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Media Advisory

Not for publication

Oct. 27, 2004 -- No. 522

Constitutional law scholars to discuss ‘centrist’ Supreme Court
voting behavior, potential impact on new judicial appointees at conference

Friday (Oct. 29), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
UNC School of Law and Knapp-Sanders Building
UNC campus

Media representatives are invited to cover "Locating the Constitutional Center: Centrist Justices and Mainstream Values," a conference hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law’s North Carolina Law Review.

The program will bring legal, history and political science scholars to Chapel Hill to discuss centralism on the U.S. Supreme Court and its relationship to mainstream values. Panel discussions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.

Dr. William E. Leuchtenburg, William Rand Kenan professor of history emeritus at UNC and one of the nation’s top experts on the U.S. presidency, will give the luncheon keynote address.

Panelists and participants include:

· Dr. G. Edward White is the David and Mary Harrison distinguished professor of law at the University Of Virginia School Of Law. He joined the law faculty in 1972 after clerking for Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court. White will discuss the principal ways in which the idea of the judicial center has been articulated in the 20th and 21st centuries, and he will trace how the concept of judicial center has been used since the 1940s.

· Dr. Lee Epstein is the Edward Mallinckrodt distinguished professor of political science and professor of law at Washington University and the recipient of nine grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on judicial politics. Epstein and Dr. Andrew Martin, associate professor of political science and professor of law at Washington University, will discuss their recent findings suggesting that the rumored retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will position the next U.S. president to bring about dramatic changes in the court’s political composition.

· Dr. Jeffrey Segal is chairman of the department of political science at Stony Brook University and the recipient of a number of awards for his writings on the U.S. Supreme Court. Segal will explore how the Supreme Court is a median-driven institution and whether or not the Court needs to consider the preferences of Congress and the president when making constitutional decisions.

For more information on the conference, contact the Law Review office at (919) 962-3926 or hshowell@email.unc.edu.

Coverage notes: Morning sessions will be held in room 5052 of UNC’s School of Law, located on Ridge Road. Afternoon sessions, beginning at 12:30 p.m., will be held in room 2603 of the Knapp-Sanders Building, located at the corner of Raleigh and Country Club roads. Limited seating for media representatives will be available in both locations; to reserve seating, contact Holly Howell at (919) 962-3926 by 11 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 28).

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School of Law contact: Audrey Ward, (919) 962-4125