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Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011

Program on judicial selection at IU Maurer School of law to feature national experts in Fred Friendly format

April 15, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Four nationally known experts on judicial selection will convene at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law on Thursday, April 21, from 4-6 p.m. in the school's Moot Court Room for an interactive dialogue on the topic.

"Unlike typical academic symposia, where speakers deliver prepared remarks with limited interaction, this program will feature an active back-and-forth discussion among the panelists in the style of the popular Fred Friendly seminars on PBS," said Charles Geyh, associate dean for research and John F. Kimberling Professor of Law. An expert on judicial selection and ethics, Geyh will serve as moderator of the program.

Charles Geyh

Ann Schertz

Charles Geyh

Print-Quality Photo

The panel consists of Chris Bonneau, associate professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh and co-author of In Defense of Judicial Elections; Roy A. Schotland, a professor emeritus at Georgetown University Law Center who has written prolifically on all methods of judicial selection; and Eileen Braman, associate professor of political science at IU, whose work has explored issues relating to institutional legitimacy and public support of the courts.

"There are at least five methods of judicial selection used among the various states, and we will explore the pros and cons of each," Geyh explained. "Recent Supreme Court decisions on the First Amendment rights of judicial candidates to take positions on issues they will decide as judges, and of corporations to contribute to independent campaigns in support of judicial candidates, make this topic relevant and timely."

Geyh cited two other relevant examples: the recent removal of three Supreme Court justices in Iowa because of their support of gay marriage and the near-defeat of a justice in Wisconsin over his expected vote in a public-employee union case. "In this program, we will explore whether these developments are a triumph of judicial accountability -- or a train wreck."

The final event of the semester in the law school's Law and Society series, the program is free and open to the public. Indiana continuing legal education credit has been applied for.