. Breaking up families, imprisoning refugees, and literally snatching babies from mothers, it's all OK. "They ain't got no shame!"

Jim Dey | Back to court for Schock, lawyers

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has a date Friday at the U.S. District Court in Urbana.

But it remains to be seen what will transpire at the hearing. It could involve setting a trial date for Schock, a further delay in the case while he seeks U.S. Supreme Court review of his case or some combination of the two.

One thing, however, is for sure.

Austin Berg | How an Illinois mom set stage for Janus ruling

Despite how monumental they often are, the Supreme Court releases its decisions with little fanfare.

They are announced in the mornings, with more frequency in June and mostly on Mondays. Typically, a few boxes of copies are released for reporters to grab, including bloggers from SCOTUSblog, who then scramble to post updates.

That's how the rest of the world finds out.