Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

James Boyd
IU School of Law--Bloomington

Last modified: Monday, November 17, 2008

Speaker to address Obama’s potential court appointments

Nov. 17, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With the predicted retirements of Judges John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg looming within the next four years, President-elect Barack Obama could have the rare opportunity to appoint two new judges to the U.S. Supreme Court during his first term in office.

Curt Levey, director of the Committee for Justice, will discuss Obama's potential federal court appointees on Tuesday (Nov. 18) at the Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington.

"Who Will Obama Appoint to Our Courts?" will take place at noon in room 121. The event is free and open to the public, and is being presented by the Federalist Society.

"With at least two anticipated vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens more at the circuit and district levels, President-elect Obama will have a significant chance to reshape our federal courts with scores of lifetime appointments," said IU Federalist Society chapter treasurer Armen Boyajian.

"Curt Levey specializes in judicial confirmation battles, and we expect a lively presentation and discussion on the recent politicization of judicial confirmations, how Obama's empathetic judicial philosophy will impact our courts, and the ever-present dangers of judicial activism," Boyajian said.

A recent report from the CFJ predicts that if Obama serves two terms in office, "there is a roughly 75 percent chance that he will be able to establish a solid liberal majority on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Robert H. McKinney Professor of Law and adjunct professor of religious studies Dan Conkle will offer a critical commentary on Levey's presentation immediately afterward. Conkle said he'll primarily be reacting to what Levey has to say, but noted Obama's appointments in his first term may not have as much of an impact as some suggest, since Stevens and Ginsburg are both considered liberal.

"Any appointments to the Supreme Court are likely to be replacements for justices on the 'liberal' side of the court," Conkle said. "Lower-court appointments are likely to be more significant, but the lower courts will be subject to Supreme Court review."

Levey is the former director of Legal & Public Affairs at the Center for Individual Rights, where he worked on landmark Supreme Court cases involving affirmative action and federalism.

The Committee for Justice, based in Washington, D.C., is composed of former government officials, legal scholars, and practitioners who defend and promote constitutionalist judicial nominees to the federal courts and educate the public on the proper role of judges.

The media is invited to cover Tuesday's event.