The Journal of The DuPage County Bar Association

From the Editor

Federalism: the Glue of Democracy
By Azam Nizamuddin

Welcome to our second issue of the new DCBA Brief season. What does October 2017 have in store for us? Well, aside from the usual Columbus Day and Halloween festivities, we are anticipating an interesting October Term for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). While the SCOTUS will be hearing and ultimately deciding many cases, two areas dominate this October term: employment and immigration. Some of the issues to watch out for include enforcement of arbitration clauses in employment cases, and the constitutionality of President Trump’s Travel Ban along with issues relating to immigration. Also, worth watching are cases involving federal redistricting laws in Wisconsin, and the tension between civil rights and religious beliefs in Colorado. For your reading pleasure, we have included an overview of the salient cases being heard this month.

Relatedly, many of the discussions and debates around Constitutional interpretation center around the role of the federal government. In fact, it is quite common on cable news, talk radio, pool table halls and of course social media to hear arguments for or against a strong federal government. In fact, one can argue that a pro-States rights agenda has become a significant platform in political discourse today.

What is often forgotten, however, is that a major impetus behind the establishment of the US Constitution in the late 18th century was to provide greater powers to a federal system of government. Why?

In 1781, the 13 American colonies, coming off a fresh victory for independence against the British Crown, established the first constitution of the United States – the Articles of Confederation. But after just a few years, the Articles of Confederation proved ineffective because they accorded too much power to the individual states, thereby creating a weak national government. Therefore, in 1787, after just four months of diligent work, the conveners of the Constitutional Convention hammered out and approved the draft of the US Constitution. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787. Massachusetts, a critical vote for ratification, was against adopting the U.S. Constitution. But the federalists swayed Massachusetts Governor John Hancock by agreeing not to oppose him in the upcoming election for governor and Vice President. Accordingly, the Massachusetts legislature ratified the Constitution by a margin of 187 to 168, ultimately paving the way for ratification. Subsequently, the Bill of Rights was ratified in December of 1791.

Due to the importance of the issue of federalism, we begin our October issue with a thorough discussion of the watershed legislation known as Social Security by Jon Walker, titled the Myths Surrounding Social Security. Ryan M. Holmes and Mallory A. Kalamata discuss the new IRS rules to provide an extension of time to minimize gift and estate taxes through the portability option. Finally, Dan Bryer discusses recent case law which further illuminate non-compete agreements in Illinois. We appreciate their timely and helpful contribution to the DCBA Brief.

In particular, the DCBA Brief would like to thank Editorial Board member, Dexter Evans, for being the Articles Editor for October. Thanks also to our colleague Jordan Sartell for the case law updates. Thanks also to Timothy Klein and John Pcolinski for help with the Supreme Court overview.

As a reminder, keep encouraging your colleagues to contribute a substantive article for this coming year. In addition to providing the DCBA Brief reading public a topic worth reading, it will also increase your knowledge of a subject matter which can be a great source of marketing and collaboration with others in the legal profession. Plus, you’ll earn necessary CLE credits for your contribution as well!

Azam (“Az”) Nizamuddin is General Counsel with the American Trust Corporation and Chief Compliance Officer for Allied Asset Advisors in Oak Brook, Illinois. Previously, he practiced commercial litigation and family law with large firms, small firms, and as a solo practitioner. He is an active member of the DCBA, and serves on the DCBA Business Law Section. He also serves on the ISBA Corporate Law Section and previously served on the ISBA ARDC Committee. He was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, Language Access Committee. He is also Adjunct Professor at Loyola University
and frequently lectures on the intersection of law and religion.

Azam Nizamuddin
Brian Dougherty
Associate Editor


Anthony Abear
Terrence Benshoof
Annette Corrigan
Dexter Evans
Peter Evans
Raleigh D. Kalbfleisch
Timothy Klein
Christopher J. Maurer
James F. McCluskey
Christine McTigue
Clarissa R.E. Myers
Jane Nagle
Joseph K. Nichele
John J. Pcolinski, Jr.
Jay Reese
Arthur W. Rummler
James L. Ryan
Jordan Sartell
David N. Schaffer
Michael R. Sitrick
Jolianne Walters
Eric R. Waltmire

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