Articles From Michael F. O’Brien

Judicial campaign speech By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, December 2002 Dividing along its customary, 5-4, ideological fault line, the United State Supreme Court held in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, ___U.S. ___, 153 L.Ed.2d 694, 122 S.Ct. 2528 (2002) (Scalia, J), that Minnesota's canon of judicial conduct prohibiting judicial candidates "from announcing their views on disputed legal and political issues" violated the First Amendment. 122 S.Ct. at 2532 & 2542 (emphasis added).
“Economic development” takings restricted By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, June 2002 Perhaps signaling a trend toward greater protection of private property rights, the Illinois Supreme Court, in a highly unusual rehearing and reversal of its earlier ruling in the same case, held in Southwestern Illinois Development Authority v. National City Environmental, L.L.C., 199 Ill.2d 225, 768 N.E.2d 1, 263 Ill.Dec. 241 (2002) (SWIDA), that eminent domain cannot be used to take property for what it characterized as "purely private purposes," (768 N.E.2d at 11) even where that may stimulate "economic development." 768 N.E.2d at 9.
From the outgoing chair By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, June 2001 The review of proposed legislation affecting Human Rights has historically been a primary function of this section council.
From the chair By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, May 2001 Internet technology has vastly enhanced the Human Rights Section Council's legislative review process.
From the chair By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, January 2001 The Human Rights Section Council has had two rather lively meetings this fall and winter.
Illinois Supreme Court holds school desegregation equitable remedies are not “compensatory damages” justifying taxes or bondsunder Tort Immunity Act By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, January 2001 Following eight years of legal challenges by Rockford school district taxpayers, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq. (1998) ("Tort Immunity Act"), does not authorize taxes or bonds for school desegregation suit equitable remedies.
From the chair By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, October 2000 The Human Rights Section Council should have some interesting meetings this year. In an attempt to convert our business meetings into more of a "retreat" format, we have invited some outside experts to liven up our meetings with discussions of the pros and cons of such diverse topics as school choice, the proposed "prosecutorial misconduct" legislation and the estate planning certification proposal under consideration by ISBA.
Online access to public records By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, October 2000 Despite the seeming inevitability of Internet access to virtually all types of information, very few local governments have yet to establish online access to their public record databases (e.g., court files, assessment and real estate records).
From the new chair By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, June 2000 This section council's name, "Human Rights," as well as the title of its newsletter, "Constitutional Law and Liberty," reflect somewhat the inevitably diverse opinions of its members.
Second District holds Tort Immunity Act taxes unavailable for prospective equitable remedies By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, October 1999 Editor's note: Previous editions of this newsletter contained articles entitled "The Tort Immunity Act and judicial taxation" (Oct. 1997, Vol. 24, No. 2) and "Circuit Court rules Tort Immunity Act taxes cannot fund school desegregation programs" (Jan. 1998, Vol. 24, No. 3) describing Rockford's court-ordered school desegregation taxes.
Minutes of section council meeting By Michael F. O’Brien Human Rights, February 1999 The meeting of the ISBA Human Rights Section Council was called to order by the Chair, Iain D. Johnston, at 9:45 a.m. on December 12, 1998, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers Ontario Room.

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