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Tip Sheet

For immediate use 

Oct. 31, 2005 -- No. 525

Supreme Court experts and acquaintance of Alito
available to comment on new nominee, process

Following on this morning’s (Monday, Oct. 31) presidential nomination of Third Circuit Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor just days after the withdrawal of Harriet Miers’ nomination, this update of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill experts available to discuss the nomination process and related politics has been supplemented to include an acquaintance of Judge Alito’s, UNC law school faculty member Eric Muller.

This list may be updated periodically:

Michael Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe professor of constitutional law and professor of law, joined the UNC School of Law faculty during the summer after teaching law for almost 15 years at the College of William and Mary. He has consulted and written extensively on judicial selection. He was a consultant to the White House on the appointment of Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court, and he has consulted with many senators and their staffs on constitutional issues relating to various appointments.

His writings on judicial selection include a recent book on Supreme Court selection, titled "The Federal Appointments Process" (revised edition, 2003).

On the nomination and confirmation proceedings for John Roberts as chief justice of the United States, Gerhardt conducted interviews with state and national media including The New York Times, USA Today and National Public Radio.

He also is the author of the first and second editions of "The Federal Impeachment Process" (mentioned by senators and Senate staffers during the Roberts confirmation proceedings as required reading).

During President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, Gerhardt testified as the only joint witness before the House Judiciary Committee, and he worked as CNN’s expert on the impeachment process.

Contact Gerhardt at (919) 357-4317 (cell).


William "Bill" P. Marshall, William R. Kenan distinguished professor, served as deputy White House counsel and deputy assistant to the President during the Clinton Administration, where he worked on issues as diverse as freedom of religion and separation of powers.

He has published extensively on constitutional law issues and is a nationally recognized First Amendment scholar. He also is a leading expert on federal judicial selection matters and on the interrelationship between media, law and politics. He teaches media law, civil procedure, constitutional law, First Amendment, federal courts and the law of the presidency. During the summer, Marshall served on a panel regarding the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process, presented by the Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

Contact Marshall at (919) 672-7471, (919) 843-7747 or Photo and more information on Marshall:


Eric Muller, the George R. Ward Distinguished Professor of Law, is acquainted with Judge Alito, President Bush’s new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Muller specializes in constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights, national security law, racial profiling and Japanese-American internment during World War II. He practiced in the litigation department of a private law firm in Manhattan from 1988 to 1990, before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, NJ. There, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal appeals division from 1990 to 1994.

He joined the UNC School of Law faculty in 1998.

Muller’s articles have been published in the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, and the University of Chicago Law Review. He is a 1984 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University and earned a law degree in 1987 from Yale University, where he was an editor for the Yale Law and Policy Review.

Contact Muller at: 967-3323. Photo and more information on Muller at:


Jack Boger, Wade Edwards professor of law and deputy director of UNC’s Center for Civil Rights, can speak to retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decisions related to issues of race and gender, and abortion.

Boger also is chairman of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, a Washington, D.C.-based federation of civil rights, civil liberties and legal service groups that encourages national coordination of social scientific research and legal advocacy on behalf of the poor. He has taught as a lecturer or adjunct professor at Harvard, New York Law School and Florida State University. He teaches constitutional law, education law, racial discrimination and poverty law.

Contact Boger at (919) 843-9288. Photo and more information on Boger:

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UNC School of Law contact: Mary Murray, (919) 962-7701 or
News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or