Carnegie Mellon University

Law gavel

January 31, 2020

Judicial Humility and Judicial Humiliation: A View from the Trenches

10th Annual Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture on Law & American Society

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Porter Hall 100
5:00-6:00 pm

Speaker: The Honorable Edmond E-Min Chang, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.


Judicial Humility and Judicial Humiliation: A View from the Trenches

In recent years, litigants have challenged federal legislation and executive action in the federal courts by seeking “nationwide” injunctions, even though typically a court judgment applies only to the specific parties in the case. Recent examples include challenges to the Affordable Care Act and to the Executive Order restricting entry from certain foreign nations. Judge Chang will address the propriety – or not – of nationwide injunctions, and how those injunctions bear on the credibility of the federal courts.


The Honorable Edmond E-Min Chang is United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. 

Born in New York, New York to immigrants from Taiwan, Chang earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in aerospace engineering in 1991 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor in 1994 from Northwestern University School of Law. From 1994 until 1995, Chang served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge James L. Ryan. From 1995 until 1997, Chang served as a law clerk for United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Marvin E. Aspen.

From 1997 until 1999, Chang served as an associate at the Chicago headquarters office of the global law firm Sidley Austin. In 1999, Chang became an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, serving as a Deputy Chief of General Crimes from 2004 until 2005 and as the Chief of Appeals for the Criminal Division from 2005 until late 2010.

On April 21, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Chang to a federal judgeship to fill the seat vacated by Judge Elaine E. Bucklo, who assumed senior status on October 31, 2009. On December 18, 2010, the United States Senate confirmed Chang by unanimous consent. He received his commission on December 20, 2010.  At the time of his Senate confirmation in 2010, Judge Chang was the youngest federal judge in the nation. He is the first Asian- Pacific American Article III federal judge in Illinois, and the second APA Article III judge outside of the East and West Coasts.

Judge Chang is a frequent lecturer on a variety of topics, including civil procedure and discovery, class actions, patent law, criminal law, oral argument, ethics rules, diversity in the legal profession, and the rules of evidence. Judge Chang has delivered presentations at various law schools and universities, including the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Loyola University, the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Judge Chang is the recipient of the National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazers award, the Vanguard Award from the Chinese American Bar Association of Chicago, the Cook State’s Attorney’s Office Asian-Pacific American Community Service Award, and the Chinese American Bar Association of Chicago’s Sandra Otaka Distinguished Judicial Service Award.. Judge Chang now serves on the Judicial Advisory Committee of Just the Beginning, a national organization that promotes diversity in the legal profession.

Before joining the bench, Judge Chang served on the board of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, a public-interest bar association. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Public Interest Law Initiative, a decades-old nonprofit group that promotes pro bono and public interest legal service.

Free event: open to all CMU students, faculty, staff, and the general public

More Info contact: Joseph E. Devine

Judge Chang’s visit is sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon University Prelaw Program.

This program is also approved for 1.0 general CLE credit in Pennsylvania.  CLE Credit for this lecture is provided courtesy of Reed Smith LLP.  To receive CLE credit, attorneys will need to register in advance.  Please contact Joe Maguire by email ( or phone ([202] 210-6439) to register.


Parking will be available along Frew Street (adjacent to Porter Hall), as well as in the university’s East Campus Garage.  (Campus map: